The Korea Times
K-Bank to make W150 bil. rights offer in May
K-Bank, the country’s first internetonly bank, plans to raise over 150 billion won via a rights offer, next month.
“In order to finance new businesses, K-Bank will raise at least 150 billion won via a rights offer next month. This plan was approved by the bank’s major shareholders,” CEO Shim Seong-hoon said Tuesday at a news conference to mark the first anniversary of the bank’s launch held at the company’s headquarters in Gwanghwamun.
“K-Bank has yet to finalize the list of participants who will be participat- ing in the upcoming rights offer. As more shareholders have shown their interests about the plan, we are in talks with key shareholders whether or not to put them in the event,” the CEO said.
Noting that the company reported a deficit last year, which is expected to continue into next year, the CEO said K-Bank will reach the “break-even point” around 2020.
Shim said the growing popularity of K-Bank will spur growth in the domestic banking industry that has stagnated amid rising credit costs, narrowing margins and heavy regulation.
K-Bank’s emergence is small, but as one of the agile new players, it has the potential to lead the industry’s mega change, said the executive.
By March this year, K-Bank had 710,000 users. It extended 1.29 trillion won in consumer credit loans by that time, accounting for 50 percent of all loans in Korea for the month.
During the conference, Shim said internet-only banks, with no physical branches, are allowing customers to do everything from open a bank account to apply for a loan using only their mobile devices.
“K-Bank will lend money to apartment buyers with less interest than they normally pay to existing physical banks. We are underway to diversify our business portfolio,” said the CEO.
He hoped the new financial regulator chief Kim Ki-sik will ease rules to lift the entire industry.
“As CEO of the country’s major internet-only bank, what I want to say to the financial regulator Kim is we need momentum to do something within the regulatory framework. But there’s a need to ease such rules,” Shim told reporters.