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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tong Yang Life says mulling purchase of ING's S.Korean unit, (NYSE: KB)

The sale of ING Groep's South Korean unit is set to be revived after private equity-backed Tong Yang Life Insurance Co Ltd said it was considering whether to purchase the business, which is valued at about $2.1 billion.Last year, Dutch financial services firm ING failed to strike a deal with KB Financial Group Inc to sell the unit after negotiating for nearly 10 months, during which KB pushed down the price to about $2.1 billion.ING, which received a 10 billion euros ($13 billion) bailout in 2008, sold its Malaysian, Thailand and Hong Kong units last year for $3.9 billion. The sales were part of a wider asset divestment programme to repay the state bailout. But ING has yet to find buyers for two of its biggest Asian units - South Korea and Japan.In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, Vogo Capital-owned Tong Yang said it was reviewing whether to buy ING's South Korean insurance unit. Tong Yang did not say how it plans to fund the acquisition if it decides to proceed with a bid, which would be almost double the size of Tong Yang's market value of $1.1 billion.

Shares of KB traded higher by 0.06% or $0.02/share to $35.78. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $28.36 and as high as $39.01. On average, 195735 shares of KB exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 169103.