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iFast Corp looking for investors in its Greater China business

WEALTH management firm iFast Corp is on the hunt for potential investors for its Hong Kong and mainland China operations.

The proposed investment would see the share capital of iFast Hong Kong Holdings and iFast China Holdings upped by about 15 per cent, the board said on Tuesday.

iFast has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance as the lead financial adviser to help it find and talk to potential institutional and/or other investors for the Greater China business.

The group said that it would use the proceeds from the proposed investment to grow the business in that region, including but not limited to the planned virtual banking business in Hong Kong. As part of the planned deal, iFast's Hong Kong subsidiaries would be restructured to be held directly under iFAST Hong Kong Holdings.

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iFast has previously said that it has applied to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for a virtual banking licence in that territory.

"The proposed investment is expected to be done at above book value of the Greater China business and this is estimated to bring about a positive effect on the group’s net tangible assets," the board said.

It added that the proposed investment would have increased the group's FY2017 net profit of S$9.04 million by some S$340,000 had its interest in the Greater China business had been diluted by 15 per cent at the beginning of the year.

The board added in a cautionary statement: "There is no certainty or assurance as at the date of this announcement that the group will be awarded the virtual banking licence or that the proposed investment will be successful and completed."

iFast closed up by S$0.01, or 0.89 per cent, to S$1.13, before the announcement.