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Kakao mulls larger stake in internet-only lender KakaoBank

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Kakao mulls larger stake in internet-only lender KakaoBank

South Korean messaging app developer Kakao Corp. may acquire an additional stake in internet-only lender KakaoBank of Korea Corp. should the government push to lower restrictions on nonfinancial companies' stake in banks, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported Aug. 10, citing Kakao co-CEO Yeo Min-soo.

Kakao currently holds 10% of ordinary shares and 8% of preferred shares in KakaoBank due to regulatory restrictions which aim to prevent conglomerates from using banks for personal purposes. Korea Investment Holdings Co. Ltd. holds a 58% stake.

Kakao has the option to acquire a stake from the Korea Investment Holdings, the report added.

KakaoBank, which started operations in July 2017, is planning to go public in 2020.