RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Korea

South Korea regulator may ban Hana from M&A

FSC’s sanction on the group’s brokerage and banking units may push the regulator to bar Hana’s KEB prospects.

The financial authorities have begun to review laws as to whether Hana Financial Group is an eligible investor to buy a company such as Korea Exchange Bank.

Their move comes as the financial group’s brokerage and banking units were sanctioned last month and 2009, respectively, sources said Wednesday.

If a financial company receives a warning from the Financial Services Commission for irregularities, the firm as well as its parent financial group can be subject to restrictions for mergers and acquisitions activities for a certain period, the sources said.

On May 18, the FSC issued a warning against Hana Daetoo Securities, a brokerage unit of Hana Financial, for incurring huge losses after allegedly making reckless investments in stocks last November.

Senior officials at the FSC and its executive arm Financial Supervisory Service had fine-tuned the sanction level against Hana Daetoo between “warning” and the lower level “caution.”

But as the FSC eventually selected a warning, the securities firm has apparently been barred from taking over a financial company for a designated period ― reportedly for three years until 2014.

View the full story in Korea Herald.

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