This undated photo, provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, shows the exterior of the ministry building in the administrative city of Sejong. (Ministry of Finance)
The South Korean government's dividend income from its stakes in public companies inched up 2.8 percent this year from the previous year as earnings of some state-run firms improved despite the pandemic, the finance ministry said Friday.
Dividend payments by 22 state-run companies to the government amounted to 1.44 trillion won ($1 billion) this year, up 35.6 billion won from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The gain in dividend income came as the Korea Electric Power Corp., the country's power monopoly, and some state-funded firms posted improved earnings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the ministry.
The average dividend payout ratio, or the percentage of earnings paid to shareholders in dividends, came to 36.92 percent this year, up 4.34 percentage points from a year earlier.
Of the 39 state companies in which the government holds stakes, 17 firms, including Incheon International Airport Corp. and Korea Gas Corp., did not pay out dividends due largely to net losses. (Yonhap)