Confirming speculation that South Korea's National Pension Service would form a consortium to strengthen its bid for the Korea Exchange Bank, Reuters has reported a senior fund official saying that a tie-up was planned.

According to the source the collaboration will be with Korea’s top lender, Kookmin Bank, or fourth-ranked Hana Financial Group. A previous newspaper report had also intimated the possibility of these tie-ups which drove up shares of both local banks.

Reuters suggested that local and foreign financial firms will be keeping a close-eye on potential deals given the strength in foreign exchange transactions and broad global networks the buyer would derive from KEB.