BC Card has decided to sell its entire stake in MasterCard in what is believed to be a move to participate in a capital increase by K bank. Currently, the card firm is the largest shareholder of the internet-only bank with a 34 percent stake.

On Friday, BC Card said its board had approved a plan to sell its entire holdings in MasterCard Incorporated (MasterCard) within this year. BC Card holds 504,000 ordinary shares in MasterCard. The estimated amount of cash it could earn from the sale would be about 210 billion won, or some $188 million, based on the U.S. firm’s May 21 closing price.

When questioned about the primary reason for unloading the shares, BC Card said the decision was aimed at profit taking. But local banking industry officials said the card issuer’s decision was intended to allow it to participate in a rights offering being pursued by K bank, a local internet-only bank affiliated with KT.

“On the same day that BC Card’s board met, it decided to acquire 65.37 million ordinary shares of K bank. The transaction, the value of which would be around 425 billion won, will be completed via a cash payout by June 29. Woori Bank and NH Investment, K bank’s second- and third-largest shareholders didn’t participate in the new capital increase by K bank,” a local banking industry source said.

Read more/Source: The Korea Times