Hana, KEB officials celebrate merged operations in Beijing

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Hana, KEB officials celebrate merged operations in Beijing


From left, KEB President Kim Han-jo, Korean ambassador to China Kwon Young-se, Hana Financial Group Chairman Kim Jung-tai, Dong Wenbiao of China Minsheng Investment Corp. and Acting President of Hana Bank Kim Byoung-ho celebrate the merger of Hana and KEB in Beijing on Tuesday. Provided by the bank

BEIJING - Hana Financial Group on Tuesday launched the newly merged operations of its Hana Bank and Korea Exchange Bank branches in Beijing.

It is the second merged overseas operation of the two banks. In March last year, Hana and KEB’s branches in Indonesia also debuted as a single unit.

The event held at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Beijing was attended by the top management of the Korean banking group - Hana Financial Group Chairman Kim Jung-tai, Hana Bank’s Acting President Kim Byoung-ho and KEB President Kim Han-jo.

Other delegates who were present at the event included Kwon Young-se, Korean ambassador to China, and Dong Wenbiao, board chairman of China Minsheng Investment Corp. It was an unusually large event held by a Korean bank in China.

At the event, Chairman Kim Jung-tai stressed the importance of “merging” and the outstanding results that it will bring.

“In less than a year since the merged bank was launched in Indonesia, its profit increased by 40 percent,” he said. “In less than a month sine the [merged] Chinese branch has been approved [by the Chinese government], the new product has gained wide popularity [in China].”

According to the Korean banking group, the Chinese authority approved the banks’ merger on Dec. 12, and the bank has been operating as one since. To celebrate the new business it released the new product “Hana 168 deposit” which sold out in just 10 days of its release.

The bank said its strategy of putting Chinese managers in charge of its operations in China has helped boost sales and that the combination of Hana’s strength in retail finance and KEB’s strength in foreign exchange has been effective.

Chairman Kim said he will give full independence, including personnel decisions and risk management, to the local operation.

The merged operations in Beijing come amid the financial group’s recent push for an early merger with KEB, whose majority stake it acquired in 2012 on the condition that the bank could maintain independent management until 2017.

Hana has set the date of the merger with KEB for March 1, but it is unclear if it will go through on that date because KEB’s labor union has been demanding that details including job security and pay system should be finalized before the merger.

BY YEH YOUNG-JUNE, LEE HO-JEONG [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]
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