International Finance

Ant Financial acquires ‘significant’ stake in Vietnam’s eMonkey

Ant Financial Vietnam
Despite having an office in Vietnam, Ant Financial has invested in eMonkey because it has an operating license from the State Bank of Vietnam

Alibaba’s fintech arm Ant Financial has acquired a significant stake in Vietnam-based M-Pay’s ewallet fintech startup eMonkey, according to media reports.

Even though Ant Financial already has an office in Vietnam, it has invested in Vietnamese fintech eMonkey because the startup has an operating licence from the State Bank of Vietnam.

Reportedly, the deal was negotiated earlier this year; however, it is not being announced due to the anti-China sentiment in Vietnam.

The Vietnam fintech funding deal, which details are not yet disclosed, will give Ant Financial access to Vietnam’s booming market with over more than 100 million people. Around 25 percent of the 100 million are below the age of 25.

As a part of a major restructuring process, Alibaba has named Simon Hu as its new chief executive, who replaces Eric Jing. Simon Hu, who joined Alibaba in 2005, served as Ant Financial’s president since November last year.
Prior to that, he worked in the small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) loan and cloud computing divisions of Alibaba.

Despite Simon Hu’s appointment, Eric Jing will continue to serve as executive chairman. Previously, he acted as the chairman and the chief executive.

According to media reports, Ant Financial has formed a joint venture with Vanguard to provide retail investment advisory services in China. The joint venture will target China’s booming investment market.

Last month, it was reported that Ant Financial Services is raising around $1 billion for an investment fund that will invest in startups across Southeast Asia and India.

The fund will invest in startups in the payments and fintech space and will help Ant Financial expand outside China as it is facing stiff competition from rivals such as Tencent in its home market.

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