ING Life Insurance makes moves to go public on Kospi

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ING Life Insurance makes moves to go public on Kospi

ING Life Insurance has taken the first step toward being publicly traded on the Korean stock market while Samsung Securities and Morgan Stanley has been named as advisers for an IPO on Friday. MBK Partners, the Korean private-equity fund and the owner of the life insurance company, is planning to list the life insurer on Seoul’s main bourse Kospi in the second quarter. “Under a new regulatory environment, we have decided to proceed with listing the company [on the Kospi] in hopes to create a foothold in advancing further,” said Cheong Mun-kuk, ING Life Insurance CEO.

MBK Partners, which owns a 100 percent stake in the insurer, was planning to sell the stake to Chinese companies in May. However, the plan was postponed when the diplomatic relationship between Korea and China soured after the Korean government decided to allow the dispatch of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system on the peninsula.

MBK Partners, however, said it will continue to try to sell the shares regardless of the IPO.

ING Life Insurance is the country’s fifth-largest insurer with total assets as of the third quarter of 31.8 trillion won ($27 billion) and equity capital of 5 trillion won.

MBK Partners in December 2013 became the owner of the life insurer after buying 100 percent of the stake owned by the Dutch ING Group for 1.8 trillion won. Since under MBK Partners, ING Life Insurance performance have doubled with operating profit up from 253.7 billion won in 2013 to 407.9 billion won in 2015.

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