NongHyup Financial Group on Monday reiterated its determination to bid for the brokerage unit of Woori Financial Group.
After the government resurrected the project to privatize the state-funded Woori Financial earlier this year, NongHyup Financial was deemed one of the few powerful potential bidders for Woori Investment & Securities.
“In the past, local financial institutions could grow naturally by sticking to traditional operations. Now, they must reach out for artificial growth through nontraditional moves like M&As, lest they lag behind the competition,” said group chairman Yim Jong-yong at a news conference in Seoul marking 100 days since his inauguration.
The preliminary proposal to participate in the coming auction is scheduled to close on Oct. 21.
NongHyup Financial is involved in all three major financial industries: banking, insurance and investment and securities. While the first two are rated fourth in the industry asset-wise, the latter is 14th, which makes it “at best a small or medium institution,” Yim admitted.
Yim implied the acquisition of Woori Investment would balance the three portfolios, although the final evaluation process remained.
Ever since the group hinted at joining the M&A deal, NongHyup Financial, which was privatized with state funds, has faced criticism that the acquisition of Woori Investment, a state-run financial institution, would go against the government’s original goal of privatizing Woori Financial Group.
Yim rejected this, stating “NongHyup does have a public-centered values and operations, but it is run 100 percent by private funds, and therefore is eligible for the deal.”
By Chung Joo-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)