SKorean banks’ takeover moves to be luke­warm next year

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

SEOUL: The South Korean bank­ing sec­tor is likely to un­dergo a lethar­gic year in 2011 as the heat for bank takeovers will likely cool down due to a sus­pen­sion in the pri­va­ti­za­tion of state-run Woori Fi­nance Hold­ings Co., an­a­lysts say. The govt has been mak­ing ef­forts to dis­pose of its 56.97 per­cent stake in South Korea's lead­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany with a deal es­ti­mated to be worth about US$6 bil­lion in an ef­fort to re­coup mas­sive pub­lic funds. South Korea in­jected 12.8 tril­lion won ($11.03 bil­lion) in tax­pay­ers' money into Woori Fi­nance in a bid to res­cue the com­pany from near bank­ruptcy in the af­ter­math of the 1997-98 Asian fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Af­ter the sale had been drift­ing due to un­fa­vor­able mar­ket con­di­tions, the mo­men­tum for the pri­va­ti­za­tion height­ened this year as the govern­ment un­veiled de­tailed plans for the sale and ac­cepted letters of in­tents from 11 hope­ful do­mes­tic and for­eign bid­ders. But the sale of Woori Fi­nance re­turned to square one as the com­mit­tee over­see­ing the sale of bailed-out firms said on Dec. 17 that it will sus­pend the process to sell Woori Fi­nance due to bid with­drawals by top bank­ing group. -PB News

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