NU Online News Service, Dec. 16, 2003, 11:20 p.m. EST – Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., has signed a memorandum of understanding that should let it convert a minority stake in C.J. Investment & Securities Company Ltd., Seoul, into a majority stake.[@@]

Prudential wants to take operational control of C.J. Investment, and it also is discussing the possibility of buying a stake in C.J. Investment now held by the WorldBank’s International Finance Corp.

Prudential obtained its stake in C.J. Investment by investing $90 million in the company in March 2001. The International Finance Corp. invested $33 million. C.J. Investment manages the equivalent of about $7 billion in assets.

Prudential also says it has firmed up previously announced plans to acquire control of Hyundai Investment and Securities Company Ltd., Seoul, by signing a definitive agreement to do so.

Prudential already is selling insurance in Korea through the Prudential Life Insurance Company of Korea Ltd. Prudential started the Korean life unit 13 years ago.