Indonesian banking regulator confirms Shopee’s acquisition of Bank BKE

Photo: Sea Group

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) 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.

Indonesia’s multi-billion digital financial services sector is booming. Of the country’s population of 270 million, half lack bank accounts but most now have mobile phones.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.