LENDING & CREDIT | Jason Oliver, Indonesia

Oops, they cut the dividend

Indonesia’s Bank Rakyat says it will cut dividends 35 percent as it faces government pressure to crank out loans with loan growth expected at 22 percent.Sulaiman Arif Arianto, BRI managing director, said in a Reuters report that the bank had proposed cutting its 2008 dividend payout ratio from the previous 50 percent in a move to boost capital. Bank Rakyat, having reported a 23 percent increase in last year’s net profit to $577.5 million, is consistent with the move of its fellow banks Bank Mandiri and Bank Central Asia.Indonesia’s third-largest lender, Bank Rakyat expects its lending to grow above the government’s target, with the central bank pegging overall bank lending at 15 to 16 percent for 2009.

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