KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 (Reuters) - Malaysia on Friday
awarded digital bank licences to five groups of companies,
including some linked to e-commerce and gaming firm Sea Ltd
, telecoms operator Axiata and ride-hailing firm
The central bank said in a statement it had received 29
applications for the licenses, as companies looked to capitalise
on Malaysia's growing fintech sector.
Nearly all adults among the country's 32 million population
are smartphone users, government statistics showed last year.
Winning applicants for the licenses included Boost Holdings,
the fintech arm of Axiata, which teamed up with Malaysian
banking group RHB Bank Berhad for the bid, Bank Negara
Malaysia (BNM) said.
Others included a partnership between Sea Ltd and YTL
Digital Capital Sdn Bhd, and a group led by GXS Bank, an
alliance between Grab Holdings Ltd and Singapore
Telecommunications, and Kuok Brothers, part of
Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok's Kuok Group.
Grab and Singtel said in a statement GXS will hold a 55.45%
stake in the proposed Malaysia digital bank, subject to
Two consortia - led by Aeon Financial Service Co. Ltd and
KAF Investment Bank - will be licensed under Malaysia's Islamic
Financial Services Act, BNM said.
It said the winners must undergo a period of operational
readiness that will be audited by the central bank before they
can commence operations - a process expected to take between
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor,