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Foreign Investors Take Control of SK Corp

South Korea's largest refiner falls into foreign hands...

SK Corp, South Korea's largest oil refiner, announced foreign stake in the firm passed 50 per cent for the first time in its history.

Foreigners had a 50.16 per cent stake in SK Corp. at the end of Thursday's stock trade, doubling their shares from 10 months ago, according to the company.

On the Korea Stock Exchange, SK Corp., the de facto holding company of the SK Group, the nation's third largest conglomerate, ended Thursday at 38,300 won, down 0.91 percent from the previous day.

Foreign investors became the net-buyers of SK Corp. shares for the fifth day since Sovereign Asset Management, the second-largest shareholder of the oil refiner, chose five candidates to become directors of the company.

Analysts said the move reflects hope for Sovereign-led restructuring of SK management as well as expectations that the oil refining industry will be booming.

Sovereign controls a 14.99 per cent stake in the firm through its wholly-owned subsidiary Crest Securities.