SGX-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings has agreed to purchase a 34% stake in mobile payment firm Wave Money from First Myanmar Investment (FMI) in a deal worth $19.4m.

Yoma Strategic said that the transaction will support its expansion into the financial services sector, which will become its “fourth core pillar” in addition to real estate, consumer and automotive & heavy equipment.

Yoma Strategic executive chairman Serge Pun said: “Adding financial services is one of the most significant developments for Yoma Strategic in recent years as it is the backbone of the Myanmar economy. Currently, the lack of credit and limitations in financial access is hampering growth.

“Wave Money has an excellent head start with its broad reach across the country, and is a platform that we will leverage as we develop our offering in the sector.”

Telenor will remain the largest shareholder in Wave Money with a 51% stake, while FMI will retain a 10% stake and Yoma Bank will own a 5% stake.

Yoma Strategic CEO Melvyn Pun said: “The timing of the Acquisition is right as the business is now coming out of its incubation phase. The strong monthly growth, which has accelerated in the last few months, demonstrates the momentum of Wave Money’s operations and the value proposition of its business.”

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Wave Money has over 20,000 agents across Myanmar and a customer base of 1.3 million.