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Booming Korean oil refiners set dates for interim dividends

PUBLISHED : June 16, 2017 - 17:30

UPDATED : June 16, 2017 - 17:30

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[THE INVESTOR] Korea’s oil refining businesses set their dates for half-year interim dividends on the back of increasing first-half profitability, especially in petrochemicals and lubricants.

The latest refiner to join the trend was SK Innovation, which on June 16 set June 30 as its record date for the interim dividend, meaning holders of shares on that date will be eligible for the payment.

The company’s board of directors still have to decide on whether a payment will be made, based on second-quarter performance. The specific date for its board meeting has not been decided. If it goes ahead, it will be the SK Innovation’s first ever interim dividend, the company said.

Korean firms can issue interim dividends once a year, in addition to the annual dividend.

S-Oil on May 18 also set its record date for June 30 to provide interim dividends to its stockholders. In the past, S-Oil declared its interim dividends often after its board meetings in July or August.

“Companies usually offer their shareholders interim dividends when they post good performances during the first half of the year,” industry sources said.

Following its record-high operating profit of 3.2 trillion won (US$2.8 billion) last year, SK Innovation in the first quarter this year posted operating profit of some 1 trillion won, with its petrochemical and lubricant oil sectors accounting for some 55 percent of that.

During the same period, S-Oil recorded an operating profit of 324 billion won. Of the total operating profit, its petrochemical sector accounted for some 140 billion won. S-Oil’s lubricant oil sector also has seen 21.9 percent profit rate during the first three months this year.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Oilbank’s parent company Hyundai Robotics decided to distribute an interim dividend at its board meeting on May 12, but the dates and size of the dividend remain undisclosed. The company did not distribute annual dividends for 2016.

If Hyundai Oilbank decides to distribute a total of around 300 billion won in dividends this time, its parent company Hyundai Robotics, which currently owns 91.13 percent stake in Hyundai Oilbank, will get some 270 billion won accordingly. The money is expected to be used to boost Hyundai Heavy Industries’ plan to transform Hyundai Robotics into a holding company, industry sources said.

Hyundai Oilbank in the first quarter this year reported an operating profit of some 355 billion won, up by 75.76 percent on-year.

By Shim Woo-hyun/The Korea Herald (ws@heraldcorp.com)

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