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Hana Bank/Seoulbank merger approved

Hana Bank/Seoulbank merger approved

(South Korea) - The South Korean Government has approved the merger of Hana Bank with Seoulbank, a move which will create the country's third largest banking institution. Under the deal, the Government will take a 30.9 percent. stake in the merged bank, worth around US$959 million.

The Government became the owner of Seoulbank in the aftermath of the 1998 Asian financial crisis. A deal to sell Seoulbank to HSBC collapsed in 1999, while Deutsche Bank unit DB Capital Partners also negotiated unsuccessfully to acquire the bank.

Germany's Allianz AG currently holds 11.8 percent. of Hana Bank, which is ranked as South Korea's fifth largest bank. Based on current assets, Seoulbank is the country's ninth largest.

The merged bank is expected to be launched by December.

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