ASX shares declared a record $98b of dividends last year. Do you own the market’s biggest payer?

Smiling man holding Australian dollar notes, symbolising dividends.Smiling man holding Australian dollar notes, symbolising dividends.

ASX shares paid out a whopping $97.7 billion of dividends in 2022 – a new record in Australian dollar terms. And a single stock was behind much of that figure.

In fact, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) mining giant has been crowned the world’s biggest dividend payer for the second year running.

That’s according to new data from Janus Henderson Group (ASX: JHG)’s latest Global Dividend Index, considering the top 1,200 global stocks.

Let’s take a closer look at Australia’s record year of dividends and the mining stock behind much of the growth.

Aussie giant crowned world’s biggest dividend payer 

Take a stab at which ASX 200 miner you think might have been behind the world’s largest full-year dividend in 2022. If you guessed BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), you’d be right.

The aptly nicknamed ‘Big Australian’ provided investors with US$3.25 of passive income per share in 2022 – an 8% year-on-year jump.

That was largely thanks to soaring coal prices and despite the iron ore giant having merged its petroleum assets with Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) during the year.

That’s not to say BHP paid the most dividends per share last year, or that it offered the biggest dividend yield. Rather, the total dividends it paid surpassed that of any other share.

BHP was behind a grand total of around US$16.4 billion in ordinary dividends last year. But it was its franking credits that pushed it into the top spot.

Without considering BHP’s franking credits, Brazil’s Petrobras was the world’s biggest payer. It handed investors US$21.7 billion in 2022 – a 138% year-on-year improvement.

ASX 200 shares competing on the global stage

The ASX saw 9.8% of underlying dividend growth last year. However, its headline rate came to a 4.9% drop after exchange rates and fewer special dividends from mining stocks were factored in.

Speaking of falls, Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO)’s total 2022 dividends came in as the world’s seventh largest – down from the third spot in 2021.

Meanwhile, Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) tumbled out of the globe’s top 20 dividend payers entirely. It scraped into the top 10 in 2021.  

Rio Tinto and Fortescue slashed their full-year dividends by 18% and 42% respectively year-on-year in 2022.  

Looking more broadly at the ASX, banking shares and mining stocks made up more than 75% of Australia’s dividends last year, with Aussie banks growing their dividends by 5.9%.

The post ASX shares declared a record $98b of dividends last year. Do you own the market’s biggest payer? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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