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Gov't to sell up to 10 pct of its stake in Woori Financial this year

Finance 13:27 September 09, 2021

SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- The government said Thursday it will sell up to 10 percent of its stake in Woori Financial Holdings Co. this year as part of its plan to put the company in private hands.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said South Korea's public funds oversight committee, which handles state asset sales, announced an open bidding for the stake.

Currently, the state-run Korea Depository Insurance Corp. (KDIC) remains the largest shareholder of Woori Financial Holdings with a 15.13 percent interest.

The committee plans to finish receiving letters of investment from prospective investors on Oct. 8, wrap up the bidding in November and complete the sale within this year, the financial regulator said.

Buyers should bid for at least 1 percent, and purchasers of 4 percent or more stakes would be allowed to name an outside director of Woori Financial's board.

The stake sale is in line with a government road map to dispose of its interest in the major financial holding company by 2022, whose flagship is Woori Bank.

The government injected a total of 12.8 trillion won (US$10.9 billion) into Woori Finance, which was renamed Woori Financial in early 2019, to keep it afloat in the aftermath of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

The government sold a 28 percent stake to institutional investors in 2016, and the stake deposit insurer offloaded an additional 2 percent for 149.3 billion won in April this year.

The corporate logo of Woori Financial Holdings Co. (Yonhap)


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