[THE INVESTOR] Shinhan Financial Group, Korea’s second largest banking group, is acquiring Seoul-based real estate trust company Asia Trust, for about 190 billion won (US$167.52 million) according to industry sources on Oct. 23.
The banking giant is in the final stages of negotiations to take over 60 percent stake in Asia Trust, held by majority shareholder Jeong Seo-jin, Asia Trust vice chairman, and other stakeholders. The two parties are expected to sign a final agreement within this month at the earliest.
Shinhan is planning to acquire 60 percent stake first and then buy additional shares in the future after evaluating the performance of the company over the next three years.
Recently, Shinhan has been on a buying spree to diversify its business and beat its arrival KB Financial Group to become the largest financial services firm here. Last month, it signed an agreement to take over majority stake in Orange Life Insurance, formerly known as ING Life Insurance Korea, for 2.29 trillion won.
Once the deal is completed, Shinhan will become the third banking group to operate a real estate trust business, after KB Financial and Hana Financial.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)