TnG Digital raised US$75m from AIA and Bow Wave Capital Management, says CIMB group CEO

CIMB group chief executive officer Abdul Rahman Ahmad

CIMB group chief executive officer Abdul Rahman Ahmad

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 30): CIMB Group Holding Bhd’s e-wallet operator TnG Digital has raised US$75 million (RM311.78 million) from AIA Bhd (AIA Malaysia) and US-based private equity firm Bow Wave Capital Management, according to CIMB group chief executive officer Abdul Rahman Ahmad.

“Both investments have been actually announced, with the first led by Bow Wave Capital Management undertaking stakes in TnG Digital through an injection of new money.

“And recently, AIA made a formal announcement that also affected equity (structures) in TnG Digital,” Abdul Rahman told a virtual press conference today, adding CIMB’s stake in TnG Digital has diluted to around 47% from 51% previously, following AIA Malaysia's investments.

TNG Digital was jointly founded by CIMB’s wholly-owned subsidiary Touch ‘n Go and China’s Ant Group, on a 51:49 ownership previously.

Last month, AIA Malaysia said it has made "a minority equity investment" in TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, which owns the Touch 'n Go eWallet, confirming a report by theedgemarkets.com. However, it did not disclose the exact stake AIA would take nor other terms of the deal, other than saying its a strategic partnership under which it will provide "innovative and personalised digital insurance solutions to meet the protection needs of over 16 million Touch 'n Go eWallet customers nationwide".

On whether CIMB group plans to apply for a digital banking licence, Abdul Rahman said: "If we are looking for a digital banking license, we will do it under Touch ‘n Go. This is because at CIMB,  we are fully focused on transforming ourselves digitally, effectively transforming our customer journey digitally, as well as running or operating our business on the back end in a more digital manner."

Last week, its larger rival Malayan Banking Bhd said it does not need a digital banking licence, as it is technically already a digital bank, thanks to the technological investments it has made since 2014 in innovating its services.

Bank Negara Malaysia has reportedly received a total of 29 applications for digital bank licences, following the six-month application period which ended on June 30, with applicants coming from a diverse range of segments ranging from banks, industry conglomerates, technology firms, e-commerce operators, fintech players, cooperatives and State Governments.

The central bank has said it may be granting up to five licences, with the successful applicants to be announced in the first quarter of 2022.

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Tan Choe Choe