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Apple on Tuesday became the world’s largest dividend payer.

The Cupertino-based company that reported a 1 per cent drop in iPhone sales in the first calendar quarter boosted its quarterly dividend by 10.5 per cent to 63 cents a share — from 57 cents previously — to $13.22bn annually.

With that, Apple has stolen the title from ExxonMobil, which last week lifted its quarterly payout to 77 cents a share, up 2.7 per cent — its slowest pace in 15 years — to $12.77bn annually, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices. Exxon’s dividend payments to shareholders have grown at an average annual rate of 6.4 per cent over the last 34 years.

Microsoft is in third place with an annual payout of roughly $12.06bn, according to data from SPDJI.

Apple last claimed the title in 2015 but the company had been ousted from the top spot as it reduced its shares through buybacks.

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