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Korea’s SK Group invests RM2.9b in M’sia including digital bank and EV

SK GROUP, the second-largest conglomerate in Korea with a market capitalisation of US$177 billion (RM741.63 billion), has committed over US$700 million worth of investments in Malaysia in 2021 and intends to invest further into the country moving forward.


In January 2021, SK Nexilis Co Ltd announced a capital expenditure (capex) of RM2.3 billion to set up a copper foil manufacturing facility in Sabah, which will be part of SK Group’s electric vehicle (EV) value chain.


Recently, SK Group’s subsidiary SoCar Malaysia, the largest car sharing company in Malaysia, has raised more than US$55m from EastBridge Partners and local conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd to fuel its expansion and build an EV platform in Malaysia, with plans to deploy hundreds of EVs in the next five years.


“In addition, SK Group made a strategic investment of up to US$100 million into BigPay, a leading regional fintech company based in Malaysia, in August 2021.


Investment into BigPay is a testament to the ability of Malaysian fintech companies to grow not just domestically, but also regionally and become a major player in South-East Asia,” SK Group said in a statement yesterday.


In BigPay’s case, it also has access to a large consumer and micro-SME ecosystem with AirAsia Group Bhd, which can play a key role in the distribution of financial services, and additionally, brings the experience of having helped the underserved population segments for many years across Malaysia.


“Given the growing importance of SMEs in the country, BigPay has plans to catalyse intra-regional trade between Malaysian SMEs and the region, by initially leveraging the connectivity and network of AirAsia, combined with its logistics arm, Teleport (Commerce Malaysia Sdn Bhd),” it added.


SK Group is also joining the BigPay consortium to apply for the upcoming digital banking licence in Malaysia.


“We are confident that SK’s experience in financial tech services will contribute to successful digital bank ecosystem in Malaysia and further growth into the Asean region,” said Malaysia chief representative Jung Kyu Kim said.


Building on these investments in 2021, Malaysia remains a strong investment destination for SK Group moving forward.


As the group expands rapidly into new industries globally especially in sectors benefitting the environment and human health, SK Group continues to look for further investment opportunities in Malaysia.


In particular, SK Group is keen to explore with like-minded partners in the growing sectors of EV, digitalisation and environment which will drive these Malaysian industries to the next stage, he added.

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