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Singapore Banking & Finance Services News

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AI, human-centric design to drive innovation in finance

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore has introduced a raft of digital initiatives to fuel innovation in the country's financial services sector, ranging from developing an e-marketplace for trade-finance assets to building smarter infrastructure to enable the more convenient use of e-payments.

Homegrown cashless payment solutions firm Nets has also recently unveiled a string of new fintech ...more

Annual premiums drive Q4 insurance growth


SINGAPORE'S life insurance industry reported growth on all fronts in the fourth quarter of last year, as insurers turned their focus towards narrowing the protection and retirement gap, which in turn drove sales up.

For the three months to end-December, total weighted new business sales, a growth measurement, rose 15 per cent year on year to S$955.3 million on the back of ...more

MAS to boost financing options for Asia's growth companies


THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will roll out a host of initiatives over the next few days to help beef up financing channels for growth companies in Asia.

And to support innovation, MAS will develop better technology infrastructure to sharpen Singapore's competitive edge in areas such as foreign exchange (FX) and trade; it will also set up a dedicated group to ...more

Could SingX be a global payments disruptor?

FINTECH start-up SingX has launched an online remittance platform backed by former bankers, threatening to upend the global payments industry. It said its customers could save up to 90 per cent of typical remittance charges.

On the face of it, SingX's ambition to be the Airbnb of global payments, a US$30 trillion market, sounds far-fetched. The US$30 trillion market is dominated by banks with ...more

MAS plans to reform financial sector

Sweeping reforms are on the way to make it easier for smaller firms and budding entrepreneurs to secure financing for their businesses.

There are also initiatives to drive innovation in a number of areas, including strengthening Singapore's already leading role as a foreign exchange centre.

The reforms are a response to recommendations by the Committee on the Future Economy to help ...more

Banks have to take the lead in O&M consolidation: analysts


EZRA Holdings' massive impairment charges and a second merger deal in Norway to create the world's fourth-largest offshore support vessel (OSV) player are telling signs that consolidation is on the horizon in the offshore and marine (O&M) sector.

Observers noting that the government aid released catered mainly to the broader O&M sector, further argued that bank lenders have ...more

Ex-DBS bankers back fintech remittance startup


FORMER DBS bankers are backing a fintech remittance-payments startup with the potential to disrupt the lucrative trillion-dollar global-payments industry.

The homegrown fledgling, called SingX, on Thursday billed itself as a cheaper, faster and more-convenient online-remittance platform which charges consumers a fraction of what they typically pay for overseas money transfers. ...more

Booster shot for health tech start-up from Facebook co-founder, EDBI

Health tech start-up CXA Group has raised US$25 million (S$35.5 million) in a funding round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's B Capital Group and EDBI, the venture capital arm of the Economic Development Board.

Other investors include Philips, RGAx - a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America - as well as existing investors NSI Ventures and BioVeda Capital.

Singapore-based ...more

New online insurance player dangles Valentine's Day carrot

A new online service that compares and sells insurance policies has opened for business, with the aim of making the process easier for consumers.

Insurance Market, as the portal ( is called, offers policies in the area of travel, personal accident, home, pet and maid, with plans to include motor, motorcycle and international health - focusing on hospital care.

And ...more

OCBC adviser in major stake sale of Indon toll road


OCBC Bank on Wednesday said it has closed a significant acquisition deal in Indonesia and its first infrastructure-related investment banking mandate, as it rides on the expected infrastructure boom in the country.

It said OCBC Sekuritas, the bank's Indonesian unit, was the exclusive financial adviser for the sale of a stake in Indonesia's longest toll road for 2.57 trillion ...more

Will driverless cars drive motor insurers to the wall?

SINGAPORE'S motor insurance industry has a blind spot: Driverless vehicles.

Motor insurance is the cash cow for general insurers here, accounting for nearly one-third of the general market.

In 2015, car insurers hauled gross premiums of S$1.1 billion - a 4 per cent drop from S$1.2 billion in 2014 due to stiffer competition and a drop in car population.

That decline is a lot ...more

Nets unveils digitised payment strategy


SHOWING that it has moved with the times, Nets - the 32-year-old cashless payment solutions company, and a local household name - has unveiled Nets 2.0, a string of new fintech offerings aimed at digitising the consumer payment experience in Singapore.

Nets chief Jeffrey Goh, who on Tuesday introduced the concept of Nets 2.0 at a media lunch, declared that contactless payment ...more

Penny stocks rule as banks bolster STI

ELEVATED penny stock punting and a push on banks UOB and OCBC provided the main features of Tuesday's trading, in which the Straits Times Index (STI) rose 14.73 points to 3,071.64. Turnover amounted to a healthy 3.67 billion units worth S$1.3 billion and, excluding warrants, there were 252 rises versus 207 falls.

More than two-thirds of the STI's rise came from gains in OCBC and UOB, with ...more

Bank of S'pore inks deal to let clients book assets in Switzerland


BANK of Singapore has upped the ante by giving private bank clients more options - its clients can now book assets in Switzerland via an agreement it inked with Swiss banking group Bank Vontobel AG.

This agreement lets its Asian ultra-high and high net worth clients to open an account with Vontobel to place their assets in the Swiss wealth manager's Zurich booking centre, ...more

Opportunities for the financial sector

Roundtable participants:

- Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS); - Paul Gwee, Secretary-General, Asean Bankers Association; - Lee Wai Fai, Group Chief Financial Officer, United Overseas Bank; and - Ho Kok Yong, Financial Services Industry Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia.Moderator: Amit Roy Choudhury

THE next few years will be crucial ...more
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