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Will Australia’s bank dividends rebound in 2021?

29 January 2021 Ralph Chen

In 2020, the pandemic fallouts have been deeply felt by Australia banking sector, causing a dividends draught for investors. As Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) lifted the restrictions on capital distributions from banks in December 2020 and the market is entering the earnings season, we turn our focus to how much will the dividends from the banks - big four banks in particular - return in the new year.

  • We expect the payout ratios of banks' dividends to fall between pre-Covid-19 level and 50% cap previously required by the regulator, as APRA continues to call for the banks to moderate the payout ratio level.
  • Improving economic outlook and write-back of virus-related provisions are expected to drive the upticks in banks' earnings in the new year.

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