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Another attempt to sell Woori Bank stake

23July2015South Korea announced a fresh plan to sell state-owned Woori Bank. Four earlier attempts in this regard have failed. The government has been trying to sell its 51.04% stake in the bank since 2010 in a bid to recover public funds of some 13 trillion won injected to bail it out following the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. The Public Fund Oversight Committee, a government-run body in charge of privatizing Woori Bank, said it will take a two-track approach to sell the stake held by the state-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. Under the latest sale scheme, a 48.07% stake will be put up for auction with the remaining 2.97% to be left for future call options. Of the to-be-auctioned stake, up to a 40% stake will be sold to either a single buyer or multiple investors, while the rest will be left for smaller investors. South Korea’s current banking law allows a non-financial company to hold 4% in a bank with voting rights, while it needs approval from the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to own another 6% on the condition that it gives up voting rights.

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