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Seoul's banks continue talking

Seoul’s banks continue talking

(South Korea) - Banks in South Korea continue to explore a new round of mergers, as the needs for scale and consolidation become ever stronger. Shinhan Bank for example has just entered talks with KorAm Bank on a potential merger that would create a bank with US$78 billion in assets.

Hana Bank and foreign owned Korea First Bank are also reportedly in negotiations, concerned to ensure scale in competing with largest Korean domestic player Kookmin Bank.

A merged Shinhan and KorAm would produce a player close to the country's second largest financial group, Woori Finance Holding with assets of 103 trillion won. Combined, Hana and KFB would have assets of 83 trillion won - under half Kookmin's 189 trillion won as the end of December 2001.

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