Hanvit Bank could be in big trouble - again

Korea''s largest commercial lender will need more capital and a bit of luck to get through the year.

Hanvit Bank, South KoreaÆs largest commercial lender, could be in big trouble again. Despite having raised some US$850 million this year, Hanvit is in no position to reduce its exposure to KoreaÆs top conglomerates by the governmentÆs time frame of 2002 and may need a new cash infusion if it wants to meet bad debt charges and tougher government lending rules.

KoreaÆs banks have been told to limit their exposure to KoreaÆs chaebols to 25% of their capital by 2002. It is looking near impossible for Hanvit, even with a two-year time frame. HanvitÆs exposure to Daewoo is nearing W5 trillion $4.2 billion. Its exposure to Hyundai group, where some units are...

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