London-based bridging lender Market Financial Solutions (MFS) has become the first UK bridging lender to expand into Asia, launching a new office and subsidiary company – Market Bridge Solutions (MBS) – in Singapore. Having established itself as one of the UK’s leading bridging lenders over the past 10 years, the move comes in response to growing borrower appetite in Singapore and Southeast Asia for alternative funding sources outside of traditional mainstream lenders.
MFS’ expansion into Asia seeks to take advantage of region’s rapid rise as a global hub for finance, business and investment, with Singapore traditionally touted as the gateway linking the East and the West. This is particularly true of real estate – property sales in Singapore rose in volume by 50% in the first half of 2017, with the country boasting investment opportunities across the commercial and residential markets. Moreover, the value of residential homes in Singapore is expected to rise by 5.5% in 2018 – the highest projection of any Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN).
MBS aims to increase the number of borrowers able to access bridging loans in Singapore, offering a fast, reliable and readily accessible service. Harnessing MFS’ experience and expertise, MBS will apply the similar due diligence processes and lending models as its London-based parent company, delivering bespoke, asset-backed solutions tailored to the need of the borrower.
Over the past decade, bridging loans have become a fundamental source of capital for UK property buyers in need of fast, flexible loans – in 2017, annual completions from members of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) increased by 24.6% to exceed £3.5 billion. With Southeast Asia fast becoming a global centre for international commerce, MFS anticipates bridging providers will soon establish themselves as a popular alternative to traditional lenders in the region.
Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, commented: “The growth of the UK bridging market over the past decade has been remarkable, with borrowers hungry for fast loans to seize property investment opportunities. International markets have clearly taken note and for countries like Singapore, which boasts a thriving real estate sector, investor appetite is high. MFS’ expansion into Singapore with the launch of MBS marks our first step into the Asian market, and once we have fortified our position, we will be considering further roll-outs in the likes of Hong Kong, China, Indonesia and Malaysia.”
Tiba Raja, Director of MBS, added: “Similar to what we have seen in the UK, bridging has become a smart and effective tool for borrowers and brokers in need of a loan to quickly fulfil a financial objective, particularly when it comes to property. Because these loans are asset-backed, MFS has been able to support borrowers seeking to act quickly in the UK, and it’s exciting to see these same dynamic services now offer in Singapore, supported by our tried and tested due diligence process.”