Ex-dividend date is a first day when investor does no longer receive dividends paid by company’s shares. This is important factor because the period of shares' settlement after transactions might be different in different countries. Usually share price drops on ex-dividend date at the gross dividend amount because share value is lower when cash is paid out of the company.
As in most countries dividends are taxed still there a lot of exceptions for capital taxes, and when stock price decreases during ex-dividend date, it does by the amount that is in between the gross dividend yield and the net dividend yield, and it may depend on market structure and stock market effectiveness. Some investors are investing more actively before this date while others waiting for stock to decrease and sacrifice dividends for that year. But in effective market this should not change real market value of stock.
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