[THE INVESTOR] KB Financial Group retained its crown as the most profitable financial group in Korea in the third quarter after dethroning Shinhan Financial Group last year, according to industry data on Oct. 26.
KB Financial said its net profit rose 6.3 percent to 953.8 billion won (US$834 million) in the third quarter mainly due to robust sales of household and corporate loans. Its flagship Kookmin Bank posted a net profit of 2.07 trillion won, up 12.9 percent from a year earlier.
In the first nine months of this year, KB Financial’s net profit rose 4 percent on-year to 2.8 trillion won.
In comparison, Shinhan recorded 848.8 billion won in the third quarter and 2.64 trillion won for the three quarters combined.
Shinhan recently bought a majority stake in Orange Life, formerly known as ING Life, for 2.3 trillion won in an attempt to diversify its business. It hopes to regain its position as the most profitable financial group, which it maintained for nine consecutive years until KB Financial dethroned it last year.
KB Financial CFO Kim Ki-hwan said the group is mulling the acquisition of a life insurer, which is a weak spot in its portfolio. The group is also open to a merger with other businesses such as brokerage firms or overseas companies.
Park Ga-young (email@example.com)