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Korea Development Bank halts plan to sell KDB Life Insurance

Korea Development Bank has stopped seeking buyers for its insurance unit KDB Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Pulse reported March 20, citing Lee Dong-gull, the development bank's chairman.

The state-run lender also halted its plan to sell Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd.

Uncertainties from the potential sale discussions have disrupted the companies' operations and affected their corporate value, Lee said, adding that the lender will focus on turning both companies around over the next two years.

Korea Development Bank has failed three times to sell its majority stake in the insurance unit since 2014. It initially attempted to divest its stake in the insurer in July 2014 but the sole bid from DGB Financial Group Co. Ltd. was deemed too low.

The bank resumed selling KDF Life the following month, with a small private equity firm placing a sole bid for an 85% stake in the unit but the sale also fell through. In September 2016, the bank kicked off an auction for the shares it owns together with South Korea's Consus Asset Management in KDB Life.

In April 2017, the bank reportedly planned to inject 200 billion won into the insurance unit to boost its solvency ratio prior to its planned sale.

As of March 20, US$1 was equivalent to 1,071.09 South Korean won.