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Watchdog says S Korea lose $563 mln from subprime hit
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10:48, February 06, 2008

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South Korean local banks lost 563 million U.S. dollars as of the end of December after investing in U.S. subprime mortgage-related instruments, said the Financial Supervisory Service on Tuesday.

Seven local banks, including Woori Bank, the country's No. 2 lender, invested 682.5 million dollars in U.S. collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) derived from subprime mortgages and lost 83 percent of their total CDO investments, the financial watchdog said.

Among the seven lenders, Woori Bank posted the biggest losses with 445 million dollars, followed by the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation with 107 million dollars, the watchdog said.

Woori Bank plans to announce its 2007 earnings on Feb. 13.

Shinhan Bank, South Korea's No. 3 lender, reported losses of about 1.5 million dollars from its subprime-related investments last year.

Korea Exchange Bank, the country's fifth-largest lender, lost 560,000 dollars in the fourth quarter after posting a 1.17-million-dollar loss from selling part of its CDO investments, it added.

Source: Xinhua

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