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Woori Bank to adopt financial holding company structure

Woori Bank, South Korea’s fourth-largest commercial bank and the parent company of 19 financial subsidiaries, has gained regulatory approval to adopt a financial holding company structure.

The Financial Services Commission’s decision in a regular meeting Wednesday laid the groundwork for reintroduction of a holding company of the banking group after four years.

The new company, set to be established in January 2019, will own six subsidiaries -- Woori Bank, Woori FIS, Woori Finance Research Institute, Woori Credit Information, Woori Fund Service and Woori PE Asset Management.

Woori Bank has been Korea’s only commercial lender without a holding company structure, since it took over Woori Financial Holdings in November 2014 as part of measures to privatize the banking group in the government’s move to retrieve taxpayers’ money through the sale of stakes to multiple investors.

Woori Bank currently owns 19 subsidiaries at home and abroad, including Woori Card, Woori Investment Bank and PT Bank Woori Saudara Indonesia, according to its latest disclosure.

Woori Bank will hold a meeting of board of directors Thursday to choose candidates for the banking group chairman. Sohn Tae-seung, the incumbent chief executive of Woori Bank, is reportedly one of the likely candidates.

By Son Ji-hyoung 
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