BASF on the Capital Market

With over 800,000 shareholders, BASF is one of the largest publicly owned companies with a high free float. An analysis of the shareholder structure carried out at the end of 2021 showed that, at around 19% of share capital, the United States and Canada made up the largest regional group of institutional investors. Institutional investors from Germany accounted for around 9%. Institutional investors from the United Kingdom and Ireland hold 6% of BASF shares, while investors from the rest of Europe hold a further 13% of capital. Approximately 39% of the company’s share capital is held by private investors, nearly all of whom reside in Germany. BASF is therefore one of the DAX companies with the largest percentage of private shareholders.

Shareholder structure


In many countries, we offer share purchase programs that turn our employees into BASF shareholders. In 2021, for example, around 23,600 employees (2020: around 27,600) purchased BASF shares worth €38.2 million (2020: €61.1 million).

BASF has participated in the program established by the international organization CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) for reporting on data relevant to climate protection since 2004. CDP represents over 590 investors with over $110 trillion in assets and more than 200 major organizations with $5.5 trillion in purchasing power. In 2021, BASF again scored an A– on CDP’s Climate List, giving it Leadership status. In the scoring framework used by CDP in 2021, BASF was ranked among the top third of participating chemical companies.

BASF was rated A– in the CDP assessment for sustainable water management. The assessment takes into account how transparently companies report on their water management activities and how they reduce risks such as water scarcity. CDP also evaluates the extent to which product developments can contribute to sustainable water management for customers of the companies assessed. BASF continues to implement its sustainable water management target at all relevant production sites (Verbund sites and sites in water stress areas).

BASF participated in the CDP’s “Forests” assessment for the second time in 2021 and was ranked A–, as in the previous year. As a participant in various value chains, BASF is committed to ending deforestation in these supply chains. Consequently, BASF is one of the companies with Leadership status, as for climate protection and water management.

BASF maintained its Prime status in the ISS ESG rating developed by Institutional Shareholder Services and is among the top 7% of the companies assessed. BASF received special recognition for addressing key sustainability issues such as environmental management, energy efficiency and business ethics with a comprehensive set of measures and processes.

In Sustainalytics’1 ESG Risk Ratings, BASF is ranked among the top 10% of companies in diversified chemicals. It was commended for the fact that its sustainability targets are reflected in the compensation for the Board of Executive Directors, underlining strong overall management of environmental, social and governance matters.

BASF was again recognized as a Global Compact LEAD company by the U.N. Global Compact in 2021. BASF consistently supports the U.N. Global Compact and its 10 principles of responsible business conduct and the Sustainable Development Goals.

BASF was among the top 10% in the World Benchmarking Alliance’s (WBA) Food and Agriculture Benchmark, which assessed 350 companies from the food and agricultural sector on sustainable business practices.

1 Sustainalytics provides institutional investors and companies with ESG and corporate governance research, ratings and analytics.

The BASF share closed the 2021 stock market year at €61.78, a decrease of 4.5% compared with the previous year’s closing price (€64.72). BASF’s share price reached an annual high of €72.61 in March 2021 before declining over the course of the year despite continued positive business performance. This was due to factors such as the composition of the segments’ earnings contributions. Share price development was also negatively impacted by market expectations regarding the future development of margins in the basic chemicals business.

Assuming that dividends were reinvested, BASF’s share performance rose by 0.2% in 2021. The benchmark indexes of the German and European stock markets – the DAX 40 and the EURO STOXX 50 – rose by 15.8% and 23.3% over the same period, respectively. The global industry index MSCI World Chemicals gained 21.7%.

The assets of an investor who invested €1,000 in BASF shares at the end of 2011 and reinvested the dividends in additional BASF shares would have increased to €1,733 by the end of 2021. This represents an annual yield of 5.7%.

Long-term performance of BASF shares compared with indexes

Average annual increase with dividends reinvested


Change in value of an investment in BASF shares in 2021

With dividends reinvested; indexed


American depositary receipts (ADRs) allow U.S. institutional and retail investors to trade and own non-U.S. companies directly through the U.S. equity markets. BASF has a sponsored level 1 program, which is traded on OTC-QX, the platform for international quality companies on OTC markets. BASF’s ADR (Symbol: BASFY) is part of the OTC-QX30 index, which comprises the 30 largest ADR programs listed on OTC markets.

More information on ADRs

Around 30 financial analysts regularly publish studies on BASF. The latest analyst recommendations for our shares as well as the average target share price ascribed to BASF by analysts can be found online at

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Dividends (million €) 2,388 2,480 2,572 2,664 2,755 2,847 2,939 3,031 3,031 3,072
Dividend per share (€) 2.60 2.70 2.80 2.90 3.00 3.10 3.20 3.30 3.30 3.40
Share price at year-end (€/share) 71.15 77.49 69.88 70.72 88.31 91.74 60.40 67.35 64.72 61.78
Dividend yield(%) 3.7 3.5 4.0 4.1 3.4 3.4 5.3 4.9 5.1 5.5
Payout ratio (%) 50 52 50 67 68 47 63 36 . 57
Price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) 13.6 14.8 12.5 16.3 20.0 13.9 11.8 7.3 . 10.3
Free cash flow yield2 (%)  4.0 4.5 2.6 5.6 4.4 5.7 7.3 5.9 3.8 6.5

1 Based on year-end share price

2 Free cash flow per share at year-end divided by share price at year-end

For 2021, BASF paid a dividend of €3.40 per share and paid out €3.1 billion to its shareholders. Based on the year-end share price for 2021, BASF shares offer a high dividend yield of around 5.5%. BASF is part of the DivDAX share index, which contains the 15 companies with the highest dividend yield in the DAX 40.

Dividend per share


Dividend yield


Dividend policy:

We aim to increase the dividend per share every year.

Dividend per share


In addition to its progressive dividend policy, share buybacks are another tool that BASF uses to create value for its shareholders. In light of the positive business development and the gains on divestitures in the course of 2021, the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE resolved on a share buyback program on January 4, 2022. The program amounts to up to €3 billion, started on January 11, 2022, and shall be concluded by December 31, 2023, at the latest. BASF SE will cancel all repurchased shares and reduce the share capital accordingly.

The share buyback program was started on the basis of the authorization by the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of BASF SE on May 12, 2017 authorizing the Board of Executive Directors to purchase up to 10% of the issued shares at the time of the resolution until May 11, 2022. A new authorization to buy back own shares up to April 28, 2027 was granted by the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of BASF SE on April 29, 2022.

Our corporate strategy aims to create long-term value. We support this strategy through regular and transparent communication with the capital market. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we almost exclusively used virtual formats such as video or conference calls for dialog in 2021. We engage with institutional investors and rating agencies in numerous one-on-one meetings, as well as at roadshows and conferences worldwide, and give private investors an insight into BASF at informational events.

Analysts and investors have confirmed the quality of our financial market communications. For instance, we were again named “Best IR” in the materials sector in the annual survey conducted by Britain’s IR Magazine.

Securities code numbers
Germany BASF11
United States (CUSIP number) 055262505
ISIN International Securities Identification Number DE000BASF111
International ticker symbols
Deutsche Börse BAS
Pink Sheets / OTCQX BASFY (ADR)
Bloomberg (Xetra trading) BAS GY
Reuters (Xetra trading) BASFn.DE
Last Update June 13, 2022