Korea Exchange Bank will convene a board meeting next week to determine whether to pay quarterly interim dividends, the bank said Tuesday, raising the chances of its biggest shareholder Lone Star Funds raking in profits.
Board members are scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss the issue, and the potential dividend payout will be based on the bank’s first-quarter earnings due out on the same day, Korea’s fifth-largest lender said.
Lone Star has recouped its investment in KEB by receiving dividends and the sale of part of its controlling stake in 2007. The U.S. buyout fund purchased KEB for 2.15 trillion won ($2.01 billion) in 2003.
After paying out yearly dividends for five years on end, KEB has begun to offer quarterly dividends since the second quarter of last year, which amounted to 77 billion won.
At the March shareholder meeting, KEB decided to pay out a cash dividend of 850 won per share for fiscal 2010.
Market watchers estimated that KEB’s interim dividends may amount to around 100 won per share for the first quarter as the lender is presumed to have posted a net profit of about 200 billion won.
KEB’s move to pay out the quarterly dividend should be approved by Hana Financial Group Inc., which offered to buy a 51.02 percent stake in KEB for 4.69 trillion won.
The Financial Services Commission decided to delay its review on the approval of Hana’s takeover of KEB following a recent court conviction of a former executive at Lone Star’s local unit.