BASF on the Capital Market

With over 700,000 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 2020 showed that, at around 20% of share capital, the United States and Canada made up the largest regional group of institutional investors. Institutional investors from Germany accounted for around 11%. Shareholders from the United Kingdom and Ireland hold 8% of BASF shares, while investors from the rest of Europe hold a further 12% of capital. Approximately 36% 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 30 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 2020, for example, around 27,600 employees (2019: around 25,400) purchased employee shares worth €61.1 million (2019: €70.5 million).

For further information, please refer to the BASF Report 2020

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 is an international organization representing around 515 investors with over $106 trillion in assets and more than 150 major organizations with $4 trillion in purchasing power. In 2020, BASF again scored an A– on CDP’s Climate List, giving it Leadership status. In the scoring framework used by CDP in 2020, BASF was ranked among the best 25% of the participating chemical companies. To achieve its climate targets, BASF is continually optimizing existing processes and is increasingly using energy from renewable sources. BASF is also developing completely new low-emission production processes. The company bundles this work in its ambitious carbon management.

In the CDP assessment for sustainable water management, BASF again achieved the top grade of A and thus Leadership status. 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 “Forest” assessment for the first time in 2020 and was ranked A–. As a participant in various value chains, BASF is committed to ending deforestation in these supply chains. One of BASF’s measures to protect the forests is its voluntary commitment to source 100% of its palm oil and palm kernel oil from certified sustainable sources by 2020. We met this target in 2020.

In its 2021 ranking, Sustainalytics listed BASF among the top 10% of performers in diversified chemicals. The raters positively highlighted that sustainability targets are reflected in board compensation, underlining an overall strong management of ESG issues.

The BASF share closed the 2020 stock market year at €64.72, a decrease of 3.9% compared with the previous year’s closing price (€67.35). After the significant downturn in share prices caused by the pandemic in the first half of 2020, BASF’s share price recovered and stabilized over the second half of the year but remained slightly below the prior-year closing price.

Assuming that dividends were reinvested, BASF’s share performance rose by 2.3% in 2020. The DAX 30, the benchmark index of the German stock market, rose by 3.5% over the same period, while the European EURO STOXX 50 index lost 3.2%. The global industry index MSCI World Chemicals gained 14.8%.

The assets of an investor who invested €1,000 in BASF shares at the end of 2010 and reinvested the dividends in additional BASF shares would have increased to €1,614 by the end of 2020. This represents an annual yield of 4.9%.

Long-term performance of BASF shares compared with indexes


Change in value of an investment in BASF shares in 2020


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

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Dividends (million €) 2,296 2,388 2,480 2,572 2,664 2,755 2,847 2,939 3,031 3,031
Dividend per share (€) 2.50 2.60 2.70 2.80 2.90 3.00 3.10 3.20 3.30 3.30
Share price at year-end (€/share) 53.89 71.15 77.49 69.88 70.72 88.31 91.74 60.40 67.35 64.72
Dividend yield(%) 4.6 3.7 3.5 4.0 4.1 3.4 3.4 5.3 4.9 5.1
Payout ratio (%) 37 50 52 50 67 68 47 62 36 .
Price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) 8.0 13.6 14.8 12.5 16.3 20.0 13.9 11.8 7.3 .
Free cash flow yield2 (%)  7.5 4.0 4.5 2.6 5.6 4.4 5.7 7.3 5.9 3.8

1 Based on year-end share price

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

For 2020, BASF paid a dividend of €3.30 per share. Due to the exceptionally high economic burden caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we kept the dividend stable and paid out €3.0 billion to our shareholders as in the previous year. Based on the year-end share price for 2020, BASF shares offer a high dividend yield of around 5.1%. BASF is part of the DivDAX share index, which contains the 15 companies with the highest dividend yield in the DAX 30.

Dividend per share


Dividend yield


Dividend policy:

We aim to increase the dividend per share every year.

Dividend per share


Our corporate strategy aims to create long-term value. We support this strategy through regular and open communication with all capital market participants. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we mainly used virtual formats such as video or conference calls for dialog in 2020. 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.

In 2020, we offered special events aimed at investors who base their investment decisions on sustainability criteria. We outlined in particular our programs to reduce CO2 emissions and on the circular economy. In addition, we issued our first green bond in 2020 and took this opportunity to inform credit analysts and creditors about our targets and measures for a more sustainable future. The bond has a term of seven years, a volume of €1.0 billion and an annual coupon of 0.25%; it serves to finance sustainable projects and the development of sustainable products in the BASF Group.

Analysts and investors have confirmed the quality of our financial market communications. The Investor Relations Society recognized BASF with the Best Practice Award 2020 in the categories “Best Communication of ESG” and “Most Effective Use of Digital Communications.” In the annual survey conducted by Britain’s IR Magazine, we were named the best company for IR in the materials sector. Institutional Investor magazine also honored BASF with first place in the categories “Best Investor Day” and “Best IR Program” in the chemicals sector.

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 8, 2021