Chaebol pose as unwitting Scrooges on dividends

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Chaebol pose as unwitting Scrooges on dividends

Local conglomerates’ average dividend payouts to investors remained lackluster last year, data showed yesterday.

The average dividend yield ratio came to 0.98 percent for 86 affiliates of the country’s top 10 conglomerates listed on the main bourse in 2012, according to, a researcher that specializes in Korea’s large, mostly family-run businesses.

The dividend yield ratio refers to a company’s total annual dividend payments divided by its market capitalization, or a ratio of returns investors receive per share.

“Lower dividend payout implies local shares are overpriced, which makes investors reluctant to make long-term investments,” said Jung Sun-sup, who runs the Web site.

Samsung, the country’s top conglomerate, posted a dividend yield ratio of 0.66 percent last year, lagging far behind the market average, while the top affiliate Samsung Electronics registered 0.47 percent.

Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automotive group, held a comparable ratio of 0.74 percent, with its flagship company Hyundai Motor reporting 0.82 percent.

SK Group, the country’s third-largest conglomerate, posted a dividend yield ratio of 2.03 percent in 2012, the highest figure among local business groups. SK Telecom, the leading mobile carrier, boasted a whopping 5.56 percent.

The business groups’ combined dividend payouts reached 5.75 trillion won ($5.39 billion) last year, with foreign investors accounting for 1.95 trillion won, or 21.1 percent of the total, the data added. Yonhap

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