Investors looking for dividend plays may want to check out China-based wealth management firm Noah , according to UBS. The Wall Street firm upgraded the company, which trades in the U.S. under the ticker symbol NOAH, to buy from neutral on Monday. One of the reasons for the call was the potential for increased shareholder return through a possible higher payout ratio or share buybacks, analyst Helen Li said in a note to clients. U.S.-listed shares currently have a 3% dividend yield. Noah announced its first dividend payout plan in 2022, and its payout ratio — or the proportion of the company’s net income paid out to shareholders as dividends — was equivalent to 17.5%, she said. That missed market expectations, she said. However, there are likely more capital market initiatives to increase returns to shareholders, Li pointed out. “We expect the company to announce more initiatives to increase market liquidity and shareholder return. We see upside risk to a potentially increased dividend payout ratio for 2023E,” she wrote. She thinks there is also the potential for share buybacks. “If Noah materially raises its dividend payout ratio and distributes parts of its cash to shareholders through share buyback plans, its share price could see some upside,” Li said. NOAH YTD mountain Noah Holdings year-to-date performance In fact, the company said it may boost its payout during its second-quarter earnings conference call in August. “We’re also debating to continue to increase probably dividend distributions in the future as we want to make sure that we bring better returns to our clients,” said Qing Pan, Noah’s chief financial officer. Dividends aren’t the only reason for Li’s upgrade. There is also limited impact on Noah’s business from the default of major Chinese asset manager Zhongzhi Enterprise Group, she said. In addition, Noah has strong distribution capability, as well as a stable revenue and earnings growth outlook, Li added. U.S.-listed shares of Noah are down more than 20% year to date. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.