Shinhan eyeing Russian banks

27 March 2007

Shinhan Bank of South Korea is eyeing banks in Russia with a view to making acquisitions and expanding its interests in the fast-growing market.

The plan from Shinhan, which is the banking unit of financial services provider Shinhan Financial Group, comes after speculation had been rife that the firm was looking to acquire a banking venture with Australian bank Macquarie.

However, according to internet news service edaily, an unidentified source at Shinhan has ruled out a joint acquisition: "Shinhan is doing the project alone. We contacted Macquarie in the initial stages but could not reach an agreement."

Rumors of the acquisition fit with expansion plans revealed by Shinhan president Shin Shang-hoon who outlined plans for the bank to further its overseas branches to 30 by 2013 in February.

Macquarie employs the most staff of any foreign bank in South Korea, and has expanded by entering into partnership with local banks.

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