KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 28): Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd said it has acquired 4.99% equity interest in Merchantrade Asia Sdn Bhd, a leading e-money player and the country’s largest money services business operator.
This follows Kenanga’s recent collaboration with Merchantrade to introduce Malaysia’s first stockbroker e-wallet, Kenanga Money, it said in a statement today.
“Merchantrade is one of the fastest growing digital payment and remittance brands in the country. Constantly on the forefront of digitisation and driving innovation in financial services, they are rapidly making waves across Asia in a segment projected to experience exponential growth. We are excited to be able to partake in the flourishing prospects of Merchantrade and look forward to exploring more digital opportunities together,” said Kenanga Investment Bank group managing director Datuk Chay Wai Leong.
According to the statement, Merchantrade, whose other shareholders include Celcom Axiata Bhd and Japan’s Sumitomo Corp, serves over three million customers through its digital online and app-based channels and extensive nationwide physical network.
“Both homegrown brands with sights set on digital innovations, there is tremendous synergy between Kenanga and Merchantrade, from our business models, product line-up and corporate values. However, it is the underlying shared vision and ambition we have to reshape the financial space through emerging technologies that will power the many other exciting collaborations in the pipeline,” continued Chay.
“The future belongs to the ones that can successfully engage their customers digitally through a broad and meaningful spectrum of products and services. Building a robust ecosystem that adds value to the customers is at the core of our digital strategy. To bring that to life, finding the right partners to co-create and collaborate with, is crucial and the key to unlock longer-term growth,” he added.
This partnership with Merchantrade, the investment said, adds to the line-up of digital initiatives Kenanga has embarked on over recent years.
This includes a joint venture with Japan-based Rakuten Inc to introduce the first fully online stock-trading platform in Malaysia, Rakuten Trade, which has since seen remarkable record volume growth.
The investment bank also has in the works a robo-advisory platform that will be launched early next year.