Polish watchdog could let some banks pay higher dividends

Reuters

WARSAW, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Poland's financial regulator KNFmay allow some of the best capitalised banks to hand back theirentire 2013 profits to their shareholders after capping dividendpayouts since 2009.

Hoping to prevent significant capital outflow that couldweaken banks in times of an economic slowdown, KNF had preventedbanks from paying more than three-quarters of their profits asdividends.

A KNF spokesman said it was considering keeping the limitfor most lenders next year, but could consider allowing100-percent payouts for banks with the best capital positions.

KNF's strict rules, which also kept a lid on excessiveborrowing, have been credited with helping Polish lenders avoidthe pitfalls that dragged down other European lenders since theglobal economic crisis in 2008.

Analysts said the two banks that are the most likely to payhigher dividends are UniCredit's Pekao andCitigroup's Bank Handlowy.

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