South Korea may extend bid deadline for Woori stake

SEOUL (BestGrowthStock) – South Korea’s government may extend the first round of bidding for its $6 billion-plus sale of a stake in Woori Finance Holdings Co Ltd (053000.KS: ) if there is a sole bidder, a government official with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

“But we expect at least two bidders to emerge,” the official said.

The government has set a November 26 deadline to receive letters of intent for its 57 percent stake in Woori Finance Holdings, as well as two regional banking arms Kwangju Bank and Kyungnam Bank.

The Woori privatization is part of efforts to claw back public funds injected to rescue banks during the Asian financial crisis in late-1990s.

Woori, seeking independent survival, is gathering financial investors to form a consortium.

However, Hana Financial Group Inc (086790.KS: ), which had been seen as another potential bidder for Woori, decided not to bid after it agreed to buy control of smaller Korea Exchange Bank (004940.KS: ) for $4.1 billion.

Bidders for Woori are required to take at least 4 percent of the firm or merge with the country’s biggest financial services company by assets.

Jeonbuk Bank Ltd (006350.KS: ) said on Wednesday it would submit a letter of intent to bid for Kwangju Bank.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Chris Lewis)

South Korea may extend bid deadline for Woori stake