Evergreen Group – UbbIB Secures Multi-Million Dollar Strategic Partnership, Setting Stage For Major Merger

From left: Desmond Sim - COO of Evergreen Group Holdings, David Yong - CEO of Evergreen Group Holdings, Aida Othman - CEO of UBB Amanah Berhad, Razlan Raghazli - CEO of UbbIB

Evergreen Group Holdings and UBB Investment Bank Limited (UbbIB), sealed a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) on June 21 to lay ground for the commencement of a preliminary acquisition process which in time may end with a multi-million-dollar stronger investment bank in Malaysia.

The signing of the SPA marks a landmark step in Evergreen’s mid-term goal of becoming a leading player in the investment banking sector while opening up opportunities for investors in Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region.

Established in the 1990s, the Singapore-based Evergreen Group Holdings (Evergreen) has evolved from a timber processing and trading company to a multinational enterprise with diversified businesses in financial institutions, automotives, real estate, and lifestyle industries. The group’s exceptional track record has garnered attention, including a feature in Forbes U.S. on their resilience during the pandemic.

Aligning Towards A Formidable Investment Bank

The SPA highlights underlying mutual benefits and growth opportunities for both institutions and aims to inspire confidence among its investors and partners based on this strategic vision. A synergy of vision of substantial proportions has enabled the signing of the SPA between both parties.

Evergreen Group Holdings COO Desmond Sim told BusinessToday exclusively that they seek to venture towards growth in the financing and financial management sectors, primarily backed by a Money Lending License obtained from the Malaysian Government.

Specifically, Evergreen, through its subsidiary EGH Capital Malaysia Sdn Bhd, secured the license earlier this month to support financing projects aimed at enhancing affordable housing, particularly for civil servants.

Evergreen Group Holdings CEO David Yong said the agreement is an important step in expanding the group’s financing operations into Malaysia and Southeast Asia. “Our goal is to provide innovative financing solutions that meet the needs of our future customers, partners and contribute to the economic growth of Malaysia and the region while moving into the untapped potential in financing Asia’s underbanked regions.

Evergreen Group Holdings CEO David Yong

“The group has also forged strategic partnerships with several leading cooperatives and government agencies to support these initiatives. We have distinct advantages in Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, South Korea for a long period of time as this will be shared and contribute positively with UbbIB to expand our joint presence in these markets.”

Asked on their immediate plans, Sim said, after meticulously studying the Malaysian market and the Southeast Asian region since 2022, Evergreen sees substantial opportunities and a strong potential which began their aspirations towards a possible merger and acquisition deal with a viable Malaysian financial institution, namely UbbIB.

“We want to definitely upgrade into a full-fledged investment bank and UbbIB not only facilitates this but shares the same vison. Aside from this, we have pipelines exploring into digital banking and have tied up with quite a number of government agencies in Malaysia to expand our financing segment. As our investments are mainly based on private credit, it’s only natural for us to expand into a neighbouring country as we believe that financial sector in Malaysia is very much in line with Singapore’s financial ecosystem.”

On digital banking, Sim said the possible merger is still in its preliminary stage and the venture is being looked into until things have firmed up and finalised.

Creating New Opportunities

Asked on how does the merger enhance services within the Malaysian economy, Sim said the idea is to provide an alternative in terms of variety of products and services which would create new opportunities. We are in an endemic stage where many prerequisites are being reactivated. As investment bankers, we want to obtain the scale and maintain agility within a competitive and dynamic market, possibly simultaneously. And having a partner (UbbIB) who has been in the market for three decades offers expertise, meaningful insights and transference of knowledge both ways.

“Business is really a lot about relationship, trust and being able to connect well with stakeholders. And UbbIB surpasses these criteria as recommended by our trusted friends and business partners substantiated by our own due diligence which has now opened up a win-win situation for both parties as we move to the next level together.”

Synergy Of Two Large-Scale Entities

UBB MD and CEO Aida Othman and Razlan Raghazli, CEO of UbbIB, said from their perspectives, the SPA forms a historical event between two giant entities which paves the way for future collaboration, knowledge sharing, potential merger and acquisition activities and deeper economic integration.

“This event will be a milestone in the history of Ubb Investment Bank under its vision to become a thought leader in the financial sector. This partnership aims to provide greater flexibility and opportunities to the banking community to expand the footprint in cross border investment banking activities based on trust and good corporate governance. The knowledge and expertise sharing between both large-scale organisations will offer a range of banking alternatives to the business sector. This may also lead to a more efficient business structure and clear trends in the way our customers and partners conduct their businesses and help them expand.

“As we are positioning UbbIB as a first force of the regional banking sector, this union will help us move into markets with a current combined Asian GDP exceeding RM11.78 trillion (USD$2.5 trillion). We’ve also predicted an annual growth of 5.6% per annum, in serving the fourth largest economies in the world presently. And, I would like to reiterate that the vision of the partnership is to create another giant banking entity in Southeast Asia region,” Aida said.

UBB Investment Bank Limited (UBB IB) was incorporated in 2021 as a licensed investment bank. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UBB Amanah Berhad, a major private trustee in Malaysia providing trust services since 1988. The investment bank provides conventional investment banking services such as asset wealth management, corporate advisory solutions, cross-border transactions, and Labuan Financial Business.

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