Dividends paid by local listed firms grew from a year earlier last year, with their average dividend payout ratio also rising, industry data showed on April 29.
The total amount paid by 753 local firms listed on the main bourse Kospi came to about 30.4 trillion won ($26.3 billion) last year, up 9.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Listed Companies Association.
The number of companies that paid dividends inched up to 546 in 2018 from 538 the year before, and local firms‘ average payout ratio, referring to the percentage of earnings paid to shareholders in dividends, surged 3.61 percentage points to 30.33 percent over the cited period, the association said.
The ratio of their payments to their stock price also gained 0.26 percentage point to 2.21 percent, again indicating the companies are sharing more of their earnings with their shareholders.
In 2018, the number of listed companies that made interim dividend payments increased to 35 from 29 the year before, according to the association.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)