Malaysian conglomerate Sunway has unveiled plans to apply for a digital banking licence as it seeks to expand to the fintech sector.

According to a Reuters report, the multi-industry company will place a joint bid with undisclosed partners.

In an email to the news agency, Sunway said that it will reveal the names of its consortium partners eventually.

The Malaysian central bank is expected to issue up to five online-only bank licences. The applications are due by the end of this month.

Currently, Sunway operates a digital remittance service called Sunway Money and offers loans to business partners through a subsidiary. The group also holds majority stake in credit-reporting firm Credit Bureau Malaysia.

Sunway aims to develop fintech ecosystem and for micro, small and mid-sized enterprises.

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It was quoted by Reuters as saying in the mail: “With our venture into digital banking, and leveraging our existing ecosystem, we aim to provide a comprehensive, seamless and easily accessible digital banking service.”

Earlier, RHB Bank partnered with local telecommunications conglomerate Axiata to place a joint bid for a digital banking licence.

AirAsia Group, CIMB Group Holdings, Razer and Grab are also expected to place bids.

Several Asian regulators are opening up the banking sector for digital players amid increase in online banking.

In December last year, Singapore awarded digital banking licences to four applicants.