Subject The article investigates the dependence of dividend payments in Russian companies on the presence of the State as the ultimate owner, the length of the chain of owners, total assets and debt burden. It also addresses dividend policy of Russian companies. Objectives The study aims to determine the influence of State ownership, the length of the chain of owners, company size and debt burden on dividend policy of Russian companies. Methods The study draws on econometric method, i.e. a probit model. The surveyed empirical base consists of data on 35 largest Russian listed companies for 2015. Results For each company we gathered information about the length of the chain of owners, percentage of ownership in each link from the previous link of the chain. We calculated the ratio of dividend flow per ultimate owner to controlling share. The sampling included 35 listed Russian companies. A dummy variable describing the fact of dividend payment by the company was accepted as an indicator that determines the dividend policy of companies. Conclusions The hypotheses about the influence of State ownership on dividend payment, existence of a link between the length of the chain of owners and dividend payment were not confirmed. The hypothesis about the influence of company size on the probability of dividend payment was confirmed. The hypothesis about relationship between debt burden and dividend payments was partially confirmed. The findings may be useful for potential investors developing their investment strategy aimed at Russian listed companies.
Keywords: dividend policy, chain of owners, State ownership, company size, debt load