Record £443bn payouts for shareholders across worldwide markets

Shareholders and investors in listed companies across the world received a record payout of 513.8 billion dollars (£422.7 billion) in dividends in the second quarter of the year, according to new research.

Office worker looks at a screen showing trading on the FTSE 100 index. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

However, the latest Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index also saw that the rate of growth in the payments slowed to levels not seen for more than two years.

Analysts said payouts were 1.1 per cent higher, compared with the same period last year, due to the strength of the US dollar, with underlying growth of 4.6 per cent.

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The best-performing country was Japan, with Europe underperforming the rest of the world.

The UK saw underlying growth in dividend payouts of 5.3 per cent, although Janus Henderson pointed out this was mainly due to special dividends paid out - including £1.7 billion by Government-backed Royal Bank of Scotland.

Ben Lofthouse, head of global equity income at Janus Henderson, explained: “At this stage in the economic cycle, we are seeing a moderation of dividend increases across a broad range of companies, and the number of cuts is on the rise too.

“The impact of the global economic slowdown is greater in some parts of the world than others, with Europe seeing a particular impact.”

Japan, Canada, France and Indonesia were the only countries to set records in the second quarter.

Emerging markets saw the fastest growth, propelled higher by Russia and Colombia, while Japan registered the best performance among the developed regions.