116 companies hold shareholders’ meetings

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116 companies hold shareholders’ meetings

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Samsung Electronics’ Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun speaks at the manufacturer’s annual shareholders’ meeting at its headquarters in Gangnam, southern Seoul, yesterday. Along with Samsung, 115 companies, including LG Electronics and Hyundai Motor, held annual general meetings yesterday. [NEWSIS]

Yesterday was a super shareholders’ day as 116 companies, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Hyundai Motor Group, simultaneously held their annual general meetings.

According to the Korea Securities Depository, 95 listed companies out of 725 in the local securities market, along with 20 Kosdaq companies and 1 Konex company, explained to shareholders how they would improve their performances and find new growth for the future amid lingering uncertainties such as the tapering of stimulus by the U.S. Fed and jitters in emerging markets.

One of the notable AGMs was Samsung Electronics’, where the ceiling on compensation for its board of directors was raised. Posco shareholders accepted the recommendation of a new chairman, Kwon Oh-joon.

Here are the results of some of yesterday’s AGMs.



Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics has raised a combined remuneration ceiling for the nine-member board of directors by 10 billion won ($9.3 million) to 48 billion won.

The tech giant convened its 45th annual general meeting of shareholders at its headquarters in Seocho-dong, Seoul, yesterday. The sizable increase in compensation mostly stemmed from a raise in long-term, performance-based salaries, reflecting the company’s record-setting growth since 2011.

The world’s largest vendor of smartphones, televisions and memory chips posted a consolidated operating profit of 36.79 trillion won last year, up 27 percent from a year earlier, it confirmed at the meeting yesterday. Revenue increased 14 percent to 228.69 trillion won.

The board also determined a dividend per common share for 2013 of 14,300 won, up 79 percent from 2012. It said it will consider the size of the 2014 dividend through a review, likely in the direction of “significantly” increasing it.

“Despite a challenging business environment in 2013, the company was able to achieve record revenue and profit and maintain its leadership in the global IT industry,” Kwon Oh-hyun, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, told the shareholders.

The company’s spending on capital expenditure and R&D investment last year totaled 23.8 trillion won and 14.32 trillion won, respectively.

Kwon promised the company will weather the lingering uncertainties of this year.

“Although macro uncertainties are expected to continue in 2014 and competition will intensify in the marketplace, we will strive to turn these challenges into opportunities and improve our business results to bring increased value to our shareholders,” Kwon said.

Samsung will continue to innovate in key businesses, including future mobile devices, UHD TVs and energy efficient technologies, the company said.



LG Electronics

LG Electronics set its sales target for this year at 62.3 trillion won, or 7.2 percent more than last year.

At the shareholders’ meeting at its headquarters in Yeouido yesterday, the company said it will invest 3 trillion won in facilities this year to help meet the goal, the most ambitious growth target in three years.

The company, which showed sluggishness in the global smartphone market, where it is the No. 3 manufacturer, froze the upper ceiling of remuneration for seven directors at 4.5 billion won in total. Last year, it paid 2.02 billion won in compensation to the board.

LG Electronics vice chairman Koo Bon-joon, whose board membership was renewed yesterday, said despite an uncertain business environment, LG will continuously release market-leading products for growth, the company said.

LG Electronics Chief Financial Officer Jung Do-hyun was also reappointed as a director.



Hyundai Motor

Hyundai Motor Group, the largest carmaker in Korea, reappointed chairman Chung Mong-koo and outside director Oh Se-bin at its 46th general shareholders’ meeting held at the company’s headquarters in Yangjae-dong, southern Seoul, yesterday.

At the meeting, 1,499 shareholders controlling 79.3 percent of Hyundai Motor’s stock attended and approved four agenda items, including the approval of financial statements, appointment of a director, appointment of an audit committee and approval of a compensation ceiling for directors.

Chung will maintain his chairmanship for the next three years and Oh, a lawyer who served as the president of the Seoul High Court, will maintain his outside director position for another three years, also taking on the audit committee.

The remuneration ceiling for nine directors, including five outside and four internal directors, was set at 15 billion won, the same as last year.

Last year, 436 million won was paid to outside directors, 87 million won for each.

The dividend per share was set at 1,950 won.

“Hyundai Motor will strengthen the base for sustainable growth by achieving this year’s sales goal of 4.9 million vehicles,” said Hyundai Motor President Kim Choong-ho. “I will reward shareholders’ support and encouragement with a better performance this year.”



Posco

Shareholders of Korea’s largest steelmaker approved Kwon Oh-joon as the eighth chairman, who will lead the company for the next three years.

At its shareholders’ meeting, Kwon, CEO of Posco M-Tech Kim Jin-il, Vice President of Posco E&C Lee Young-hoon and Senior Managing Director of Posco Yoon Dong-jun were elected directors.

Kwon said he would raise Posco’s competitiveness by focusing on the development of steel technology and through sales of the company’s non-core assets.

“There is a very serious oversupply in the global steel market, and the competitive advantage that Posco had is on the brink of extinction,” said Kwon.

“Posco will become the world’s most competitive steelmaker by reforming its financial and organizational structure,” he continued, “and increasing the competitiveness of its steel based on differentiated technology.”

To ensure growth in the future, Kwon suggested a new vision of “Posco the Great,” which is to create a company that continues to contribute to Korea’s economic growth and become an even more respected company in the world.

The management principles that Kwon announced included enhancing competitiveness of its core steel business and focusing on profit-driven businesses.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON, MOON GWANG-LIP [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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