Alibaba’s Ant Financial is looking to take a 20 per cent stake in Thai online payment provider Ascend Money, with an option to expand its interest to 30 per cent.
According to Reuters, Ant Financial, the parent of Alipay – China’s largest mobile payment platform — filed a notice with China’s Ministry of Commerce to invest in the Thai firm, which owns True Money and Ascend Nano, a licensed financial services provider.
No details on the size or timing of the investment were announced.
Ant Financial has been aggressively chasing licences in Hong Kong and other Asia Pacific markets, as it puts international expansion at the top of its agenda.
The firm indirectly holds a payments bank licence in India via its 25 per cent stake in local firm Paytm. The licence was one of 11 awarded by the RBI in principle last year. In addition, the Chinese firm was part of the K-Bank consortium which received preliminary approval in South Korea to set up an internet bank. Partners include KT, Woori Bank and Hyundai Securities.