Shinhan Card Co. Ltd. of South Korea plans sell a 14.9% stake in BC Card Co. Ltd. to the country's second-largest mobile carrier KT Corp.
The deal is contingent on Woori Bank Ltd. successfully completing a transfer of a 20% stake in BC Card to KT, according to a report published Tuesday in The Korea Herald.
Woori, which owns 27.65% of BC Card, recently announced it would be selling much of its shares to KT to give the mobile carrier a 20% stake in the card company by the end of this year.
KT is looking to seal both deals and use the card firms' networks to expand its smartphone mobile transaction business.
This would not be the first time that a mobile carrier has looked to buy a stake in a credit card company to enter the mobile payments market in South Korea.
In December, SK Telecom bought a 49% share of Hana Card Co. for $350 million. The two parties then launched a mobile payment service in April.
KT is considering buying more shares in BC Card held by 11 other South Korean banks, the report said. BC Card holds a 32% share of the credit card market in South Korea, with more than 52 million cards issued by 11 financial institutions. The company reported a net loss of $41.3 million for the first half of 2010.