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Korea’s Kakao Pay Raises $1.3 Billion in Seoul IPO, Source Says

(Bloomberg) -- Kakao Pay Corp., South Korea’s largest online payment service, raised 1.53 trillion won ($1.3 billion) in its initial public offering after pricing shares at the top of a marketed range.

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The company sold shares at 90,000 won apiece, according to a filing on Friday. Kakao Pay had marketed 17 million shares for 60,000 won to 90,000 won each, a lowered range that initially went as high as 96,000 won.

The startup backed by Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. came to market about three months after its sister company KakaoBank Corp. raised $2.3 billion in Korea’s second-largest IPO this year. IPO proceeds in Seoul last quarter were higher than in Hong Kong for the first time since 2017, amid a boom for listings in the Asian country.

Still, large deals have had to shrink as authorities pushed back against lofty valuations and, more recently, embarked on a regulatory crackdown of their own akin to the one in China. In July, regulators asked Kakao Pay to revise its prospectus, something they had earlier done with game developer Krafton Inc. ahead of its $3.8 billion IPO.

Read More: Korea Warns of Stern Response to Rule Violations by Fintech Cos.

“Greater regulation of internet companies is a global trend that has escalated in China and began recently in South Korea,” Marvin Chen, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, wrote in a note before Kakao Pay’s IPO. Still, “Korean regulators have emphasized any intervention will be the minimum necessary to prevent a lack of competition.”

Kakao Pay is due to start trading in Seoul on Nov. 3. Samsung Securities Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are joint sponsors for the offering.

(Updates with official pricing.)

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