Binance invests in Singapore private exchange for token assets

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Binance Asia Services said it made an investment in Hg Exchange that gives it a post-money stake of 18%.(Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Binance Asia Services said it made an investment in Hg Exchange that gives it a post-money stake of 18%.(Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

By Chanyaporn Chanjaroen

(Bloomberg) — Binance Asia Services, the Singapore entity of Changpeng Zhao, said it made an investment in a regional private securities exchange called Hg Exchange that gives it a post-money stake of 18%.

“Through this investment, we seek to work with HGX in enhancing offerings of products and services supported by blockchain technology,” said Binance Singapore Chief Executive Officer Richard Teng. Financial offerings in the traditional form and crypto assets are converging, Teng said in a statement Wednesday. A post-money valuation is the firm’s worth that includes the outside investment.

Binance’s stake in HGX, which is based in Singapore and backed by PhillipCapital and PrimePartners Group, gives the crypto firm access to a regulated market operator as HGX has a license to trade shares in private companies, as well as tokenised assets including rare whiskey. Binance Asia is among firms seeking a license to operate a cryptocurrency exchange from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

PhillipCapital is one of the major brokerage firms in Singapore and manages more than US$35 billion of clients’ assets, according to the firm’s website. PrimePartners Group, also based in the city-state, focuses on fund management and capital markets. Fundnel, the other stakeholder of HGX, is an investment platform for trading private company shares, as well as fund raisings.

The HGX acquisition is subject to regulatory requirements, Binance said.

Binance Singapore continues to work closely with key government agencies to support the growth of the blockchain ecosystem, said Teng, who was chairman of HGX before taking the helm of Binance Asia in August.

Founded in China in 2017, Binance Holdings Ltd. hasn’t set up a global base yet. Instead, Zhao has incorporated firms in locations where Binance operates, including in Singapore, where he’s been based for two years.

Zhao recently told Bloomberg forum that Binance has decided on a location for its global headquarters and will announce it after he communicates with regulators.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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