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Last year, Bank Negara invited top players from all walks of life to bid for five digital banking licences. After the application period, bank of China received 29 applications from bidders including technology, finance, e-commerce and state governments.
Licences will be awarded in the first quarter of next year. At this time, the market is watching closely, who will stand out? At the same time, what changes will the emergence of digital banking bring to traditional banks and the existing financial sector?
Nanyang Siang Pau spoke to a number of economists, tech elites and bidders to tell readers about the arrival of the digital banking era and its secrets.
Desserts have long been coveted by domestic and foreign enterprises
Recruitment for the consortium was intense
The concept of digital banking is gradually sweeping the world, China’s financial and scientific circles are also actively planning.
At the end of last year, the initial drafting of China’s digital banking framework was completed. Bank Negara has capitalised on this trend with a wide range of “hero posts” inviting bids for digital banking licences. A maximum of five licenses are supported. The deadline for applications this year is June 30.
The bidding war has been fierce. Bank of China confirmed on July 2 that it had received 29 applications for licenses during the six-month application period. The bidders include bankers, technology companies, conglomerates, e-commerce companies, fintech companies and state governments.
At present, most industry insiders bid for licenses in the form of consortium, including AXIATA(6888 AXIATA, Main board telecom and media stocks) and Industrial Bank (1066 RHBBANK, main board financial stocks), and Guo (6483 Guo, main board financial stocks) and Silver Group (revenue, 0200 GEM) to form a group, Sunway (5211 Main Board Industrial Stocks) and Tencent-backed Linklogis in the same line and so on.
Foreign companies are stepping up the fight
The entry of foreign players has escalated the battle. After winning the bid in Singapore, Singtel and Grab, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant, decided to continue competing for licences in Our country. Singapore fintech company iFAST Corp. is also looking to Malaysia.
IFast’s partners include Malaysian Armed Forces Co-operation Organisation (KATMB), THZ Alliance Sdn Bhd, founder and majority shareholder Lee Leong Hua and Yillion Fintech of 99 Speedmart, a major retail convenience store chain operator.
Some companies have yet to confirm whether they are in the bidding war. Genting (3182, Main board consumer stock) is one of them.
Although Lim Cathay, Genting’s chairman and chief executive, told Bloomberg on June 25 that he intended to bid for the license, it remains unclear whether the company applied directly or participated indirectly by buying shares.
There is also talk in the market that YTL Institutions (YTL, 4677, Main Board utilities) and Singapore’s Winter Sea Group (Sea) have joined the front-line bid. However, this information has never been confirmed or denied by either party.
The state answered the phone
This bidding war is not a private sector game alone. In front of Kenanga and the Silver Peak group, is an important member of the Sarawak state government. Three parties formed a special purpose company (SPV) SSG digital Resources to bid. According to media reports, the Sarawak state government will hold a majority stake in the consortium.
In addition, the Sabah and Pahang governments have also submitted applications in conjunction with PUC Holdings Group (PUC, 0007, GEM).
Notably, with the exception of SocGen, none of Malaysia’s biggest banks is involved in the bidding war.
Maybank (Maybank, 1155 Financials on the Main board) had earlier said that banks could also launch digital banking services without additional application under existing banking licences, adding that the line between traditional and digital banking has blurred.
Reprint indicated source：Spark Global Limited information