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China property giant Greenland Group to join digibank fray: Lianhe Zaobao

CHINESE real estate developer and state-owned enterprise Greenland Group, through its investment arm Greenland Financial, has formed a consortium with partners including Chinese financing platform MinIPO to vie for a wholesale digital banking licence in Singapore.

The group intends to build a digital bank that will tap China's financial technology to serve SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Singapore, leveraging the resources and capabilities of the joint parties, they told Lianhe Zaobao in an exclusive interview.

Geng Jing, executive president of Greenland Group and chairman of Greenland Financial, pointed out that the group and MinIPO have worked together previously. The formation of this group will be a strong combination of large-scale state-owned enterprises with fintech leaders in China, he said.

He added that the consortium will also collaborate with top academic institutions in Asia in areas such as artificial intelligence technology and financial risk management, and fintech talents to help the development of wholesale digital banking.

The Greenland Group consortium adds to a growing list of Chinese contenders joining the digital banking fray in Singapore. On Tuesday, The Business Times also reported that China-based Zall Smart Commerce Group is teaming up with Japanese trading conglomerate Marubeni Corporation, and Singapore supply chain platform provider Global eTrade Services (GeTS), for a wholesale banking licence.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said in January that 14 applications for the digital wholesale bank licences have been received. Several of those reported thus far have involved Chinese companies.