Los Angeles Business Journal

Nara and Center Bank Clear Hurdle for Merger

By Joel Russell Monday, November 7, 2011

Nara Bancorp and Center Financial Corporation announced Monday they had received the final regulatory approval needed to merge the two banks.

In a joint statement, the companies described the transaction as a “merger of equals.” The companies expect to complete the merger by November 30.

Both banks are headquartered in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles and cater mostly to a Korean-American clientele.

Alvin Kang, chief executive of Nara and future chief executive the combined bank, said in a statement that the companies look forward to “providing the communities we serve with an unquestionably strong and stable financial institution that caters to the needs of Korean Americans and other customers.”

By mid-day Monday, shares of Nara had gained 7 cents or less than 1 percent to trade at $8.81. Shares of Center Financial had gained 4 cents or less than 1 percent to trade at $6.84.