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Asia upstarts await word on Singapore digital banking licenses

Ant and Grab hope to win chance for fintech business post-pandemic

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is expected to announce the winners of five digital banking licenses soon.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- With Singapore set to award up to five new digital banking licenses, some of Asia's biggest tech upstarts, including Ant Group and Grab, are hoping to win an opportunity to boost their online financial businesses as the coronavirus pandemic continues to drag on global economies.

The Chinese fintech giant and the Singapore-based ride-hailing unicorn, as well as smartphone maker Xiaomi and e-commerce and gaming group Sea, are among the applicants for the licenses that will enable them to offer a variety of financial services in the city-state, which has long been a regional financial hub.

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