Baidu-backed online lender CITIC aiBank has just received a major capital infusion from key investor China CITIC Bank.
China CITIC announced on 3 December that it had completed payments for a capital increase of 2.027 billion yuan aiBank, after its board first approved the deal on 27 August.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) previously announced on 23 November that it had given its approval to aiBank to issue up to 1.634 billion shares under its capital increase plan.
Under the plan CITIC Bank would subscribe for 901 million shares, bringing its total to 3.701 billion shares, for 65.70% of equity in aiBank, while Canadian pension fund CPP Investment would subscribe for 466 million shares, bringing its holdings in aiBank to 8.27% of total equity.
The investment deal reportedly brings aiBank’s valuation to around 12.6 billion yuan.
CITIC aiBank was founded in 5 September 2017 and is China’s first independent legal person direct bank. The lender was originally a joint venture between China CITIC Bank and tech giant Baidu, who held 70% and 30% of equity respectively at the time of founding.
aiBank says it has amassed over 48 million customers in the three years since it founding, and has made more than 300 billion yuan in financial inclusion loans – a key area of business of China’s online lenders.