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Woori America Bank Becomes Largest Korean Bank in Northeast Region of US

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Woori America Bank Becomes Largest Korean Bank in Northeast Region of US

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  • Chae, Won-Bae
  • 2003.08.07 06:51
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Woori America Bank, a US subsidiary of Woori Bank, and Panasia Bank will be merged in mid-September.

Woori Bank announced on August 5 that it received the final approval from Federal Reserve Bank on August 4 to acquire Panasia Bank.

With the merger, Woori America Bank will become the largest Korean bank in the eastcoast covering New York, New jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

The newly-merged bank will continue to use the name “Woori America Bank.” As of the end of last year, the total asset of the new bank totaled $580 million (700 billion won). Its deposit and loan amounts totaled $315 million and $55 million, respectively.

Woori Bank said that the merger is expected to create significant synergy as the two bank’s branches do not overlap and the newly merged bank will have a market share of over 50%. The bank also emphasized that this merger has significant meaning in that this is the first acquisition of a bank in the US by domestic bank since the financial crisis.

A source at Woori Bank said, “With this merger, the size of Woori America Bank will become bigger and its profitability will improve. As a result, Woori Bank’s dividend yield is expected to improve as well.” He added, “We plan to strengthen our financial services to Koreans and Korean companies in the US and expand our customer base. We also plan to make inroads into the western region of the US in the long term.”

Previously Woori America Bank signed a contract with National Penn Bank to acquire Panasia Bank at $34.5 million in February.

Since it opened its first Manhattan Office in 1984, Woori America Bank has provided financial services to Korean Americans in the New York and New Jersey areas.

Panasia Bank was founded in New Jersey in 1993 as the first Korean-American Bank. It was acquired by National Penn Bancshares in July 2000 and acquired United Asian Bank in September 2002.



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