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KakaoBank to Raise $ 2.2 Billion as Korean IPO Boom Continues

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(Bloomberg) – KakaoBank Corp. is expected to raise 2.550 billion won ($ 2.2 billion) after South Korea-backed internet-only retail lender Kakao Corp. pegged its initial public offering at the top of a marketed range.

The bank, which does not operate any physical branch, valued 65.45 million new shares at 39,000 won each, according to a document filed Thursday, valuing it at 18.5 trillion won. This would make it the most valuable retail lender in the country after KB Financial Group Inc. and Shinhan Financial Group Co.

The offer was subscribed more than 1,700 times by institutional investors, among the highest in the country’s history. Its shares will begin trading on the Korean stock exchange on August 6 after receiving subscriptions from retail investors next week.

KakaoBanks’ float will be the second largest in the country in 2021. Krafton Inc., developer of the hit mobile game PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds, is expected to raise at least 3.46 trillion won when it goes public later this year.

The sale of KakaoBanks shares comes as local regulators grow increasingly skeptical of the high valuations sought by the country’s listing candidates, amid fears that those prices fuel a market bubble. Krafton slashed its IPO target size by more than one trillion won earlier this month, following reluctance from regulators.

Last week, Kakao Pay Corp. – the country’s largest online payment service and, like KakaoBank, a subsidiary of courier giant Kakao Corp. – was invited by the Financial Supervisory Service to revise its IPO prospectus.

Read: Crackdown challenges booming Korea IPO market: ECM Watch

KakaoBank is among a large number of Kakao affiliates taking advantage of the boom in the Korean stock market to go public. The Kospi is one of the best performing Asian benchmarks this year, having beaten the gains of all major benchmarks last year, thanks to massive buys by retail investors.

KakaoBank was established in 2016 after the Korean government offered online banking licenses to startups for the first time in 2015. The startup benefited from the weight of its parent company: Kakao Talk, the largest mobile messaging service in the world. country, has 46 million active users, covering most of South Korea’s 51 million people.

Everything about us is very different from other listed financial companies because we are in a new industry that did not exist before, said Yoon Ho-Young, CEO of KakaoBank, in an online press briefing on July 20.

(Updates with details listed in third paragraph)

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