Japan’s SMBC cashes out of KB Financial by selling its last 0.53% stake

2019.06.12 11:31:13 | 2019.06.12 15:40:10

[Photo provided by KB Financial Group Inc.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by KB Financial Group Inc.]

Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) cashed out its remaining 0.53 percent stake in Korea’s KB Financial Group Inc. as part of efforts to reorganize its overseas portfolio.

SMBC sold off 2 million shares of KB Financial Group in a block trade worth 99 billion won ($83.9 million) at Monday’s closing rate of 44,900 won.

Shares of KB Financial Group finished Wednesday 0.9 percent higher from the previous session at 44,850 won.

The Japanese banking giant in 2008 first took up 4.4 million shares, or a 2 percent stake, in KB Financial Group for about 200 billion won at a time when the Korean banking major was making a transition to a holding entity. It unloaded half of its holdings in 2015 and shed the remaining half in the latest divestment.

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KB Financial Group dismissed rumors that SMBC’s sale was a repercussion from the rising tensions between Korea and Japan. Bilateral ties between the two neighbors have dipped to their lowest point in years following a series of historical and military disputes.

KB Financial Group said it had been engaged in talks over the timing and details of the planned sale since SMBC first broached the idea a year ago, as the Japanese bank was seeking to streamline its overseas securities portfolio to improve its capital adequacy ratio.

Despite the divestiture, their partnership in areas such as M&A and investment banking would remain intact, the Korean company added.

Since last year, Yoon Jong-kyoo, chief executive of KB Financial Group, has embarked on a global campaign to seek out institutional investors across Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and the U.S. Offshore investors currently hold a combined 67.4 percent share in the company, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. owning 6.39 percent and the U.S. asset manager Franklin Resources Inc. 5.42 percent.

By Han Woo-ram and Kim Hyo-jin

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