Grab & Singtel to Pursue Banking Opportunities in Indonesia; Acquire Minority Stakes in Local Bank

Sale of Bank Fama's shares is to accelerate and expand business growth

Teckwai Saw

25 Jan, 2022

Grab & Singtel to Pursue Banking Opportunities in Indonesia; Acquire Minority Stakes in Local Bank | BEAMSTART News

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Singapore-based telecommunications firm, Singtel and ride-hailing company, Grab have bought a 16.3% stake in PT Bank Fama International via their joint subsidiary A5-DB Holdings Pte Ltd.

The acquired stake is 2.4 billion shares which is worth a total of 1 trillion rupiah (US$70 million).

Bank Fama's majority shareholder, Indonesian conglomerate Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk (Emtek), mentioned that the sale is to "accelerate and expand business growth" of the bank.

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All Eyes on Indonesia's Banking Space

End of 2021, Emtek acquired Bank Fama in hopes to penetrate Indonesia's digital banking space.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, with more than 1,500 operational rural banks and home to 270 million people, has been on the radar of many tech companies for the same reason as Emtek.

Southeast Asia's fastest growing e-commerce platform, Shopee acquired a bank during 2021, while Indonesia-based tech giant, Gojek bought a stake in Bank Jago, just to name a few.

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Doubling Down on Digital Banking

Singtel formed a consortium with Grab to acquire a digital full bank license in Singapore at the end of 2019.

Following that, the consortium also applied for a digital bank license from Malaysia’s Bank Negara in July 2021.

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