S.Korea fund weighing Bank of America stake sale - reports

SEOUL Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:58pm EST

SEOUL Jan 16 (Reuters) - Korea Investment Corp (KIC) will decide whether to sell its around $1 billion stake in Bank of America Corp within a month, after watching its value fall by half since 2008, Korean media reported on Thursday.

The sovereign fund, which manages some $66 billion in assets, held 0.69 percent of the U.S. bank as of September 2013 through its $2 billion investment in Merrill Lynch in 2008, before Merrill Lynch merged with BoA.

KIC has seen nearly 1 trillion won ($941 million) in losses on the investment as share prices tumbled during the global financial crisis, although the stock started to rebound in 2011.

KIC's new CEO, Ahn Hong-chul, told reporters in New York that the fund was considering whether to sell the stake and would decide within a month, Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers reported.

A KIC spokesman declined to comment on the reports.

KIC also intends to increase its investment allocation in alternative assets such as real estate from 8 percent to 30 percent of its total portfolio, Ahn said.

He said the fund's total assets could hit about $100 billion by the end of 2014.

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