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Hana Financial Says Goldman Sachs Cut Stake; Shares Fall

April 21 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reduced its stake in Hana Financial Group Inc., the country’s fourth-largest financial company. Hana shares fell.

Goldman Sachs sold 7.5 million Hana shares for 322.5 billion won ($298 million), according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. 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.

Hana Financial retreated 2.8 percent to 44,700 won at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Seoul, after falling as much as 4.8 percent, the most since Feb. 11. The benchmark Kospi index rose 1.3 percent.

“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 Jae Gon, a banking analyst at Meritz Securities Co. in Seoul.

The future direction of Hana Financial’s stock hinges on whether it can obtain approval from the Financial Services Commission for its planned 4.7 trillion won purchase of a 51 percent stake in Korea Exchange Bank from Lone Star Funds, said Joanne Lee, a banking analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

Goldman Sachs, formerly Hana Financial’s biggest shareholder, moves to No. 2 behind South Korea’s National Pension Service after the transaction, Lee said.

Lee said Hana Financial had been aware of Goldman Sachs’ sale plan and that it was done as part of a portfolio adjustment of several of the Wall Street firm’s funds.

Goldman Sachs held an 8.66 percent stake, or 18.3 million shares, through GS Dejakoo LLC and other entities at the end of 2010, according to a regulatory filing by Hana Financial on March 31. The stake was diluted to about 7.6 percent after Hana Financial sold 31.2 million new shares in February to fund its Korea Exchange Bank transaction, according to Lee at Hana.

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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