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KEB union to protest regulator, Lone Star

About 5,000 unionized workers of Korea Exchange Bank are scheduled to hold a day-long rally in Yeouido, Seoul on Tuesday, demanding financial regulators take punitive action against Lone Star Funds.

Their planned gathering has been regarded as a strike amid the situation under which Lone Star, convicted of manipulating stocks of KEB’s credit affiliate, may leave the country with huge gains.

The KEB union is also criticizing the Financial Services Commission for having been negligent in probing shareholder eligibility of the U.S.-based equity fund for several years.

Recently, a group of conservative organizations including the New Right also argued that the regulator should probe the allegations that Lone Star was ineligible to control the Korean bank.

Rep. Hong Joon-pyo of the ruling Grand National Party was another one calling for strict action against the fund.

The FSC is moving to “simply” order the fund to dispose of most of its KEB stake following the stock rigging, which may pave the way for Hana Financial Group to take over the bank.

But the union has called for the regulator to order stake sale at stock market-determined prices to anonymous investors.

By Kim Yon-se