UPDATE 2-Ant-backed Kakao Pay expects IPO to raise up to $1.4 bln

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SEOUL, July 2 (Reuters) - South Korean fintech company Kakao Pay Corp’s planned initial public offering (IPO) next month is expected to raise up to 1.6 trillion won ($1.4 billion), at the top end of an indicative price range, it said on Friday.

Kakao Pay Corp, which is backed by Chinese e-commerce company Ant Group, expects to offer 17 million new shares in an indicative range of 63,000-96,000 won per share, it said in a regulatory filing.

The unit of South Korea’s top mobile messaging service company, Kakao Corp, provides financial services including money transfers, savings accounts and asset management.

The company estimated its valuation at 12.5 trillion won, according to its filing. The main underwriters for the deal are Samsung Securities, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs, with co-underwriter Daishin Securities.

Kakao Corp is the largest shareholder with 55% of Kakao Pay Corp, followed Ant Group’s Alipay with 45%, the regulatory filing showed.

South Korea is seeing its hottest IPO market on record, with analysts expecting at least 20 trillion won to be raised in 2021, or about four times above 2020 levels. ($1 = 1,136.0400 won) (Reporting by Heekyong Yang Editing by David Goodman and Kim Coghill)