Ant's Malaysian e-wallet venture with CIMB in talks to raise $150 mln -sources
By Anshuman Daga and Liz Lee
SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 (Reuters) - A Malaysian
e-wallet operator owned by CIMB Group and China's Ant
Group is in advanced talks with investors to raise at least $150
million to fund expansion plans, four sources familiar with the
The coronavirus pandemic has propelled demand for digital
payment services around the world, but Malaysia's market is
particularly competitive with nearly 50 players. The venture,
TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, says its Touch 'n Go e-wallet is the
country's biggest with more than 15 million registered users.
TNG Digital is negotiating with global banks, asset managers
and others, the sources said, declining to be identified as they
were not authorised to speak to media.
Two sources said the fundraising is expected to give TNG
Digital a valuation of more than $700 million and it could end
up raising about $250 million in total this year.
"TNG wants to step up its presence in financial services.
This is where the market growth is," said one of the sources.
The two sources said the new fundraising will result in CIMB
and Ant Group paring their stakes but they will remain the
biggest investors in the business.
CIMB and its unit Touch 'n Go Sdn Bhd which owns 51% of TNG
Digital declined to comment. Ant Group, which holds 49%, said it
would defer to its partners when asked for comment.
Ant Group has cut funding and staff support to many of the
overseas e-wallet firms it has invested in as it pivots away
from earlier ambitions of becoming a global payments leader.
TNG Digital has secured approval from the Malaysian
securities regulator to directly distribute capital market
products including money market unit trust funds. It is
partnering with Principal Asset Management, one of the country's
biggest fund managers.
Rival e-wallet firms are also keen to expand and last year
insurer Great Eastern invested $70 million in the
fintech business of Malaysian telecoms firm Axiata,
which operates the e-wallet Boost.
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Liz Lee; Editing by Edwina
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