KB Financial Group will issue up to 400 billion won (US$351.34 million) worth of corporate bonds in the form of a public offering again. The group already raised 620 billion won (US$544.6 million) through corporate bonds in February and March this year. For reference, the group raised 900 billion won (US$790.51 million) for the whole of last year. KB Financial Group chairman Yoon Jong-kyu declared last month, “We will actively push ahead with mergers and acquisitions (M&As) this year.” Industry watchers believe the group’s main M&A target will be life insurance firms.
KB Financial Group is aiming to issue 300 billion won to 400 billion won (US$263.50 million to US$351.34 million) worth of corporate bonds through a public offering in early May.
KB Financial Group also issued corporate bonds worth 410 billion won (US$360.12 million) in February and 210 billion won (US$184.45 million) in March. It is also considering issuing 400 billion won (US$351.34 million) worth of perpetual bonds, which it has never issued before. The group appears determined to raise funds as much as possible to secure new growth engines.
The latest move stands in stark contrast to last year. KB Financial Group was the only one that reduced the issuance of corporate bonds among the nation’s major financial groups. Shinhan Financial Group raised a total of 2.25 trillion won (US$1.98 billion) of funds by issuing public bonds and hybrid bonds alone last year. It acquired Orange Life Insurance Ltd. and Asia Trust Co. with the funds. In addition, NH NongHyup Financial Group and Hana Financial Group issued over 1 trillion won (US$878.35 million) worth of public bonds to secure funds. On the other hand, the amount of corporate bonds issued by KB Financial Group fell from 1.84 trillion won (US$1.62 billion) in 2017 to 900 billion won (US$790.51 million) last year.