Hong Kong-based AMTD revealed in an interview that they are seeking a digital banking license in Malaysia. AMTD is an independent investment banking firm established by the CK Hutchison Group who was, in turn, was founded by Hong Kong’s business magnate Li Ka-Shing.
AMTD is also among the 8 licensees that were granted approval by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to operate a virtual bank. The group is also currently bidding for a license in Singapore alongside Xiaomi, SP Group and Funding Societies. It was not made clear if AMTD is also currently in talks with Funding Societies in Malaysia to bid for the license here.
In our previous conversation with Calvin Choi, CEO, AMTD he revealed that the group wasn’t looking into any one country as a singular basis, instead, the goal is to build a comprehensive suite of financial services that are enabled by the right digital licenses.
They are looking to spin off a fintech unit which provides a suite of service including virtual banking, insurance broking, digital asset exchange, and payment systems under AMTD Digital.
AMTD’s digital banking ambition doesn’t seem to be limited to the countries its currently seeking to apply license for, the idea seems to be to have an Asia wide platform that targets SMEs and retail banking customers. Calvin shared with us that they evaluate markets based on whether they are able to find synergising values with the right partners.
Malaysia virtual banking framework is currently still in its draft phase with deadlines for feedbacks extended to April 2020. Players like Axiata’s Boost and Razer have openly expressed their interest to apply for the license while Grab did not rule out they will also seek to operate a digital bank in Malaysia.
Image Credit: AMTD