Kakao Bank’s mobile banking platform (Yonhap)
South Korea’s leading online bank Kakao Bank has launched a procedure to pick lead underwriters for its public initial offering, according to industry sources Wednesday.
The affiliate of mobile messenger firm Kakao has sent a request for proposal to domestic and global brokerages to explain the planned IPO and select underwriters.
Holding a board meeting in September, the online bank decided to go public in the first half of next year.
Launched in 2017, Kakao has been fast growing by attracting relatively young customers who are used to using smartphones for online banking. Its corporate value is considered to have reached nearly 10 trillion won ($9 billion).
It posted a 40.6 billion won net operating profit in the third quarter this year, seven times higher than 5.8 billion won in the same period last year. Although it logged an operating loss of 1.7 billion won in the fourth quarter last year, its profits have been on the rise since the first three months this year.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org