Dividend Policy & Return to shareholders
Our Board of Directors may from time to time, declare and pay cash dividends in accordance with our Articles of Association and applicable Belgian law. The declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will always be subject to the approval of either our Board of Directors (in the case of "interim dividends") or of the shareholders (in the case of "regular dividends" or "intermediary dividends").
Since April 2015, we have adopted a new "return to shareholders" policy, pursuant to which we intend to distribute to our shareholders 80% of our annual net consolidated profit (excluding exceptional items such as gains on the disposal of vessels), subject to the discretion of our Board of Directors, the terms of our loan agreements, and provisions of Belgian law, discussed below. Notwithstanding the adoption of this policy, our Board of Directors' primary obligation remains to act in the best interest of the Company and in doing so our Board of Directors will always consider alternatives for use of cash that might otherwise be distributed as dividends. This may include the purchase by us of our own shares, the accelerated amortisation of debt or the acquisition of vessels which we consider at that time to be accretive to shareholders' value. Dividends, if any, will be paid in two instalments: first as an interim dividend, then as a balance payment corresponding to the final dividend.
The interim dividend payout ratio may typically be more conservative than the yearly payout of 80% of net consolidated profit.
Pursuant to the policy set out above, our Board of Directors will continue to assess the declaration and payment of dividends upon consideration of our financial results and earnings, restrictions in our debt agreements, market prospects, current capital expenditures, commitments, investment opportunities, and the provisions of Belgian law affecting the payment of dividends to shareholders and other factors. We may stop paying dividends at any time and cannot assure you that we will pay any dividends in the future or of the amount of such dividends. For instance, we did not declare or pay any dividends from 2010 until 2014.
In general, under the terms of our debt agreements, we are not permitted to pay dividends if there is or will be as a result of the dividend a default or a breach of a loan covenant. Please see our latest 20-F annual report filings for more information relating to restrictions on our ability to pay dividends under the terms of the agreements governing our indebtedness. Belgian law generally prohibits the payment of dividends unless net assets on the closing date of the last financial year do not fall beneath the amount of the registered capital and, before the dividend is paid out, 5% of the net profit is allocated to the legal reserve until this legal reserve amounts to 10% of the share capital. No distributions may occur if, as a result of such distribution, our net assets would fall below the sum of (i) the amount of our registered capital, (ii) the amount of such aforementioned legal reserves, and (iii) other reserves which may be required by our Articles of Association or by law, such as the reserves not available for distribution in the event we hold treasury shares. We may not have sufficient surplus in the future to pay dividends and our subsidiaries may not have sufficient funds or surplus to make distributions to us. We can give no assurance that dividends will be paid at all. In addition, the corporate law of jurisdictions in which our subsidiaries are organized may impose restrictions on the payment or source of dividends under certain circumstances.
Withholding tax on dividends
Memo - Belgian withholding
tax on dividends distributed by Euronav NV
History of dividends
At the moment there is no freeze period which means shareholders who wish to reposition their shares between the Belgian share register and the U.S share register are able to do so.
Ex-date and record date
Principal Paying Agent
Following the introduction of the ESES platform Euronav has appointed Euroclear Belgium as single Issuer Agent for all transactions on its shares.
For U.S. investors, corporate actions on shares held in Euronav, are coordinated by Computershare and, for dividend payments, also Globetax. In this respect, U.S. investors are kindly requested to consult with their financial advisors / read the notices published on the website of Globetax.