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Standard Chartered bullish on South Korean business

Standard Chartered bullish on South Korean business

(18 February 2005 – South Korea) UK bank Standard Chartered has its sights on snaring six to eight percent market share of South Korea’s financial services market by 2012. The bank’s market share currently sits at 2.3 percent but using last month’s acquisition of Korea First Bank as a launch pad, Standard Chartered said it plans to triple its market share over the next eight years.

Standard Chartered has been vying with other international banks, such as HSBC and Citigroup for a major slice of the South Korean banking market.

It lost out to Citigroup in March last year for a stake in KorAm Bank, South Korea’s sixth largest bank. However, Standard Chartered was more successful this year when it bought Korea First Bank for US$3.3 billion.

A report put out by South Korea’s Ministry of Finance and Economy in October last year showed that international companies owned more than 60 percent of the country’s banking shares and nearly half of its financial institutions.

Standard Chartered said it was looking to beef up its investment banking and credit cards businesses at Korea First Bank. It also said it had no plans to cut the workforce.

South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service has reacted to the increasing amount of foreign ownership by drafting proposals to limit the number of foreigner executives and board members.

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