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KDB says ball in HDC’s court after chiefs’ talks on Asiana deal

The Korea Development Bank, Asiana Airlines’ main creditor, said it will await HDC Hyundai Development Company’s answer on acquiring the airline after a fresh round of talks between their chiefs in Seoul on Wednesday.

In a statement, KDB said the high-profile discussion between KDB Chairman Lee Jong-gull and HDC Chairman Chung Mong-gyu took place with “all options on the table.”

It said further plans will be decided in consultation with Kumho, the airline’s major shareholder, which seeks to sell South Korea’s second-largest carrier to the building company.

The state-run bank also added that “no specifics were discussed,” though some local reports said KDB had lowered the purchasing price for HDC.

It was the third meeting between Lee and Chung over the Asiana deal.

Speculation had been growing in the run-up to what has been described as the “final round of talks” between the two leaders.

Earlier this month, Lee had said, “If the deal falls apart, all the blame must go to HDC.” But the tone of the exchange soon softened after the bank suggested another round of talks last week.

By Yim Hyun-su (