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Hyundai denies rumor on sale of credit card unit

Hyundai Motor Group officially dismissed rumors Tuesday that it is seeking to sell its credit card affiliate.

In a conference call for the first quarter performance of Hyundai Motor, Choi Byung-chul, chief financial official of the automaker, made it clear that there is no plan to sell any stake in Hyundai Card.

Hyundai Motor currently holds a 37 percent stake in the group’s credit card business unit.

The rumors of a sale gained ground as the group was reluctant to buy out General Electric Capital’s 43 percent stake in Hyundai Card that was put on the market last December.

“Hyundai is likely to maintain the financial arms under its roof for expansion of its auto financing business,’’ an industry insider said.

In a related move, the automotive group bought back a 23 percent stake in Hyundai Capital from GE Capital last year. With the deal, the stake of Hyundai Motor Group in Hyundai Capital soared to about 80 percent.