Singapore Digest: ICBC launches i-banking services; UOB in JV with Pintec

UOB in Singapore. Credit: United Overseas Banking Group

China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) has launched investment banking services in Singapore while United Overseas Bank (UOB) has partnered Beijing-based financial technology firm Pintec Technology Holdings to set up a joint venture company, Avatec.ai.

ICBC China launches investment banking services in Singapore 

China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) has launched investment banking services in its Singaporean branch (ICBC Singapore) after receiving accreditation as an issue manager from Singapore Exchange (SGX).

In a statement, ICBC Singapore was awarded Qualifying Full Bank Licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2012, which enables it to offer corporate banking, financial institutional banking, global cash management, private banking as well as retail banking products and services.

“With the continuous progression of the Belt and Road Initiatives as well as the increase in economic cooperation between China and Singapore, we have seen strong interest from Chinese companies in tapping into Singapore’s capital markets,” said Geng Hao, Deputy General Manager of ICBC Singapore.

ICBC Singapore will focus on real estate developers and owners in the first and second-tier cities in China which are listed as candidates for Real estate investment (REITs) and Business Trusts (BTs) on SGX.  It will also expand areas such as healthcare, consumer and technology for non-REITs / BT initial public offerings (IPO).

Besides, ICBC Singapore will focus on corporate finance advisory services, which include follow-on fund raisings, reverse takeovers, mergers and acquisitions advisory services, private equity and pre-IPO fund raisings.

“Companies from Southeast Asia including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia will also be our targeted potential clients,” Geng added.

UOB enters JV With Pintec Technology Holdings

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB) has partnered with Beijing-based financial technology firm Pintec Technology Holdings to set up a joint venture company, Avatec.ai.

In an announcement from the bank, UOB said it will have a 60 per cent stake in the joint venture. Meanwhile, Avatec will have an issued and paid-up capital of up to S$10 million ($7.6 million) and will be a subsidiary of UOB.

Avatec will provide credit services and solutions, mainly in Southeast Asia countries. UOB believes that there is much potential for credit services in South-east Asia where 27 per cent of 600 million people hold a bank account.

Dennis Khoo, UOB’s head of regional digital bank and strategic initiatives, said the collaboration is likely the first for a regional bank and is the first in a series of “groundbreaking digital initiatives” that will be launched by UOB in 2018.

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