Singtel shares jump 11% on digital bank win with Grab

SINGAPORE- soared after its consortium with Grab Holdings was awarded a licence to run a digital full bank in Singapore.

The telecom operator rose as much as 11 per cent, the most since October 2008. The stock was the top gainer by value on the Singapore Exchange. At 10.16am, Singtel was up 16 cents or 6.8 per cent to $2.50 with 50.2 million shares changing hands.

Digital full banks will be allowed to take deposits and provide banking services to both retail and corporate customers.

The Grab-Singtel venture has said it will hire 200 people before the virtual lender’s launch in early 2022. Singtel provides mobile, fibre broadband and TV services, and owns 40 per cent of the partnership.

US-listed Sea Ltd was the second entity to be awarded a full bank licence. Its shares rose 8.3 per cent on Friday, the biggest gain in about four months.

Meanwhile, an Ant Group-led entity and a venture involving China’s Greenland Financial Holdings Group won wholesale bank licences.

Shares of Singapore-listed iFast Corp plunged as much as 34 per cent, the most on record, after it failed to win a licence. Hong Kong-listed Razer – another contender – fell as much as 12 per cent.

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