Southeast Asian Business Roundup
Analytics company aSpecial Media secured US$1.46 million in venture capital funding from GlobalRoam, a US-based telecommunications services provider. The money will be used to finance regional expansion as well as improving its technological capabilities.
aSpecial Media analyses online users’ behaviour in real time as they view content whether by way of desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The company said it aims to become Asia’s largest database of real-time behavior.
This will allow corporate clients to use the enhanced database for product and market research.
The listed Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has contracted Deutsche Bank and ING Bank to arrange a US$200 million three-year syndicated loan facility on its behalf.
RCBC is one of the oldest and largest conglomerates in Southeast Asia and in April this year received a significant boost when Cathay Life Assurance Co Ltd purchased a 20 percent stake.
Leading real estate development firm FLC Group acquired an abandoned property complex in Hanoi in June and just a month later said it would start construction on the site in August this year.
Abandoned five years ago, the 265 Cau Giay project, so-named because it is on a main street in the Vietnamese capital, will be renamed FLC Twin Towers. The company said it planned to retain the original design of the project, which includes a 50-storey building for apartments and a 38-storey tower of offices for lease. The project will alos have three garden spaces and a swimming pool.
Cermati, an online financial portal for finding and comparing financial product information, secured seed funding on the back of the launch of its website in April this year. The website is designed as a one-stop shop for financial-related matters for the Indonesian consumer.
Indonesian ownership of financial products in the marketplace is low, averaging 2.3 products per capita, compared to Singapore (7.7 products per capita), Malaysia 5.4 and even Thailand at 2.5.
Consumer lending is valued at around US$120 billion in Indonesia and the sector has enormous potential for growth.
Malaysia’s largest lender by asset size, Maybank, launched what it called the Maybank FinTech programme in May this year. Designed to attract entries from financial startups looking to garner seed funding and connections within the financial services sector, Maybank said it had received some 115 entries from technology startups in less than three months. Of these, 109 were from within the Southeast Asian region. Of those, Maybank executives pared the best of them down to a short-list of 21 startups.
The programme, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, is looking at becoming a unique platform for aspiring innovators to gain traction in what is a US$12 billion industry.