Samsung chief remains top dividend earner

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Samsung chief remains top dividend earner

Lee Kun-hee, chief of Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group, retained his No. 1 spot on the list of annual dividend income earners for the eighth consecutive year, according to regulatory documents on Friday.

Dividend payments to Lee, chairman of the group’s flagship Samsung Electronics, stood at 190.2 billion won ($164.9 million) in 2016, up 7.7 percent on year.

Samsung Electronics paid 137.4 billion won in dividends to Lee, who owns a 3.38 percent stake in the electronics giant, last year.

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo is estimated to have received about 77 billion won in dividends last year. SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won came in third with dividend earnings worth 60.9 billion won. Hyundai Motor Group Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun, the only son of the Hyundai Motor chief, ranked fourth with 50.1 billion won in 2016 dividend earnings.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and the only son of the Samsung Group chief, who has been hospitalized since 2014 following a heart attack, came fifth with 46.8 billion won in dividend earnings.

Some analysts said shareholders in Korea are unhappy with what they saw as a paltry dividend.

A projected dividend yield rate of Korea’s listed firms lagged far behind that of foreign companies listed on other advanced and emerging markets, according to a brokerage.

Korea’s projected dividend yield rate - the ratio of dividends per share to the current share price - was 1.88 percent this year, Daishin Securities said, citing data from Thomson Reuters IBES. Of 24 advanced and emerging markets, Korea’s rate ranked 22nd, the data showed. YONHAP

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