Korean banks

IBK's confusing message

A muddle over a planned block sale of IBK shares highlights the Korean government's clumsy performance in the banking sector.

The Korean government can’t seem to make a move in the country’s banking sector without tripping up. Its latest misstep happened this week when it gave confusing signals about a proposed sale of a small part of its 68.6% holding in Industrial Bank of Korea IBK.

Shortly after the local stockmarket closed on Tuesday, IBK’s investor relations team sent out a two-line email to shareholders and investors informing them that it had been notified of the government’s “intention to execute a block trade”. They were advised to get in touch with the lead arrangers J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Samsung Securities and Korea Investment and Securities....

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