Gov’t dividend income halved as gas revenues fall off, says CBS

Income from gas was down considerably. Photo:

The Dutch government received €2.4bn in dividend income in 2016, roughly half the 2013 total, due largely due to a decline in revenues from gas sales, the national statistics office CBS reported on Thursday.

The government’s gas investments paid out nearly €3.3bn to the state in 2008 and €2.3bn in 2013. But the dividends fell to €300m in 2016 due to lower sales combined with lower market prices.

The government nationalised several troubled financial institutions during the economic crisis – ABN Amro, ASR and SNS Reaal – and they have been paying the government dividends since 2011. ABN Amro has provided the state with €2.2bn in dividends between 2011 and 2016.

The government began selling off these state participations in 2015, partly repaying the state support during the crisis.

Central bank

The annual dividend of the Dutch central bank DNB is usually a major contributor to the treasury. But monetary policy has placed the profits of the DNB under pressure and part of the profits have been added to reserves in the past two years. The central bank’s 2016 dividend payment was €200m, which is way down on the 2014 payout of nearly €1.1bn.

Nearly 90% of the government’s dividend payout in 2016 came from only nine companies. Biggest payers were Gasunie (gas transport), Schiphol airport and electricity grid operator Tennet which paid the state a combined €700m last year.

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