Seoul court lifts injunction in Hana-KEB merger

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Seoul court lifts injunction in Hana-KEB merger

The merger of Hana Financial Group and Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) that has been on hold since an injunction filed by KEB’s labor union in February is expected to get back on track.

The Seoul central court on Friday said it was annulling the injunction, which prevented Hana Financial Group from pursuing merger activities until the end of this month.

The court said it accepts Hana Financial Group’s appeal against the injunction on grounds that the merger decision falls under the rights of management.

Additionally, the court said it recognizes the difficult situation facing the banking industry.

In February, the court accepted the argument by the labor union that Hana Financial Group management should honor the promise made by Chairman Kim Jung-tai when the financial group purchased a majority stake of KEB in 2012 that guaranteed independent management for the five years.

In addition, the court four months ago found Hana Financial Group not to be in a critical situation, as the group claimed in trying to push forward with the merger.

“I propose a talk with the union to join forces and refrain from exhausting arguments,” said Kim.

The Financial Services Commission has said that if Hana Financial Group requests approval of an early merger, it would approve. In January, the financial authority cleared the merger of the two banks, but canceled it after the injunction was filed.


BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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