Telenor Group to sell shares in Digital Money Myanmar

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Yoma Strategic Holdings is the buyer for stake, subject to regulatory approval.

The fintech firm Digital Money Myanmar operates under the Wave Money brand.

Telenor Group owns a 34.2% stake in the company after Ant Financial, the Chinese operator of Alipay, invested $73.5 million ($65.06 million) for a minority stake in May.

Telenor will receive $76.5 million (€67.72 million) from the divestment, which it describes as “an attractive return”. Wave Money was launched in Myanmar in November 2016 with First Myanmar Investment Co. Ltd and Yoma Bank.

Opportune time

“This is an opportune time for Telenor Group to divest. Both Yoma Group and Ant Group’s core operation is financial services and technology, and they are therefore the strongest owners to take Wave Money forward.

“Wave Money has built a leading position in money transfer and will continue to be a strategic distribution channel for Telenor Myanmar, our mobile operator in the country.

“We are proud to have been part of Wave Money’s impressive growth journey from day one and contributed towards making Myanmar a more financially inclusive society,” says Lars Erik Tellmann, Head of Financial Services at Telenor Group.

The transaction is subject to approval by the Central Bank of Myanmar.
 
Partnership continues

Cooperation between Telenor Myanmar, which is wholly owned by the Telenor Group, and Wave Money will continue.
 
Wave Money runs a network of more than 57,000 agents or Wave Shops in urban and rural areas across Myanmar, covering approximately 89% of the country. In 2019, revenue and transaction numbers tripled. Wave Money became EBITDA positive in September 2018, two years after its launch and continues to be profitable.