Telenor Sells 51% Stake in Wave Money for US$ 53 Millionby Fintech News Singapore January 18, 2022
Telenor Group announced that it will be selling its 51% stake in digital payment solutions provider Digital Money Myanmar, also known as Wave Money, for US$ 53 million to Yoma MFS Holdings, a subsidiary of Yoma Strategic.
This subsidiary is to be funded by a consortium of investors led by Yoma Strategic which remains subject to completion and final funding.
When the transaction is concluded, Yoma Strategic will become the largest and controlling shareholder of Wave Money, ensuring that the company continue operations.
“This acquisition reinforces Yoma Strategic’s desire to build a strong financial and technology ecosystem in the country over the long term. The digitization in the economy, in particular in financial services, has been remarkable for Myanmar.
We are pleased that Wave Money has positively transformed the way of life of people in Myanmar, bringing financial inclusion to the mass,”
said Melvyn Pun, CEO, Yoma Strategic.
“We have worked in partnership with Yoma Strategic to ensure that anyone from anywhere can digitally send and receive money, make contactless and secure payments in-stores or online using the market leading mobile Wallet App of Wave Money.
We are confident that Yoma have the commitment and vision to take Wave Money forward to the next level of driving financial inclusion”,
said Lars Erik Tellmann, Head of Financial Services in Telenor Group.
Wave Money was launched in November 2016 as a joint venture between Yoma Bank and Telenor Group, after it was awarded a license to become the first non-bank institution to work under Myanmar’s new Mobile Financial Services Regulation.
However, Myanmar’s military coup in February last year witnessed Ant Financial’s plans to invest US$73.5 million in Wave Money to become a substantial minority stakeholder to fizzle out.
The blows kept coming as KrASIA reported that Wave Money had lost over half of its users, its number of monthly active users plummeting from more than 2 million to 1 million as of 31 May 2021.