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ANEXT Bank
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Alibaba’s Ant Group has made an additional S$200 million investment into ANEXT Bank, its wholly-owned subsidiary and SME digital bank, according to news reports made yesterday (March 25).

According to DealStreetAsia, the digital finance and tech giant previously pumped S$250 million into the digital bank, with the total investment amounting to approximately US$502.61 million.

This investment aims to spur Ant Group’s efforts in digital finances in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region following its receipt of a digital wholesale banking license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in late 2020.

ANEXT Bank has been making losses since its launch

However, the bank has reported an almost fivefold increase in financial losses, from about S$6,000 to S$33,000 in 2021 and 2022, respectively, despite earning S$3,195 in revenue in the latter year.

This investment is a critical move to ensure that the bank can continue empowering micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and championing financial inclusion. As of 2023, 78 per cent of ANEXT Bank’s Business Account customers are micro-businesses, and 51 per cent of ANEXT Bank’s business loan customers are MSMEs.

Ant Group launched its Singapore office in September 2023 as part of its global strategy. Speaking at the Singapore Fintech Festival that same year, Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Group, aims to capitalise on the increase in digital technology adoption in the ASEAN region.

Featured Image Credit: ANEXT Bank

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