Woori regional bank bidders set

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Woori regional bank bidders set

Ten final bidders, including Shinhan Financial Group and the Industrial Bank of Korea, will compete to buy Woori Financial Group’s regional bank affiliates following an announcement by the Financial Services Commission yesterday of a shortlist that left out one bidder.

According to the FSC, the Public Fund Oversight Committee in charge of managing the sales of Woori Financial Group selected all four bidders that have submitted proposals to buy Kyongnam Bank as finalists and six of the seven bidders for Kwangju Bank.

Sources said a private agricultural association did not make the cut. The other six include Shinhan Financial Group, BS Financial Group, DGB Financial Group, JB Financial Group, a group of businessmen based in Gwangju and South Jeolla, and a group of employees from Kwangju Bank. The four competing to buy Kyongnam Bank are IBK, BS Financial Group, DGB Financial Group, and a group of businessmen based in the South Gyeongsang and Ulsan area.

“We reviewed preliminary bidders and their proposals based on the bidding price and their ability to finance funds,” said an official from the oversight committee. “We disqualified those without the will or ability to acquire.”

In July, the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation announced it would accept bids for two regional banks of the country’s largest financial group as the first part of a sales process to privatize Woori.

Last month, 11 preliminary bidders submitted proposals to acquire the two regional banks. The sale price of Kyongnam Bank is estimated to be as much as 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) and 1 trillion won for Kwangju Bank.

Meanwhile, the FSC said it will seek actual tenders in December before selecting a preferred bidder later this year or early next year.

“We’re on schedule,” said an FSC official.

BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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