Hana buys L.A.-based bank to up global reach

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Hana buys L.A.-based bank to up global reach

Korea’s Hana Financial Group announced yesterday it has signed a deal to take over a controlling stake in a Los Angeles-based bank as part of its drive to expand its foothold in the U.S. market.

In a release, Hana Financial said it will acquire a 51 percent stake in Saehan Bancorp, the parent company of Saehan Bank, by purchasing new shares issued by the holding firm under a memorandum of understanding signed on Friday local time.

The financial details were undisclosed.

The move is expected to accelerate the global expansion of Hana Financial, which has largely focused on domestic business until now.

“Hana Financial Group sees the deal as an important opportunity that will bring the banking group one step closer to its goal of becoming a global financial group,” it said.

The acquisition, meanwhile, is expected to create synergy effects with Hana Financial’s recent takeover of Korea Exchange Bank, which enabled the banking group to take control of the largest overseas network run by a Korean lender.

The preliminary agreement is pending regulatory approval by Korea’s Financial Services Commission in addition to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.

Saehan Bank, established in 1991, ranks as the fourth-largest player among 10 Los Angeles-based banks that cater to Korean Americans in the surrounding area.

As of the end of 2011, the lender had $580 million in capital.


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