Russian financial group Otkritie plans to increase its ownership in the Russian payment system Qiwi from its current 8.85% to 63.85%, paying about $700mn (€624mn) for the stake, Vedomosti daily reported on June 13.
Qiwi specialises in payment services via physical, online and mobile channels, processing over RUB69bn (€1bn) of cash and electronic payments per month and servicing more than 18mn virtual wallets and 157,000 kiosks and terminals.
Earlier this year, Otkritie purchased a diamond-producing unit of Lukoil for $1.45bn (€1.29bn) and applied for an acquisition of Rosgosstrakh Bank from the top 50 bank list.
Otkritie became a Qiwi shareholder in 2015, when it contributed its Contact money transfer system and Rapida payment processing platform in exchange for 5.6mn Qiwi shares (vs. the 4.0mn it currently owns).
"There have been no major joint product developments that we have seen, future products could easily be developed on a commercial basis and we do not believe Qiwi has searched widely for strategic investors," Renaissance Capital said in a research note.
"For Otkritie spending $700mn to increase its exposure to early stage Russian fintech seems aggressive," the note added. "We believe the transaction might be aimed at better positioning Qiwi from a regulatory perspective."
The assets of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the largest lender in the country, contracted by 28.9% y/y to AZN8.7bn ($5.1bn) in 2017, the state-controlled bank reported on January 10. ... ... more
Iran’s economy is starting to recover more rapidly from years of international sanctions but the country urgently needs to shore up its banks, a senior International Monetary Fund official told ... more
Kazakhstan’s Bank of Astana (Astana Banki) plans to conduct a secondary offering of shares (SPO) on the Moscow Stock Exchange, RNS news agency reported last week. Bidding will begin on December 14. ... more