Kakao Bank due to price IPO Thurs envisions a multi financial player, overseas foray

2021.07.20 15:15:30

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South Korea’s app-based lender Kakao Bank will build up to comprehensive financial institution by adding fund, insurance and asset management portfolio and look out for M&A or overseas foray opportunities after going public via a $2.3 billion initial public offering.

“We will grow as an essential financial platform for customers by accelerating digitalization of products and services and improving product competitiveness,” said Kakao Bank CEO Yun Ho-young during an online press conference held ahead of institutional pricing session for IPO on Wednesday.

“Based on 16 million customers, we will become a retail bank offering inventive financial products,” he said.

Under the goal of becoming a “No.1 retail bank and No.1 financial platform,” the bank will launch various products and services linked to other industries including e-commerce and travel to allow users to enjoy new and advanced experience, he said. It will also release products for individual business owners and foreigners, its new target customers.

“When the opportunities arrive, we will expand to Asia and elsewhere,” Yun said, adding the company will on the lookout for M&A, equity investment or joint venture opportunities.

The digital lender is seeking to expand its platform-based business such as advertising and look for business opportunities in business-to-business (B2B) market to sell its technology solutions such as face recognition and optical character recognition (OCR).

In order to broaden customer base, it will roll out products tailored for each age group from teens to those aged 60s or older, as well as for customers with different credit scores. The bank will launch new loan products for people with mid to low credit ratings and individual business operators next month.

Yun said the number of business divisions for equity trading accounts, linked loans and credit card services will double or triple, while it is expanding its business scope to asset management, fund, insurance and foreign exchange. He added the bank will break into two new businesses that have never been tried by other financial companies including banking commerce and advertising that benefits customers.

Kakao Bank will offer 65.45 million new shares at the desired price band between 33,000 won ($28.65) and 39,000 won apiece. When priced at the top band, it would be able to raise up to 2.55 trillion won.

Book-building ends Thursday to determine the IPO price. Public subscription is slated for July 26 to 27 and listing for August 6.

By Kang In-seon and Choi Mira

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