Southeast Asian superapp Grab has acquired a 4 per cent stake in Indonesian media and technology conglomerate Emtek, The Straits Times has reported.
Citing a source, the report stated the transaction was valued at more than IDR 4 trillion (US$274 million) and took place in a recent private placement sale of Emtek shares.
The deal was reportedly transacted through an investment company named H Holdings Inc., which joined Korean web search giant Naver Corporation in the sale of shares amounting to 8.4 per cent of Emtek’s capital.
According to a filing to the Indonesian Stock Exchange, the fresh funds will go towards expanding the conglomerate’s business and funding daily operations.
Grab’s purchase of Emtek fuels speculation that their digital payment firms, OVO and DANA respectively, could merge. Earlier in September 2019, Reuters reported that Grab was in talks to merge back entities.
Due to the low banking penetration rate in Indonesia (where 52 per cent of the population remains unbanked), regional giants like Grab are moving fast in an attempt to capture a slice of the lucrative digital banking pie.
GoPay, which is part of ride-hailing giant gojek, spent US$160 million to increase its stake in Bank Jago to 22.16 per cent. gojek’s e-wallet customers will have the opportunity to open accounts with Bank Jago, which launched yesterday and is set to become the country’s first fully digital bank.
Earlier this year, Sea acquired Indonesia’s non-listed Bank Kesejahteraan Ekonomi and renamed it SeaBank, in a move aimed at allowing its e-commerce users to access an integrated suite of financial services.
Image Credit: Grab
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