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ADQ-backed fintech buys rural bank in Philippines

Salmon, backed by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ, says the deal will bolster access to banking services for millions of underserved Filipinos Salmon
Salmon, backed by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ, says the deal will bolster access to banking services for millions of underserved Filipinos

Salmon, a consumer fintech company backed by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ, will acquire a majority stake in a Philippine rural bank.

The startup has received regulatory approval from the Philippine central bank to purchase 59.7 percent of Rural Bank of Sta. Rosa, which operates in Laguna province, south of Manila.

The transaction will be concluded in the coming weeks, the fintech said in a statement.

Salmon will offer consumer credit and debit products nationwide using the bank’s license and geographic footprint.

The deal will bolster access to banking services for millions of underserved Filipinos in key regions, including Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao, where Salmon plans to open new branches.

“Salmon will maintain and enhance the bank’s offline presence, injecting significant capital and technology into it to upgrade its offering for all customers,” said Raffy Montemayor, co-founder and business head in the Philippines at Salmon.

According to the central bank’s latest financial inclusion survey, the Philippines has around 34 million, or 44 percent of the total adult population, who did not have bank accounts in 2021.

International Finance Corporation, an affiliate of the World Bank Group, said in December that it was considering a $7 million equity investment in Fintech Holdings Limited, the operator of Salmon.

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