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Hanwha Total pays record-high dividends

Hanwha Total, one of the three chemical units of Hanwha Group, is set to pay its shareholders a record high of 434.1 billion won ($377 million) in cash dividends for 2015, the company said Monday.

Given the company gained a net profit of 515.6 billion won last year, the firm’s propensity to pay dividends soared to 84.2 percent from zero in 2014. “The decision on high dividend payment is linked to improved earnings last year, based on the corporate rulings,” a company spokesperson said. 

The chemical complex of Hanwha Total, located in Daesan, South Chungcheong Province.
The chemical complex of Hanwha Total, located in Daesan, South Chungcheong Province.

The beneficiaries of the payout will be the firm’s two shareholders: Hanwha General Chemical and French oil giant Total Holdings. They each have a 50 percent stake in the company.

Hanwha Total is poised to pay 331.3 billion won in cash to its two shareholders this month, in addition to the interim dividends of 102.8 billion won paid last year, the official said.

Market watchers said the cash injection is expected to help Hanwha General Chemical improve its financial health. The firm had been in the red for four consecutive years until last year, due to chronic losses in its main terephthalic acid business.

The turnaround of Hanwha General Chemical is important for Hanwha Group to advance to become one of the world’s top five chemical giants.

The group became the nation’s largest chemical giant in 2014, pushing down LG Chem to the second spot, after taking over Samsung Total and Samsung General Chemical from Samsung Group.

The combined assets of Hanwha’s three chemical units -- Hanwha Chemical, Hanwha General Chemical and Hanwha Total -- reached up to 21 trillion won in 2014.

By Seo Jee-yeon (
Korea Herald Youtube