Fidelity International portfolio manager Michael Clark has warned it could take years before Lloyds Banking Group resumes dividend payments.
Clark who works on the Fidelity Income Plus Fund said Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio had made no mention of restoring a dividend before 2014.
He said, ‘The balance sheet of the bank must be fully restored before a dividend can safely be paid, and that process will take years. For investors seeking income, other sectors of the market deliver much better returns than banks in this slow growth environment.
‘In my view the best opportunities remain in pharmaceuticals, utilities, telecoms and consumer staples. In these sectors, dividends are backed by strong cash flow.’
Clark added, ‘On top of that, many of these companies operate in parts of the world where there is still good economic growth. So their business, and therefore the dividends they pay, will grow year by year.’
Lloyds Banking Group earlier today announced it would be cutting 15,000 jobs as part of plans to achieve cost savings of £1.5 billion in 2014.