MANILA - Salmon, a consumer fintech firm backed by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ, is acquiring a majority stake in a Philippine rural bank, the company said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Salmon said it has received regulatory approval from the Philippine central bank to buy 59.7% of Rural Bank of Sta. Rosa in Laguna province, south of the capital Manila.

Salmon, which was set up in 2022, said it will offer AI-centric consumer credit and debit products, and open new branches.

There were around 34 million unbanked Filipinos, or 44% of the total adult population, in 2021, according to the central bank's latest financial inclusion survey.

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

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)