LGE divests KT stake

Korean electronics giant offloads remaining KT stake.

LG Electronics sold its remaining 0.8% stake in KT Corp after Korea's close Friday. With Citigroup as lead manager, the group raised $94.4 million from the sale, which closed three times covered after only 40 minutes of launch.

A total of 4.77 million ADS units were sold at $20 compared to a range of $19.714 to $20.116. This represented a 0.58% discount to the group's Won47,550 spot close Friday, or a 1.72% discount to the ADR's close Thursday.

During Friday's trading in Korea, KT climbed 1.82%, but fell during New York trading hours in line with the wider market to close at $19.86.

Observers report a small, concentrated order book of existing KT holders, with a total of 27 accounts. Most are said to have bought into the stock because of a more positive macro picture in Korea.

Unusually, KT has outperformed the underlying market so far this year, rising 6.61% compared to 4.26% for the Kospi. As one banker concludes, "Korea was one of Asia's worst performing stock markets last year when normally it is one of the best. A lot of institutional money is coming back to the Republic as investors bet the situation will be reversed this year."

He adds, "They're looking for interesting blue chip names on the basis that corporate governance issues and credit card problems are subsiding."

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