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9. Shinhan Financial Group

Market cap: $18.2 billion
P/E: 6.6

Shinhan Financial Group, South Korea’s largest banking services firm, is the only financial company to make the top-ten list.

The group was founded in 2001 as a holding company for 11 subsidiaries that include Shinhan Bank (originally named Hanseong Bank) — which is best known as the first bank in Korea — and Jeju Bank.

The group also has interests in asset management and life insurance.

Last year, the firm experienced a major shakeup with the appointment of new chairman Hang Dong-woo, after a public embezzlement scandal dented its image and led to the resignations of three top leaders.

The group is also among the country’s four biggest banks that are currently being probed by authorities on how the key interest rate has been set.

Market analysts expect the company to report an over 35 percent decline in net profit in the second quarter from a year earlier on the lack of gains from equity sales and an increase in administrative costs seen across South Korean banks.

The stock has fallen 23.8 percent in the 12 months to July 10. But 23 analysts out of 41 polled by Reuters think the company will outperform, with 10 calling it a buy and eight recommending it as a hold.

Photo: SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images