Woori Sale Expected to Succeed Through Breakup

July 9
2:11 PM 2013

South Korea would break Woori Finance Holdings Co. into pieces so that it could finally sell it. The country's fourth attempt to sell the biggest financial group would start through an auction this July.

The government currently has possession of 57% of Woori Finance. It would split the company into three parts.

A group of banks bailed out of the company following 1997 Asian financial crunch. Consequently, Woori Finance traded more inexpensively in relation to its net assets than any local associate.

Broken up, the company was expected to fetch US$10.2 billion. According to Nomura Holdings Inc., the amount was 36% higher than its market value on Monday.

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets said that South Korea this is the best chance available after its three reported fiascos that started back in 2010. The Seoul-based corporation would attract wider collection of bidders due to its separate divisions.

Fitch Ratings stated that Woori Bank was already under negotiations with Kyobo Life Insurance Co.

"This is the first time in a decade that I've felt like the plan has a chance," head of research in Seoul at CLSA, Shaun Cochran, stated in a phone interview. "The most logical thing has always been to break it up and find the most interested bidder for each part."

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