Alibaba’s Ant Group Floats New Digital Bank ANEXT in Singapore

Ant Group, a majority-owned fintech firm of Alibaba Group Holdings has launched ANEXT, a digital bank following a nod from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) earlier this month.


The move comes off as Ant Group’s most ambitious off-shore expansion move after its failed IPO attempts back in 2020.

ANEXT will be focused on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly those focused on local and regional trades. The startup has inked a 2-year partnership with Proxtera, an entity supported by MAS, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), and the private sector entities to create an open framework for financial institutions.

“We believe it’s time to offer the next generation of financial services that are accessible and effortless for growing businesses. Amid rapid acceleration in the digital economy, business models are changing and pivoting to become digital-first, if not adopting a hybrid model. Financial services have to evolve and be where SMEs are doing their businesses digitally,” said Ms. Toh Su Mei, a banking veteran who will be leading ANEXT as its Chief Executive Officer.

Singapore is opening up for a whole lot of financial innovation and the penetration of Ant Group is a testament to this broad embrace. 

The country’s apex bank had also previously granted digital banking licenses to Sea, a technology firm as well as ride-hailing company Grab, both of whom are expected to float their own banking services in the near term. ANEXT customers will be able to open a consumer account and this access will be enabled in the third quarter of the year.

Ant Group also has a license to serve the corporate and institutional investor group in Singapore as far back as 2020, and the emergence of ANEXT will notably complement its effort across the board. 

Digital banks are growing and while they are proliferating across continents, a number of old players like Nubank are beginning to warm up to cryptocurrencies, a move ANEXT may consider in the next few years.

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Twitter Deal Sees Further Stalemate, Elon Musk Warns He Can Pull Out His Bid

Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer of electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc, and the prospective owner of social media giant Twitter have sent a filing to the SEC noting it may exercise its rights not to consummate the Twitter deal anymore. - 2022-06-07T103053.823.jpg

The filing was made by Musk’s lawyers in response to correspondence from Twitter representatives as the data transparency spat between the two camps took a new turn. The SEC filing noted that Twitter is depriving Elon Musk of the right to access accurate spam data to conduct his own assessment of the company’s business model as it concerns its user base.

The filing noted that Elon Musk has been politely requesting the spam data since May 9. Despite Twitter’s claims of the accuracy of its methods in estimating user count on its platform, the company’s refusal to drop the data for him to conduct his own analysis is clearly suspicious.

“At this point, Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover,” the letter reads.

Musk’s lawyers said the vocal billionaire needs the data he is requesting to top up funding he has secured from the likes of Binance through debt financing. The lawyers posited that he has agreed to subject anyone that will be analyzing the data to be bound by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that will bar him and the analysts from sharing the company’s data should the deal fail to be finalized.

Musk’s camp has seen the refusal to drop the data as a violation of his rights, and this may push him to cancel the bid currently pegged at $44 billion.

“This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” the letter reads.

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Regulator in Hong Kong Warns Users Against NFT Trading Risks

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has stepped up its awareness campaign and this time, it is in relation to the risks inherent in the trading of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).


As announced by the regulator, the trading of NFTs has soared in recent times with more Hong Kong residents getting aboard the bandwagon. The commission is admonishing investors not to participate in the trading of digital collectables if they do not fully understand the associated risks therein.

“The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) wishes to remind investors of the risks associated with investing in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which have increased in popularity in recent years,” the announcement reads, “As with other virtual assets, NFTs are exposed to heightened risks, including illiquid secondary markets, volatility, opaque pricing, hacking, and fraud. Investors should be mindful of these risks, and if they cannot fully understand them and bear the potential losses, they should not invest in NFTs.”

The SFC noted that NFTs are growing in popularity in Hong Kong and there are a number of NFTs that purely represents the digital representation of an underlying asset and in which case, it has little role to play in the trading of those assets. However, the regulator said there are NFTs that are portrayed as securities and these types must be licensed before it is offered to residents.

“The majority of NFTs which the SFC has observed are intended to represent a unique copy of an underlying asset such as a digital image, artwork, music, or video. Generally, where an NFT is a genuine digital representation of a collectible, the activities related to it do not fall within the SFC’s regulatory remit,” it said adding, 

“However, the SFC has recently noted NFTs which cross the boundary between a collectable and a financial asset, for instance, fractionalised or fungible NFTs structured in a form similar to ‘securities,’” in which case is required to be authorized.

Non-Fungible Tokens are continually becoming a major source of concern to regulators as there are no frameworks that govern them even in countries where crypto regulations are quite developed.

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