KT Corp. expects soon to buy a stake in Korean credit card issuer BC Card Co., Korea’s second-largest mobile carrier announced June 16.

The bank intends to sign a preliminary contract with Woori Bank Ltd. to buy its stake in BC Card, KT announced it a statement. Woori holds a 27.65% stake in BC Card, while Shinhan Card Co owns 14.85%, according to BC Card financial reports.

BC Card has a 32% market share in Korea, with more than 52 million cards issued by 11 financial institutions. Earlier this year, Discover Financial Services signed an agreement to enable BC Card cardholders to use the Discover, Diners Club International and Pulse networks for international purchases and cash access outside of Korea (see story).

KT may use its interest in BC Card to enter the mobile-payments market, just as SK Telecom Ltd. has done. In December, SK Telecom bought a 49% share in Hana Card Co. for 400 billion won (US$350 million). The two parties then launched a mobile-payment service in April (see story).

 

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