Foreign Financial Institutions Buffing Up

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), August 5, 2000 | Go to article overview

Foreign Financial Institutions Buffing Up


Foreign financial institutions are keeping a high profile in the local market.

Allianz, Regent Pacific, Citibank, HSBC and Prudential are expanding locally by buying up Korean security houses, banks, insurers and other financial institutions.

Citibank and HSBC have seen their deposits go up to 800 billion won ($716 million) in the past six months, and foreign life insurance companies have increased their sales by 104 times in the past seven years.

According to financial circles, Citibank is leaning toward venture businesses, Regent favors KFB Securities, AIG has invested in Hyundai Investment Trust and Securities, Prudential in CJ Investment Trust and Securities and Allianz in asset management and insurance.

Accordingly, Regent now owns five financial related corporations in the local market, and with three to four companies a piece, other financial giants operating here have Korean-based financial groups as well.

The U.S. Regent aims at becoming a financial supermarket here.

Regent's local holding company Korea Online Ltd. (KOL) will conduct general financial services, unlike its headquarters in London which handles e-commerce mostly selling toys and other household items.

``Regent is investing heavily in Korea compared to other nations, and the holding company KOL will be registered on Nasdaq in New York soon,'' said a manager at KOL.

It first purchased Daeyu Securities in March 1998, and now the holding company includes Regent Fire Insurance, Regent Merchant Bank, Daeyu Regent Securities, Regent Asset Management, and an Internet business.

It is the strongest contender for KFB Securities which proves how well received the company is in the local market. …

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