The chairman of Edinburgh-based asset management giant Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) said on Friday it still plans to pay its dividend despite a growing number of other UK firms scrapping their planned pay outs to shareholders to conserve cash amid the coronavirus crisis.
Standard Life Aberdeen chairman Douglas Flint said it is “in a position to make a payment” partly because it recently was able “to realise value from selling some investments in India.”
Last week, Standard Life Aberdeen said it raised £237 million for “general corporate purposes” from the sale of shares in HDFC Life on the National Stock Exchange of India and the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The sale left the Edinburgh asset manager with a remaining shareholding in HDFC Life of 12.25% worth about £1.2 billion.
Flint said: “As a company, we are a very big part of the savings and pensions eco-system.
“One of the groups who are being very hard hit in this pandemic are people who are retired and living on their savings.
“If companies need to conserve cash then they should, but we are in a position to make a payment.
“Many of our small shareholders rely on a dividend cheque.
“I think if companies can maintain their dividend in times like these, then it helps enormously.
“Over the past 15 months, we have been able to realise value from selling some investments in India and we have the capacity to do so.”