Mail.ru to pay $900 million dividends

Russian e-mail service Mail.Ru announced that it will pay $900 million in dividends ($4.30 per share), or 95 percent of capital accumulated in 2012. 

"[Mail.ru] has always stressed that we won't keep our finance surpluses [sitting] in the accounts after we get rid of non-core assets," said Dmitry Grishin, CEO of Mail.Ru Group. 

Mail.ru has raised an estimated $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion from selling non-core assets including Facebook shares, assets of the Zynga online game producer and the Groupon coupon service. Mail.ru paid out $795 million of dividends in 2012 after the selloff of its Facebook shares. 

Mail.ru’s 2012 revenue rose 39 percent to 21 billion rubles ($685 million). In 2013, the company is predicting revenues to grow by 25-28 percent.       

Mail.ru Group's decision to use its surplus capital for dividend payments indicates that the company doesn't see any mergers or acquisitions targets on the horizon that would require a war chest, analysts said.

"Mail.Ru Group had planned to increase its share in [Russia's largest social network] VKontakte," said Alexander Vengranovich, an analyst with Moscow investment bank Otkritie. "But they are likely to fail to come to any agreement."         

Mail.Ru Group shares in London rose 4.27 percent on Tuesday on the news, rising to $36.90.

The news story is based on materials from RBC Daily.

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