Korean firms slash interim dividends by 20% amid virus impact

2020.09.07 14:43:42 | 2020.09.07 15:31:52

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South Korea’s publicly traded companies have slashed their interim dividends by more than 20 percent from last year as their income and capital conditions have deteriorated sharply from the pandemic.

Korean listed companies paid out dividends of 2.92 trillion won ($2.46 billion) in the first half of 2020, down 21.3 percent from the same period last year, according to local market data provider FnGuide on Monday.

This marks the first time in three years that interim dividends have dropped below 3 trillion won.

When excluding the country’s most valuable company Samsung Electronics Co., first-half dividends plunged 60.5 percent.

Faced with grim earnings from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, most companies have chosen to curtail or completely forego their interim payouts.

Hyundai Motor Co. and Hyundai Mobis Co., which had doled out 263 billion won and 94.7 billion won in interim dividends last year, respectively, both passed on this year’s first-half payouts.

Eight of last year’s 15 big dividend payers skipped payments this year, including SK Innovation Co., Doosan Bobcat and Lotte.

Korea’s largest steelmaker Posco Corp. paid interim dividends of 39.9 billion won, one-fourth of last year’s 160.2 billion won.

By Pulse

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