Hefty dividend rumored for Bumi Resources investors

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Observers expect publicly listed mining concern PT Bumi Resources, the country's largest coal producer, to provide a hefty annual and interim dividend of Rp 200 per share to investors.

The company will announce the dividend at the annual shareholders meeting Wednesday.

Company president Ari S. Hudaya did not dismiss the rumors when questioned Sunday. "We'll certainly distribute a dividend. Concerning the size (of the dividend) let's see at the shareholders meeting. What is certain, investors will not be disappointed," he said.

The company will also hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting Wednesday to seek approval for its plan to sell three coal mining subsidiaries -- PT Kaltim Prima Coal, PT Arutmin and PT Indocoal.

Bumi plans to sell the three subsidiaries to PT Borneo Lumbung Persada. The company expects to make US$3.2 billion from the divestment, and plans to reinvest the money at home.

A stock market analyst said such a hefty dividend would increase the attractiveness of Bumi, as earning per share was estimated to increase to Rp 104 from the Rp 62.98 earlier stated in the company's financial report.

The analyst also said that Bumi had strong prospects, particularly if its plan to merge with listed energy concern PT Energi Mega Persada went through.

Bumi plans to merge with Energi this year through a share swap mechanism once the divestment of its coal subsidiaries is complete.
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