The Bank of Korea (BOK) said Wednesday it has requested a local court to review whether Hana Financial Group Inc. paid a proper price when it acquired the central bank's stake in another bank.
BOK's legal action filed on Sept. 12 came as the central bank is incurring losses in book value after it sold its 6.12 percent stake in Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) to Hana Financial at a price seen as being too low.
The BOK, which was previously the second-largest shareholder in KEB, in April exercised its right to request Hana Financial Group to buy its KEB stake because it had to sell it by law as Hana made attempts to gain full control of KEB.
Hana Financial, which bought KEB from Lone Star Funds in early 2012, acquired the BOK's KEB stake, or 39.5 million shares for 7,383 won per share.
But the price was well below the initial value of capital the BOK injected in the lender in 1967 when KEB was established as a state-run bank.
According to the BOK, the court will either reject its request or set a fresh proper price for the deal, which could take several months.
Hana Financial raised its stake in KEB to 100 percent by swapping shares, but minority shareholders in KEB are seeking to file a lawsuit to nullify such share swap. The BOK said that it has not yet decided whether to file such lawsuit.