Markit expects major dividend hikes at BofA and Citi

|By:, SA News Editor

Expecting dividends to grow 49% on average for the banks subject to the Fed's stress tests (about the same as last year), Markit, says Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) will lead the way with 400% boosts. "They are the last of the major banks paying minimal dividends ... change is overdue."

While 400% is a big number, Citi and BofA will continue to lag their peers in terms of yield (400% growth on a penny just leads to a nickel).

Also expected to have a significant pop is Morgan Stanley (MS) - a doubling of the payout to $0.10 per share and a 1.4% yield. Others in the top 5 in increases are Zions Bancorp (ZION) with a 75% boost to $0.07 and Regions Financial (RF) up 67% to $0.05.

The others: KEY +27%, HBAN +20%, BK +20%, STI +20%, COF +17%, DFS +15%, AXP +13%, STT +12%, JPM +11%, CMA +11%, PNC +9%, USB +9%, GS +9%, FITB +8%, WFC +7%, NTRS +6%, and no soup for BBT and MTB where the dividends are expected to be flat at $0.23 and $0.70 per share, respectively.

As for ETFs, the dividend jumps are expected to have the biggest impact on the XLF which would see a 25% increase in payout: The ETF has 81 companies, but the top 5 holdings - BofA, Wells, JPM, Citi, USB - make up 41% of assets. In contrast, just two CCAR banks make up the top five holdings of the KBE and it should see a more muted increase of just 18%.

Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FNCL, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ