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Kakao, KT Surge After South Korea Grants Online Banking Permits

  • China Internet giants Tencent, Alipay have stakes in winners
  • Parliament needs to approve legislation for services to begin
Updated on

Kakao Corp., operator of Korea’s leading messaging app KakaoTalk, and KT Corp., the former government phone monopoly, surged after South Korea gave them preliminary approval to set up the nation’s first Internet-only banks, as the government seeks to reinvigorate a sector suffering from slow growth and slim margins.

Kakao surged 13 percent, the biggest intraday gain in more than a year, and KT climbed as much as 5.2 percent.