Tomahawk, WI 9/23/2013 (BasicsMedia) – Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) issues dividends at least twice every year. It is one of the few gold companies which declare dividends on a regular basis, probably due to its position as the world’s largest miner of gold. Some of its major competitors which issue dividends at least once every year include Goldcorp, Yamana Gold, Agnico-Eagle and Kinross. This company is traded both on the Toronto and New York bourses. The company has been issuing dividends to shareholders of record since 1987. Is there anything that it is pressuring the stock to change this?

 ABX’s History of Paying Dividends

 There are times when some of the largest companies with a global reach simply find it hard to issue dividends. For ABX, it has never failed to issue dividends since it started doing this in 1987. It usually gives this reward to investors both in mid-June and mid-September, although these dates can change depending on a number of factors. I don’t envisage a situation where ABX is unable to issue dividends not unless it is unable to maintain consistent levels of profitability, or perhaps the gold mining industry is severely affected by a variety of factors.

 ABX Dutch Investors Getting Aggressive

There are reports indicating that the company could be on the verge of receiving serious backlash from fund activists in Amsterdam. The pressure could come from a Dutch shareholder who manages a fund meant to cater for both doctors and nurses. This is quite unusual and could derail or delay ABX’s activities in matters to do wit exploration and mining of gold. The reason for this is that the fund, PGGM, would like to see a change in ABX top management. It wants the long serving managers at ABX to be replaced by new and independent directors to take it forward.

 Changes in the top echelons in the corporate world are quite common. However, changes of this magnitude cannot be carried out all at once, not unless the company in question wants to suffer or go through a period of uncertainty. If this sort of activism against ABX bears fruit, one of the results could be a period of uncertainty which has the ability of turning this into a loss-making company. If ABX was to start making losses on a regular basis, dividends may have to be stopped for quite some time. PGGM wants Peter Munk, ABX’s founder, to be replaced as well.

 Dutch Investors Fights May Pick Up

 As at now, the momentum for these types and magnitudes of changes has yet to pick up. If the momentum was to pick up, and PGGM receive support from various quarters, it is quite possible that ABX will have new managers in the near future. PGGM occupies a very important role, in that it is one of Europe’s leading and biggest institutional investors. It is one of the many Dutch investors with assets worth $1.28 trillion. These Dutch institutional investors are traditionally very silent, but things appear to be changing as they come out to air their views on global firms.

Whatever happens, the next months will offer a glimpse of which way this activism will go, and how it will affect ABX, or interfere with its ability of issuing dividends on a regular basis.

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