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POSCO considers selling Myanmar gas ownership


Photo: POSCO

Whether POSCO will dispose of Daewoo International's natural resources businesses is drawing keen attention from investors and business circles, reports the Korea Times on 27 May.

The world's fourth-largest steelmaker holds a 60.31 percent stake in Korea's largest trading firm, which has successfully been producing natural gas in the waters off Myanmar since June 2013.

POSCO Chairman Kwon Oh-joon, who took over the struggling steel giant from his predecessor Chung Joon-yang in March 2014, has been spearheading the group-wide restructuring campaign. Kwon said that all POSCO subsidiaries are subject to restructuring and some of them could be sold to third parties if necessary.

On a flurry of reports that POSCO would sell Daewoo's stake in the natural gas business, POSCO officials say nothing has been decided.

When requested by the Korea Exchange, POSCO said it had been reviewing a wide range of steps to improve its financial soundness, adding that it hasn't decided whether to dispose of Daewoo International's natural resources business. The steelmaker said it will make a decision on the matter in June.

Daewoo International flatly denied the possibility of the sale, stressing that unloading its stake in the Myanmar natural gas and other resources-related projects would be a huge loss for POSCO.

“It is true that we had considered selling the Myanmar natural gas business, but after a careful review we decided not to,” a Daewoo International spokesman said. “But we know our parent POSCO has been studying this as one of the measures to enhance its financial health.”

The possible sale of Myanmar gas project is the latest in a series of moves by POSCO to restructure its affiliates.

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