Woori expected to be privatized this month

Public Fund Oversight Committee seen to outline a strategy after postponement due to European debt crisis.

A long-awaited plan to privatize Woori Financial Group, Korea’s second-biggest financial group in terms of assets, will be finalized within the next two weeks, the Public Fund Oversight Committee announced Friday.

The committee, which operates under the Financial Services Commission, initially intended to unveil a strategy to sell the government’s 57 percent stake in Woori in the first half of the year.

But it postponed the decision because of the fiscal debt crisis in southern Europe.

Members of the committee have reportedly agreed to spin off Kyongnam Bank and Kwangju Bank from Woori before the group is privatized.

However, they apparently have not yet decided whether Woori will be sold as a whole or in pieces or merged with another entity.

“The method of privatization will be left up to the market, and now we are in talks about how to maximize the collection of public funds used to bail out Woori,” said an official at the FSC.

View the full story in JoongAng Daily.

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