Thai lender Siam Commercial Bank partners Sea Group to expand digital lending

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Thailand’s largest lender Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB) announced a partnership with e-commerce and game developer Sea Ltd’s Thai operations to provide payments and lending services as it seeks to increase revenues from digital banking.

Siam Commercial will provide lending services to small businesses on Singapore-based Sea’s platforms, the bank’s president, Apiphan Charoenanusorn. Sea’s AirPay customers will also be able to pay bills via SCB’s apps, he said.

The tie-up is in line with the bank’s strategy to secure partnerships and expand its digital capacity, including payments and lending.

Earlier this year SCB made an undisclosed investment in Indonesian ride-hailing startup GoJek’s Thai unit, Get, with plans to expand financial services to drivers on the app.

Its partnership with Sea comes as Thai banks are pressured by falling fee income following a waiver on digital transaction fees since last year.

SCB’s non-interest income dropped by 9.7% in the first half of 2019 from a year earlier due to lower fee income.

Sea, which owns e-commerce platform Shopee and operates in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, reported its e-commerce revenue more than tripled in the April-June period versus the same period a year ago on the marketplace-related services.

Sea raised $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) this year to expand its e-commerce business. It has also hired Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo as its ambassador for an upcoming sales event on its app, hoping his popularity in Southeast Asia can bolster sales.

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.

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. 
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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.