Russia's leading car producer AvtoVAZ has started dividend payments onpreferred shares for 2001, a source in the company reported to RBC.Firstly, dividend payments will be allocated to shareholders who areworking at the basic production facilities of AvtoVAZ. The remainingshareholders will receive dividends before December 2002, in accordancewith the decision made at the AvtoVAZ general shareholders' meeting. In May2002, the general meeting of shareholders ruled to pay dividends only onpreferred shares in the amount of 47.6 rubles (about $1.5) per share.Shareholders decided to pay no dividends on ordinary shares.This will be the second time when AvtoVAZ will make dividend payments. Theprevious time dividends were paid in 1993. The car producer paid nodividends over the following seven years due to annual losses..