Shinhan to bid for ailing Tomato

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Shinhan to bid for ailing Tomato

Shinhan Financial Group Co. said yesterday it has decided to bid for a local savings bank, joining other local rivals in the race to take over the ailing financial institution.

The country’s No. 3 financial firm said it has submitted a letter of intent to the state-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. to take part in the bidding for Tomato Savings Bank, one of the seven market players whose operations were suspended two months ago.

In September, Korea’s top financial regulator halted those savings banks’ business for six months, citing their weak financial health and irregular practices. The move increased the number of savings banks suspended this year to 16.

Woori Financial Holdings Co., the country’s top banking group by assets, is also considering making a bid for Tomato, according to industry sources.

Hana Financial Group Inc. has made an internal decision to join the bidding process, the sources said.

Last month, the three largest banking groups including No. 2 KB Financial expressed their interest in buying another suspended lender, Jeil Savings Bank.

The KDIC, which is overseeing the sale process, plans to select the prime bidder for each savings bank as early as next week, they said.


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