Hana Financial Says Goldman Sachs Cut Stake; Shares Fall

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) reduced its stake in Hana Financial Group Inc. (086790), and shares of the South Korean company declined.

Goldman Sachs sold 7.5 million shares for 322.5 billion won ($298 million), according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg. The New York-based bank sold the shares at 43,000 won apiece, or 6.5 percent less than their closing price yesterday, said Hana Financial spokesman Lee Jung Dae. Goldman Sachs spokesman Christopher Jun declined to comment on the transaction.

The Wall Street bank may want to recoup cash from its investments worldwide for its common stock holders after announcing a 21 percent drop in first-quarter profit earlier this week, said analyst Jun Jae Gon. Hana fell as much as 4.8 percent, the most since Feb. 11, and traded 3.2 percent lower at 44,550 won as of 11:49 a.m. on the Korea Exchange.

“Investors seem to be concerned about stock overhang in the market after Goldman Sachs’ block sale at a discount, pressuring the shares today,” said Jun, an analyst at Meritz Securities Co. in Seoul.

The U.S. bank’s earnings per share, which include the cost of preferred dividend payments to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., slid to $1.56 last quarter from $5.59, it said on April 19.

Lee said Hana Financial was aware of Goldman Sachs’ sale plan ahead of the transaction and it understands the sale is the firm’s effort to recoup profit from its 2005 investment in the South Korean company.

Goldman Sachs held about 7.6 percent of Hana Financial before today’s stake sale, according to Hana. Goldman Sachs had an 8.66 percent stake as of December, or 18.3 million shares, which was diluted after Hana sold 31.2 million new shares in February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Seonjin Cha in Seoul at scha2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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