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Banking groups’ overseas assets grow 40% in 3 years

The combined assets of the overseas subsidiaries of South Korean financial groups have expanded nearly 40 percent over the past three years, data showed Wednesday.

According to data by the state-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corp., the total assets owned by overseas subsidiaries of South Korea’s major 10 financial groups tallied 61.6 trillion won ($529.2 billion) as of end-June.

The list includes Shinhan Financial Group, Hana Financial Group, Woori Financial Group, KB Financial Group, JB Financial Group, NH Financial Group, Korea Investment Holdings, DGB Financial Group, BNK Financial Group, and Meritz Financial Group.

Excluding Woori Financial, which was converted into a financial holding group in January this year, the total came to 47.2 trillion won, up 38.7 percent from three years earlier.

Shinhan Financial topped the list with 24.2 trillion won, followed by Hana Financial (16.3 trillion won) and Woori Financial (14.4 trillion won). The three banking groups altogether accounted for 83.9 percent of the industry’s overseas assets. KB Financial, parent firm of the country’s largest housing mortgage lender KB Kookmin Bank, came fourth with 4 trillion won.

By region, Asia -- excluding Southeast Asian countries -- accounted for 55 percent, followed by ASEAN (29 percent) and North America (12 percent).

“We expect that (Korea’s financial firms) will continue to expand their business in emerging economies,” said an official of KDIC, calling for optimized sale strategies in individual countries.

“The financial soundness of (Korean) banking groups may be affected by industrial risks, exchange rate fluctuations and regulations in other countries, so it is crucial to keep a close watch on the market.”

By Bae Hyun-jung (