financial services

Grab set for major investment in Vietnam

SINGAPORE (Aug 26): Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab is set to invest “several hundred million dollars” in Vietnam where the company sees its next major growth market, just weeks after it unveiled a US$2 billion ($2.8 billion) plan in Indonesia.

The proposed investment is the latest example of a top-notch regional brand deepening its commitment to Vietnam, one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. It also shows the eagerness of Grab, which has raised billions of dollars from investors, to put its cash to work.

Go-Jek snags investment from Thailand's largest lender

(July 11): Ride-hailing giant Go-Jek has secured an investment from Siam Commercial Bank, the Thai lender that counts King Maha Vajiralongkorn as its biggest shareholder, according to people familiar with the matter.

It’s unclear how much Thailand’s biggest bank is investing in Go-Jek, the people said, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Their partnership will help Indonesia’s most valuable technology startup bolster its financial services, while Siam Commercial is counting on online growth to help increase revenue, they added.

Grab is said to have discussed buying payments startup 2C2P

(June 17): Singapore ride-hailing giant Grab held talks to acquire payments provider 2C2P Pte and was turned down, according to people familiar with the matter, a sign of the ambitions Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup has in financial services.

Singaporeans love their banks but remains wary of other asset managers, finds survey

SINGAPORE (Sept 20): While a majority of Singaporeans view the city state’s financial services sector as more trustworthy than a decade ago, many are cautious towards less familiar sub-industries and new & emerging digital financial services companies.

This is according to the inaugural 2018 Financial Services Reputation Index, launched today by MHP Communications and ORC International, which surveyed over 4,000 adults across China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore in August this year.

Millennials the most savings-savvy generation in Singapore, finds UOB study

SINGAPORE (July 18): Singapore's millennials are outpacing their Generation X (Gen X) and baby boomer peers when it comes to growing their savings, according to United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) transaction patterns of its flagship UOB One Account holders. 

From mid-2015 to mid-2018, it was found that the average account balance for millennials grew 31% per annum to $27,000 – a trend which UOB says is supported by research conducted by Visa’s Millennials Study 2016, which indicated the generation is more focused on saving and investing compared to others.

Singapore's central bank chief sees sustainable growth at 2-4%

(Jan 15): Singapore’s economic recovery is broadening out in the city state, but there are still “real challenges” in the labor market, central bank Managing Director Ravi Menon said.

Sustainable economic growth is estimated at 2% to 4%, Menon told delegates at the UBS Wealth Insights Conference Monday in Singapore. Manufacturing is resilient and financial services are “doing well,” he said.

The challenge on the labor supply side is whether Singapore can raise productivity given that its workforce is already well-educated and skilled, Menon said.

Singapore unveils plan to create 4,000 finance sector jobs

(Oct 30): Singapore wants to bolster its status as a wealth management and foreign-exchange center as part of plans to create more financial-sector jobs and mitigate the effect of rapid changes in technology.

In a plan unveiled Monday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said it aims to create 4,000 net new jobs in financial services and financial technology, and achieve real growth in the sector of 4.3% annually, faster than the overall economy.

Vibrant Group acquires ASX-listed thermal coal producer for $40 mil

SINGAPORE (July 13): Vibrant Group has acquired Blackgold International Holdings, a China-based thermal coal producer listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), for a consideration of A$36.6 million ($40 million).

Blackgold predominantly sells its thermal coal to power plant customers in China.

With the acquisition, it has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the logistics, real estate and financial services group, and Blackgold’s existing management team will continue to lead the business, says Vibrant in a press release on Thursday.  

Life insurance startup Singapore Life raises $70 mil in funding

SINGAPORE (April 27): Singapore Life has raised US$50 million ($70 million) in Series A funding round led by Hong Kong listed Credit China FinTech Holdings through its subsidiary, Impact Capital Holdings, as well as UK-based investment firm IPGL Limited.

In a Thursday press release, the life insurance startup says this marks the largest-ever Series A funding round by a Singapore-based insurance technology (insurtech) company.

How Singapore’s financial institutions are turning a threat into opportunity

SINGAPORE (April 6): In line with the global trend, 88% of respondents from Singapore’s financial institutions this year see financial technology (fintech) as a real threat to their revenue as compared to just 73% in 2016, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Redrawing the lines: FinTech’s growing influence on Financial Services draws on PwC’s 2017 Global FinTech Survey, which is based on the responses of 1,308 participants globally.

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