KDB Financial chief-pick

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial regulator said Thursday it tapped an economics professor who was an aide to President Park Geun-hye to head state-run KDB Financial Group Co., following the former president's resignation amid a big government shake-up of banking chiefs.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said Hong Ki-taek, who teaches economics at Chungang University, will preside over KDB Financial Group and its banking unit Korea Development Bank.

The KDB Financial chief was appointed by the president on the recommendation of the FSC chairman.

"Hong is an expert in international finance and macroeconomics, who has experience as an outside director at financial firms," said the FSC.

The 61-year-old professor worked as a key member in the economic department of President Park's transition team early this year. He graduated from Sogang University, where Park also attended.

The appointment comes a week after former KDB Financial chief Kang Man-soo offered to step down amid growing pressure from the government on major banking chiefs to leave their posts, citing their close ties with former President Lee Myung-bak.

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