South Korean police are investigating network outages at major broadcasters and a large bank on Wednesday (March 20th), with a major network services provider alleging that its system was hacked.

Servers at television networks YTN, MBC and KBS were affected as well as Shinhan Bank and Nonghyup, two major banks, the police and government said. They did not comment on the possible causes of the outages.

A spokesman at LG Uplus said the company believes its network was hacked. The firm provides internet-related services to the broadcasters and the banks which are suffering from the outages.

Initial speculation centred on a potential hacking attack by North Korea, which has hacked South Korean institutions before. But South Korea's internet security agency has said it has yet to find any evidence of external attacks, YTN said.

Local shares extended losses following the initial reports of outages to end down one percent. The local currency won and local bonds were little moved following the news.

Presented by Adam Justice