HELSINKI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Sampo SAMPO.HE will propose a 2019 dividend that is below market expectations and has dropped a target of continuous dividend growth, the Finnish financial group said on Thursday, sending its shares lower.
"In the present operating environment, with government bond yields expected to remain negative for some time to come, Sampo management no longer thinks the company's and its shareholders' interests are best served by an increase in the dividend," it said.
Sampo said it expects to propose to its board a 2019 dividend of 2.10-2.30 euros per share, not including an extra dividend it paid in the form of Nordea shares in August.
Analysts had been expecting a dividend of 2.79 euros, Refinitiv data shows.
Shares in Sampo fell more than 3% on the news and were 1.2% down at 35.61 euros as of 1100 GMT.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Jason Neely)
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