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Shareholders at Russia's NLMK vote against nine-month dividend payout

(Reuters) -Shareholders in Russian metal company NLMK voted on Saturday against paying dividends for the first nine months of 2022, rejecting the company's attempts to reinstate its dividend policy.

Earlier this month, NLMK's board had recommended a 2.6-rouble ($0.035) dividend payout for the period, but the company said "high macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty" was likely behind the rare shareholder vote on Saturday against a payout.

"The payment of full-year 2022 dividends will be considered by the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders planned for June 2023," the company said in a statement issued on Saturday.

Some 98% of shareholders voted against paying dividends, according to a regulatory disclosure.

Like many other Russian commodities companies, NLMK had scrapped its dividend plans earlier in 2022 - cancelling planned payouts on 2021 annual and fourth quarter results - after Russia's invasion of Ukraine triggered tough Western sanctions on the sector and saw Western customers shun Russian products.

The recommendation for a small payout on earnings in the first nine months of the year was seen as an attempt by the company to return to its normal dividend policy. Prior to this year's cancellations, NLMK had not missed a quarterly or annual dividend since 2014.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Kim Coghill)