UPDATE 2-Ant Group-backed Kakao Pay applies for preliminary IPO approval

(Adds Ant Group’s stake in Kakao Pay)

SEOUL, April 26 (Reuters) - South Korean fintech company Kakao Pay Corp has applied for preliminary approval for an initial public offering (IPO), the Korea Exchange said on Monday.

Kakao Pay Corp, a unit of South Korea’s top mobile messaging service provider Kakao Corp, provides financial services including money transfer, saving accounts, asset management.

Kakao Corp is the largest shareholder with a 56.1% of Kakao Pay Corp as of end of 2020, followed by China’s Ant Group’s online platform Alipay’s 43.9% stake, Kakao Pay’s regulatory filing showed.

In 2017, Ant invested $200 million in Kakao Pay.

$1 = 1,110.5600 won Reporting by Heekyong Yang, Joyce Lee in Seoul and Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; editing by Louise Heavens