Dividends payments by South Korean companies listed on the main stock market will exceed 21 trillion won (US$18 billion) this year as investors seek high-yielding assets away from low-yielding bank products, a brokerage report said Monday.
Local companies traded on the benchmark KOSPI market are likely to pay 21.1 trillion won in cash dividends for the 2016 fiscal year, up from 20.4 trillion won paid in the previous business year, according to a report from Samsung Securities Co.
The brokerage expected the dividend payout ratio in the KOSPI market to rise to 1.7 percent this year from 1.6 percent a year earlier. The dividend payout ratio is the percentage of earnings paid to shareholders in dividends.
The forecast comes as the country's key policy rate stands at an all-time low of 1.5 percent.
"Investments in high-dividend stocks will grow further this year given record low bank deposit interest rates of around one percent, a market liquidity exceeding 800 trillion won, and the government's dividend-friendly policies," Hana Financial Investment Co. analyst Kim Yong-ku said. (Yonhap)