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Singapore paves way for digital disruptors to become banks

Up to 5 licenses to be issued, with Grab among potential contenders

The Kolam Ayer bridge stretches over the Kallang River in Singapore. The city-state is opening the way for more digital banks.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The Monetary Authority of Singapore, the city-state's central bank, on Friday said it will issue up to five new digital banking licenses, opening the sector to newcomers like ride-hailing startup Grab.

The central bank will accept applications for the licenses starting in August. The move comes as Singapore vies with other Asian financial hubs in business competitiveness and support for innovation.

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