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Korean firms' interim dividends sink over 21 pct on coronavirus

All News 10:27 September 07, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean listed companies' half-year dividends tumbled more than 20 percent this year on the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, market data showed Monday.

Local listed firms paid out 2.92 trillion won (US$2.46 billion) in interim dividends in June, down 21.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from market tracker FnGuide.

It marks the first time in three years that listed companies' half-year dividends have fallen below the 3 trillion-won mark.

Excluding top-cap Samsung Electronics Co., local firms' half-year dividends nose-dived 60.5 percent from a year earlier to 516.2 billion won.

Korean firms' interim dividends sink over 21 pct on coronavirus - 1

The number of dividend-paying firms also fell to 46 this year from 49 from a year ago, but eight of the 15 top dividend payers skipped half-year payments.

Those companies include leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co., No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. and top oil refiner SK Innovation Co.

Hyundai Motor paid out 263 billion won in June last year, with half-year dividends by Hyundai Mobis reaching 94.7 billion won.

Top steelmaker POSCO's interim dividends came to nearly 40 billion won this year, only one-fourth of last year's 160.2 billion won.

Attributing the plunge in half-year dividends to falling earnings due to the coronavirus outbreak, analysts predicted listed firms' interim dividends to decline at a slower pace in the second half.

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