Hana Financial Group chairman Kim Jung-tae is seeking to boost the company's stock price by purchasing its treasury stocks and holding investor relations (IR) meetings in the United States. Hana Financial recorded the best-ever performance in the first half of this year after it turned itself into a holding company, but its stock price fell 25 percent compared to the beginning of the year.
According to investment banking (IB) industry sources on Sept. 4, Kim held IR meetings in the U.S. for 10 days from the end of last month to the 2nd of this month. This is the first IR meetings Kim had after he was reappointed chairman for a third consecutive time in March this year. Kim has been aggressively holding IR meetings overseas every year after taking office. However, Kim had been limiting his outside activities due to issues related to corporate governance and recruitment scandals. Yet he become enthusiastic about holding foreign IR meetings again after a meeting with Financial Supervisory Service Governor Yoon Suk-heun last month.
Kim bought 1,500 treasury stocks with the average purchase price per share of 41,732 won (US$37.34) in April this year right after the reappointment, showing determination to implement responsible management and boost stock prices. However, the recruitment scandals and the risks of the government’s regulations on loans lowered the price of Hana Financial shares from 56,000 won (US$50.11) earlier this year to 42,950 won (US$38.43) on the 4th. It negated the fact that the group posted 1.3 trillion won (US$1.17 billion) in the first half in operating profit, the highest half-yearly profit ever made since the establishment of the holding company in 2005.
This year, Kim has also visited and checked the global markets, such as China, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, almost every month.
Some say that Kim is making an extended stay in the U.S. to promote acquisition of fintech companies. Kim is under pressure to acquire large financial firms or global fintech firms as Shinhan Financial Group is about to acquire ING Life Insurance for the first time in 10 years.