Goldman Sachs is shutting its South Korean asset management unit, exiting Asia's third-biggest funds management market, a Hong Kong-based spokesman said on Tuesday.

The unit employs about 40 people and manages about $4 billion in assets, the spokesman said.

The fate of the 40 staff was not clear, but the spokesman said Goldman will try to absorb them in other parts of the company.

Goldman will continue to invest in South Korea through its offshore funds management unit, the spokesman added.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee and Nishant Kumar; Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by Ryan Woo)