Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is considering a $200m investment in Indonesian digital lender Akulaku, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the development.  

The Japanese banking group is carving out the terms of a potential investment in the digital lender to expand operations in the country, the sources said.

MUFG’s investment could value Akulaku, which is backed by Jack Ma’s Ant Group, at around $1.5bn, they added.

According to the sources, other entities including private equity firms have expressed interest in investing in Akulaku.

Established in 2014, Akulaku operates in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. It offers digital banking, consumer credit, investment and insurance brokerage services, according to the firm’s website.

The talks are still going on and there is no certainty that a deal will materialise, the sources added.

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By GlobalData

In February this year, Akulaku secured $100m in funding from Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).

SCB’s investment followed a $125m funding in 2021, which was led by existing investor Silverhorn Group.

In addition, in the fourth quarter of 2021, Akulaku’s digital banking arm Bank Neo Commerce (BNC) raised nearly $175m via a public rights issue on the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Earlier this year, Akulaku was also considering listing in the US via a SPAC deal, which could value the firm at $2bn, the source had told the publication at the time.

To capitalise on the growth potential offered by the region, the Tokyo-based MUFG has been expanding in Southeast Asia.

Last month, the lender announced that it will be acquiring the consumer finance units of Home Credit in the Philippines and Indonesia in a deal valued at $636.84m (JPY87bn).