Thursday 20 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 29): RHB Bank Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, YTL Corp Bhd and AEON Credit Service (M) Bhd climbed after winning the digital bank licences.

YTL Corp climbed the most in percentage amid active trade. At the time of writing on Friday (April 29), it had gained five sen or 8.4% to 64.5 sen after rising to an intraday high of 65.5 sen. The counter, which was the fifth most actively traded stock, saw 51.65 million shares traded.

Meanwhile, AEON Credit, which was among the top 10 gainers, added 18 sen or 1.15% to RM15.78. The stock earlier climbed to an intraday high of RM16.44.

RHB Bank advanced three sen or 0.48% to RM6.22, while Axiata grew one sen or 0.28% to RM3.52. Both stocks earlier rose to intraday highs of RM6.24 and RM3.55 respectively.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced on Friday the five successful applicants for the digital bank licences as approved by the minister of finance. They include a consortium of Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd (owned by Axiata) and RHB Bank; a consortium led by GXS Bank Pte Ltd and Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd; a consortium led by Sea Ltd and YTL Digital Capital Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of YTL Corp); a consortium of AEON Financial Service Co Ltd, its subsidiary AEON Credit and MoneyLion Inc; and a consortium led by KAF Investment Bank Sdn Bhd.

“Three out of the five consortiums are majority-owned by Malaysians, namely Boost Holdings and RHB Bank, Sea Ltd and YTL Digital Capital, and KAF Investment Bank,” BNM said.

It also said all 29 applications received were thoroughly assessed, which required the central bank to consider all the factors and other relevant policy requirements.

“The assessment criteria covered the character and integrity of the applicants, the nature and sufficiency of their financial resources, soundness and feasibility of business and technology plans as well as ability to meaningfully address financial inclusion gaps.

“Applications were assessed on their individual merits, as well as relative to other applications based on consistent evaluation of each assessment criterion. This horizontal review was based on the assessment criteria applied across all applicants to determine the relative strength of each application and identify the successful applicants,” the central bank added.

Throughout the assessment process, BNM instituted strict governance and evaluation procedures to ensure robust, objective and consistent assessments across all 29 applications received.

According to the central bank, four levels of assessment were carried out, supported by a cross-functional technical team, a review team and internal independent observers from BNM’s risk and legal departments.

The final recommendations to the minister were deliberated and endorsed by BNM’s Management Committee, it added.

BNM governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said, “Digital banks are expected to further advance financial inclusion. By adopting digital technology more widely for everyday transactions, we can significantly increase opportunities for our society to participate in the economy by overcoming geographical barriers, reducing transaction cost and promoting better financial management.

“Digital banks can help individuals and businesses gain better access to more personalised solutions backed by data analytics. As businesses move online, digital banking also provides a safer and more convenient way to transact,” she added.

Following this announcement, BNM said the successful applicants will undergo a period of operational readiness that will be validated by the central bank through an audit before they can commence operations. This process may take between 12 and 24 months.

In line with the five strategic thrusts stated in the Financial Sector Blueprint 2022-2026, BNM said it will continue to work with the financial and fintech industries and relevant stakeholders to continuously enhance access to financial services throughout the country and across all segments of society. 

Edited ByLiew Jia Teng
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