Samsung C&T Corp., the de facto holding company of South Korea’s Samsung Group, will more than triple its dividend payout over the next three fiscal years, a move that is expected to help lift its underperforming shares.
The Korean construction and trading company said on Monday it will increase its annual dividends from 550 won ($0.52) to 2,000 won per share in the fiscal 2017-2019 period, which would raise annual dividend expenses from 90.8 billion won to 330 billion won.
This is the first time for the firm to announce a three-year dividend plan.
The rare move comes amid a group-wide dividend policy of rewarding shareholders following last year’s scandal connected to the impeached President Park Geun-hye that put the conglomerate heir Jay Y. Lee behind bars.
The generous shareholder policy is expected to aid the stock price which has plunged nearly 28 percent since its controversial merger with Cheil Industries in July 2015.
Shares of Samsung C&T closed Tuesday up 3.82 percent at 136,000 won.
“The move is in line with our commitment to boost shareholder returns and add predictability in our dividend payout,” said a company official.
Separately, Samsung C&T said it is mulling a plan of recruiting non-Korean nationals as outside directors to add diversity to the board.
Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is the largest shareholder of Samsung C&T with a 17.08 percent stake. Lee and other members of the founding family hold a combined 31.17 percent interest in the holding company.
By Chung Woo-sung and Kim Hyo-jin
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