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South Korea's Kakao Bank defends valuation method ahead of IPO

Digital lender aims to reach Asian markets after next month's share flotation

Kakao Pay and Kakao Bank are affiliates of internet company Kakao, best known for its KakaoTalk instant messaging service. (Photo by Yuki Kohara) 

SEOUL -- Digital lender Kakao Bank is defending its valuation method ahead of an initial public offering next month, after South Korea's financial regulator demanded that a pair of big name companies correct their filings.

CEO Yun Ho-young said Tuesday that Kakao Bank's valuation, calculated in comparison with global peers rather than local lenders, is reasonable because digital banks differ from conventional ones as their businesses are based on mobile devices and do not require brick-and-mortar branches.

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