The Battle for the regional hub. With HK losing its role as Chinese springboard, the focus is also on Asian hub. Singapore looks like to be better positioned to win there. We started to invest in South East Asia out of Singapore after the summer out of our Fund II and are bullish on the opportunities in the region!
Tax benefits, government help and easy access to regional markets led Joe Seunghyun Cho to choose Singapore as the headquarters for his six financial technology companies, rather than base them in the rival hub of Hong Kong or his native South Korea. “We are quite impressed by government agencies here,” said Cho, whose Marvelstone Group is developing a mobile payments platform and invests in other fintech firms. Singapore authorities introduced him to tax advantages and connected his firm to potential partners. Many fintech companies are making similar choices, adding a new dimension to the decades-old tussle between Singapore and Hong Kong for the position as Asia’s premier financial center. With banks’ profits under pressure from stricter global regulations and rising compliance costs, it’s a battle either city can ill afford to lose.