SingTel, Hong Leong will get digital bank licences

MAS to issue up to five new digital bank licences: SM Tharman

Constructive, nation building media

It’s a nap that two of the licences will go to SingTel (or a SingTel jv) and Hong Leong Group

SingTel or a jv led by it will get one of the two digital full bank licences, which will allow licensees to provide a wide range of financial services and take deposits from retail customers. The focus of a SingTel bank will be regional remittances via its regional network of telcos. Think of all the Peenoy and Indon maids who remit money via remittance firms.

Grab or Go-Jek could decide to try to cut a deal with SingTel, rather than apply for a virtual bank licence themselves because they can bring to the party a regional presence via their apps etc. But SingTel may be too greedy to do a jv. I suspect the authorities will make SingTel tie up with Go-Jek or Grab. But the other co will not be left out in the cold (see below) because I think the authorities want competition here between the two and because Temasek has stakes in both: Temasek, GIC got this right in our backyard. Related post: Offered money, Grab it

Hong Leong group will get one of the up to three digital wholesale bank licences, which will allow licensees “to serve SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and other non-retail segments”. Hong Leong Finance is a de facto SME bank though people like Inderjit Singh and Jack Sim are not happy with the way it does biz, and are forever KPKBing for really cheap financing for SME owners, even though it’s a fact that SME owners often divert biz loans to buy property.

Grab, Go-Jek and Razor will try for the other virtual bank licence, though I think they’ll have to find a S’porean partner because

Companies headquartered in Singapore and controlled by Singaporeans will be able to apply for digital full bank licences.

Foreign companies who wish to apply must form a joint venture with a Singapore company, the authority added. The joint venture must meet the headquarter and control requirements. Digital wholesale bank licences are open to all companies.

I’m sure they will try to get M1 owned by Keppel and SPH to partner one of them.

But as I said for Grab and Go-Jek working with SingTel could be a better bet if SingTel is not too greedy. The other could then tie up with M1.

As to Razer? Razer? Who the [email protected]#! is Razer?


Cynical Investor

Cynical Investor blogs at Thoughts of a Cynical Investor



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9 Responses to “SingTel, Hong Leong will get digital bank licences”

  • report ci to police:

    this Lj sure as hell stubborn.

    we wait patiently for that one slip to report to police swee swee.

    we are jobless old folks with nothing better to do every ffffing day but watch for that one slip to report to police.

    don’t believe?

    test us and see our effectiveness.

    GD Star Rating
  • Harder Truths:

    When all the software is written by Ah Neh (India) Pte.Ltd., pappy don’t think these FT don’t spy on passwords and transaction records via backdoors?

    One fine day when the accounts are zero no point KPKB.

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  • Asd:

    Cyclic inventor ? You fortune teller or something ? Stop talking cock here and mislead others…

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  • TruBlu:

    That guy worth billions.
    Actually,WTF IS CI?

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  • most uselss:

    Never believe in Greedy Singtel… f them

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  • for real estate development:

    //and are forever KPKBing for really cheap financing for SME owners, even though it’s a fact that SME owners often divert biz loans to buy property.//

    well, real estate mania lar ? sinkie land (some call it the small red dot), somehow garment managed to squeeze whatever so-called scare resource land for real estate development leh ?

    even some companies whose core business does not do well now are also getting into real estate (anyway, being financed by ah kong ?) leh and ?

    together with REITs, all are in a fun game of helping one another in the rent-seeking game leh as too many people need to survive leh when their own core businesses do not do well.

    so now we are seeing companies trying to leverage their technological asset into a crowded banking market space to give us more competitive product (hopefully the benefits will be really passed down to consumers AND not additional fees for having digital accounts / min sum or whatnot like automated answering machines which take longer time to get through the right person / dept and wasting consumers time in the name of corporate efficiency / productivity).

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Opening up a digital bank simply for Grab/Go-Jek transactions? Thinking so small can make you money, meh?
    It is highly amusing but it smells of desperation & a bankruptcy of ideas (no-brainer schemes for churning up money-making ideas [more for GDP Growth instead] without requiring any effort from highly paid govt administrators to come up with better solutions).
    It is a blatant copy-&-paste from China’s cashless eco-system hoping to replicate WeChat Pay & Ali Pay success in transforming mobile payments within China.
    Smells like the recent opening up of the electricity retail market to a gob-smacking 20+ retail players all scrambling for a share of a small electricity retail market which would be driven even smaller when divided among the 20+ players. Can make money, meh or is it another hare-brained scheme to bilk investors into investing just to drive up short-term GDP growth but no lasting prosperity nor benefits to the nation. Haven’t we seen enough of these type of economic wayang shows where there’s a lot of thunder & lightning at the start, only to melt away quietly when reality strikes.
    S’pore is already overbank in terms of the Big 3 local banks with their extensive network of branches & ATMs, the proliferation of foreign banks in S’pore, etc.
    The problem in S’pore is an ongoing liquidity crunch. Local are keeping their money warm & tight in their pockets, eschewing consumption in the process. After being pilloried & swindled out of their life savings in investment scams like Noble, Swiber Bonds, Hyflux debt instruments – there is no safe haven for their monies except fixed deposits.
    Even property investments aren’t as great as it once was! Oversupply & a slower rate of foreigners allowed into S’pore have send rental yield falling, while some units in the boondocks can’t even be rented out. Capital growth of properties have also stagnated since 2013 – 6 years of no capital growth & counting (excepting for EnBloc transactions).
    Foreigners in S’pore aren’t keeping their monies in S’pore except for the ultra-rich who were merely parking their wealth in a transitory mode. Most foreigners who are working & living in S’pore on peanuts (ie. low wages), they remit the bulk of their income back home to feed their village.
    Give me a break! Stop jerking people around & start acting like a real nation. All these silly actions have become evident & really a waste of time. Bankrupt of ideas & simply harvesting until the s**t hits the ceiling fan!

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    “MAS to issue up to five new digital bank licences: SM Tharman” of which two will be DIGITAL FULL BANK LICENCES, which will allow licensees to provide a wide range of financial services and take deposits from retail customers; the remainder three would be DIGITAL WHOLESALE BANK LICENCES, which will allow licensees “to serve SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and other non-retail segments”.
    Nothing Earthshakingly new except it is a blatant copy-&-paste model from China’s shadow banking mechanism & their successful cashless payment eco-system. S’pore is trying to emulate China’s smartphone banking eco-system & their cashless transactional mechanism currently dominated by WeChat Pay & AliPay. The wholesale banking is simply a copy-&-paste of China’s shadow banking system & their peer-to-peer borrowing-lending technology platform. But unlike China’s shadow banking sector, S’pore’s mechanism is state-directed & regulated thus assuring bidders of a “risk-free” venture.
    The winner in this event would be MAS who would reap riches from granting those license & collecting licence fees from those wannabe “banking” aspirants who are willing to pay a king’s ransom for a “sure-win” (bao-chiak) business opportunity.
    Haven’t we seen these type of moves before – liberalisation of the taxi industry with new licences in the early 2000s; open market entry of ride share companies in 2011; incentives to Co-Gen entities to expand electricity capacity [seeds of Hyflux demise]; recent Telco liberalisation with licences for new entrants, recent electricity retail liberalisation with 22 retail entrants, etc.
    Truth be told! – all these were bankrupt state-directed economic initiatives made by civil servants to enrich the state coffers. But they are NO-BRAINER types of economic initiatives – nothing more than plagiarized efforts eg. copy-&-paste without much thinking effort from highly paid civil servants with no experience in private sector workings. S’pore deserved more & need better efforts from them.
    Smacks of rent-seeking activities & crony capitalist moves to benefit selected (crony) players. Even the created jobs from these ventures will go to foreigners instead of locals except for the heavy lifting work done by locals eg. taxi-&-PHV driving, food delivery. Locals are blind to this inequity!
    The govt needs to take their greedy hands off the marketplace & allow the private sector to do their thing. PAP’s political-economy model is a failure while their stubborn-ness upholding their bankrupt model will only bring S’pore down!

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  • can write on more impt things?:

    This pap IB is no keeping up.

    It has been years since Singtel is spelled with a small “t”.

    pap with IBs like this, OPPO can sleep well since pap sure gone case sooner or later.

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