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Record dividends could boost stocks, consumption

TOKYO -- Listed Japanese companies are on track for a third-straight year of record dividend payouts, with the figure set to hit 10.8 trillion yen ($93.38 billion), topping the 10 trillion yen mark for the first time.

     Underscoring the current trend toward better shareholder rewards, some 90% of the companies that have lowered their earnings projections for the year to March 31 still plan to stick to their initial dividend plans. By pumping their cash back into the economy instead of hoarding it, companies will likely help give a boost to stalling consumption.

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