SEOUL, June 15 (Korea Bizwire) – Dividend payments to the owners of South Korea’s top 10 conglomerates were tallied at 1.46 trillion won (US$1.24 billion) for the past five years, despite their firms’ sluggish earnings, data showed Wednesday.
Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Kun-hee, South Korea’s richest man, topped the list with a total of 681 billion won in dividends from 2011-2015, according to the data by Chaebul.com, a corporate information provider on large businesses.
Last year alone, Lee earned the biggest dividend income of 182 billion won.
Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, came in second with 306 billion won in dividend income for the past five years, with 88.7 billion won paid last year alone.
SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won ranked third with 160 billion won in dividend income, followed by Koo Bon-moo, chairman of LG Group, with dividend receipts at 102 billion won.
Shin Dong-bin, chairman of Lotte Group currently under probe for creating a slush fund, came in fifth with 41 billion won in dividends over the past five years.
The latest rally has been released as prosecutors are investigating huge dividend and other dubious payments by Lotte companies to the family of group founder Shin Kyuk-ho.
Among the top 10 conglomerates, Hanjin Group paid the smallest amount of dividends to its chairman Cho Yang-ho. For the past five years, he has received a total of 2.9 billion won in dividends, the data showed.
Chung Mong-joon, the largest shareholder of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., a global shipbuilder, pocketed 65.6 billion won in dividends between 2011 and 2013, but did not receive dividends for the past two years. The shipyard is currently pushing to implement a tough restructuring program in the face of a fall in new orders and mounting losses.