South Korea’s Hana Financial Group Inc. Chairman Kim Jung-tai became the latest to join the flurry of treasury stock shopping by senior bankers facing probe from authorities on the practice of nepotism and favoritism in hiring.
According to the company’s regulatory filing on April 6, Kim bought 1,500 shares in the holding entity at an average of 41,732 won ($39) apiece, bumping up his shareholding to 52,600 shares.
Shares of Hana Financial Group closed Wednesday down 1.17 percent at 42,300 won.
The last time he purchased corporate shares in bulk was December 30, 2015 when he bought 1,000 shares. Purchases of corporate shares by senior executives usually boost the stock as a show of commitment and confidence in the company. His latest share purchase, however, came amid the ongoing investigation by the prosecution on illicit hiring practices of the nation’s financial institutions. In addition, a special counsel team of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) recently announced that it found circumstantial evidence linking him to the hiring irregularities of KEB Hana Bank.
Some think there can be a more honorable or innocent motive of helping to boost stock price and confidence in bank shares. He is not alone. KB Financial Group chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo now owns 925 billion won worth in shares in the holding entity after the recent additional purchase of 1,000 shares. Yoon is also under questioning for preferential hiring. Others that have recently upped corporate shares in lump were Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung, Shinhan Bank CEO Wi Sung-ho and Woori Bank CEO Sohn Tae-seung.
By Kim Dong-eun and Choi Mira
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