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PZU eyes per share dividend boost, explores collaboration with GSAM

PZU SA expects to pay a higher per share dividend from its 2018 profit than the per-share payment of 2.50 Polish zlotys offered from its 2017 earnings, news agency PAP reported March 13.

CEO Paweł Surówka said the company vowed in its 2020 strategy to increase per share dividend payouts on an annual basis, and its 2018 results will make it possible to keep this promise, the newswire reported, adding that no decisions have been made as yet regarding the distribution of 2018 profit.

PZU's dividend policy provides for dividend payments at 50% to 80% of consolidated group profit, while maintaining the Solvency II ratio at over 200%.

The insurer, in which Poland's State Treasury is the largest shareholder, posted a net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company of 3.2 billion zlotys for 2018, up by 11% year over year, while the ROE ratio reached 22.1%, exceeding the ROE target set in the 2020 strategy.

PZU also said March 14 that it signed a letter of intent with Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP regarding potential cooperation between the companies. As part of the planned collaboration, GSAM would support PZU in achieving the best possible return on assets, and both companies would also offer each other's products to their clients. The parties will also explore the possibility of setting up a Central and Eastern Europe-focused fund, which would be managed by PZU and made available on GSAM's global distribution platform.

As of March 13, US$1 was equivalent to 3.80 Polish zlotys.