The Korea Herald


IBK, Shinhan, Woori join NH-led STO consortium

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : June 15, 2023 - 15:02

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Headquarters of NongHyup Bank in Seodaemun, central Seoul (NongHyup Bank) Headquarters of NongHyup Bank in Seodaemun, central Seoul (NongHyup Bank)

NongHyup Bank announced Thursday that the nation’s top three banks -- Industrial Bank of Korea, Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank -- have joined its consortium for security token offerings formed in April.

Aside from the lenders, other financial tech firms, including real estate fractional investment company Funble, fintech firm Aton’s subsidiary Trackchain and Artipio, a fractional art investment subsidiary of culture platform operator Yes24, also joined the consortium to increase the total participants to 18 firms.

NongHyup Bank created the consortium in April together with two local banks -- Suhyup Bank and Jeonbuk Bank -- and six other fractional investment firms with the aim to build a security token ecosystem.

The STO market is a nascent but lucrative market whose size is estimated to reach 34 trillion won ($26.6 billion) next year.

Banking groups are increasingly jumping onto the bandwagon as the Financial Services Commission, the nation’s top financial regulator, announced a set of guidelines in February, hinting at easing regulations as early as later this year.

NongHyup Bank said its consortium members will discuss ways for banks to enter the STO market in compliance with the regulatory guidelines and to set up platforms together to issue token securities.

In the longer term, it aims to create an STO securities ecosystem, under which companies issue corporate bonds as security tokens and the tokens can be traded.

German industrial giant Siemens is one of the first global companies that issued digital bonds in February this year in a bid to improve efficiency overall.