Axiata expects to launch Boost Bank in Q2 2024

NST Thu, Feb 22, 2024 04:33pm - 2 months View Original

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd will have a full fledged launch of Boost Bank in the second quarter of 2024 (Q2 2024).

Chief executive officer and managing director Vivek Sood said the company is focusing on its fintech arm for the full launch of the digital bank.

"The shareholders are committed to building the bank and taking us to profitability. We are looking at investments at the holding company of the Boost Bank but that is not something which is an immediate requirement for us.

"The commitment from shareholders is there to ensure that it is fully funded and meets the regulatory requirements," he told reporters at the media briefing in conjunction with the release of its full-year financial results for 2023.

Boost, together with its consortium partner RHB Banking group, has received the approval from Bank Negara Malaysia and the Finance Ministry to commence operations as a digital bank, with effect from Jan 15.

The Boost-RHB digital bank consortium received regulatory approval ahead of the scheduled timeline, following a thorough operational readiness review validated by Bank Negara.

Following the approval, Boost said the consortium will advance into the alpha-testing phase involving internal employees, family, friends, and a selected group of customers.

Axiata posted a net loss of RM1.99 billion in the financial year 2023 ended Dec 31, 2023 (FY23) compared to a net profit of RM9.75 billion the previous year  impacted by NCell and Edotco Myanmar asset impairment, higher net finance cost and lower share of results of CelcomDigi Bhd relative to Celcom's contribution as a subsidiary in 2022.

Revenue for FY23 rose to RM22 billion versus RM22.02 billion the previous year supported by growth across all operating companies except Boost.

Axiata stated the uncertain and deteriorating operating environment and risk of further value erosion led to the decision of exiting Nepal and Myanmar in FY23. "Disposal of Nepal operations was completed on Dec 1, 2023 while discussion on the sale of Edotco Myanmar is ongoing," it said in a statement.

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