Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten to list online bank
By Makiko Yamazaki and Sam Nussey
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Group Inc said on Thursday it was preparing to list its online banking unit, raising funds as it absorbed losses suffered while building its network of low cost mobile communications.
Rakuten Bank Ltd’s planned initial public offering (IPO) will give unit management more autonomy “to consider various growth and financial strategies, including its own financing,” Rakuten said in a statement. He did not disclose the financial terms of registration.
Rakuten, itself worth $ 15 billion by market cap, is under pressure on several fronts, expanding its mobile network in the face of cash-rich incumbents and investing in logistics to compete with Amazon.com.
Founder Hiroshi Mikitani turned the nation’s financial industry upside down by simplifying credit card applications and securing over 11 million checking accounts and deposits of over six trillion yen ($ 54 billion).
The group, which posted an operating loss of 101 billion yen in the six months to the end of June, is one of Japan’s leading internet companies, increasingly harassed by foreign tech giants.
“If the equity financing goes as planned over the next 12 months or so, we believe Rakuten can mitigate the deterioration in its finances due to initial investments in its mobile unit,” said Makiko Yoshimura, analyst at S&P Global Ratings, in a press release. report.
Rakuten has the ambition to sell its mobile network technology worldwide. He claims that his technology drastically reduces the cost of building such networks using cloud-based software.
The company has forced rivals in Japan to cut carrier fees in the face of lower prices as Rakuten expands its network. However, the losses of the mobile unit widened a year earlier to reach 197 billion yen in the January-June period.
($ 1 = 110.7420 yen)
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Sam Nussey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Kenneth Maxwell)