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Korea Exchange Bank chief steps down

All Headlines 14:02 February 10, 2012

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- The head of South Korea's No. 5 lender Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) stepped down after completing his three-year term on Friday, and handing over to his successor, the role of completing the deal to sell the bank to a local counterpart.

Larry Klane, the president of KEB, expressed gratitude to his staff at a farewell ceremony held in central Seoul, for embracing a foreign chief "who's not used to the country," adding he did his best to draw a brighter future for the KEB in the midst of financial difficulties.

He gave a rosy picture for KEB's prospects, mentioning the bank achieved record quarterly earnings in the second-quarter of last year and that KEB holds plenty of potential to achieve its goals as a leading financial firm in Asia's fourth-largest economy and overseas.

The 50-year-old American financier told reporters after the ceremony how he was "very emotional" to finish his years in Korea and had special feelings for the country. His father had worked with Korean firms in the 1970s and now Klane himself had a son born in Seoul.

With Klane's departure, KEB is expected to move forward with the appointment of the new chief executive nominee, Yun Yong-ro, the current vice president, according to the lender.

The bank is awaiting the approval from a local court on the application for appointing a provisional director, which is expected to be done soon.

Yun will be spearheading the KEB's sale to Korea's No. 4 lender, Hana Financial Group Inc., from its U.S. owner Lone Star Fund.

Last month, Hana secured approval from the local financial regulator to buy a major stake in KEB from the buyout fund. The deal is estimated to be worth 3.9 trillion won (US$3.5 billion).

elly@yna.co.kr
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