Online lender Kakao to debut on the stock exchange


KakaoBank logo (KakaoBank)

South Korea’s internet-only bank is expected to debut on the country’s main stock market this week as part of one of this year’s mega initial public offerings.

Kakao Bank will debut on the KOSPI market on Friday, with its public offering price set at 39,000 won ($ 34.1).

Kakao Bank, the larger of South Korea’s two online lenders, hopes to raise 2.550 billion won through its listing on the main exchange.

Its IPO received a rather mixed reaction from retail investors with a subscription rate of 182.7: 1 for the shares allocated to them.

Based on its public offering price, Kakao Bank’s market capitalization is estimated to be around 18.5 trillion won.

If its starting price were set at double the price of the public offering and its market price hit the daily limit on the day of listing, its market value could climb to some 48.2 trillion won, according to observers at the. Marlet.

This would greatly exceed KB Financial Group Inc.’s 21.9 trillion won and be similar to the 48.1 trillion won of major automaker Hyundai Motor Co. Hyundai Motor has the eighth market capitalization on the main stock exchange.

Kakao Bank, led by Kakao Corp., the operator of the country’s dominant messaging app, KakaoTalk, has gained popularity among savvy mobile customers in recent years with its 24-hour service and its convenience.

In 2017, South Korea allowed two internet-only banks – K-Bank and Kakao Bank – to offer round-the-clock services with the aim of injecting more competition into the banking industry. In early June of this year, the country’s financial regulator gave final approval to another player in the sector, Toss Bank, which is slated to open in September. (Yonhap)

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