More China tech companies eyeing Singapore banks’ lunch

iFast CEO Lim Chung Chun says there is a big opportunity in Singapore for a new bank to become the bank of choice for SMEs, particularly for loans. BT FILE PHOTO. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SINGAPORE, Jan 5, 2020, The Business Times. China tech firms are circling Singapore’s banking sector, with top names having joined the race for digital wholesale bank licences here, The Business Times reported.

On Friday morning, mainboard-listed iFast Corporation announced it has led a consortium with two China partners – Yillion Group and Hande Group – to apply for a Singapore wholesale digital bank licence.

Yillion operates one of four digital banks in China and counts China’s Meituan Dianping – which is listed in Hong Kong – as one of its key shareholders. Hande is a China fintech company founded by Cao Tong, the former president of WeBank, China’s first digital bank that is also backed by Tencent.

Besides Yillion and Hande, Jack Ma’s Ant Financial and TikTok owner ByteDance are also in the running for a similar digibank licence.

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