As a dividend freeze sweeps the FTSE, will National Grid power up investors?

THE GUARDIAN | Spare the briefest of thoughts for Britain’s capital-owning classes. FTSE 100 companies are forecast to pay out £9.5bn less in dividends to shareholders for the 2019 trading year, according to investing platform AJ Bell, as the coronavirus crisis ravages their income. That’s 11% less money going to shareholders’ pockets compared with the previous year.

Some 48 FTSE 100 firms have announced some kind of reduction to, or suspension of, payments to shareholders, compared with 47 that have kept or increased them since the start of the year, AJ Bell says. Worse is expected, with National Grid’s delayed annual results statement on Thursday the latest date circled in red pen on the calendars of nervous investors.

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