The Korea Herald


Hana Financial set to begin merger process in earnest next week

By KH디지털2

Published : July 15, 2015 - 09:41

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Hana Financial Group Inc., South Korea's third-largest banking group by assets, is rolling up its sleeves to begin the process of merging its two flagship banks in earnest next week, a company official said Wednesday.

Hana Financial has tried to merge Hana Bank and the Korea Exchange Bank since it acquired the KEB from U.S. buyout fund Lone Star in 2012. Its efforts have dragged on for years as the KEB had strongly opposed the merger until recently, citing its earlier promise to remain independent.

On Monday, however, the two sides reached an agreement to complete the merger as early as September, taking the first step toward forming the country's biggest commercial bank.

The company is moving swiftly to submit a request to the Financial Services Commission, the top financial regulator, to seek approval for the merger.

"We will set up an integration task force on Monday to start the merging process in earnest," the Hana Financial official said.

He said Hana Bank President Kim Byoung-ho and KEB President Kim Han-jo will lead the committee along with seven officials from the two banks.

The panel will decide the name of the integrated bank and recommend the CEO and the board of directors, he added.

Earlier this month, KEB President Kim said that Hana Financial has promised to include "KEB" in the new bank's name.

The official said the new Hana-KEB bank will be launched as early as September if it makes smooth progress and the FSC gives approval in the coming two months.

Shares of Hana Financial traded at 30,850 won ($27) on the Seoul bourse as of 9:00 a.m., moving unchanged from the previous close, with the benchmark KOSPI staying flat. (Yonhap)