Singapore replacing Hong Kong as financial hub for S.Korean banks
Major South Korean banks are rushing to establish their presence in Singapore, which is replacing Hong Kong as Asia's financial hub.
Hana Financial Group Inc. and KB Kookmin Bank recently obtained preliminary approval to establish an asset management company and operate banking business in Singapore.
The two South Korean banking giants are expected to receive final approval in the third quarter and begin operations by year's end.
Singapore hosts nearly 40 percent of Southeast Asia's fintech companies.
KB Kookmin Bank received a preliminary permit for a wholesale banking license, which allows it to engage in include corporate banking, investment banking, and brokerage services but not for retail banking.
KB Kookmin Bank plans to eventually establish its Asian loan review center in Singapore to cover the Southeast Asian market.
Meanwhile, Hana Financial Group's envisioned asset management firm in Singapore will be its first such company overseas.
The group hopes to use its entry into Singapore's asset management market to secure a key Asian market that would act as a springboard to its global expansion.
Hana Financial is said to be eyeing to take over a Singaporean asset management company once it acquires the final permit to offer its services in the country.