Kenanga Investment Bank Acquires Stake In Malaysia’s Largest Money Services Business Operator Merchantrade Asia

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Kuala Lumpur, 28 October 2020 – Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad (Kenanga Group) has acquired 4.99% equity interest in Merchantrade Asia Sdn Bhd (Merchantrade), Malaysia’s 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.

“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,” commented Datuk Chay Wai Leong, Group Managing Director, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad.

Also backed by other shareholders that include Celcom Axiata Bhd and Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, Merchantrade clinched the coveted Fintech Financial Services Award last year and serves a customer base of over three million through its digital online and app-based channels and extensive nationwide physical network. A well-trusted household name, it is rapidly expanding its footprint, which includes its recent acquisition of additional stake in Singapore’s  mobile remittance service, KLIQ Pte Ltd, as well as its recent 100% acquisition of local leading digital remittance player, Valyou Sdn Bhd from the Telenor Group. With this acquisition, Merchantrade will have a combined annual remittance turnover of more than RM11 billion and a network of over 1,700 touchpoints, solidifying its position as the largest remittance player in the country.

“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 Datuk 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 live, finding the right partners to co-create and collaborate with, is crucial and the key to unlock longer-term growth,” remarked Datuk Chay.

This partnership with Merchantrade adds to the line-up of digital initiatives Kenanga has embarked on over recent years. This includes the successful joint-venture, with Japan based Rakuten Inc, to introduce the first fully online stocktrading platform in Malaysia, Rakuten Trade, which has since seen remarkable record volume growth.

It also recently announced a partnership with award-winning digital supply chain financing company, Bay Group Holdings Sdn Bhd, to transform the traditional factoring market in Malaysia.  Also, in the works is a robo-advisory platform that will be launched early next year.

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