N2N’s ambitious Asian plan gets US$33mil boost
By Karamjit Singh April 30, 2014
- Nikkei and Quick choose it as strategic partner for Asia
- If approved, N2N to offer a truly one-stop financial platform
IS a Malaysian company aspiring to be the Bloomberg of Asia? It may seem like Andrew Tiang (pic), the founder and chief executive officer of real-time trading platform company N2N Connect Bhd, harbours such ambitions, telling Digital News Asia (DNA) that he expects to invest “a substantial amount into creating new products and a service channel leading to Bloomberg-like services eventually.”
Bloomberg is a US-based financial information provider that has evolved into becoming a leading global financial media organisation.
One of the more successful homegrown Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) status companies, N2N has announced that two Japanese companies have been invited to take a combined 28% stake in it at a cost of RM109 million (US$33.4 million).
A substantial amount of this will go into developing the new products and service channel that Tiang refers to.
The Japanese companies keen on N2N are media heavyweight Nikkei Corp and Quick Corp, a member of Nikkei Inc Group and Japan’s first and largest financial information provider.
Describing the 28% acquisition as “a strategic business alliance,” Tiang says the Japanese companies will incorporate their financial news, information services and advanced business analytics into N2N’s TcPro, an integrated financial trading platform.
The investment will be via a proposed private placement of more than 61,000,000 new N2N shares to each company at the issue price of RM0.89, amounting to 14% of the enlarged share capital. It is subject to approval from a company extraordinary general meeting (EGM), Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd and other relevant authorities, if required.
Tiang is excited over the possibilities of the deal, especially since it dramatically shortens his time-to-market compared with if he had taken the organic way.
“This collaboration will bring forward our Asia expansion plan by at least five years. With the strong balance sheet and content partners, we are armed with the latest arsenal of technological tools and information which allows us to offer a truly one-stop financial platform that we have been wanting to build all these years.
“This partnership makes that complete,” he says.
It is all not just one way. Tiang sees the partnership greatly enhancing the value all three parties can offer to their regional clients, while elevating their joint services to world-class levels.
In addition to collaboration with Nikkei and Quick’s content and technologies, the partnership will also extend to the integration and implementation of an order management system (OMS) that will create more bridges for asset management companies in Japan to distribute and execute their orders across the region.
An OMS is an electronic system developed to execute securities orders in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Brokers and dealers use OMSes when filling orders for various types of securities transactions and are able to track the progress of each order throughout the system.
N2N’s integrated multi-asset class trading platform TcProTM transacts equities, derivatives, futures, options, bonds and commodities across a variety of exchanges and inter-brokerages, and will soon have Contract For Difference (CFD) and forex trading additions.
N2N currently serves almost 70% of Malaysian equities and derivatives brokerage that collectively account for more than one million trading clients via its web, desktop and mobile platforms.
The relationship has taken time to form with the Japanese parties having been on the lookout for a suitable partner for two years before meeting with Tiang 15 months ago.
“As we discussed collaborating we began to feel more comfortable with each other’s vision, business ethics, enthusiasm and technology usage,” he claims.
As a result, what began as business collaboration deepened with the Japanese expressing interest in taking up equity, leading to the current offer for N2N.
N2N has business operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the 0Philippines; and joint partner operations in Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United States.
Its focus will be mainly Asian, says Tiang – unless something real exciting is spotted outside the region.
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