OCBC redeems $1b batch of 5.1% preference shares

OCBC redeems $1b batch of 5.1% preference shares

The good times are about to end for holders of $1billion worth of OCBC preference shares paying 5.1 per cent a year in dividends.

The bank sold the shares to investors to raise funds in July 2008, when liquidity was drying up.

But now it is redeeming, or buying back, the shares.

Market watchers had been expecting the move, as OCBC raised the same sum, $1 billion, by selling another batch of preference shares in July last year.

And, with interest rates still very low, it was able to do so by offering 4 per cent dividends - cheaper funds for the bank compared to the 5.1 per cent instruments it is now redeeming.

Preference shares get a fixed dividend, but the holders do not have voting rights.

The preference shares will be recalled on July29 - the first date that OCBC is able to do so after issuing them in 2008.

Investors will get the par value of $100 per share, plus the final preferential dividend of 54 cents per preference share.

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