Malaysia’s diversified conglomerate Sunway Berhad said Friday it is acquiring a 51 per cent stake in credit reporting agency Credit Bureau Malaysia (CBM) via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sunway Holdings.
The deal marks Sunway Berhad’s foray into financial technology (fintech) space.
“The acquisition will enable us to advance our ambition of building a fintech ecosystem and securing a digital banking licence, in order to promote financial inclusion for Malaysians and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) aligned with the 10th United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Reducing Inequalities,” Sunway Berhad President Chew Chee Kin said in a joint statement.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad and Sunway Holdings will be the two shareholders of CBM, the group said.
With this collaboration with Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia and CBM, Sunway eyes opportunities to offer finance-related services to SMEs.
“SMEs are one of the most important catalysts of our economic growth and contribute almost 40% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. We see considerable potential in this segment, particularly in finance-related services,” Chew added.
The strength and expertise of CBM in credit reporting and trade referencing will complement the existing finance-related services offered by Sunway, which includes money lending, hire purchase, factoring, cross-border remittance and others, the group added.
CBM chairman Suresh Menon said that he is confident the new partnership would help bolster the credit reporting agency’s efforts to bring more value-added solutions to its clients and the market.
Bank Negara Malaysia has in March issued an updated exposure draft on the Licensing Framework for Digital Banks that incorporates the proposed simplified regulatory framework for digital banks applicable during the foundational phase.
Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the central bank has extended the consultation period for the exposure draft from April 30 to June 30, 2020.
Applications for new licences will be open upon issuance of the policy document, the regulator said in a statement earlier.
Quoting sources, Reuters reported in January ride-hailing group Grab, gaming firm Razer, low-cost carrier AirAsia, telecoms firm Axiata and lender CIMB are among companies looking to apply for digital banking licences in Malaysia, after the central bank said up to five digital bank licences may be issued to qualified applicants late last year.