UPDATE 1-KB Financial pulls out of Prudential asset deal

* Final bidding closed on Wed

* Hanwha Sec remains in race, Macquarie declines comment

* KB Fin shares up slightly, Hanwha dips

(Adds Hanwha Securities comment, Macquarie reaction)

SEOUL, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – KB Financial Group (105560.KS: ) has
dropped out of bidding for Prudential’s (PRU.N: ) two South Korean
assets, leaving Macquarie Group (MQG.AX: ) and South Korean
brokerage Hanwha Securities (003530.KS: ) as the major contenders.

The auction for Prudential Investment & Securities and
Prudential Asset Management — a deal one of the bidders had put
at around $500 million — closed on Wednesday, Hanwha said.

“We have not participated in the (final) auction,” KB
Financial spokesman Kim Young-yoon said on Thursday, without
elaborating.

KB (KB.N: ), the parent firm of South Korea’s largest bank
Kookmin, had been among the shortlisted bidders for the two arms
of Prudential Financial, along with Macquarie Group and Hanwha
Securities (003530.KS: ), sources told Reuters last week.
[ID:nTOE60K072]

“We have submitted a final bid, and expect a preferred buyer
will be announced in one or two weeks,” said Hanwha Securities
spokesman Kim Jong-sool.

Macquarie and Prudential declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: ) is handling the sale.

Shares in KB Financial added 1.5 percent as of 0102 GMT,
while Hanwha Securities edged down 0.2 percent in the flat wider
market (.KS11: ).

Investment Basics

(Reporting by Kim Yeon-hee; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

UPDATE 1-KB Financial pulls out of Prudential asset deal