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Banks renew interest in Korea

Banks renew interest in Korea

(18 April 2008 – South Korea) Top executives at US banks have indicated that the free-market policies of South Korea's new president would rekindle appetite in the country. South Korea, the fourth largest economy in Asia, elected a new president who began his term this year.

Lee Myung-bak took office in February and, as a former businessman, has pledged to remove regulations that hinder foreign investment.

Lee held a luncheon for top executives at major banks including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Blackstone Group, Credit Suisse Group and UBS AG.

Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International said that the inviting approach that the new president is taking will result in a rise in investment from financial firms, including Goldman Sachs, into South Korea.

Previously, public backlash was caused when foreign firms made profits by buying troubled South Korea businesses in the wake of the 97/98 Asian financial crisis.

Lee said that excessive regulations are always the biggest barrier to business activities of both foreign and domestic companies. He added that for South Korea, all rules and regulations that do not conform to the global standards will be revised.
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