KEB will pay out an interim dividend of 1,510 won or US$1.42 per share for the second quarter, allowing its biggest shareholder Lone Star Funds to get large profits.
This is the biggest amount of quarterly dividends Korea Exchange Bank ever paid out, enabling U.S. buyout fund Lone Star to receive dividends worth 496.8 billion won.
Lone Star's receipt of dividends and its stake sale have been riticized as indicative that the U.S. private equity fund will exit from the Korean market after fattening its pockets.
South Korea's financial regulators also expressed concerns over the KEB's hefty dividend plan.
"We met KEB CEO Larry Klane today morning and delivered our concerns over the plan to pay high dividends," said an official at the Financial Supervisory Service.
"Also, we conveyed our stance that excessive dividends could undermine the bank's growth potential and its corporate value," said the official, requesting anonymity.
Unionized workers at KEB has called for the Financial Services Commission to review the appropriateness of the payment of large interim dividend.
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