The Korea Herald


KakaoBank fails to set new record in IPO subscription

South Korea‘s largest online-only bank attracts W58tr in retail subscription, lower than market expectations

By Park Ga-young

Published : July 27, 2021 - 19:08

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A signage shows schedules of KakaoBank’s initial public offering subscription that wrapped up Tuesday, at a brokerage branch in Seoul. (Yonhap) A signage shows schedules of KakaoBank’s initial public offering subscription that wrapped up Tuesday, at a brokerage branch in Seoul. (Yonhap)

South Korea’s mobile-only KakaoBank attracted nearly 58 trillion won ($50.21 billion) from retail investors during the two-day subscription for its much anticipated public listing, falling short of market expectations of setting a new record.

The company drew 57.78 trillion won in deposits for the stock offering from some 1.86 million retail investors via the four IPO managers -- KB Securities, Korea Investment and Securities, Hana Financial Investment, Hyundai Motor Securities.

The subscription deposits for KakaoBank is the fifth-largest following SK ie Technology (80.9 trillion won), SK Bioscience (63.6 trillion won), Kakao Games (58.55 trillion won) and Hybe (58.42 trillion won).

The IPOs of SK ie Technology and SK Bioscience lured extraordinary participation as retail investors tried to take advantage of the system loophole while local brokerages set up their systems to ban multiple subscriptions via different brokerages. In addition, the equal share allocation system was adopted due to the revision of the Capital Market Act to increase retail investors’ chance for IPO allotment.

But starting from KakaoBank’s IPO, multiple subscriptions have been banned and many investors flocked to subscription last minute on Tuesday to choose one brokerage with the least competition rate.

Last week, KakaoBank set its public offering price at 39,000 won, hoping to raise 2.55 trillion won via its listing at the Kospi, the country’s main bourse, on Aug. 6.

The banking arm of mobile giant Kakao Corp. drew record interest from institutional investors during the book-building process last week when a total of 1,667 domestic and overseas institutional investors placed a bid to obtain new shares in KakaoBank.

Upon the market debut, KakaoBank’s capitalization may reach 18.6 trillion won, far higher than some 13 trillion won for Hana Financial Group Inc. and about 8 trillion won for Woori Financial Group Inc. -- two of South Korea‘s four major financial holding firms.

KakaoBank, led by Kakao Corp., the operator of the country’s dominant messaging app KakaoTalk, has gained popularity among mobile-savvy customers in recent years thanks to its around-the-clock service and convenience.

As of end-June, KakaoBank has more than 16.15 million users, gaining popularity among mobile-savvy customers.