Seoul to complete privatization of Woori Financial by 2022


The government plans to sell its remaining stake in Woori Financial Holdings Co. by 2022, in a bid to recoup taxpayers’ money that was used to bail out the financial holding firm in the wake of the financial crisis in 1997, the financial regulator said Tuesday. In a statement, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said it will start selling the 18.3 percent stake of Woori Financial, owned by the state-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. (KDIC), next year. The planned auction is aimed at helping Woori Financial build a healthy corporate governance and recouping more taxpayers’ money, the FSC said.


The government poured a total of 12.8 trillion won (US$11 billion) into Woori Bank, which was turned into Woori Financial earlier this year, to keep it afloat in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. As part of a plan to privatize Woori Financial, the government sold a 28 percent stake to seven institutional investors in 2016, but the KDIC is still the largest shareholder of Woori Financial. Woori Financial reported a net profit of 568.6 billion won in the first quarter of the year, down 3.6 percent from a year ago.



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