The Jakarta Post
Bank Artos has denied rumors that it is to be acquired by on-demand service company Gojek to become the latter's partner bank, while its stock price surged fivefold amid the rumors.
Bank Artos president director Deddy Triyana said on Monday that the private bank had never discussed the matter with Gojek and dismissed earlier news reports.
"We never talked about such partnership with any particular ecosystem," he said, adding that the news was not based on an official statement.
Deddy said that the majority of the bank's shares (51 percent), however, was in the process of being acquired by PT Metamorfosis Ekosistem Indonesia (MEI), a management consulting company, and investment firm Wealth Track Technology Limited (WTT), at respectively 37.65 percent and 13.55 percent.
The majority shareholder of MEI is Jerry Ng, who contributed significantly to developing the digital banking platform of Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN), Jenius, during his 10-year tenure as president director of MEI.
WTT is linked to Patrick Walujo, a co-founder of Indonesian private equity firm Northstar Pacific Partners, which has been backing Gojek since its early days.
Deddy stated that the shares acquisition was to support Artos' move to a digital platform to attract younger customers with high incomes, who preferred digital banking products.
He added that Bank Artos also intended to move into the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) segment and mass market consumer banking.
"Frankly, we do not have expertise in digital banking, that is why we need to collaborate with our new [shareholders]," he told the press.
Public speculation over Artos' acquisition by Gojek to become Go-Bank has caused Artos shares to skyrocket to Rp 2,630 per share when the market closed on Monday, a more than threefold increase from Rp 775 per share on Sept. 24.
Bank Artos shares has never surpassed Rp 200 per share since it went public in 2016.
"The surge is because of the rumor, that is why the stock exchange requested an open disclosure from us," said Deddy.
He added that the shares purchase was expected to be completed by mid-November, after which the bank planned a rights issue in January 2020 to raise Rp 1.5 trillion for transitioning to a digital platform and investing in human capital development.
Bank Artos had Rp 120 billion in capital in June and is categorize as a BUKU I (tier 1) bank with less than Rp 1 trillion in core capital.
Deddy said that Artos aimed to enter the BUKU II category – banks with Rp 1 trillion to Rp 5 trillion in core capital – after the rights issue. He added that Artos aimed to become a BUKU III bank – up to Rp 30 trillion in core capital – in three to four years.