Major listed companies in South Korea have sharply increased their disposal of treasury shares over the past three years due mainly to efforts to boost their stock prices, a corporate tracker said Wednesday.
A total of 129 listed firms retired or distributed to executives treasury shares worth 4.51 trillion won ($3.78 billion) last year, slightly up from 4.08 trillion won from 2020, according to CEO Score.
The value was more than three times the 1.36 trillion won recorded two years earlier.
Treasury shares refer to those bought back by issuing companies. Their cancellation normally benefits investors as it reduces the number of shares being circulated in the market.
CEO Score attributed the jump to active corporate efforts to bolster shareholder value or compensate executives in line with their environmental, social and governance (ESG) management.
South Korea's top mobile carrier, SK Telecom Co., topped the list with 2.2 trillion won, followed by internet portal giant Naver with 724.4 billion won and chip titan SK hynix Inc. with 488.5 billion won.
In May last year, SK telecom retired 8.69 treasury shares in a bid to bolster its share price and thus maximize shareholder value.
Meanwhile, those companies bought a combined 3.34 trillion won worth of treasury shares last year, down from 4.77 trillion won a year earlier, according to CEO Score. (Yonhap)