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Listed firms' dividends surge 47% in 2020

Samsung (Yonhap)
Samsung (Yonhap)
South Korean listed companies' dividend payouts soared nearly 47 percent in 2020 from a year earlier thanks to a jump in payments by top-cap Samsung Electronics Co., a corporate tracker said Wednesday.

According to CEO Score, 613 firms listed on the main stock market paid out a combined 37.34 trillion won ($33.6 billion) last year, up 46.7 percent from the previous year.

The businesses cover those which have so far put out their dividend payouts for fiscal 2020.

The jump came as Samsung Electronics, the world's top smartphone and memory chip maker, sharply increased its dividends.

Samsung Electronics, also the flagship of leading family-controlled conglomerate Samsung Group, paid out 20.34 trillion won in dividends last year, compared with 9.62 trillion won a year earlier.

Chip giant SK hynix Inc. came next with 800.3 billion won, up 116.3 billion won from the prior year. SK hynix was followed by No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. with 785.5 billion won and leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. with 778.4 billion won.

Lee Kun-hee, the former Samsung Electronics chairman, earned the most dividend income of 864.5 billion won. Lee died on Oct. 25 last year at age 78, more than six years after being hospitalized for a heart attack.

Lee was followed by Lee Jae-young, the late Lee's only son and vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, with 218.7 billion won; Hong Ra-hee, the wife of Lee Kun-hee with 162.1 billion won; and SK Group chief Chey Tae-won with 91 billion won. (Yonhap)