August 5, 2009 / 8:25 PM / 9 years ago

BPO Properties doubles dividend, stock jumps

TORONTO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Shares of BPO Properties BPP.TO gained nearly 17 percent on Wednesday, the day after the Canadian property company doubled its quarterly dividend, its first dividend increase since 2003.

The company, 90-percent owned by Brookfield Properties Corp BPO.TO, raised the dividend to 30 Canadian cents a share, from 15 Canadian cents a share.

Apart from special or extra payouts, this is the first boost in the regular quarterly dividend since the company paid its first dividend in the third quarter of 2003.

Shares of BPO rose C$5.80 to a session high C$40.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on higher than normal volume.

The company, which holds a property portfolio totaling 18.1 million square feet as well as five development sites, said its high occupancy rate and lease rollover profile would help support the dividend increase.

The increased dividend will be payable on Sept. 30 to shareholders of record on Sept. 1.

On a conference call with analysts on Wednesday, Chief Financial Officer Bryan Davis said BPO continues to consider its options on offering its stakeholders a more tax efficient structure, including a conversion to a real estate investment trust.

$1=$1.07 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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