Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank Group Corporation is going to buy 20 percent stakes of bKash, one the largest mobile financial service providers in Bangladesh.
Brac Bank took the decision yesterday in its board meeting, according to a disclosure posted by the financial institution on the website of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) today.
With that information, stock of the lender topped the gainers’ list with a 9.97 percent rise to hit Tk 48.7 at the moment of writing the news.
“This latest investment round validates our dedication and relentless efforts over the last ten years and places its trust on the potential of a well-regulated fintech space,” said Kamal Quadir, founder and CEO of bKash.
“It is a significant vote of confidence on the current, and future, growth trajectory of bKash. It also paves the way to attract global investment for other entrepreneurs and innovators of Bangladesh by showcasing the successful digital transformation of our country and its economy.”
“Broadening access to financial services can be critical to building a robust economy,” said said Greg Moon, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
“We believe that bKash is strengthening Bangladesh’s financial system by providing a safe and convenient way for people to adopt digital payments.”
Moon also said: “bKash’s simple and accessible mobile app is providing critical financial services to both banked and unbanked populations in Bangladesh. We are excited to partner with Kamal Quadir and the bKash team to help support the company’s vision to achieve greater financial inclusion in Bangladesh through affordable, reliable and accessible services.”
In the board meeting, Brac Bank has approved the execution of a share purchase and subscription agreement amongst bKash and its existing shareholders.
The existing shareholders included Brac Bank, Money in Motion LLC, International Finance Corporation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Alipay Singapore E-Commerce Private Limited and Board of Trustees of bKash Employee Share Option Plan Trust, and the proposed investor, SVF II BEAM (DE) LLC (SoftBank), it said.
“In accordance with the terms and conditions of the agreement, both primary and secondary investments will be made by SoftBank in bKash, whereby SoftBank will acquire 20 percent share (on a fully diluted basis) of bKash,” it said in the disclosure.
There will be no changes in the number of shares held by Brac Bank in bKash and, on completion of the transaction, the bank will continue to remain the majority voting shareholder of bKash, it added.