South Korea To Sell Airport Stake To Low Earners

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Published: August 3, 2011

South Korea’s government has decided to offer a 15 percent stake in Incheon Airport to low-income earners this year at a steep discount, according to a local media report.

In its online edition on Wednesday, the Korea Economic Daily quoted unidentified sources as saying the government had accepted a stake sale proposal from the leader of the majority Grand National Party (GNP).

Ruling party leader Hong Joon-pyo told reporters on Monday that he had forwarded a proposal to the presidential house for a sale of “national shares” in the airport.

Transport ministry and GNP officials could not confirm the report, saying the proposal was being taken into account alongside a planned USD$ 1 billion initial public offering on the domestic stock market.

The Korea Economic Daily report added that the government had revised an earlier plan for what could have been one of the country’s biggest initial public offerings into an over-the-counter sale open only to Korean nationals.

Incheon Airport is among a number of national assets that the administration of President Lee Myung-bak wants to privatise. The privatisation plan must still pass a parliamentary vote on a revised bill allowing the government to reduce its stake to 51 percent.

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