Linklogis, Sunway said to jointly seek Malaysia digital bank licence

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo by Kah Hay Chee on Unsplash

Malaysian conglomerate Sunway Bhd has teamed up with Tencentbacked Chinese fintech firm Linklogis Inc and Bangkok Bank PCL to apply for a Malaysian  digital bank licence, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Sunway will hold a majority stake in the venture, said the sources, who requested anonymity as names of the consortium members haven’t been reported.

The group joins a crowded field of hopefuls vying for up to just five licences on offer in the Southeast Asian country.

Malaysia is the latest to embrace online-only banking services after Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong and other Asian countries, with the entry of technology firms seen shaking up their often staid markets.

Malaysia‘s banking sector is dominated by Maybank, CIMB Group Holdings and Public Bank Bhd.

The country’s central bank has said it would issue up to five licences by early 2022 and the deadline for the applications is the end of this month.

When asked for a comment, Sunway, which has property, healthcare and education businesses, referred to a statement issued earlier this month in which it said it would apply for an online-only banking licence with partners to expand in the fintech sector, but it did not name them.

Sunway owns and manages an online remittance firm and has a subsidiary that provides loans to business partners. It is also the majority shareholder of Credit Bureau Malaysia.

Hong Kong-based Linklogis, which specialises in supply chain finance, declined to comment and said it would share details with the market “at the appropriate time.” Chinese tech behemoth Tencent is its biggest shareholder with a nearly 15% stake.

Tencent declined to comment.

Linklogis was part of a consortium that was granted a Singapore digital wholesale bank licence. The bank is due to be launched in 2022.

There was no immediate response to a Reuters query sent to Bangkok Bank on Tuesday.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.