Hong Kong fintech WeLab to launch digital bank in Indonesia

HONG Kong fintech WeLab said on Tuesday it will buy a controlling stake in Indonesian commercial lender PT Bank Jasa Jakarta and launch a digital bank in the country - one of Asia's fastest-growing digital economies.

WeLab, backed by Allianz and billionaire Li Ka-Shing's TOM Group, said it had secured $240 million from existing and new investors to help fund the deal.

A WeLab-led group has already picked up 24% of PT Bank Jasa Jakarta and will buy the remaining majority stake following regulatory approvals, the Hong Kong firm added.

It will launch a digital bank in the second half of 2022 in Indonesia - a country where only 52% of households have access to a bank account while most have access to internet-enabled mobile phones, according to a World Bank report.

With Indonesia's internet economy booming, regional lenders DBS Group and United Overseas Bank have launched digital offerings, while GoTo, the country's top tech firm, has invested https://www.reuters.com/business/gojek-backed-bank-jago-aims-leverage-tech-giants-data-2021-07-06 in Bank Jago.

PT Bank Jasa Jakarta has assets worth 6.6 trillion rupiah ($457.92 million), including 2.6 trillion rupiah in loans and 4.9 trillion rupiah in total savings, based on its unaudited financial report at the end of the third quarter.

The Indonesian digital bank will be WeLab's second in Asia after officially launching in Hong Kong in 2020, where the company says it now has more than 150,000 customers. - Reuters

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