Cuts in dividends
Limited companies made strong cuts to dividend payments in 2009. Despite this, individual shareholders had almost the same amount in dividend income as the year before.
Norwegian limited companies distributed a total of NOK 161 billion in dividends in 2009, which was a decrease of NOK 133 billion from 2008. The fall was greatest among limited companies in financial and insurance activities, which cut dividends by about NOK 43 billion.
Individual shareholders kept their dividend incomes
Individual shareholders resident in Norway were not particularly affected by the cuts in dividends. They received approximately NOK 22 billion, or only 6 per cent less than the previous year. With NOK 18 billion, males received the majority of this amount. NOK 4 billion went to female shareholders.
Dividends for foreign shareholders decreased
Over 41 per cent, or NOK 66 billion of the dividends distributed in 2009 went to foreign shareholders. This was a reduction of NOK 29 billion compared with the year before. Shareholders from France, the USA and the Netherlands, with NOK 14 billion, NOK 13 billion and NOK 12 billion respectively, were paid most of the dividends.
Dividends to the general government and Norwegian companies also decreased
The general government and Norwegian corporations also experienced a strong decline in dividend incomes in 2009. Norwegian corporations, which received only NOK 49 billion in dividends in 2009, which was a decline of 65 per cent from 2008, experienced the greatest fall. The general government saw a third of its dividends evaporate, receiving only NOK 23 billion in 2009. The decrease in dividends for the general government was mainly due to cuts in dividends by listed enterprises.
Source: Statistics Norway