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Kookmin won’t sell parent shares to market

The head of KB Financial Group Inc. said Monday that its flagship banking unit plans not to unload shares in the parent group in the local market in a bid to minimize its market impact.

Korea’s top lender, Kookmin Bank, bought about 21 percent stake in its parent, KB Financial Group, in September 2008 when the group was created. By banking law, the bank is required to unload around 9 percent stake in the group by the end of September.

“Long-term investors including foreign investment trust firms have decided to buy the shares held by Kookmin Bank,” said Euh Yoon-dae, chairman of the country’s leading banking group. “No shares will be put on the market.”

KB Financial has been making efforts to sell stocks held by Kookmin Bank through share swaps with bigger companies, including POSCO, and block trades. Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group has purchased an additional 0.65 percent stake in KB Financial, raising its holding in the group to over 1 percent.

The stock sale is widely expected to hike the bank’s capital adequacy ratio, and the proceeds will be used to finance the group’s takeovers.

Chairman Euh said the group will aggressively seek to buy a savings bank as several ailing savings banks are up for sale. 

(Yonhap News)
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