UAE: Liv explores tokenisation of real-world assets

Digital bank by Emirates NBD to incubate digital asset innovations


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Published: Tue 7 May 2024, 5:59 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 May 2024, 6:07 PM

Liv, UAE’s first digital bank launched by Emirates NBD, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ctrl Alt, B2B alternative asset solutions provider, to explore infrastructure solutions related to tokenisation of real-world assets.

Digital assets represent a trillion-dollar asset class and the opportunities for future innovation and market opportunities within it are considerable. Liv is enthusiastic about championing the next generation of investors and is collaborating with Ctrl Alt to ensure they remain at the forefront in offering diversified and sought-after products. With the support of Ctrl Alt’s infrastructure, Liv aims to explore avenues to grant their customers access to the burgeoning tokenised asset sector.

Several surveys have indicated changing investment patterns amongst millennials and Gen Z. A report on Middle East Investment Trends by Lombard Odier indicated that younger investors hold strong, positive long-term investment convictions. Additionally, 60% also expressed a strong preference for private market assets, including private equity, private debt, real estate and infrastructure. Further, Gen Z are investing at a higher rate and earlier age than previous generations. According to an Oliver Wyman Forum survey, almost half of Gen Zers invest in the stock market and they are 45% more likely to start investing by age 21 than millennials and two to four times more likely than Gen X and baby boomers.

The MoU was signed at the Dubai FinTech Summit by Marwan Hadi, group head of retail banking and wealth management at Emirates NBD and Matt Ong, founder and CEO, Ctrl Alt.

“According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group, asset tokenisation will expand into a USD16.1 trillion business opportunity by 2030. Coupled with the growing demand for alternative investment avenues from millennials and the next generation of investors, this represents an opportunity for us to explore the potential of this domain, aligning with our vision to be the most innovative bank for our customers, people and communities,” Hadi said.

Pedro Sousa Cardoso, chief digital officer, retail banking and wealth management, Emirates NBD, said: “Tokenisation is considered the future of financial markets, offering benefits such as lower costs and reduced settlement times. As pioneers in technology adoption in the region, we are actively exploring the tokenisation space to maintain our competitive edge against more agile fintech companies. Our exploration of solutions related to tokenised real-world assets further builds on Liv’s aspiration to serve our Gen Now customers by providing a range of innovative and in-demand products to meet their financial needs.”

Ong said: “We are excited to be partnering with Liv who are paving the way for tokenised real-world asset investing. Liv truly represents the future of banking with its clear customer-centric focus on innovation and is waving the flag for the next generation of investors who are demanding diversification.”

Emirates NBD is planning to launch fractional bonds on its mobile banking application, a senior official revealed.

“Normally the entry ticket for bonds in international markets is about $200,000. However, we will make this available on our mobile banking application ENBD X, with an entry point of about $25,000, which makes it much more affordable and accessible to a large number of clients and investors out there. So with these, they can diversify their portfolios,” Pedro Sousa Cardoso, chief digital officer, retail banking and wealth management, Emirates NBD, told Khaleej Times in an interview on the sidelines of the Dubai FinTech Summit. This can be used by investors in diversifying their portfolio, he added.

Also on liv, Emirates NBD is planning the launch of digital joint accounts for the first time again in this region. “We are among only a handful of banks around the world that will offer a joint digital account opening, on mobile in a few minutes,” Cardoso said.

96 per cent of Emirates NBD’s customer bases is already on its digital platforms. “We have over 200 services which are available on our Nbd X mobile banking application right and this makes it really easy for customers to use,” Cardoso said.

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