Indonesia's Astra, WeLab complete joint acquisition of Bank Jasa

Photo: Astra International

Indonesian conglomerate PT Astra International and Hong Kong-based unicorn WeLab Sky Limited (WeLab) have completed the acquisition of a stake worth 3.87 trillion rupiah ($258.56 million) in the Indonesian small-sized lender PT Bank Jasa Jakarta.

The deal, conducted through Astra’s entity PT Sedaya Multi Investama, has also obtained the approval of Indonesia’s financial services authority (OJK).

Following the deal completion, Astra and WeLab hold a 49.56% stake each in Bank Jasa, according to a statement on Monday.

Suparno Djasmin, Astra’s director said that the company plans to build Bank Jasa into a digital bank focused on omnichannel strategy. “Through Bank Jasa, we hope we can serve our customers’ financial needs and accelerate financial inclusion in Indonesia.”

Meanwhile, WeLab founder and Group CEO Simon Loong said the acquisition of Bank Jasa is part of WeLab’s plan to expand its digital network across Asia. In 2019, WeLab secured a digital banking licence in Hong Kong.

“The partnership with Astra allows us to expand our cross-border network and also strengthen our pan-Asia fintech network. Together with Astra, we will cooperate to provide digital banking services to Indonesian people,” he said.

Investment in Bank Jasa is the second cooperation between WeLab and Astra after Maucash — a joint venture established in 2018 between the two to provide mobile lending services.

Founded in 1984 by Iskandar Widyadi, an Indonesian textile entrepreneur, Bank Jasa was originally a rural bank under the name Bank Pasar Warga Grogol, based in Jakarta.

As of March 2022, Widyadi and his family held Bank Jasa stakes worth 61.23% and 14.77%, respectively.

According to OJK, a bank should meet minimum capital requirements of at least 3 trillion rupiah by the end of this year. But, Bank Jasa’s capital in March 2022 stood at only 2.1 trillion rupiah. 

“With the Astra deal, Bank Jasa can increase its capital,” Maximilianus Nico Demus, research and investment associate director at Pilarmas Investindo Sekuritas, had told DealStreetAsia.

OJK noted there are 23 lenders that have yet not met capital requirements of 3 trillion rupiah. OJK’s head of banking supervisory Dian Ediana Rai said that the lenders are in the process of increasing the capital by using different schemes, including merging with other lenders or acquisition by local or foreign investors.

In February this year, the online lending platform Funding Societies, also known as Modalku, made a minority stake investment in Indonesia’s PT Bank Index Selindo.

DealStreetAsia reported in April 2021 that Singapore-based Sea Ltd, along with Indonesian retail chain Alfamart, is in talks to buy a small stake in Bank Aladin Syariah Tbk.

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