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Hyundai Merchant to sell stake in brokerage affiliate to Japanese firm

   Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., South Korea's No. 2 shipping line, said Friday that it will sell off its stake in a brokerage affiliate as part of efforts to improve its financial health.

   In a regulatory filing, the shipping company said that its board has made the decision to sell 53,070,736 shares of Hyundai Securities to Buffalo Finance. They represent 22.4 percent of its outstanding shares.

   Buffalo Finance is a special purpose company established by Orix Corp., a Japanese financial giant. Hyundai Merchant and Hyundai Securities are affiliates of Hyundai Group.

   The planned sale is worth about 647.4 billion won (US$580.8

million) and an official deal will be signed next week, a company official said.

   The transaction is expected to be completed by September at the latest, given that it requires a review by government and financial authorities.

   The move is part of efforts to improve the overall financial health of the shipping company in line with corporate restructuring efforts by the debt-ridden Hyundai Group that have been under way for the past few years. (Yonhap)