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Major banks’ total dividend payouts surge 20% in 2019

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Six major banks in South Korea paid a combined 4.7 trillion won ($3.86 billion) in dividends to shareholders last year, which was nearly 20 percent up from the previous year, their annual reports showed Tuesday.

The total dividend payouts by KB Kookmin, Shinhan, Woori, Hana, Standard Chartered Bank Korea and Citibank Korea in 2019 marked the largest amount since 2016. Comparable data was only available from 2016 as the current Hana Bank was a result of a 2015 merger between Hana Bank and Korea Exchange Bank.

The average dividend propensity, which is the proportion of dividend payouts out of net profits, increased nearly 9 percent to 51.6 percent.

By size of dividend payouts by lenders, Woori ranked No. 1 with a total of 1.35 trillion won. The total payment had increased triple from the corresponding figure of 2018 and accounted for nearly 90 percent of its net income.

Woori cited its efforts to raise capital for mergers and acquisitions and bolster its capital adequacy ratio behind the latest figure.

Hana, Shinhan and KB Kookmin followed with 961.5 billion won, 890 billion won and 731 billion won, respectively. Their average dividend propensity remained overall flat on-year.

SC Bank Korea, wholly owned by London-based Standard Chartered Bank, paid a total of 655 billion won to its shareholders.

Citibank Korea, a local subsidiary of the New York-based global lender, meanwhile, paid a total 65.2 billion won, which was a noteworthy decline from the corresponding figure of 934.1 billion in 2018.

The dividends paid out by the two global banks apparently went straight into the pockets of their respective parent companies as Citibank Overseas Investment Corp. based in the US, owns a 99.98 percent stake in Citibank Korea, while SC Bank Korea is wholly owned by Standard Chartered NEA.

By Jung Min-kyung (mkjung@heraldcorp.com)
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