Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Group Inc. said Tuesday it is preparing to list shares of its online brokerage unit on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, enabling it to raise capital on its own and boost the group's fintech business.

Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter on Feb. 10, 2020, shows the head office building of Japanese online shopping mall operator Rakuten Inc. in Tokyo. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The company said it aims to list Rakuten Securities Inc., which provides online securities trading services, on the Prime Market, the top section of the Tokyo bourse, on a date yet to be decided.

Through the initial public offering of the unit, the group company intends to expand what it calls the "Rakuten ecosystem," connecting a wide variety of services, such as e-commerce, travel, credit cards and securities, all through membership.

The brokerage unit, which had registered customers with 7.68 million bank accounts at the end of March, has increased users by allowing Rakuten members to use their points to purchase investment products.

By raising its own finance through the IPO, Rakuten Group hopes to improve the quality of services to be provided by the unit amid intensifying competition.

Rakuten Securities is expected to remain a consolidated subsidiary of the group even after going public.

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