Dividend payments to the owners of South Korea's top 10 conglomerates will rise some 1.9 percent this year despite their firms' sluggish earnings, data showed Tuesday.
The combined amount of dividends for the business tycoons was tallied at 245 billion won ($228 million), compared with 240 billion won in 2013, according to the data by Chaebul.com, a corporate information provider on large businesses.
Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Kun-hee, South Korea's richest man, topped the list with 108 billion won in dividend this year, up 4.4 percent from 103 billion won last year.
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest manufacturer of smartphones, alone will pay out 71.5 billion won in dividend to Lee this year, up 78.7 percent from last year, the data showed. Samsung Electronics logged a record operating income of 36.78 trillion won last year, up 26.6 percent from a year earlier, on solid demand for smartphones.
Lee's dividend receipts topped 100 billion won for the past three years.
Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, came in second with 49.3 billion won in dividend for the year, up 1.9 percent from last year, thanks to strong performances by the group's flagships such as Hyundai Motor Co.
SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won ranked third with 28.6 billion won in dividend this year, surging 20 percent from a year earlier, as SK C&C Co., the group's IT service firm, raised its dividend payout sharply. Chey is the largest shareholder in SK C&C with a 38 percent share.
Other group owners, however, are likely to see their dividend income remain almost unchanged or fall slightly.
Koo Bon-moo, chairman of LG Group, will see a slight fall in dividend receipts at 19.2 billion won, followed by Chung Mong-joon, chairman of Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's biggest shipyard, with 15.4 billion won, a sharp fall from 19.3 billion won a year earlier.
Owners of Hanwha, Doosan and Hanjin may see their dividend receipts stay unchanged this year, the data showed. (Yonhap News)