(Updated)

Genting group joins bid for digital banking licence via PUC

Genting group joins bid for digital banking licence via PUC
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Genting Plantations Bhd, the plantation arm of the Genting group, is slated to become a 10% shareholder of PUC Bhd, which has recently formed a consortium to bid for a digital banking licence under Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, PUC said that it has entered into conditional subscription agreements with three companies in relation to its proposed private placement of 375.06 million new shares at 12.5 sen per share, to raise RM46.88 million.

PUC's share price was unchanged at 16.5 sen on Tuesday, valuing the company at RM197.46 million.

The three companies that are buying the new shares are GPVF Sdn Bhd, Matrix Edge Venture Sdn Bhd (MEV), and KH Lim Capital Sdn Bhd (KHLC), the filing showed.

GPVF, which is subscribing 162.53 million shares for RM20.31 million, is a wholly-owned unit of Kenyalang Borneo Sdn Bhd — which is in turn a wholly-owned unit of Genting Plantations, according to the plantation group's annual report.

In late July, PUC announced that it had formed a consortium with Sabah and Pahang state governments to bid for one of five digital banking licences to be granted by BNM in the first quarter of next year. It is understood that both state governments will each have 20% in the consortium.

GPVF's entry into PUC is seen as a part of a plan by the Genting group to get a piece of the action in the Malaysian digital bank space. It is believed that Genting Digital Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of Genting Bhd, is also likely to take up a direct stake in the digital bank consortium.

MEV meanwhile is a company whose shareholders comprise Chai Hann Lin (40%), Sabah-based Borneo Armor Sdn Bhd, and Datuk Seri Adnan Wan Mamat (40%), who is also a director of a subsidiary of the Royale Pahang Durian Group.

MEV is subscribing to 125.02 million PUC shares, representing 7.69% of the company's enlarged share capital.

KHLC, whose shareholders are Datuk Anthony Lim Kim Hai of the KH Lim Group (80%) and Yap Choon Fong (20%), is subscribing to 87.51 million shares or 5.38% in PUC post-issuance.

The subscription exercise is conditional on the approval of minority shareholders at an upcoming extraordinary general meeting.

PUC plans to utilise the proceeds for potential acquisitions or investments (32%), upgrading of PUC's Presto Digital platform software (21.3%), marketing for Presto Digital (10.6%) and working capital (35%).

After a 2020 streamlining exercise, PUC currently has two business segments, namely media, advertising and digital imaging businesses, as well as the Presto platform businesses comprising e-commerce and digital payment services. The group is also exploring opportunities in food delivery, and digital moneylending business, it said.

Kathy Fong