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AMTD, Razer, iFast miss out on digital bank licence applications, announce plans moving forward

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 4 min read
AMTD, Razer, iFast miss out on digital bank licence applications, announce plans moving forward
All three companies said that they will remain committed to rolling out their initiatives in digital finance respectively.
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AMTD Group, Razer Fintech and iFast, who were previously in the running for the digital banking licences awarded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Dec 4, have announced their plans moving forward.

In separate statements, all three companies said that they will remain committed to rolling out their initiatives in digital finance respectively.

AMTD and Razer have also congratulated the four recipients, as well as MAS on the awards.

Despite not winning the license for now, AMTD says it will continue to “build a one-stop, comprehensive, cross-market, and innovative digital solutions platform, creating our SingaWorld”.

“We are committed to investing into Singapore as our digital platform’s global headquarters, expand to the rest of Asean and lead the digital innovations in the region,” it adds.

In the same statement, the Asia-based financial services conglomerate said that AMTD Digital’s global headquarters and AMTD Group’s regional headquarters are in the midst of setting up in Singapore, with the official opening taking place within the next eight to 12 weeks.

The office will host all Singapore-based talents and subsidiaries, with Osman Faiz as Chief Information and Operating Officer.

In addition, AMTD congratulated MAS and participants at the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and announced that it will remain the festival’s grand sponsor for the next three years at least.

A founding partner of the SFF, AMTD is this year’s grand sponsor, making this their fourth consecutive year at the festival.

SEE:D.E. Shaw joins other hedge funds in opening Singapore office

The group also increased its AMTD Asean Solidarity Fund to $80 million from an initial capital of $50 million.

The application deadline for the fund will be extended to 31 Dec 2021 from 31 Dec 2020.

The fund was jointly established by AMTD and the Asean Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) to support and anchor FinTech companies registered on the API Exchange Platform in Asean countries during Covid-19.

Calvin Choi, chairman of AMTD Group reiterated AMTD Digital’s ambition to become a leading FinTech platform in the Asean region out from the global headquarters in Singapore.

He says, “It has been an amazing journey working with a fantastic group of consortium partners and ecosystem members. Our mission to build SingaWorld is crystal clear: to work closely with the Singapore community to create and deliver partnership and ecosystem solutions to enable SMEs, empower entrepreneurs to grow and succeed in this region.”

Similarly, Razer FinTech’s CEO Lee Li Meng unveiled the company’s plans following its missing out on one of the digital banking licenses awarded by MAS.

“While we were hopeful to be able to start our journey here in Singapore, our strategy of extending the Razer Fintech business into digital banking remains unchanged,” says Lee, who announced that the group intends to roll out Razer Youth Bank in places where Razer and Razer Fintech have established a “strong user base and local business presence”.

This can be in regional countries such as Malaysia and the Philippines or Europe, the Middle East, or Latin America Lee added.

Furthermore, Lee says the group intends to leverage on Razer Fintech’s existing operations in Malaysia and the Philippines, where over a third of consumers in both countries are new to digital services.

“This presents a huge market opportunity for us to be the first providers in the area of fintech and digital financial services for them,” Lee says.

SEE:UOB to set up electronic FX pricing and trade engine in Singapore, to launch by 2Q2021

“While awaiting the results of the Singapore license, we have already been engaging other jurisdictions in parallel. Our roll-out plan will be subject to the relevant government policies and regulations, the receipt of applicable licenses and permits, as well as market entry and profitability considerations, etc,” he adds.

“Razer Fintech is well-positioned to take up the challenge of addressing the unmet financial needs of the youths and millennial… We will continue to expand our ecosystem and collaborate with best-in-class industry partners to drive the global fintech industry forward.”

In a statement released via SGX, iFast Corporation says it remains “committed in continuing its pursuit of a digital bank licence, including in other jurisdictions”.

It adds that it will continue to work on improving its range of solutions and services to further add value to global investors, wealth advisers and corporates with its business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B) and Fintech solutions.

As at 3.52pm, shares in AMTD International are trading flat at $17, while shares in iFast are trading $1.17 lower or 30% down at $2.73. Shares in Razer are trading at HK$2.51 (43.2 cents).

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