Dividends paid by Australian companies fell 6.6 per cent on an underlying basis in the first quarter of 2018, largely down to cuts by Telstra and QBE.
Australian dividends were down 1.2 per cent on a headline basis to $7.7 billion in the first quarter of 2018, according to Janus Henderson's Global Dividend Index.
The drop was more stark in underlying terms (down 6.6 per cent) owing mainly to Telstra's announcement in February it would cut its interim dividend to 11 cents (down from 15.5 cents the previous year).
QBE also cut its dividend by 90 per cent following a warning in January 2018 that it had made a loss.
Excluding the impact of QBE and Telstra, Australian dividends rose year-on-year in line with global markets boosted by BHP Billiton.
The Janus Henderson index found that global dividends were 10.2 per cent higher on a headline basis to $244.7 billion in the first quarter.
Growing corporate profits in the North America saw record dividends in the US and Canada, said Janus Henderson.
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