Shinhan Card Co. Ltd. of South Korea plans sell a 14.9% stake in BC Card Co. Ltd. to the country’s second-largest mobile carrier KT Corp., local newspaper The Korea Herald reports.
The deal is contingent on Woori Bank Ltd. successfully completing a transfer of a 20% stake of BC Card to KT, according to the news report, which cites a Shinhan official as the source.
None of the three involved parties responded to PaymentsSource requests for comments by deadline.
Woori, which owns 27.65% of BC Card, recently announced it would be selling much of its shares to KT to give the mobile carrier a 20% stake in the card company by the end of this year (see story).
KT is looking to seal both deals and use the card firms’ networks to expand its smart phone mobile-transaction business, the report notes.
This would not be the first time that a mobile carrier has looked to buy a stake in a credit card company to enter the mobile-payments market in South Korea.
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).
KT is considering buying more shares in BC Card held by 11 other South Korean banks, the report adds.
BC Card holds a 32% share of the credit card market in South Korea, with more than 52 million cards issued by 11 financial institutions. The company reported a net loss of 48.9 billion won for the first half of 2010.
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