Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

Sea Limited Awarded Digital Bank License in Singapore

By Eric Volkman - Dec 6, 2020 at 7:03AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

It is the first permit of its kind granted by the Asian city-state.

From online games to banking -- the journey of Singaporean company Sea Limited ( SE -4.12% ) in its relatively brief life has been an unusual one, and an interesting new chapter was just opened. On Friday, the company announced it has been granted a license to operate a full-service digital bank there by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The license is the first of its kind awarded in the Asian city-state.

Sea was founded as an online games portal in 2009. The following decade, it grew out its e-commerce and financial services operations into two brands, Shopee and AirPay. It has had a strong regional presence in Southeast Asia for years, in such markets as Vietnam and the Philippines, and has also pushed further abroad into India and Latin America. 

Woman seated on a park bench using a smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

In its press release heralding its new license, Sea wrote that with Shopee and AirPay, plus digital entertainment business Garena, it "is already deeply integrated into Singapore's digital economy with young consumers" and small and midsize enterprises. 

The company added that its bank will "draw on insights about the needs of these users from across Sea's digital ecosystem to innovate processes, products, and services."

The dive into digital banking is a logical extension of Sea's operations and could easily widen both its brand and its revenue base, so it's almost inarguably a positive development. In the press release, however, the company did not provide any estimates as to how the bank might impact its business, nor did it specify the date it will commence operation. 

While the company is not yet active on our shores, its American depositary receipts are listed on the New York Stock Exchange following the company's U.S. initial public offering (IPO) in 2017

 
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Sea Limited Stock Quote
Sea Limited
SE
$285.68 (-4.12%) $-12.28

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
673%
 
S&P 500 Returns
142%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/30/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.