HSBC Submits Updated KEB Bid to S.Korea Regulator

HSBC Holdings has submitted an updated application to acquire a 51 percent stake in Korea Exchange Bank, South Korea's Financial Services Commission (FSC) said on Tuesday.


An HSBC spokesman in Hong Kong confirmed the new application, which was made on Monday, but declined further comment.

"As about 8 months have passed since the first application, (HSBC) has submitted an updated document that includes financial data," the FSC said in a statement dated Tuesday.

The FSC also said it would reopen an examination of HSBC's application. HSBC had said it would submit a revised application to the regulatory FSC "as soon as practicable."

HSBC had agreed to buy 51 percent of KEB, South Korea's No. 6 bank, from U.S. private equity fund Lone Star last September, in a deal that could propel the UK-based bank into the top ranks of Asia's third-largest banking market.

But the July 31 deadline for completion of the transaction passed without regulatory clearance because of legal disputes surrounding Lone Star's investment activities in South Korea.

The government's top financial regulator said in late July that it would launch a review of HSBC's deal in a turnaround from its previous stance that it would wait until legal disputes surrounding Lone Star's activities in South Korea were cleared.

The long-running deal, mired in outstanding legal issues, is seen as a test of whether South Korea is genuine in its pledge to open its financial sector wider to international investors.

HSBC last week denied a South Korean media report saying it had agreed with Lone Star to set a new, Sept. 30 deadline for the deal.