Indonesian conglomerate, Salim Group has reportedly acquired 51% stake in a local archipelago-based Bank Ina Perdana for $42 Mn. As per a report by Nikkei Asian Review, Salim Group has acquired the stake with an aim to foray into digital payments and the e-wallet business.
Bank Ina Perdana currently has 22 branches in the city of Java.
This is Salim Group’s second foray into the banking industry. Previously, it had taken over Bank Central Asia in 1970 and claimed to become the country’s largest private sector bank. 1998 saw the bank’s ownership getting transferred to the Indonesian government, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.
Currently, Salim Group’s CEO, Anthoni Salim owns a minority stake in Bank Central Asia, but as per an official statement, is not involved in its management.
Salim Group operates chiefly in sectors including food, retail, automotives, telecommunications, infrastructure and other sectors across Indonesia and the Philippines.
As per the above mentioned report, Salim Group has been developing an end-to-end digital business since 2013. To this end, this acquisition will fulfill a strategic need for the company’s business, to establish a financial backbone.
Under the same, the company’s developing a fingerprint recognition software that will allow users to pay at shopping marts using their accounts linked with fingerprints. The group is also eyeing peer-to-peer money transfers and loans using Indomaret (Salim Group’s food-marts) stores as a bank branch. A few of these services will be launched by 2018, the report added.
The fintech ecosystem in Indonesia has seen an unexpected growth in the last few years. There are more than 150 fintech startups in Indonesia and this number has increased by 78% from 2015, according to the Indonesia Fintech report 2016. Other Indonesian conglomerates along the likes of Salim Group that are operating banks and digital payments platforms in the country include Lippo Group, that runs Bank Nationalnobu since 2010, and Sinarmas Group, that operates Bank Sinarmas since 2005.