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KB Kookmin Card completes stake acquisition of Thai lender

KB Kookmin Card’s corporate logo (KB Kookmin Card)
KB Kookmin Card’s corporate logo (KB Kookmin Card)

Credit card issuer KB Kookmin Card said Monday that it has completed the acquisition of a controlling stake of J Fintech, a Bangkok-based loan provider, speeding up the pace to infiltrate the Southeast Asian market.

With the latest takeover, the credit card business becomes the first South Korean company to make an official entry to the Thai lending industry.

The card company invested 24 billion won ($21.4 million) to acquire the 50-pecent stake in the Thai lender, while the remaining 50 percent will be owned by Jay Mart, a mobile phone distributor and debt collector in the local market. The Korean firm will take control of the lending firm since it will hold 50.99 percent voting rights. The company said that it will be able to sell financial products through Jay Mart’s 400 mobile phone retail shops across Thailand. The acquisition came after the card issuer signed an agreement for the takeover with Jay Mart in April last year.

“The company now operates four local businesses and one regional office in five Southeast Asian nations -- Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Myanmar,” said an official from the company, adding it would try to nurture the Thai business into a top lending firm in the local market.

Looking for new business opportunities across Asia, the credit card business operator has been acquiring financial and banking companies in the area, including a Cambodian bank in 2018 and a financial firm in Indonesia last year.

By Kim Young-won (
Korea Herald daum