|Hana Financial Group's headquarters in Seoul / Korea Times file|
By Yi Whan-woo
Hana Financial Group said Monday that it has won preliminary approval from Singapore's financial authorities to set up an asset management company in the Southeast Asian country.
Granted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Friday, the preliminary approval comes as the Seoul-based financial holding company seeks to enhance global businesses, especially in non-banking sectors.
The firm did not specify when final approval will be made.
"The envisioned asset management company will cooperate with other subsidiaries to diversify revenue streams and pave the way for making inroads into other advanced markets," Hana Financial Group Chairman Kim Jung-tai said.
A Hana Banking Group official expressed hope that the firm will capitalize on its digital skills to implement its global vision in Singapore, noting that nearly 40 percent of Southeast Asian fintech companies are based in the city-state.
Singapore has become Asia's preferred financial hub, supplanting Hong Kong, after China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong last year.
The law pushed multinational companies to flee over concerns that Hong Kong will no longer be economically independent from China's socialist market-driven economy, and that, as a result, they will find fewer incentives.
As a major Korean financial holding company, Hana Financial Group has the long-term plan of becoming one of the world's top 40 global financial firms by 2025.
Its flagship arm is Hana Bank, a major lender here.
KB Financial Group was the first Korean company to set foot in the asset management sector in Singapore, last year.