Singaporean Family Office Launches Digital Bank In Bahrain
- Singaporean Whampoa Group to open digital bank in Bahrain.
- Bank will offer digital asset trading, custody, and management services.
- Whampoa aims to serve a global client base, citing Bahrain’s solid reputation and fast-growing crypto market
The Whampoa Group, a Singapore-based family office, is set to launch a digital bank in Bahrain, according to the kingdom’s Economic Development Board.
The bank, which is expected to open by the end of the year, will offer a suite of digital banking services, including digital asset trading, custody, and management. The Group has indicated that it aims to attract a global client base.
The Central Bank of Bahrain has granted the bank “in principle approval,” pending the fulfillment of all requirements, according to Bloomberg. The approval represents a significant milestone in the Group’s plans to establish a foothold in the region’s burgeoning digital banking sector.
Whampoa Group is associated with two prominent Singaporean Lee families, including Amy Lee, niece of Singaporean statesman Lee Kuan Yew, and Lee Han Shih of Singaporean multimedia conglomerate Potato Productions. The Group’s LinkedIn page reveals that its digital arm, Whampoa Digital, was founded in 2021. The company has been involved in several high-profile investment initiatives, including a $500 million fund created by Binance Labs, the cryptocurrency exchange’s venture capital arm, in June 2022. In September of the same year, it launched a $100 million venture capital fund to support Web3 startups. It is also an investor in ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok.
The Middle East and North Africa region was identified as the world’s fastest-growing crypto market in a Chainalysis report released in October. Whampoa Group CEO Shawn Chan cited the kingdom’s solid reputation in the financial services sector, transparent regulatory framework, and ongoing pledge to collaborate and innovate as key reasons for launching the initiative in Bahrain. The move is part of the Group’s broader strategy to expand its digital banking footprint in the region.
Binance received a license to operate in Bahrain in March 2022, and local payment platform EazyPay partnered with Binance Pay to enable the use of crypto at more than 5,000 points of sale in the country in October. Bahrain is also home to CoinMENA, a Shariah-compliant cryptocurrency exchange, creating a favorable environment for digital banking and payment solutions.
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