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Kookmin Bank set to revise earnings on probe result

Kookmin Bank, South Korea's largest lender, said on Wednesday it was set to restate its 2003 and 2004 earnings after a financial watchdog found the bank avoided $270 million in taxes.

The embattled lender's 2003 pre-tax loss would widen by $209 million, while pre-tax profits for the 2004 first half would rise by the same margin, Kookmin said in a filing to the stock exchange.

The Financial Supervisory Commission said last week that a probe into the bank's accounting procedures had found Kookmin avoided taxes by overstating its 2003 losses. The regulator gave the bank one month to revise its financial statements.

The bank had booked the expected additional losses in the first half of 2004 and, accordingly, will have to change this year's books as well.

"When the required changes are made, pre-tax losses for 2003 will rise by 240.4 billion won to 1.3868 trillion won and pre-tax profits for 2004 will rise by 240.4 billion won," Kookmin said.

The bank did not give figures for revised net losses and profits for those periods. Kookmin posted a net loss of 753.3 billion won ($654 million) last year on a pre-tax loss of 1.1464 trillion won.

Copyright Reuters, 2004


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