SoftBank targeting IPO for payment app PayPay

The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo
The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO, May 11 (Reuters) - SoftBank wants to list payment app PayPay, the CEO of its wireless unit said on Tuesday, adding that subsidiary SB Payment Service could also be a candidate for listing, as he seeks to illustate growth potential at Japan's No.3 carrier.

QR code payment app PayPay has acquired almost 40 million users since launch in October 2018 through aggressive rebates as Japanese consumers shift away from cash.

"We want PayPay to IPO in the future so they will become independent... I don't think that would be too far out," said Junichi Miyakawa, who became chief executive of SoftBank Corp (9434.T) last month, at an earnings briefing.

The telco is seeking to convince investors of its ability to grow new business lines as the wireless market matures.

SoftBank is offering financial services via the PayPay app and plans to expand in Asia via chat app operator Line, which completed a merger with the telco's internet subsidary Z Holdings (4689.T) in March.

As part of its "Beyond Japan" strategy, SoftBank seperately announced it is taking a 23% stake in the data analytics arm of Malaysia's Axiata Group (AXIA.KL). read more

Longer term, SoftBank wants to focus on autonomous driving, Miyakawa said. The telco announced development of an autonomous driving platform with partner Toyota (7203.T) in 2018.

SoftBank said PayPay's gross merchandise volume, a measure of transaction volume, reached 3.2 trillion yen ($29.4 billion) in the year ended March.

($1 = 108.9100 yen)

Reporting by Sam Nussey, editing by Louise Heavens

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