(Yicai Global) Jan. 7 -- A consortium led by AMTD Group, founded by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, is going for one of Singapore's three available wholesale banking licenses to serve corporate clients while competing with Ant Financial Services Group.
The consortium that also includes Xiaomi's financial unit, peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Societies, and utilities provider SP Group, has submitted its application, The Paper reported today. Wholesale banking involves non-retail customers including small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore will announce the winners of two digital full bank licenses and three wholesale bank permits in June 2020, the central bank said on its website today. The successful applicants are expected to kick off operations in mid-2021. The MAS received seven applications for the full bank category that covers retail and corporate clients and 14 for wholesale banking before the year-end deadline.
Earlier this month, Alibaba-backed Ant Financial confirmed that it has submitted its wholesale bank application to promote financial inclusion globally.
AMTD and Beijing-based Xiaomi already obtained a virtual banking license in Hong Kong last May to boost fintech innovation by combining artificial intelligence and Big Data with traditional banking.
Xiaomi's shares [HK: 1810] rose as much as 2.7 percent to HKD11.28 (USD1.45) this morning but walked back some of those gains by noon.
Editor: Emmi Laine