KDIC shortlists candidates vying for 10% government stake in Woori Financial Holdings
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According to multiple sources from the investment bank industry on Monday, the Public Fund Oversight Committee under Financial Services Commission and sale lead managers have shortlisted most of 18 candidates that submitted letters of intent for the 10 percent stake in Woori Financial Holdings held by state-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) earlier this month. The list includes strategic investors such as KT Corp. and Hoban Construction, as well as financial investors Eugene Private Equity and Glenwood PE.
The sale would finally privatize Woori, born through mergers of a number of ailing banks and bailout of over 12 trillion won ($10.2 billion) in the wake of 1997 Asian financial crisis.
The sale is led by Mirae Asset Securities, Samsung Securities, and JP Morgan.
The shortlisted candidates will eligible to conduct due diligence on the financial firm starting Tuesday and hand in final bids by the deadline on Nov. 18. The preferred bidder will be named by Nov. 22.
The tender has gained steam amid growing expectations for an improvement in the financial holding firm¡¯s bottom line and the group¡¯s potential to bulk up through M&As. An owner of 4 percent or more in a financial firm can also name a board member.
The latecomer to financial holding category has room to grow.
The Financial Supervisory Service is positively reviewing to grant Woori to apply its own risk-managing rating system instead of the standard guideline. Upon the change possible later this month, Woori Financial Holding¡¯s BIS capital adequacy ratio could go up by 2 percentage points from 13.75 percent to over 15 percent.
With a higher BIS ratio, Woori Financial Holdings would have the ammunitions to go after small- and mid-size brokerages or other non-banking units, market analysts expected.
Shares of Woori Financial Holdings were up 1.25 percent to 12,150 won ($10.26) on Tuesday morning.
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