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Singapore telco eyes robo-advisory market

Singtel has inked an agreement with UOB Asset Management.
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Singapore-based telecommunications firm Singtel and UOB AM have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to offer dynamic and personalised robo-advisory investment solutions to individual investors in the Lion City, according to a joint statement from both firms.

The solution will be offered through Singtel’s Dash mobile wallet. The solution, which will make use of ETFs, mutual funds and other investment vehicles, will recommend investment portfolios based on the customers’ risk profile, investment horizon and financial goals.

This is the first collaboration of its kind between a non-banking mobile wallet and a regional asset management firm, both parties said.

This paves the way for Dash to make its foray into wealth management and furthers its goals of digital and financial inclusion by expanding the app’s range of mobile financial services offerings.

Singtel’s Dash has already expanded beyond payments and mobile remittance to include other financial services, such as travel insurance and most recently an insurance savings plan. The insurance savings plan, Dash Easy Earn, which was co-launched with Etiqa Insurance in September, has accumulated already accumulated around S$100m ($74.91m) in assets, according to the statement.

Both Singtel and UOB AM expect the robo-advisory solution to be launched by the first half of 2021. Singtel and UOBAM will also explore opportunities to offer robo-advisory and other investment solutions through Singtel’s associates in the region, given the presence of both companies in Asia, including Indonesia and Thailand, according to the statement.

“Tapping on UOB AM’s expertise in investment management, we aim to democratise access to digital investments for our customers who value simplicity, affordability and convenience when managing their finances on a digital platform,” Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s international group, said in a statement.

UOB AM has been active in the robo-advisory space. Earlier this year, it launched UOBAM Invest, which is a robo-advisory mobile app offered to retail investors in Singapore. The service is also available to Malaysian corporate clients and retail investors in Thailand.

The firm has also partnered with Grab to offer its funds on the Grab platform.

As of the end of September, UOB AM and its subsidiaries manage around $24.8bn in assets, according to the statement. It has regional business and investment offices in Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.,

Singtel has a presence in Asia, Australia and Africa and has at least 700 million mobile customers in 21 countries.


Robo-advisory services in the city-state are growing in demand. Currently, robo-advisory AUM in Singapore is around $1.06bn and is expected to grow by an annual rate of 25.3% to 2.62bn by 2024, the statement said, citing data from Statista.

Robo-advisory users are also expected to reach 192,500 by 2024 from 104,900 this year, an increase of around 83%, it added.

Besides UOB AM, several players have entered the robo-advisory segment in Singapore, including Syfe, Stashaway, Kristal AI and Grab Financial. Even banks have launched their own online wealth management services, including DBS – in partnership with Quantifeed, and HSBC – in partnership with Bambu.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.