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Crypto lender Amber Group considers selling Japan unit: Report

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Amber Group, a Singapore-based crypto lender, is considering selling its Japanese unit as part of its plan to focus more on institutional business rather than retail business, Bloomberg reported. 

According to Annabelle Huang, Amber’s managing partner, the firm is currently evaluating options for its Japan operation, including a potential sale. Currently, no deal has been finalized. Huang noted that Japan is a “very high quality market, but regulations are strict.” 

Meanwhile, Amber plans to apply for a virtual asset trading platform license in Hong Kong following the special administrative region’s push to become a digital-asset hub. Huang said that the regulatory scene in Hong Kong has been very bullish for the firm. 

Hong Kong is aiming to develop virtual-asset regulations that will encourage growth and protect investors, in contrast to Singapore, which has been tightening its rules on cryptocurrencies, especially for retail investors. “Hong Kong is sort of leading the way at the moment, but I think Singapore is not exactly closing the door as well,” Huang added.

Related: Amber Group ditches expansion plans after denying insolvency: Report

In December 2022, Amber Group secured $300 million in a Series C funding round led by Fenbushi Capital US. The decision to proceed with Series C came after the collapse of FTX, causing Amber to pause its previous Series B funding. Before the FTX collapse, Amber was in the process of completing an extension of its Series B, aiming to raise $100 million at a $3 billion valuation. 

The FTX fallout impacted Amber Group operationally as well, with the company reportedly laying off over 40% of its staff.