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Singapore to Let Banks Invest in E-Commerce, Other Business

  • Regulator to limit investment to 10% of bank’s capital funds
  • Retail clients to be able to transfer money using cell numbers
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Singapore regulators have proposed rules that will make it easier for banks to conduct or invest in non-financial businesses such as e-commerce and digital-payment platforms, helping them to better compete with non-bank firms in these areas, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said Tuesday.

Under the proposals, lenders will no longer need regulatory approval to invest in such businesses, Heng told the annual bankers’ dinner. The Monetary Authority of Singapore will cap the investment to 10 percent of the bank’s capital funds, the regulator said in a statement accompanying Heng’s speech.