Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Woori At It Again

For some time Woori Bank has been under fire for its name. "Woori" means "our", and "our bank", especially considering Korean social and linguistic habits, can create much confusion. Well now the bank is selling its self as a "Native Bank", and as you can tell selling patriotism. The bank's president froths with nationalistic fervor unseen since the first signs of the Hwang disaster:

One could say this is a publicity stunt, what bothers me however is Woori is the last large bank owned by the Korean government. Is this a position held by the government? What kind of sign does this send as they encourage finance companies to buy into the "hub" idea? We also have to point out the obvious, the only reason why Woori is a "native bank" is its management balance sheet is so bad that its was the ugly girl at the foreign acquisition ball. I mean who could forget a few years ago when Woori was giddy as a school girl when HSBC looked at her?


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