,Paramount group CEO Jeffrey Chew (pic) said the property developer is looking at a stake of 20% to 30%, should the central bank grant the consortium a digital banking licence next year
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PETALING JAYA: Paramount Corp Bhd is looking at having up to a 30% stake in a five-member consortium which has applied for a digital banking licence from Bank Negara.
Paramount group CEO Jeffrey Chew said the property developer is looking at a stake of 20% to 30%, should the central bank grant the consortium a digital banking licence next year.
“We are not the majority shareholder in all these investments (digital business ventures),” said Chew during an online media briefing.
Paramount had recently paid RM13.7mil for a 30% stake in Omegaxis Sdn Bhd, which is the holding company of Peoplender Sdn Bhd that operates peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform Fundaztic.
Meanwhile, other consortium members are Star Media Group Bhd (SMG), RCE Capital – a financial services company and a subsidiary of Amcorp Group Bhd, Prosper Palm Oil Mill Sdn Bhd, and a technology partner.The property division’s top three revenue contributors were Bukit Banyan in Kedah, Atwater in Selangor and Utropolis Batu Kawan in Penang.
Up to five digital bank licences may be issued by the central bank and successful applicants would be notified in the first quarter of 2022.
Chew said a digital bank would be very profitable as it would have lower costs involving operating brick-and-mortar branches and employee headcount.
“We envisage that a digital bank, if designed correctly and targetted at the right customer segment, with the right products and processes, and good value proposition, would definitely achieve very low cost and thus resulting a very high ROE (return on equity),” he said.
“We can put more resources in helping SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and individuals to achieve their goals,” added Chew.
He also pointed out that each member in the consortium would bring different strengths to the table, citing RCE Capital’s strong track record in the financial services sector, SMG’s advantage as a media partner in “leveraging more effective advertising and branding, and creating awareness in the market”, as well as Prosper Palm Oil Mill which would help in building a strategy that would target the agriculture segment.
For its second quarter ended June 30, 2021 (Q2FY21), Paramount posted a net profit of RM1.6mil (compared with a loss of RM4mil a year ago) while revenue almost doubled year-on-year to RM127.45mil.