Linklogis and Sunway, Backed by Tencent, to Jointly Seek Digital Banking Licensing Sources in Malaysia

A general view of the Central Bank of Malaysia (Bank Negara Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 31, 2019. Photo taken on July 31, 2019. REUTERS / Lim Huey Teng / File Photo

SINGAPORE, June 29 (Reuters) – Malaysian conglomerate Sunway Bhd (SWAY.KL) has teamed up with Chinese financial technology firm Linklogis Inc (9959.HK) and Bangkok Bank PCL (BBL.BK) to apply for a bank Malaysian digital license, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Sunway will own a controlling stake in the company, said the sources, who requested anonymity as the names of consortium members were not disclosed.

The group joins a field crowded with hopes vying for just five licenses offered in the Southeast Asian country.

Malaysia is the latest to adopt online banking only after Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong and other Asian countries, with the entry of tech companies that have shaken up their often stagnant markets.

The Malaysian banking sector is dominated by Maybank (MBBM.KL), CIMB Group Holdings (CIMB.KL) and Public Bank Bhd (PUBM.KL).

The country’s central bank has said it will issue up to five licenses by early 2022 and the deadline for applications is the end of this month.

When asked for comment, Sunway, which owns real estate, healthcare and education businesses, referred to a statement released earlier this month in which she said she would apply for a license only online banking with partners to expand into the financial technology industry, but he did not name them.

Sunway owns and operates an online money transfer company and has a subsidiary which provides loans to business partners. She is also the majority shareholder of Credit Bureau Malaysia.

Hong Kong-based Linklogis, which specializes in supply chain finance, declined to comment and said it would share details with the market “at the appropriate time.” The Chinese technology giant Tencent is its largest shareholder with nearly 15% of the capital.

Tencent declined to comment.

Linklogis was part of a consortium that obtained a digital wholesale banking license in Singapore. The bank is expected to launch in 2022.

There was no immediate response to a Reuters query sent to Bangkok Bank on Tuesday.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore and Pei Li in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng in Bangkok; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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