K bank may be revived with BC Card’s investment

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K bank may be revived with BC Card’s investment

BC Card is likely to become the largest shareholder of the beleaguered online K bank.

BC Card said its board decided Tuesday to acquire the 10 percent share of internet-only K bank owned by parent company KT for 36.3 billion won.

It will expand its share of K bank to 34 percent by buying additional shares in the future. K bank had previously agreed to issue new shares worth 594.9 billion won ($487.5 million) to raise capital.

Currently, the biggest shareholder of K bank is Woori Bank with 13.79 percent. KT and NH Investment & Securities each own 10 percent.

KT attempted to inject fresh capital by raising its ownership to 34 percent through stock purchases. But the National Assembly didn’t revise a law banning KT from expanding its share of a financial company above 10 percent. KT is restricted from such an investment because of its history of violating antitrust regulation.

K bank has been effectively shut down since last year due to a capital shortage. It shut down its loan department, the bank’s major source of income, last June, resulting in a net loss of 1.08 million won last year.

The National Assembly said it would reconsider revising the related regulation after the general elections, which fell on Wednesday.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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