360 Security Unit Wins Nod to Buy Tianjin Bank Stake
What’s new: A unit of 360 Security Technology Inc. won regulatory approval to become the largest shareholder of Kincheng Bank of Tianjin Co. Ltd. as the internet security company moves to tap into the financial services sector, Shanghai-listed 360 Security said Thursday.
The company’s digital consumer finance platform 360 Finance proposed in June to pay 1.28 billion yuan ($187 million) to acquire 30% of the Tianjin bank from five founding shareholders. The deal would make 360 Finance the bank’s largest shareholder.
Why it matters: The transaction will give 360 Security a license to operate online banking services and make Kincheng Bank the third privately owned digital bank controlled by an internet giant. The two others are Tencent-backed WeBank and Ant-controlled MYbank.
The transaction also marks the first ownership transfer among China’s current four privately owned internet banks.
The 360 Finance platform is a leading player in China’s online credit service market. The company reported nearly 2.8 billion yuan of net profit in 2019. Established in 2015, Kincheng Bank had about 30 billion yuan of total assets as of the end of 2019.
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