NongHyup Bank-capital increase

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- NongHyup Bank, the banking unit of South Korean financial holding company NongHyup Financial Group Inc., said Sunday it has completed a 450 billion won (US$405 million) capital increase, further boosting its financial health.

The increase has raised its capital base stipulated by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to 14.7 trillion won, the lender said.

NongHyup Bank expected its BIS capital adequacy ratio climb to more than 14.7 percent at the end of the first quarter from 14.43 percent as of end-2012.

The ratio, or the percentage of equity capital to risk-weighted assets, mirrors banks' capacity to absorb losses and meet loan default risks.

"The capital increase is expected to boost NongHyup Bank's brand and image at home and abroad," a bank official said. "It will also help cement the lender's business foundation."

NongHyup Financial Group was launched on March 2, 2012 with seven affiliates, including the banking unit, under its wing. NongHyup, or the National Agricultural Cooperatives Federation, underwent a major reshuffle as it was separated into the agro-focused holding company and the financial group.

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