The Korea Herald


Kakao Pay’s Kospi debut likely to come in August: watchers

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : June 29, 2021 - 15:00

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Kakao Pay’s corporate logo (Kakao Pay) Kakao Pay’s corporate logo (Kakao Pay)
Kakao Pay, the payment services unit of mobile giant Kakao, could make its market debut in August, the same month its sister company KakaoBank goes public, industry watchers suggested Tuesday.

The company received approval on its application for a preliminary qualification examination for listing from the Korea Exchange on Monday, also the same day KakaoBank, a banking arm of the messenger giant, made its August IPO official.

After discussing the timeline with its lead underwriters Samsung Securities, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, Kakao Pay will submit a registration statement to the financial regulator and follow further initial public offering procedures.

Market watchers and industry insiders, meanwhile, forecast the electronic payment service provider would land on the Kospi market as early as August. While the firm’s size of the offering and the target price band per share have been undecided, they value the company up to 18 trillion won ($15.9 billion).

Founded in 2017, the country’s leading electronic payment service provider attracted 36 million users with the combined value of their transactions reaching 67 trillion won as of end-December last year.

Its sales marked 284.4 billion won in the same year, more than doubling from the previous year. The company’s operating loss reached 1.79 billion won, while the net loss came to 25 billion won.

Starting as a payment services provider, Kakao Pay also jumped in the stock trading segment by acquiring Baro Securities in February last year. It further looks to launch a digital non-life insurance unit within this year upon financial authorities’ approval.

Kakao is the largest shareholder in Kakao Pay, owning 55 percent. Alipay Singapore Holding, a subsidiary of Alipay operator Ant Financial, holds a stake of 45 percent.

Meanwhile, KakaoBank aims to make its market debut on the benchmark Kospi on Aug. 5 by raising up to 2.5 trillion won in proceeds through its IPO. Others among the internet firm’s affiliated companies such as Kakao Entertainment, Kakao Mobility and Yanadoo also anticipate going public in the following year.