According to a report from Nikkei, the largest financial group in Japan MUFG will invest JP¥800 billion (US$727 million) into Southeast Asia’s super app Grab.

Because of Softbank being one of the largest shareholders of Grab, as well as Japanese capital’s inherent strategic interest in Southeast Asia, Grab has successfully raised capital from a number of Japanese firms, including both Toyota (biggest in car market in Southeast Asia) and Honda (biggest in two-wheeler market in Southeast Asia).

You can find out more about Grab’s existing shareholders in TLD blog’s most read article of 2019.

From Japan to Southeast Asia

Facing a saturated home market and low capital costs, it also makes sense for Japanese financial groups to be in Southeast Asia.

MUFG has so far invested in/acquired Thailand’s Krungsri Bank, Bank Danamon in Indonesia, as well as banking assets in other countries of the region.

Bank Danamon is the parent of Adira Finance, one of the largest auto financing companies in Indonesia.

MUFG Innovation Partners, corporate VC arm of MUFG, has recently invested in Carsome, a leading second hand car platform in the region.

Tokyo Century, a large leasing firm from Japan, was one of the first investors of OVO, a leading mobile payment platform in Indonesia, putting US$1.16 million as early as in 2017.

Grab is currently the biggest shareholder of OVO.

The MUFG-Grab investment deal, expected to be announced soon and completed by mid year, will most probably help Grab’s wealth management and digital banking ambitions too.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].