JAKARTA, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Indonesia's Financial Services
Authority (OJK) said on Thursday that Sea Group's
e-commerce arm Shopee had acquired local lender Bank
Kesejahteraan Ekonomi (Bank BKE) <IPO-KSJH.JK> with the aim of
transforming it into a digital bank.
OJK official Anung Herlianto said that Shopee, Southeast
Asia's largest e-commerce platform, has yet to make an official
application with the banking regulators to transform Bank BKE
into a digital institution, but they are "currently preparing
the infrastructure to do so."
He told reporters that OJK was preparing regulations for new
digital banks, which would likely be released in mid-2021, but
that a digital lender like Bank BKE would be expected to prepare
3 trillion rupiah ($213.64 million) in capital.
Sea, whose market capitalisation is $136.5 billion, was not
immediately reachable for comment. The Southeast Asian
technology group is in the middle of a significant fintech push
throughout the fast-growing region of 650 million people and was
granted in December a full digital bank licence in Singapore.
Its biggest digital bank rival in Indonesia is likely to be
Jago, in which Indonesian payments and ride-hailing group Gojek
owns a 22% stake.
Indonesias multi-billion digital financial services sector
is booming. Of the countrys population of 270 million, half
lack bank accounts but most now have mobile phones.
($1 = 14,042.0000 rupiah)
(Reporting by Tabita Diela; Writing by Fanny Potkin; Editing by
Martin Petty and Ed Davies)