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Singapore banks dividend compilation Seedly

DBS, OCBC and UOB: Let's Check Out Their Dividends

profileSudhan P

DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (SGX: O39) and United Overseas Bank Ltd (SGX: U11) are three major listed banks in Singapore. 

And they make up around 43% of Singapore’s stock market benchmark, the Straits Times Index (STI)

The trio of banks is popular among dividend investors here due to their growing dividends over the years. 

In this article, let’s check out DBS, OCBC, and UOB from the perspective of their dividends. 

Source: Giphy


Earnings Growth

Firstly, let’s explore how the banks have grown their earnings over the last five years. 

If a company can consistently grow its earnings, it means that it has a strong business. 

It would also mean that it has the possibility of paying out higher dividends as its business grows over time. 

The following table shows how DBS, OCBC, and UOB have grown their earnings per share from 2015 to 2020 (the banks have a 31 December year-end): 

2015S$1.77 S$0.95 S$1.94
2016S$1.66 S$0.82S$1.86
2017S$1.69 S$0.95S$1.99
2019S$2.46S$1.14 S$2.55
Compound annual growth rate

We can see from the table that all three banks have seen strong growth in historical earnings, except for the fall in 2020 due to the pandemic.

With the banks’ increase in profits from 2015 to 2019, their dividends have climbed as well. 

Dividend Growth

The next table reveals the dividend history of DBS, OCBC, and UOB. 

(includes special dividend of S$0.20; S$0.70 without)
(includes special dividend of S$0.50; S$0.93 without)
(includes special dividend of S$0.20; S$0.80 without)
(includes special dividend of S$0.20; S$1.00 without)
(includes special dividend of S$0.20; S$1.10 without)
CAGR19.7% 10.2%12% (without special dividends; 9.6% with)

DBS has increased its dividends the most from 2015 to 2019 to the tune of around 20% per annum. 

For 2020, all three banks had to curb their dividends as a pre-emptive measure by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

However, MAS lifted the dividend restriction in July 2021 and all three banks have reinstated their dividends since then. 

Interim dividend per share for 2019S$0.30S$0.25S$0.55
Interim dividend per share for 2020S$0.18S$0.159S$0.39
Interim dividend per share for 2021S$0.33S$0.25S$0.60

Frequency of Dividend Payments

DBS’ dividend is currently broken down into four different payouts. Since the first quarter of 2019, it has been declaring dividends every three months. 

DBS said in its 2019 first-quarter earnings that it would start paying quarterly dividends to provide “shareholders with more regular income streams”, instead of biannually as was the case previously.

DBS’ peers, OCBC and UOB, still pay dividends half-yearly.

Dividend Payout Ratio

The dividend payout ratio tells investors what percentage of a company’s earnings are paid out yearly as a dividend.

Any ratio below 100%  means that the company is paying dividends sustainably.

Let’s see how sustainable dividends from DBS, OCBC, and UOB are by examining their dividend payout ratios: 


As seen from the table above, including special dividends, all three banks have been paying out less than 100% of their earnings as dividends.

The most conservative of the lot is OCBC, with its dividend payout ratio below 50% over the years. 

Dividend Guidance 

DBS is the only local bank that has guided its dividend.

It said in its 2019 earnings that going forward, barring unforeseen circumstances, the annualised dividend would be S$1.32 per share.

It said that the higher dividend is in line with its “policy of paying sustainable dividends that rise progressively with earnings”.

Latest Dividend Yield

Of the three banks, UOB has the highest dividend yield at the time of writing, followed by OCBC and DBS.

Share price S$29.51S$11.45S$25.47
Projected total dividend for 2021S$1.17S$0.53S$1.35
Dividend yield (forward)4.0%4.6%5.3%
(includes special dividend)

I’ve included UOB’s special dividend since it has been paying it out for some time (seems more like a regular occurrence). 

Going Deeper into the Banks’ Dividends

If you wish to find out even more about the banks’ dividends, do check out our separate dividend guides for DBS, OCBC, and UOB!

For DBS 👇

For OCBC 👇

For UOB 👇

Looking for More Stock Analyses to Position Your Portfolio for 2021 and Beyond?

You should check out Seedly’s exclusive stock deep-dive reports then! Level up with our community and download those free reports at Seedly Rewards.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised investment advice. ​Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their financial goals before investing in any stock. The writer doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. 


About Sudhan P
It isn't fair competition when only one company in the world makes Monopoly. But I love investing in monopolies. Before joining the Seedly hood, I had the chance to co-author a Singapore-themed investment book – "Invest Lah! The Average Joe's Guide To Investing" – and work at The Motley Fool Singapore as an analyst.
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