UPDATE : 2019.7.19 FRI 15:18
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KDB to conduct due diligence on GM Korea next week

The state-run Korea Development Bank said Friday it will conduct due diligence on GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., next week to decide on whether to provide financial support to the company.

KDB officials had a meeting with GM Executive Vice President Barry Engle at the policy lender's headquarters in Seoul to discuss the timeframe of due diligence, KDB said in a statement.

After narrowing the gap on differences over due diligence, KDB, which is the second-biggest shareholder in GM Korea with a stake of 17 percent, plans to begin due diligence next week in a fair and transparent manner, it said without elaborating.

This photos show KDB Chairman and CEO Lee Dong-gull (L) and GM Executive Vice President Barry Engle. (Yonhap)

KDB officials could not be reached for confirmation on whether the bank had received the documents it had demanded from GM to start due diligence.

In a press conference held Thursday, KDB Chairman and CEO Lee Dong-gull said, "Due diligence on GM Korea has not started because the U.S. automaker has refused to submit what it calls 'very sensitive data' to the South Korean government."

The state lender has been in talks with GM to find ways to turn the loss-making Korean operations around after the carmaker announced on Feb. 13 it will shut one of its four car assembly plants in Korea by May due to low productivity and high costs. It will decide on the fate of the remaining plants within weeks.

Last month, GM also asked KDB to inject fresh capital into GM Korea to facilitate a turnaround. In 2017, GM Korea's sales fell 12 percent on-year to 524,547 vehicles, with its four plants producing 520,000 cars out of a total capacity of 910,000.

PricewaterhouseCoopers will carry out the detailed review on behalf of KDB with an aim to finish the process by the end of April, according to the state lender. (Yonhap)

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koreapost.com

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