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KB Financial to forgo bid for ING Life Insurance Korea

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KB Financial to forgo bid for ING Life Insurance Korea

KB FinancialGroup Inc. ruled out bidding for ING Life Insurance Korea Ltd., in an auction processthat may draw interest from Chinese companies.

The company does not have enough capacity to pursue anotheracquisition, because it recently signed a deal to a controlling stake inHyundai Securities Co.Ltd., Lee Dong-cheol, chief strategic officer for KBFinancial, said in an interview.

Lee's comments came after The Asia Business Daily on April 27 quoted investment bankingindustry sources as saying that South Korean private equity firmMBK Partners Ltd.started a process to sell its 100% stake in ING Life. Morgan Stanley, a primaryadviser for theauction, has sent information memorandums to about 10 potential local andforeign bidders.

A spokesman for MBK Partners declined to comment on thereport.

Lee said KB Financial did not receive any documents fromMorgan Stanley, and the group is not ready to go after another major deal.Earlier in April, KB Financial agreed to buy a 22.56% stake in Hyundai Securities for1.250 trillion won.

KB Financial, along with Anbang Insurance Group Co. and , had been seen as a strong potential buyer of ING Life. Thebanking group had sought to buy ING Life when it was up for sale in 2012, butits board eventually opposed the move due to a weak economic outlook at thetime. Lee was involved in that attempt.

Anbang is in the process of acquiring Allianz Group's South Korean insurance and assetmanagement businesses. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

As of April 26, US$1was equivalent to 1,148.00 South Korean won.