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Listed firms' dividend payouts to hit new high this year

All News 08:59 December 05, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean listed firms' dividend payouts are expected to reach a record high this year on their strong earnings and moves to return more to investors, market watchers said Tuesday.

Their regular dividend payouts alone are tipped to amount to at least 22 trillion won (US$20.2 billion), raising expectations their total payments may exceed a record 27 trillion won this year, they said.

Profitable companies usually pay out dividends at the end of the fiscal year, and some corporations shell out interim dividends on a quarterly basis.

According to the Korea Exchange, the combined interim dividend payouts of listed firms, which close their books in December, came to nearly 4.6 trillion won in the first 11 months of this year.

Last year, their combined dividend payouts stood at 21.8 trillion won with regular dividends reaching 20.9 trillion won.

Listed firms' dividend payouts to hit new high this year - 1

Listed companies' regular dividend payouts have been expanding at an average annual rate of 17 percent to 18 percent over the past three years.

Analysts said a 10 percent increase would make their regular dividend payouts rise to 22.9 trillion won, causing their total payments to far surpass the 27 trillion-won mark.

Local brokerages are upbeat on listed firms' dividend payouts, with 181 major companies forecast to pay a combined 22.7 trillion won in regular dividends this year.

Top-cap and tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. is projected to make dividend payouts of more than 4.4 trillion won at the end of fiscal 2017, up over 15 percent from the previous year.

Samsung is followed by leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. with 886 billion won, Shinhan Financial Group Co. with 838 billion won, KB Financial Group with 833 billion won and No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom with 813 billion won.

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