Razer joins Singapore’s digital banking race

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Gaming company Razer Inc. has teamed up with homegrown Singaporean entrepreneurs and Asian billionaires to apply for a full digital banking license, joining the race to create virtual lenders in the city state.

Razer’s shares leapt as much as 13.4% Thursday, their biggest intraday gain since April. Its consortium is the second group to announce it’s submitted an application for the digital full banking license after Grab Holdings Inc. and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. unveiled a joint bid on Dec. 30. The Monetary Authority of Singapore is set to announce the winners of five digital banking licenses in mid-2020.

Efforts to open up the Singapore banking industry to technology companies come on the heels of a similar move in Hong Kong, where units of Ant Financial and other Chinese firms including Tencent Holdings Ltd. obtained licenses. Southeast Asia’s digital lending market is expected to more than quadruple to $110 billion by 2025, according to a report by Bain & Co., Google and Temasek Holdings Pte.

“Upon obtaining the license, we believe Razer would leverage on its 70 million registered user base across its software offerings to cross-sell more financial products,” Jefferies analysts led by Ken Chong wrote Thursday. “This would likely include insurance and wealth management products offered by Razer’s ecosystem partners, while Razer would contribute its traffic and data of its core user base of game enthusiasts.”

Bloomberg News