Business

China's Zall leading group bidding for digital wholesale bank licence

Chinese e-commerce group Zall is leading a consortium hoping to snag one of Singapore's three digital wholesale bank licences on offer.

The consortium aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) when they want to expand into Asia, Zall Smart Commerce Group said in a statement yesterday.

Its partners in the consortium are Japanese trading house Marubeni Corporation and trade platform company Global eTrade Services (GeTS),a subsidiary of government e-solutions company CrimsonLogic.

Zall deputy chief executive Peter Yu said the consortium hopes to provide SMEs with growth insights and sustainable finance by drawing on member companies' global footprint, network and resources. He noted that companies in the consortium have operations in China, Japan and South-east Asia.

The digital bank foray will mark Zall's fourth major project in Singapore since 2018. Zall has worked with trading platformGeTS, the Singapore Exchange and Marubeni in its previous projects in the Republic.

The Zall-led consortium is competing against the likes of Jack Ma's Ant Financial, which has decided to apply for a wholesale bank licence alone.

Other hopefuls include different consortiums led respectively by iFast Corporation, AMTD and Sheng Ye Capital. They are among the 14 applicants who have submitted their bids to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Digital wholesale banks will serve SMEs and other non-retail segments. Foreign companies can hold a majority stake in them.

Applicants will know by the middle of this year if they have been successful. - THE STRAITS TIMES

BUSINESS & FINANCE