Thursday, 20 June 2024

Whampoa Group to set up digital bank in Bahrain

5 min read

Whampoa Group, a Singapore-based investment group focused on digital asset investments, said it will be setting up a digital bank in Bahrain to provide secure and integrated financial services to support the growth of the digital assets industry.

The bank, to be established by the end of the year, will serve institutions, innovators and sophisticated investors around the world. It plans to offer digital banking services and the trading, custody and asset management of digital assets.

Shawn Chan, Group CEO of Whampoa Group, said: "We were impressed by Bahrain’s solid reputation in the financial services sector, transparent regulatory framework, and ongoing pledge to collaborate and innovate. We are committed to providing innovative digital financial solutions in line with global best practices and are confident that our digital bank will set a new benchmark for the industry.

“Whampoa is grateful for the support from the Bahrain EDB and the broader Team Bahrain ecosystem throughout the entire process.”

Khalid Humaidan, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: "We are delighted that Whampoa Group has chosen to set up the headquarters of their new digital bank in Bahrain given that the establishment of these types of institutions are vital to further strengthening the existing digital assets industry. This milestone opportunity directly aligns with Bahrain’s Economic Recovery Plan, which prioritises digitisation across the financial services sector. The new digital bank will benefit from Bahrain's pro-innovation environment and forward-looking regulatory framework.”

Bahrain, a pioneering hub for digital asset regulation among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, was among the first to issue crypto-asset licences in the region, cementing itself as a leading hub for crypto services and fintech innovations in the region. The Kingdom's well-established financial services and innovation hub, fast-growing diversified economy, and strategic location at the heart of the Arabian Gulf, make it an ideal destination for Whampoa’s new digital bank.

Bahrain's financial services sector, which contributes 17.5% to the GDP, remains the highest contributor to the economy, surpassing oil and actively supporting economic diversification.

Chan added that the long-term outlook for digital assets remains bright as blockchain and other Web 3.0 technologies continue to drive the next evolution in the internet.

He noted that 58% of 800 respondents in a World Economic Forum survey expect up to 10% of global GDP will be stored and transacted via distributed ledger technology by 2027 and that the global tokenised market is potentially worth as much as $24 trillion by 2027. The number of crypto users, estimated currently at 320 million, is also slated to grow to as many as one billion by 2030, with 75% of merchants expected to accept cryptocurrency payments within the next two years.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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