Korea Development Bank is in talks over a number of deals with Southeast Asia-based banks, including an estimated $1 billion stake purchase, and is reviewing targets in Egypt, its chief executive said.
The state-run bank is looking outside the saturated domestic market to build global bridgeheads with an emphasis on overseas mergers or acquisitions.
"We are looking at sizeable banks in several countries … There are a few (deals) in the last stages of negotiations," Min Euoo-sung said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.
However, he did not offer many more clues on the talks, citing confidentiality.
"We have to acquire a bank to gain a foothold before ten ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) members are united," Min said.
Min clinched a small deal for an 82.35 percent stake in Royal Bank of Scotland Plc’s Uzbekistan operation, reportedly worth around 20 billion won, in December last year.
The next target regions after Southeast Asia will be the Middle East and Africa.
"Egypt is possible. (We are) keeping a close eye on the market," the 56-year-old veteran investment banker said, adding that KDB was studying a few targets it had yet to approach.
KDB, whose parent plans to float its shares this year in the domestic market, would be able to establish local funding bases via acquisitions to meet the growing need for fresh investment in social infrastructure across Asia, Min added.
"We are spreading a net now to fish later … I’m envisioning a large-scale investment bank such as Deutsche Bank AG … There’s no change to our expansion strategy and we’ll actively proceed with M&A plans," he said.