Woori Leads Korean Banks’ Decline on Profit Concern: Seoul Mover

Woori Bank
A man walks past the Woori Bank Co. headquarters, a unit of Woori Finance Holdings Co., in Seoul. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Woori Finance Holdings Co. shares fell to the lowest level in more than three weeks, leading declines among South Korean financial companies, after it reported earnings that missed estimates.

Seoul-based Woori, South Korea’s largest financial group by assets, sank 2.8 percent to 12,000 won, the lowest intraday price since Oct. 10 as of 10:17 a.m. local time. The benchmark Kospi Index lost 0.6 percent. Shinhan Financial Group Co. and Hana Financial Group Inc. dropped more than 3 percent.

Woori’s third-quarter profit dropped 84 percent from a year earlier to 86.4 billion won ($81 million), the company reported on Nov. 1 after the market closed, missing the 315.5 billion-won average estimate of 21 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Provisions against bad debt nearly tripled from a year earlier due to the failure of companies including STX Group, Woori said.

“Woori’s earnings shock from higher provisions made investors worried about bank earnings for the fourth quarter,” Yoo Sang Ho, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities Co., said by phone today.

The Kospi Finance Index, which tracks 51 stocks including banking groups, lost 1.8 percent, the most since Aug. 22. The gauge gained 4.7 percent this year, compared with the broader Kospi’s 1.6 percent increase.

South Korea is selling Woori Finance’s businesses in three batches as part of the government’s fourth attempt to privatize the company since 2010.

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