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Malaysia’s Telecom Firm Axiata Talking to Partners to Apply for Digital Banking License

Malaysian telecoms agency Axiata is talking to eleven potential partners, along with banks, to propose for a digital banking permit jointly, its deputy chief executive, Mohd Izzaddin Idris, stated Friday.Malaysia's Telecom Firm Axiata Talking to Partners to Apply for Digital Banking License

Malaysia’s central bank plans to issue as much as five licenses to new online banks providing either conventional or Islamic banking under a proposed structure set to be finalized by the end of June.

In January, Axiata was among corporations along with ride-hailing agency Grab, gaming group Razer, AirAsia, and lender CIMB, trying to apply for digital banking permits in Malaysia.

Axiata has given comments to and been engaging the central bank since its draft proposal came out in December, Mohd Izzaddin informed an earnings briefing.

Axiata has been “pursued by some parties” for collaboration on the licensing application, he stated, adding that the draft didn’t specifically require the agency to collaborate with a bank. However, it made sense to do so, he added.

The agency’s digital ventures subsidiary, Axiata Digital Services, houses its digital investments and owns the e-pockets Boost.

Axiata said it was not having any discussions with Norwegian telecoms group Telenor ASA over a possible contract.

Last month, Telenor and Axiata’s prime shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, had held talks, just four months after the carriers abandoned a planned merger of their Asia operations.

The corporation further stated Friday it plans an initial public offering of its unit Robi in Bangladesh by the last quarter of this year and expects to raise 255 million ringgit ($60.8 million).

On the possible listing of its telecoms tower business, edotco, Axiata stated it was still seeking to acquire more tower assets and was in no rush.

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