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Nabors to begin paying dividends

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil and gas drilling contractor Nabors Industries Ltd. said Wednesday that it will pay a dividend of 4 cents per share.

The company will pay its first dividend on March 28 to shareholders of record on March 11.

Nabors said it declared the dividend because its finances are strong, and it is making progress on strategic objectives like repaying debt and improving liquidity. The company had about 292 million shares on the market in the fourth quarter.

Nabors shares rose 50 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close at $16.32.