a.s.r. strives to pay a dividend that creates sustainable long term value for its shareholders. a.s.r. has a dividend policy with a pay-out ratio of 45% to 55% of the net operating result attributable to shareholders (i.e. net of hybrid costs). To support its ability to pay out dividends, a.s.r. intends to maintain a cash position of € 350 million at the holding company.
a.s.r. aims to operate at a Solvency II ratio above a management threshold level. This management threshold level is currently defined as above 160% (standard formula) of the SCR. If and when a.s.r. operates for a prolonged period above 160% and a.s.r. cannot invest this capital in value creating opportunities, a.s.r. may return capital to shareholders. If a.s.r. elects to return capital, it intends to do so in the form that is efficient for shareholders at that specific point in time, such as special dividends or share buy backs.
When proposing a dividend, a.s.r. will take into account, among other things, its capital position, leverage and liquidity position, regulatory requirements and strategic considerations as well as the expected developments thereof. There is no requirement or assurance that a.s.r. will declare and pay any dividends. In general, a.s.r. would not expect to distribute dividend if the Group level Solvency II ratio falls below 140%.
Over the financial year 2016 a.s.r. proposes to pay a dividend of € 187 million, which represents € 1.27 per share in cash. The previously communicated discretionary dividend of € 175 million was increased at the suggestion of the Executive Board and with approval from the Supervisory Board, on account of the improved operating result. The proposed dividend per share is based on 147 million shares and takes into account three million shares acquired by a.s.r. on 13 January 2017.
||Dividend (in € million)
|| Dividend Per Share¹
¹ Restated for 2015 & 2014 to 150 million shares. On 13 January 2017, a.s.r. purchased 3 million shares in a share buyback as part of the sell down by NLFI. These shares are held as treasury stock and are not eligible for dividend.