The Korea Herald


KDB set to adopt ‘dual bank’ after merger with Woori

By 김연세

Published : June 2, 2011 - 18:42

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KDB Financial Group on Thursday expressed its wish not to merge the Korea Development Bank and Woori Bank for years even if it acquires Woori Financial Group.

A group executive said, “a dual bank system on a long-term basis will be adopted under the scenario of the merger between KDB Financial and Woori Financial.”

He dismissed the speculation that Woori Bank would be absorbed into the state-run KDB in two or three years after a group merger.

He cited Mizuho Financial Group of Japan for a benchmark model. The group is a merged entity of three banks including Fuji Bank.

Though the three banks have been using the same brand of “Mizuho” since they were merged in 2000, each corporation is being operated separately and their merger is scheduled for as early as 2016.

The executive also argued that a mega bank for a possible unification of the Korean Peninsula is necessary, expressing the group’s strong willingness to take over Woori Financial.

The financial authorities plan to hand over the state-controlled Woori Financial Group to an investor through a bidding competition by September.

KDB Financial reportedly tops the list of potential buyers after Chairman Kang Man-soo flagged earlier in May his intention to jump into the takeover race.

KDB Financial’s takeover of Woori Financial would make the consolidated entity the biggest local financial group by far with combined assets of about 500 trillion won. KB Financial’s assets stood at 344 trillion won, and Shinhan Financial holds 328.6 trillion won.

The financial authorities will accept letters of intent to bid for Woori Financial by June 29 before getting the final bids in September.

In a bid to draw more potential buyers, the Financial Services Commission said it would review a regulatory revision to allow financial holding firms to join the takeover race.

By Kim Yon-se (