Big listed firms' 2022 dividends dip nearly 14% amid economic slump

Samsung Electronics' building / Korea Times file
Samsung Electronics’ building / Korea Times file

Major listed companies in Korea cut their dividends by nearly 14 percent in 2022 from a year earlier amid an economic slump, a corporate tracker said Tuesday.

Combined dividends paid out by 50 of Korea’s top 100 firms in terms of market capitalization came to 15.7 trillion won ($12.3 billion) last year, down 13.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Leaders Index.

The drop came amid slumping exports and sluggish domestic demand stemming from the global economic slowdown.

Korea’s economy expanded 2.6 percent in 2022 from a year earlier, compared with a 4.1 percent increase tallied in the previous year.

Chip titan SK hynix posted the largest on-year decline of 80.5 percent with 206.3 billion won in dividends, followed by cosmetics giant LG Household Health Care with 66.6 percent and top steelmaker POSCO Holdings with 59.9 percent.

Leading oil refiner SK Innovation chalked up the biggest increase rate of 128.4 percent with dividends of 481.6 billion won.

Chip behemoth Samsung Electronics registered the largest dividend payout of 2.5 trillion won, followed by top automaker Hyundai Motor with 1.6 trillion won and No. 2 carmaker Kia with 1.4 trillion won.

Lee Jae-yong, the chief of Korea’s top conglomerate, Samsung Group, remained the top dividend receiver with 199.1 billion won, down 58.6 billion won from a year earlier.

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung came next with 103.3 billion won, followed by Kee Boo-jin, Lee’s sister and Hotel Shilla chief executive, with 93.2 billion won, according to the Leaders Index. (Yonhap)