KB Kookmin buys stake in Thai financial company

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KB Kookmin buys stake in Thai financial company

KB Kookmin Card acquired 50.99 percent of Thai loan provider J Fintech for 24.8 billion won, the Korean company said Monday, becoming the first credit card company in Korea to advance into the Southeast Asian country.

The deal is expected to close by the end of this year when the acquisition gains approval from financial authorities in Korea and Thailand.

J Fintech is a financial subsidiary of Jay Mart, a Bangkok-based mobile phone distributor, which was founded in 2011. The acquisition of the company will allow KB Kookmin Card to roll out loan and credit card services in Thailand.

“Thailand is seen as an easy market for a credit card business to launch as the industry is growing at an average annual rate of 7 percent on the back of the government’s ‘cashless’ policy,” KB Kookmin Card said in a release.

This marks KB Kookmin Card’s third acquisition of overseas financial companies since its current CEO Lee Dong-cheol came into office in 2018. Last year, it acquired 80 percent stake of an Indonesian loan provider in 2018 KB Kookmin Card launched KB Daehan Specialized Bank in Cambodia.

By Jin Eun-soo

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