Two Thai titans join forces in digital lending

Siam Commercial Bank Plc (SCB) and Advanced Info Service Plc (ADVANC) have agreed to form a joint venture to establish AISCB Co., Ltd. which will offer digital lending through online platforms.

The key objective is to broaden access to financial services for the general public.

Both firms will hold a 50-per-cent stake in the joint venture, with a registered capital of 600 million baht. More details are to be announced soon, it said.

ADVANC, or better known as AIS, is Thailand’s largest mobile phone carrier and SCB is the country’s third-largest lender by total assets. 

An analyst at Maybank Kim Eng said that it is premature to estimate any impact given the limited information.

However, he expected AISCB to have “a competitive advantage versus other players as it can use and monetize data to analyze credit risk and approve loans faster.”

The digital lending unit would benefit from around 43 million subscribers from ADVANC, he added. 

SCB and ADVANC share price rose on Tuesday ahead of the official announcement by 5.91 and 2.12 per cent at the closing, respectively. 

Previously, the central bank raised the credit limit for digital lending from 20,000 to 40,000 for terms of up to 12 months.

More to come 

SCB will hold a board meeting regarding the business restructuring to become a holding company, followed by a press conference this evening.

The main agenda is the separation of its leasing business, which is expected to be listed on the the Stock Exchange of Thailand in early 2022, according to the source. 

The source also mentioned that SCB is eying to launch its own cryptocurrency trading service and the standalone credit card unit.

In response to rumours, Manop Sangiambut, SCB’s Senior Executive Vice President clarified that the spinoff of the leasing business was inaccurate. “​​Such news is untrue,” he said.

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