MARKETS | Staff Reporter, Korea

South Korea keen to sell Woori Financial stake by 2022

To recoup public funds, stake should be sold at $11.33 per share.

The South Korean government has announced plans to complete the sale of its 17.25% stake in Woori Financial Holdings by 2022, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Officials had planned to resume the sale process in the first half of 2021, but it was delayed due to the negative effects of the pandemic to the stock market.

The public funds oversight committee, which handles state asset sales, will reportedly make efforts to wrap up the privatization of the financial group as scheduled under a sales blueprint that was drawn up last year, according to the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

The committee said in June 2020 that it would start the process in H2 2021, depending on market situations.

They added that they did not kick off the privatization process in 2020 as financial market uncertainty amplified due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the US presidential election.

To recoup the public funds, the stake should be sold by around $11.33 (KRW12,300) per share, market watchers said.

The government sold a 28% to institutional investors in 2016, but the state-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. is still the largest shareholder of Woori Financial.

The government poured more than $11.78b (KRW12.8t) into Woori Finance, which was turned into Woori Financial in early 2020, to keep it afloat in the aftermath of the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis.

(US$1 = KRW1,086.31)

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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