Nov 27, 2013

    Do you have unclaimed dividends at SGX?

    The Straits Times

    THIS could be your lucky day if you are one of 89,000 investors who have unclaimed dividends or shares with the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

    In particular, one surprisingly forgetful person stands to be $1.2 million richer if he collects all his outstanding dividends.

    The unclaimed shares and dividends are worth a total of $68.3 million - and the bourse operator wants to disburse them to their rightful owners. On average, the investors are each owed $770 in cash or stock, the SGX said.

    Most of the careless investors are owed dividends. Some 74,000 failed to cash their dividend cheques, amounting to $53.7 million in total.

    The SGX is holding the money in safe keeping for these people, who may have moved house or forgotten to bank in their cheques. There are about 850,000 people with stocks in their Central Depository (CDP) accounts. A quarter of them - or about 200,000 - still get dividends via cheques mailed to them.

    The rest get the money placed directly in their bank accounts, so this problem would not arise.

    If no one claims the money, the SGX will return unclaimed dividends to the relevant listed companies after six years.

    The SGX is also holding $14.6 million worth of SingTel shares and dividends belonging to 15,000 people without CDP accounts. These people bought the SingTel shares during the company's 1993 initial public offering, on the understanding that they would later open CDP accounts for the shares to be put into.

    But they have not done so, and the SGX has been holding the shares for them ever since, along with the dividends paid out by SingTel. The SGX will waive the administrative fee for the re-issuance of dividend cheques and dividend crediting until Jan 26 next year.

    From today, investors can call 6589-8039 (from 8.30am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays, and 9am to 12.30pm on Saturdays) or visit to check whether they have unclaimed shares or dividends.

    Investors can also check on behalf of their family members. Those with deceased loved ones can call the hotline to check whether they are owed dividends.

    The hotline will also give advice on the legal procedures involved in claiming the dividends owed to people who have died.