The number of companies which have decided to pay out interim dividends in the first half of this year has increased compared to last year. With investors’ interest in stock dividends growing due to low interest rates, more and more companies are paying out interim dividends as there are growing calls for shareholder return.
Among the companies that settle accounts in December, a total of 49 firms decided to pay out interim dividends, including quarterly dividends as of June 14, according to the Korea Exchange (KRX) on June 16. They break down to 34 listed on the KOSPI and 15 on the KOSDAQ.
The KOSPI-listed firms that have declared semi-annual dividend payouts include Samsung Electronics Co., Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Mobis Co., SK Telecom Co., SK Innovation Co., POSCO Group and Lotte Corp. The KOSDAQ-listed companies include LeadCorp Inc., Winix Co. and Cowell Fashion Co.
In particular, the number of firms to pay out interim dividends in the first half of this year has already surpassed that of last year as Lotte Corp., Hyundai Mobis and Cowell Fashion, which did not pay out semi-annual dividends in the first half of last year, decided to join the trend toward dividends. A total of 46 firms having settlement in December paid out interim dividends in the first half of last year. More companies can pay out interim dividends because there is still time until the interim dividend payout date which is the end of this month.
The total value of interim dividends also shows a steady growth. The combined amount of semi-annual dividends paid out by KOSPI-listed firms surged from 928.10 billion won (US$782.15 million) in 2016 to 4.60 trillion won (US$3.88 billion) in 2017 and 9.06 trillion won (US$7.63 billion) in 2018. The figure of companies listed on the KOSDAQ also increased from 25.50 billion won (US$21.49 million) in 2016 to 45.70 billion won (US$38.51 million) in 2017 and 50.40 billion won (US$42.48 million) in 2018.