UPDATE 1-KB Financial Group acquires Prudential’s S.Korean unit for $1.89 bln

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SEOUL, April 10 (Reuters) – KB Financial Group Inc has signed a share purchase agreement to buy a 100% stake in Prudential Financial Inc’s South Korean unit for 2.3 trillion won ($1.89 billion), the group said in a filing on Friday.

The deal marks the No.1 U.S. life insurer’s exit from the South Korean market after 30 years.

Prudential had hired Goldman Sachs to review a possible sale of the unit, a South Korean newspaper reported in November.

KB Financial Group said the purpose of the acquisition is to enhance the competitiveness of its own life insurance business.

Prudential’s South Korean unit reported a fall in operating profit of 13% to 192 billion won last year, compared to a year earlier, according to its regulatory filing. ($1 = 1,217.1700 won) (Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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