SINGAPORE - Singapore Press Holdings-owned sgCarMart has started a financial services arm to muscle in on the billion-dollar car-financing market.
The car portal will offer financing to used car dealers for their vehicle inventory as well as to car dealers to offer hire purchase loans to buyers.
sgCarMart's wholly-owned online auction subsidiary, Quotz, will take a 30 per cent stake in sgCarMart Financial Services for $1.5 million.
The remaining 70 per cent of the venture is held by T Financial (51 per cent) and five other parties, SPH said in an announcement to the Singapore Exchange.
T Financial is a fully-owned subsidiary of Toh Capital, which used to be a major shareholder in four used car dealerships.
The other shareholders are car trader Lake View Group and individual investors from the management team of sgCarMart.
sgCarMart general manager Vincent Tan said: "We offer faster, more flexible and competitive loans because we have an information advantage on the cars and borrowers.
"By leveraging our proprietary car valuation engine, we can get instantaneous and accurate market valuation for each car by analysing thousands of data points collated every month.
"Our existing dealer management system contains real-time data of over 90 per cent of all used car dealers in Singapore, giving us greater visibility over their stock levels and sales turnover. We can then accurately appraise the credit profile of the dealers and price our loans better according to the risk."
Mr Tan estimates the car financial services market is worth $10 billion in total loans, with a gross annual interest of $340 million.
The new entity has a paid-up capital of $5 million and will be headed by Joe Chua, who was previously with GE Money, Standard Chartered and OCBC.
Its source of funds will be from its paid-up capital as well as from banks.