South Korea’s largest refiner SK Innovation Co. will pay out interim dividends to shareholders for the first time since its foundation. Other petrochemical companies including S-Oil Corp. and Hyundai Oilbank Co. that enjoyed a bumper year in 2016 are also mulling interim dividend payouts to share their rich profits with existing shareholders and help boost stock value.
SK Innovation announced on Thursday that it was closing the shareholders’ list for midyear dividend payouts from July 1 to 14. It plans to hold a board meeting this or next month to decide when and how much it will pay in the bonus dividends, according to an official from the company.
Shares of SK Innovation closed Friday at 159,000 won, up 1.6 percent or 2,500 won from the previous session.
The company recorded 1.004 trillion won ($887 million) in operating profit in the first quarter of this year, exceeding 1 trillion won for the third time on a quarterly basis. It was the highest profit among local oil refiners and petrochemical firms. Its net profit almost doubled from the previous year to 1.7 trillion won. Market analysts predict that its net income would reach 2.5 trillion won this year. Its liquid assets amounted to 2.8 trillion won as of the first quarter this year. Backed by the rich cash, the company has paid out dividends every year except for 2014 when it recorded losses. An official from the security industry said that paying interim dividends reflects a company’s confidence in robust income.
S-Oil and Hyundai Oilbank also announced that they will close their list of shareholders to pay interim dividends on May 18 and June 12 respectively. S-Oil’s net profit in 2016 also doubled to 1.2 trillion won from that of the previous year. If Hyundai Oilbank’s board of directors votes in favor of the interim dividend payment, it would be its first interim dividend payout in seven years.
By Moon Il-ho
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