SEOUL, Apr. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — Nearly half of cash dividends from South Korean conglomerates last year went to foreign shareholders, with Samsung Electronics leading the pack, data from the financial regulator showed Wednesday.
The top 30 listed firms in terms of market cap paid 17.39 trillion won (US$16.13 billion) in cash dividends in 2017, of which 8.49 trillion won, or 48.9 percent, went to offshore shareowners, according to the Data Analysis, Retrieval and Transfer System (DART) operated by the Financial Supervisory Service.
Samsung Electronics was the biggest payer to foreigners with 5.82 trillion won, equal to 52.74 percent of total dividend payments.
SK hynix came next with 7.06 trillion won, or 47.53 percent.
Preferred stocks and companies who did not have comparative figures from five years ago — Samsung BioLogics, Netmarble, Celltrion Healthcare and Samsung SDS — were excluded from data analysis.
Hyundai Motor’s dividends to foreign shareholders totaled 1.79 trillion won, or 45.17 percent. Hyundai Mobis registered 158.9 billion won, and Kia Motors 120.2 billion won.
Among financial holding companies, KB Financial topped the list with 532 billion won, followed by Shinhan Financial’s 473.5 billion won and Hana Financial’s 339.7 billion won. As of end-2017, 69.38 percent of KB Financial was owned by foreign shareholders. The comparative figure for Shinhan Financial was 68.87 percent and for Hana Financial 74.03 percent.
The data revealed big increases in dividends for foreigners compared with five years ago, up 178.8 percent. For example, Hyundai Motor’s dividends to foreign shareholders increased 104.2 percent.
For Hana Financial, the payment leaped 387.5 percent. LG Electronics showed an increase of 291.8 percent, S-Oil 255.3 percent and KB Financial 253 percent.
Such results indicate the listed firms have increased their dividends and that more foreigners have bought their company stocks. According to the data, foreigners’ ownership ratio increased for 21 of the 30 analyzed companies.
For S-Oil, the percentage increased from 48.04 percent in 2012 to 76.68 percent. For SK hynix, it went up from 24.87 percent to 47.53 percent during the five-year period. For Samsung SDI, it rose from 22 percent to 41.68 percent. The number for LG Electronics was up from 16.93 percent to 33.56 percent.
Hyundai Motor went in the opposite direction, shedding 0.68 percent of foreign shareholders. AmorePacific lost 0.75 percent, Hyundai Mobis 2.91 percent and SK Telecom 2.71 percent.