SCOR asks its shareholders to accept "zero" dividends for 2019

28 May 2020 — Daniela GHETU
The Board of Directors of the French group SCOR has announced on May 25 that it will propose to the Shareholders' Meeting of June 16, that no dividend be distributed for the 2019 fiscal year and that the entire income for that year be allocated to distributable earnings.

The decision followed EIOPA's and the French supervisory authority's (ACPR) statements regarding dividend distributions in respect of the 2019 fiscal year. In its press release of April 3, the ACPR says that "insurance companies must [...] refrain from proposing the distribution of dividends". These statements by the supervisory authorities, which are broad in scope, are dictated by heightened prudence during this profound and unprecedented health crisis.

The ACPR's position calling for no dividend distribution covers the period from April until October 1, 2020. SCOR will regain its freedom in terms of capital management after this deadline, mentioned by the ACPR in its two press releases. SCOR points out that its estimated solvency ratio at March 31, 2020, is 210%, in the upper part of the optimal solvency range of 185% - 220% as defined in the "Quantum Leap" strategic plan.

Moreover, the ACPR has called on insurance companies to "exercise restraint on variable compensation award policies" in its press release of April 3, 2020. With this in mind, the Chairman & CEO, Denis KESSLER, has proposed to the Compensation and Nomination Committee that his annual variable compensation for the 2019 fiscal year be reduced by 30% compared to the amount mentioned in the 2019 URD published on March 13, 2020, which the Board of Directors has approved.

SCOR stresses that the Group has not used the short-time work scheme and benefits from no government support schemes.

Given the difficulties of holding Shareholders' Meetings in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors of SCOR SE, at its meeting of March 27, 2020, decided to postpone its Annual Shareholders' Meeting, which will now be held on June 16, 2020, without the physical presence of the Group's shareholders.

Note: The estimated solvency ratio of 210% at March 31, 2020, included the payment of a gross dividend of EUR 1.80 per share for the 2019 fiscal year, which corresponds to 7 solvency ratio percentage points. In the absence of a dividend distribution for the 2019 fiscal year, the estimated solvency ratio at March 31, 2020, is 217%.

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