S Korea's Samsung Life to go public next year

19:23, November 16, 2009      

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South Korea's Samsung Life Insurance Co. said Monday it plans to list its shares on the Seoul bourse next year in a bid to raise working capital.

"We plan to raise capital and lift transparency through listing our shares on the Korea Exchange in order to leap forward as a leading global life insurer," a company official told reporters.

According to the company, it has already started preparations for the listing, including requirement reviews to sell its stocks to the public.

In addition, local media and insurers have related Samsung Life's current move to Samsung Groups' remaining liabilities to Samsung Motors' creditors.

Samsung Group, which earlier in 1999 provided Samsung Motors creditors with 3.5 million shares of Samsung Life at 700,000 won (450.4 U.S. dollars) per share as the auto company filed for court receivership, is pursuing to sell its Samsung Life shares after the listing and to repay the remaining debt with the proceeds, local media said.

The listing, which was promised by Samsung's management in 1999,has been delayed due to Samsung Group's governance issue.

However, with Samsung's former chairman Lee Kun-hee becoming Samsung Life Insurance's top shareholder again, Samsung could push for listing the insurance company's shares on the Seoul bourse, according to local media.

Samsung's listing came followed a series of life insurers, including Tong Yang Life Insurance Co., Korea Life Insurance Co., and Mirae Asset Life Insurance Co., going public or getting prepared for it.

Samsung Life's joining the move, as it is the nation's top insurer, will likely add to market controversy that profit from the listing should be allocated to insurance subscribers, local media reported.

Samsung Life, if listed, is expected to boost its market cap to around 18 trillion won (11.6 billion U.S. dollars), with its 20 million shares currently issued, local analysts said.

Source: Xinhua
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