Binance appoints ex-Singapore CEO as MENA region head

    27 Dec 2021

    World’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance appointed Richard Teng, who joined Binance Singapore as its chief executive officer four months ago, on a new role as the global entity’s head for the Middle East and North Africa. According to his LinkedIn profile, Teng was a director for corporate finance at the MAS before.

    Richard Teng, who was appointed Binance’s Singapore CEO in August, updated his LinkedIn profile on Thursday (December 23) to reflect the new designation as the global entity’s head for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

    This comes almost two weeks after Binance’s Singapore affiliate announced that it will withdraw its application to be licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and wind up its digital exchange in the city-state, citing “strategic, commercial and developmental considerations globally” for the dropout. As a result, all accounts will be closed by February 13.

    As Bloomberg reported, the move came after Binance Global, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced an agreement with the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority to establish an international virtual asset ecosystem earlier this week.

    Teng, who helmed the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority for six years, is key to helping the firm expand in Dubai, which Binance Holdings Ltd1’s 44-year-old CEO Changpeng Zhao described as “pro-crypto.” According to people with direct knowledge of the matter, the firm has held discussions with regulators in the UAE about a potential headquarters in the Gulf nation.

    “Binance deploys its staff globally depending on its strategic needs,” a company spokesperson said in confirming the move. Asked whether the crypto outfit had chosen Dubai as its new headquarters, Binance’s spokesperson said, “We are continuing to work with a variety of jurisdictions, including Dubai, as we continue to evolve our global footprint.”

    The day Binance announced the partnership plans with Dubai, Zhao tweeted a photo of himself dressed in a traditional Middle Eastern outfit.

    Before the Abu Dhabi role, Teng spent seven years as Singapore Exchange Ltd.’s chief regulatory officer and another 13 years at the Monetary Authority of Singapore. In August, the Singaporean joined Binance to aid its efforts in his home city-state, in which the firm was reportedly working on setting up its first global headquarters after its 2017 inception in China.

    Earlier, before moving to Binance, Teng was also briefly chairman of Hg Exchange, or HGX, which Binance recently took an 18% stake in. The private securities exchange was recently granted a recognized market operator license from MAS. This acquisition is still subject to regulatory approval.

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