Israel companies to start publishing dividends in ‘per share’, Tel Aviv bourse says

By Thomson Reuters May 23, 2024 | 4:57 AM

By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) said on Thursday that listed companies will be required to report dividends on a per share basis, rather than the overall distribution amount, the latest step by the Israeli bourse to align itself with global markets.

The measure, which still requires approval from the Israel Securities Authority and finance minister, would go into effect on Feb. 1, 2025.

“This is the common practice at leading international exchanges, including in the United States and the United Kingdom,” the TASE said in a statement.

“This move is designed to encourage the activity of foreign investors on TASE, thereby enhancing the liquidity in the equity market, while also providing local and international investors with certainty regarding the dividend per share amount and allowing for a more accurate calculation of the ex-price.”

More than 75% of TASE-listed companies already report the dividend per share amount, it said.

Under the directive, companies will be able to update the final dividend per share amount until two trading days prior to the record date.

The TASE on Wednesday said it earned an adjusted net profit of 27.8 million shekels ($7.6 million), up 7% over the year earlier quarter, with revenue up 8% to 108.3 million shekels.

In the first three months of the year, the market cap of equity firms rose 9% from the end of 2023 to 1.15 trillion shekels, with daily trading volume up 7%.

“It is crucial that the government proactively encourage investments in the Israeli capital market, which is a key component of Israel’s economic and national resilience,” said TASE CEO Ittai Ben Zeev.

He said “decisive actions” must be taken to remove barriers and boost the attractiveness of investing in Israel and in particular for foreign investors.

Last week, the TASE said it plans to alter its schedule and add Friday to the trading week in a bid to strengthen its global profile.

The exchange hopes a decision to shift away from Israel’s Sunday to Thursday work week to one that overlaps more with Wall Street and European bourses will win inclusion in global index provider MSCI’s Europe category.

($1 = 3.6692 shekels)

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Toby Chopra)