will-hsbc-get-keb

Will HSBC get KEB?

In spite of yesterdayÆs announcement that HSBC will acquire Lone StarÆs controlling stake in KoreaÆs KEB, this is far from a done deal.
When you fly into Seoul these days, a video is shown in which a pleasant-looking Korean lady announces ôFree trade and globalisation have created the risk of introducing pests into KoreaÆs environment. For this reason Korea has some of the strictest quarantine laws in the world. Violating these laws induces severe penalties.ö

The video is aimed at agricultural produce but, as I watched it, I thought it could just as easily apply to foreign private equity firms.

And no private equity firm is more in the public eye û or viewed by KoreaÆs establishment as more of a pest û than Lone Star, which owns just over half of local bank KEB.

The saga...
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