Banking & Financial Services - Page 3

Bringing Transparency To The Carbon Credits Market For Banks And Corporates Through ESGpedia

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 21 September 2022

Everimpact and STACS partner to promote data-backed carbon credits with end-to-end traceability.

Leading environmental, social, and governance (‘ESG’) fintechs Hashstacs Pte Ltd (‘STACS’) headquartered in Singapore and Everimpact headquartered in France today announced their partnership to provide banks and corporates involved in the carbon market with greater transparency and trust.

The partnership aims to promote data-backed carbon credits with end-to-end traceability. The first phase of the project will include technical integration of Everimpact’s Digital Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (‘DMRV’) carbon tracking platform to the blockchain-based ESGpedia, which powers the ESG Registry of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (‘MAS’) Project Greenprint.

Bringing more credibility and transparency into the carbon market

Carbon credits offer buyers – banks, corporates, and individuals – the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions while they take steps towards net zero. While carbon credit is a critical instrument in the transition to a net zero economy, the carbon market has been surrounded by fears of greenwashing due to issues of double-counting, the lack of digital infrastructure to facilitate the MRV process for carbon credit projects, as well as data fragmentation (data is often stored in a plethora of different registries, and even sometimes exclusively in hard-copy forms). These challenges not only undermine trust in carbon credits, but also hinder the contribution of carbon credits to reaching net zero.

The main benefits that the partnership seeks to enable include greater transparency of the carbon credits lifecycle, with buyers and users being able to easily access attributes and data of carbon credits via a common, standardized registry, ESGpedia. This allows them to better understand the quality of the carbon offsets, facilitating better investment decisions. 

Another key benefit for buyers is the end-to-end traceability of the carbon credits, with the following all immutably recorded onto ESGpedia: the origination of carbon credits by Everimpact, the transaction and ownership details of each carbon credit, as well as the immediate retirement of carbon credits upon purchase, to ensure no repeated or double-trading of the carbon credits. This is especially important in ensuring that the money used to buy carbon credits goes towards contributing to an actual net positive climate impact.

Accurate, real-time measurement of GHG emissions available through ESGpedia

Through the partnership, Everimpact’s carbon MRV tracking platform will be used to measure greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emissions more accurately via its system of satellites, sensors, traffic, buildings, and other IoT devices. Banks and corporates can access these carbon data aggregated on a high-level via ESGpedia, which serves as a common, standardized digital registry for holistic ESG certifications and data across various sectors and global verified sources. For more granular data regarding specific carbon offsets, buyers can click in and dive deeper via Everimpact’s platform.

Mathieu Carlier, CEO and Founder at Everimpact, said: “Cities and companies have a crucial role to play to accelerate the transition to a low carbon world. Thanks to Everimpact’s innovative carbon tracking system, they are now able to monitor their carbon footprint in real time, identify the best opportunities to cut emissions, and access new funding for their decarbonisation projects. We’re excited to partner with STACS to bring an end-to-end digital platform to banks and corporates, so they can invest in carbon offsets they can trust. We make it possible to track a tonne of CO2 right from the source, and turn it into a trackable and certified digital financial asset. We want to make it easy for organisations to invest in reliable carbon offsets which have a proven impact to fight climate change.”

Benjamin Soh, Managing Director at STACS, said: “At STACS, we aim to enable banks and corporates on their journey towards carbon neutrality via holistic ESG data and technology. Through our partnership with Everimpact via ESGpedia, we seek to bring greater transparency to the global carbon market and enable high-quality data-backed carbon credits with end-to-end traceability, so as to ensure the integrity of the carbon credits traded.”


Study Reveals Lack of Transparency is Hindering Access to Services and Financial Inclusion

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 15 September 2022

Sixty-Nine Percent (69%) of Financial Institutions Indicate Transparency Issues Affect Underserved Customers.

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions revealed the results of its 2022 Financial Transparency and Inclusion Report. The survey of banks, insurers and non-bank financial institutions in 13 countries and regions aims to better understand financial institutions’ commitment to financial transparency and financial inclusion and the challenges they face in achieving these twin goals.

Financial inclusion is a global issue. According to The World Bank, there are 1.4 billion unbanked individuals globally and the financial services industry faces challenges decreasing this number. There are many factors affecting financial inclusion: Poverty, a thin credit file, living in a cash-based society, history of bad debt and/or a lack of financial education can all impede access to financial services.

One way to convert the unbanked to a banked customer is to improve financial transparency. Financial institutions need the ability to identify consumers and understand their risk profiles, both to maintain regulatory compliance and support extending financial services to consumers. The more institutions understand about consumers, the easier it is to offer appropriate financial services. However, 69% of respondents agree that the unbanked or underbanked are harder to onboard than other types of customers and businesses due to lack of data.

The report reveals that financial institutions can do more to achieve greater transparency, indicated by the 64% of respondents who say identity verification is a challenge when onboarding individuals.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Financial institutions remain strongly interested in financial transparency and inclusion, with two-thirds of institutions expressing commitment to supporting financial inclusion.
  • Many financial institutions turn away significant numbers of potential customers due to current Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. The most challenging customer onboarding hurdles faced by institutions lay within difficulties collecting and verifying customer information.
  • Interest in data sharing to support KYC processes is growing. Nearly 80% of financial institutions express interest in a global Customer Due Diligence (CDD) utility, compared to just over 70% in 2019.
  • The pandemic posed a challenge to financial crime and compliance operations at financial institutions, with large numbers of applicants seeking government assistance loans and financial institutions unable to verify identities in person due to lockdowns. However, it also led to financial institutions embracing more digital practices, with ninety percent (90%) of institutions reporting that the pandemic has accelerated adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other next-generation technologies.

“Financial institutions have clear responsibilities to verify customer identities and ensure compliance with national and international regulation,” said Leslie Bailey, vice president, financial crime compliance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “Rejecting potential customers due to inefficient or manual processes rather than regulatory reasons can be detrimental to genuine individuals trying to access financial services. With robust data and the right technology and processes in place, institutions can help improve global rates of financial inclusion without compromising on compliance.”

2022 Financial Transparency and Inclusion Report

LexisNexis Risk Solutions and research and advisory firm Celent designed the Financial Transparency and Inclusion Survey. Celent provided analysis around the results. The online survey was conducted in late 2021 and received 297 completed responses globally from c-suite and other senior leaders with responsibility for compliance, retail and commercial areas.

Download a copy of the 2022 Financial Transparency and Inclusion Report.  


Dubai Records Strong Financial Growth In 2022

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 9 September 2022

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) delivered robust growth in the first half of 2022.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, delivered robust growth in the first half of 2022. The Centre’s strong performance reinforces DIFC’s Strategy 2030 to drive the future of finance, differentiate Dubai as a global hub for financial institutions, FinTech and innovation companies, and increase its economic contribution to the emirate.

A total of 537 new entities registered during the first half of this year, representing an 11 per cent year-to-date increase. The total number of companies operating in DIFC has gone up from 3,297 to 4,031 at the end of June 2022, an increase of 22 per cent year-on-year.   

The Centre is now home to 1,252 financial and innovation related companies, an increase of 22 per cent from the same period in 2021. FinTech and innovation companies jumped from 406 to 599, a 23 per cent increase year-on-year.

During the first half of this year, changes to DIFC laws and regulations included amendments to its globally recognised data protection law. In alignment with the country’s vision to become a global benchmark in Open Finance, DIFC established the region’s first Open Finance Lab, following an agreement with the Central Bank of the UAE. Furthermore, DIFC expanded its Innovation Hub proposition by launching a global Venture Studios hub and introducing a USD 100 million Venture Debt Fund.

The Centre also generated a new wave of interest in Dubai from US financial services companies, following its successful roadshow with senior executives from more than 100 American financial services and technology companies in attendance. In addition, the Republic of Türkiye Roadshow witnessed a series of strategic meetings with key clients and partners in Istanbul in a move to create strong partnerships with companies in the Republic of Türkiye. DIFC also held a successful roundtable in Tel Aviv, Israel, with 30 prospective clients across a wide range of businesses in the financial services sector.

Amongst its 4,031 entities, DIFC is currently home to 17 of the world’s top 20 banks, 25 of the world’s top 30 global systemically important banks, five of the top 10 insurance companies, five of the top 10 asset managers, and many leading global law and consulting firms.


Mirae Asset Wins ESG Achievement Award 

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 6 September 2022

Mirae Asset is proud to announce that it has won the ESG Product and Service Award.

Mirae Asset Global Investments (Hong Kong) Limited is proud to announce that it has won the ESG Product and Service Award at the Environmental, Social and Governance Achievement Awards 2021/2022. Established by the Institute of ESG & Benchmark, the awards aim to honor local and global corporations working in Hong Kong that are advancing the adoption and evaluation of ESG practices. Mirae Asset was recognized for its innovative lineup of ESG ETFs that spans core equities, core fixed income and thematic growth. Following the recent launch of the Global X Bloomberg MSCI Asia Ex Japan Green Bond ETF (3059/83059), the Company currently manages three ESG ETFs that incorporate ESG factors as their key investment focus and reflect them in their investment objective or strategy.

As a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment since 2015 and a member of the Task Force on Climate Related Disclosures and the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, the Company is committed to developing high-quality ESG products and promoting the sustainable development of the communities in which it invests. Mirae Asset was the first issuer to launch a SFC-authorized ESG ETF in Hong Kong with the Global X China Clean Energy ETF (2809/9809) in January 2020 and subsequently expanded its offering through the launch of the Global X Hang Seng ESG ETF (3029) in March 2022. The Company’s ESG ETFs abide by globally recognized ESG frameworks such as the United Nations Global Compact and Green Bond Principles of the International Capital Markets Association and their index methodologies apply rigorous ESG research by leading companies including MSCI, Sustainalytics and ISS. Mirae Asset is currently the largest ESG ETF issuer in Hong Kong in terms of both asset size and number of products.

The Global X China Clean Energy ETF invests in Chinese companies that are positioned to benefit from increased adoption of clean energy. It has delivered strong performance since its inception in 2020 and has won the Top Performing ETF Award of the HKEX for two years in a row in 2020 and 2021.

The Global X Hang Seng ESG ETF reduces the Index ESG Risk Rating by 20% and Index Carbon Intensity by 60% compared to its parent Hang Seng Index by applying a robust process of ESG integration and exclusionary screening. The ETF has been awarded the highest 5-star sustainability rating by Morningstar.    

The Global X Bloomberg MSCI Asia Ex Japan Green Bond ETF is the world’s first ETF[6] focusing on green bonds of the Asia Ex Japan region. The ETF’s index uses independent research performed by MSCI ESG Research to evaluate index-eligible green bonds and ensure they adhere to the Green Bond Principles. Green bonds are fixed income securities whose proceeds are exclusively and formally applied to projects or activities that promote climate or other environmental sustainability purposes.


 Launch Of World’s First Mastercard Touch Card, Driving Inclusion Across UAE

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 6 September 2022

Distinctive notches on the Touch Card allow blind and partially sighted people to easily distinguish card.

Mastercard and Ajman Bank have strengthened their commitment to inclusion through a new initiative designed to expand access to the digital economy. The world-first Touch Card is an accessible payment card that will allow blind and partially sighted people to easily facilitate payments and distinguish between their cards. 

There are few effective ways for those who are blind or who have reduced vision to quickly determine whether they’re holding a credit, debit, or prepaid card, particularly as more cards move to flat designs without embossed names and numbers. Mastercard is addressing this challenge with a simple innovation and has introduced a system of notches on the side of the card to help consumers use the right card, the right way.

“At Ajman Bank inclusion is an integral aspect of our corporate culture and social responsibility. Innovation has the power to change the world for the better. We are delighted to partner with Mastercard to be the first movers to help drive this innovative solution that will help us to respond to everyone’s needs. For visually impaired customers, selecting the right card can very often be a challenging experience. Touch Card allows consumers to quickly distinguish which card they are using through the three distinct notches. We’ve always appreciated Mastercard’s vision for thinking of new ways to innovate and do things differently to serve more people,” said Mohamed Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, Ajman Bank.

Moza Al Akraf Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Community Development said: “Accessibility is a human right and this latest initiative by Mastercard will open new possibilities for the inclusion of individuals with visual impairment into the digital economy. Ajman Bank’s collaboration with Mastercard will make daily life easier for a lot of people. It aligns with UAE’s social and community goals to promote an inclusive environment for everyone by tapping into the infinite power and potential of technology to enrich people’s wellbeing regardless of their capabilities.”

“This initiative is taking inclusion to the next level as we look to promote accessibility in new and meaningful ways. This world-first collaboration with Ajman Bank to introduce the Mastercard Touch Card will offer a greater level of independence and security to blind and partially sighted individuals across the UAE,” shared Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and President of Healthcare, Mastercard.

The Touch Card has been designed to work with point-of-sale terminals and ATMs, ensuring they can be deployed at scale – the credit cards have a squarish notch; debit cards have a rounded notch; and prepaid cards have a triangular notch. As well as blind and partially sighted consumers, anyone in a low-light environment or reaching into a wallet or purse one-handed can benefit from the Touch Card design.

The Ajman Bank Touch Card further offers benefits to suit each cardholder’s unique needs, including cash back benefits of up to 10 per cent that can be selected from across four categories: fuel, online spend, groceries and school fees.

According to the latest available data, 15% of the global population experience some form of disability, constituting the largest minority group in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that, globally, at least 2.2 billion people have sight problems. A recent Mastercard study, Bridging the Disability Gap: An Opportunity to Make a Positive Impact, revealed that digital inclusion is the pathway to financial inclusion for persons with disabilities. It highlights that there is a clear opportunity for the industry to work collaboratively to make a positive impact on the lives of millions of people around the world.

Mastercard’s concept has been vetted and endorsed by The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK and VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the US. The card was co-designed by IDEMIA, the global leader in Augmented Identity, providing trusted solutions in the physical as well as digital space.


Launch Of Newest Financial Advisory Services Platform

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 1 September 2022

TradingFront provides a one-stop platform to help financial advisors better manage customer investments.

  • The new platform is another disruptor in the making which leverages Tiger Brokers’ strength in innovation to provide financial advisors with an efficient trade management tool and access to Tiger Brokers’ customer base 
  • TradingFront capitalises on the changing needs of customers and builds on Tiger Brokers’ much loved Tiger Trade App

Online trading platform Tiger Brokers (Singapore) today announced the launch of TradingFront by Tiger Brokers (“TradingFront”), a new extension to its wealth management platform. Operating through three core prongs – efficiency, transparency and ease of use – TradingFront aims to transform the financial advisory sector by leveraging Tiger Brokers’ next generation technology platform. 

TradingFront is well-poised to disrupt the financial advisory market as it provides advisors with a tool to efficiently manage their client investments while also providing their customers with access to Tiger Brokers’ coveted Tiger Trade App. Customers can easily approve the trades initiated by their financial advisor through the Tiger Trade App, with a one-click solution. The advisory services of onboarded partners will also be extended to Tiger Brokers’ existing users.  All customers, including those of the advisory partners, will retain the flexibility to initiate their own trades without the input of their chosen advisors, through the Tiger Trade App.

The launch of the platform will initially see the onboarding of financial advisors from five partner firms. This will be extended to others on a selective basis over the coming months.

This move is in line with Tiger Brokers’ strategy to disrupt the financial services industry in the B2B segment, having successfully evolved the B2C segment with its next generation technology platform and Tiger Trade App, which is much loved by its 2.1mregistered users in Singapore. Having won numerous awards for its strength in innovation, such as the “Financial Services award for Wise’s integration” by the Singapore Business Review Technology Excellence Awards and the “Singapore Business Review Technology Excellence Awards” for the Mobile – Brokerage segment, Tiger Brokers continues to leverage its leadership in technology, to enhance its offering and transform the financial services sector.

Grace Yong, Business Development Director of Tiger Brokers, commented, “TradingFront is another initiative that Tiger Brokers has developed to disrupt the status quo of the current financial advisors market. Given the growing number of Singaporeans seeking financial advice, it is a natural progression for us to leverage our next-generation technology to help our customers streamline the trading process, and work towards having a platform that benefits both customers and financial intermediaries alike. We are also grateful for the partner firms that have placed their trust in us, and we are excited to work together to provide our customers with a seamless and convenient trading experience not found in any other platform.”

Victor Wong, Director of Wealth Management at Financial Alliance said, “We are impressed by Tiger Brokers’ success in disrupting the brokerage industry since its entry into the Singapore market just two years ago. As a firm, we have a shared passion for challenging the status quo and have an ambition to propel our industry forward by harnessing cutting-edge technologies and delivering a progressive, forward-thinking strategy. We look forward to partnering with Tiger Brokers in bringing more innovative propositions to our customers.”

TradingFront is designed with efficiency and accountability in mind and allows financial advisors to manage their customers’ investments easily, including the creation and management of transactions, through cutting-edge technology. 

In addition, investors can view their holdings and approve trades for their managed sub-account on the Tiger Trade App, while taking advantage of traditional Tiger Trade functions to track the market and discuss investment opportunities with like-minded users. Demand for financial market advice has never been more apparent, with a growing number of investors seeking additional insights in decision making amid turbulent markets. By building on the advice of their preferred financial advisor, investors can better optimise their investment decision making.

Tiger Brokers warmly welcomes esteemed financial advisory firms, Financial Alliance, Infinitum Financial Advisory and Manulife Financial Advisers on board, joining existing partners PFPFA and SingCapital. Tiger Brokers envisages onboarding three more financial advisory firms by the end of 2022, and with that, more than 2,000 advisors will have access to TradingFront.  

Ronald Tan, CEO of Infinitum Financial Advisory Pte Ltdshared, “Our collaboration with Tiger Brokers (Singapore) allows us to extend our advisory services to a growing platform of investors, while extending our offering to existing customers. Managing money for the long term is key to our proposition, and we are looking forward to helping Tiger Brokers’ users make better informed investment decisions for the future. We are excited by the opportunity to leverage Tiger Brokers’ leadership in innovation, to enhance our services while at the same time shaping the financial advisory segment for the future.”

Tan Hong Tau, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Financial Advisers, added, “As a partner of Tiger Brokers, Manulife Financial Advisers will be able to expand our service offering to include Tiger Brokers services, giving our customers access to one of the most popular trading platforms in the market. This partnership is a win-win for both MFA and Tiger Brokers customers, as they can access both advisory services from MFA, and leverage Tiger Brokers’ technology platform. We are very pleased to enter into this partnership with Tiger Brokers.”


Australian Businesses Are Charging Ahead With Global Expansion

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 1 September 2022

Despite economic challenges, 69 per cent of Australian SMEs plan to be operating outside Australia by 2027.

  • 42 per cent of Australian SMEs operating across borders reported being profitable
  • For SMEs trading overseas, the region where they have seen the biggest growth in sales and
    revenue was Southeast Asia

Australian businesses have ambitious plans for international expansion, as new data from global fintech Airwallex reveals more than two thirds of small-to-medium Aussie businesses (69 per cent) plan to be operating outside Australia by 2027.

Airwallex’s inaugural Australian Business Growth Index found a third of SMEs surveyed (34 per cent)
currently have operations overseas, but this is projected to more than double in the next five years.

The independent research, which surveyed more than 200 Australian small-to-medium enterprises
(SMEs), found that businesses already operating in international markets are experiencing
commercial success. Of these businesses, two in five surveyed (42 per cent) reported being profitable
and more than half are breaking even (52 per cent).

“Aussie businesses are bolstering their position to weather the current economic challenges,” said
Sam Kothari, Head of Growth for ANZ at Airwallex. “International expansion is now being used as a
strategy to remain resilient and viable by tapping into new markets and widening the pool of potential
customers.”

Moving overseas has unlocked new customer segments for SMEs and broadened their overall market
share, with 80 per cent saying the volume of new customers they’ve gained from moving into new
markets has been “significant”.

The research also found that despite sustained economic hardship, including rising inflation and
disrupted global supply chains, 96 per cent of SMEs who are already operating overseas, and 99 per
cent of those planning to do so in the next twelve months, recorded growth last year.

“Australians are innovators, and there is growing global demand for the products and services they
provide,” added Sam. “We have seen this firsthand; Airwallex is the chosen partner to many
Australian businesses looking to alleviate the global roadblocks associated with setting up shop in
international markets, including opening accounts overseas, high FX fees and managing employee
expenses. We see ourselves playing a central role in opening the door for Australian businesses to
access borderless opportunities all around the world.”

For SMEs trading overseas, the region where they have seen the biggest growth in sales and revenue
was Southeast Asia. Almost two in five respondents (39 per cent) said this market had been their
biggest generator of revenue outside of Australia in the past year, closely followed by the U.S. (29 per
cent).

These markets were echoed in terms of where the most beneficial prospects lie, with a quarter (26 per
cent) of SMEs operating or planning to operate overseas identifying Southeast Asia as the most
lucrative in the year ahead.

The U.S. followed closely behind Southeast Asia, with 25 per cent of businesses with an international
footprint or ambition naming the States out as the next most attractive market in the near future,
surpassing China (18 per cent) and EMEA/UK (15 per cent).

Case studies

Sustainability sells – the reusable water bottle business sweeping the world up
memobottle is one Australian-founded business which is enjoying commercial success in overseas
markets, with 50 per cent of its revenue now being generated abroad, mainly in the Southeast Asia
region.

In the past twelve months, the reusable water bottle movement has on-boarded distributors in
Indonesia and Singapore, and exhibited at trade shows in the U.S. and Europe.
memobottle Director and co-founder Jonathan Byrt cites the business’ focus on international markets
as crucial to its success during the pandemic period.

“Having a global presence during this tumultuous 24 months has allowed us to switch marketing and
revenue focus between regions. Being in multiple markets unlocked opportunities for the business
which have allowed us to grow and expand. Our operations in China and the U.S. kept our revenue
steady while Australia and Europe battled with sustained lockdowns and geopolitical events,” said
Jonathan.

“The majority of sales from a recent product launch (65 per cent) came from customers in the States.
If we had all our eggs in one basket, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

In orbit around the world – Orbitkey has their eyes on global dominance

Melbourne-founded Orbitkey has established a strong presence in the U.S. in recent years, which
has become its dominant market above Australia, representing almost a third of its total sales (31 per
cent). The business now has its sights on Asia, where it has a small but growing presence. For
Orbitkey’s co-founder and Managing Director Rex Kuo, Orbitkey was always destined to scale
beyond its home market.

“As a product design company that prides itself on user-centred design and innovation, our products
are designed for a global audience – not just Australians. We see great value and potential in the
Asian market, where demand is growing exponentially from existing customers –- all of the signals are
clear that expansion in this market looks lucrative,” said Rex.

“It’s not just demand that makes Southeast Asia such an attractive business proposition. Cheaper and
more competitive payment gateways are becoming more easily accessible than ever before,
eliminating a large proportion of high transaction and currency conversion fees that were associated
previously whilst doing B2C commerce in the region.”

“We’re investing the revenue that was previously swallowed up by high transaction costs to maximise
the opportunities for our growth in Southeast Asia, including locating a third-party logistics (3PL) in
Hong Kong which has made shipping to countries in Asia cheaper than ever before.”

“All of these components are coming together to make Southeast Asia one of the most dynamic
business environments in the world. 9 per cent of our total sales come from the region as present but
this will surpass into double digits in no time.”


Bridgewater Associates Expands Global Footprint with New Office in Singapore

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 31 August 2022

By extending the firm’s Asia-Pacific presence, Bridgewater looks to deepen its commitment to clients in the region and around the world.

Bridgewater Associates, a global leader in institutional portfolio management, today announced that it has opened an office in Singapore. Highlighting the importance of the pan-Asia market, Bridgewater’s new office is both symbolic of its deep commitment to the region and a natural progression of the firm’s long-standing partnership with clients in the area.

“The world has increased in complexity and, in turn, so have the challenges our clients are facing,” said Kyle Delaney, President and Chief Commercial Officer of Bridgewater. “Our Singapore office has been many years in the making and allows us not only seek to provide best-in-class partnership to our clients in the region, but also to our global client base that will benefit from our deep understanding of this important market as a result of our presence here.”

The new office will be overseen by Chip Packard, Head of Client Service for Eurasia, and Margaret Wang, Head of Bridgewater Associates (Singapore), who will manage the buildout and on-ground operations. The team will include a combination of experienced local hires and long-tenured employees from the firm’s U.S. headquarters, including members from its research and client service departments.

Packard added: “Our exceptional team will enable us to bring the best of Bridgewater to the region while immersing ourselves more deeply in the region. This permanent presence will further strengthen our client relationships while also allowing us to explore new opportunities in a growing market.”

Building on relationships that span nearly 30 years in the Asia-Pacific area, Bridgewater’s Singapore office is the firm’s latest geographic expansion in the region, which initially began with the opening of its Beijing office in 2011, followed by establishing operations in 2016 for Bridgewater (China) Investment Management (“BCIM”) in Shanghai. Bridgewater recently received approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for its fund management license.

The new office is in Singapore’s central business district.


WIP Achieves Remarkable Results in Attracting Investment with Businesses

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 30 August 2022

WIP has signed 26 quality projects in the first seven months of 2022, signaling its outstanding performance in attracting investment.

The signing ceremony of Marquardt Automotive Electronic System and Switches Project Phase II was held in the Weihai International Port Economic and Technological Development Zone (WIP) of Shandong Province on April 11, 2022. This marks the second cooperation between Marquardt, a global champion in the field of switch and control systems, and the WIP, with their first cooperation having taken place five years previous.

WIP has signed 26 quality projects in the first seven months of 2022, signaling its outstanding performance in attracting investment. Such achievements were by no means an accident. Investment attraction is considered by many to be a time-consuming see-saw game, but WIP has bucked this trend and achieved investment agreements each month at a lightning paces. What’s the secret?

Thinking before making 

Success is made by hard work. Behind these outstanding achievements are the efforts of all the persons engaging in investment attraction. As the homogeneous competition in investment attraction becomes increasingly fierce, WIP has explored a unique way to attract more investment, and that is by attracting investment with business. To be more specific, this means attracting investment by intensifying and extending the industrial chain and focusing on industrial agglomeration development. This concept has become the secret sauce behind the remarkable investment achievements made by the zone.

Since May 2017, the zone has prepared and planned for the golden opportunities for its investment attraction in the wake of the contract with the Marquardt Group on its Phase I Project. As a result of this preparedness, the zone immediately sent an invitation to Marquardt Group and reserved the land for its Phase II Project,. envisioned a second cooperation with this group.

In 2021, Marquardt Group started site selection for its business expansion in China. WIP, with its successful experience in serving the group’s Phase I Project, has become the first choice for the group.

Following this, the zone stepped up efforts to expand its investment attraction scope with the help of the Marquardt projects, striving to attract more projects. Under the strategy of attracting investment with business, the catalytic role of the industrial chain gradually appears.

Investing before inviting

WIP is committed to providing a favorable environment for enterprises before their residency. In Sino-Japanese (Weihai) Cooperation Industrial Park, there stands a batch of high-standard Japanese factories and talent apartments. Workers can walk home in just two or three minutes. k.

In the context of the market economy, the output of investment attraction can only be made by a big input. In WIP, the input is reflected not only in nature parks but also in international supporting facilities, such as ice hockey halls and international schools. The resulting comprehensive competitive edges have made the zone a “second hometown” of many foreign investors.

Answering before asking

To continue to attract  major projects, we need to deal with the “World’s Top 5 Commercial Consulting Firms” such as Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International. These institutions can provide multinational companies with professional consultations on project site selection and other fields, which is of great significance to deciding whether a city can be included in the selection scope of large enterprises.

To race with these institutions with high professionalism, we have to make ourselves more professional. Over the years, WIP has prepared a questionnaire with its own characteristics based on that of the “World’s Top 5 Commercial Consulting Firms,” containing more than 200 entries of data in various fields such as water and electricity supply, geology, and ecological environment.


Pretium Expands Global Business Development Capabilities and Commitment to Asia & Australia

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 30 August 2022

Jayme Han and Craig Matthew Join as Managing Directors; Bringing Decades of Collective Leadership, Investment, and Investor Relations Experience Across Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Pretium Partners, a specialized investment firm with approximately $50 billion in assets under management, today announced an expansion of its business development capabilities and commitment to Asia and Australia with two senior hires. Jayme Han, based in Seoul, Korea, and Craig Matthew, based in Sydney, Australia, join Pretium as Managing Directors for Asia and the Australia & New Zealand region, respectively. With these hires, Pretium is establishing its first offices in Asia and Australia to further the goal of becoming a partner of choice for investors worldwide.

This expansion demonstrates the firm’s ongoing commitment to ensuring clients and partners can benefit from an established presence and local perspective that allows Pretium to provide more personalized, on-the-ground support in dynamic markets. Ms. Han and Mr. Matthew bring unique market perspectives and decades of leadership and client relationship experience across London, New York, Seoul, Singapore, and Sydney, and will work closely with existing clients and consultants, new clients, and institutional and wealth management entities in their respective regions.

“As Pretium continues to expand our client base globally and deploy growing capital across our real estate and credit strategies, Asia and Australia represent important strategic markets and opportunities for growth,” said Don Mullen, Founder and CEO of Pretium. “Jayme and Craig bring deep expertise and local connection within the Asian and Australian markets to support our investors where they are. Following our recent expansion into the Middle East, we are pleased to continue to grow our team with such talented and respected individuals to work with clients internationally.”

Ms. Han has held several prominent leadership roles over the last 20 years within the global private capital industry in London, Seoul, and Singapore, in which she has been responsible for, among other things, fund distribution and execution of investments across the region. She most recently served as an Executive Director, Corporate Finance for Jones Lang Lasalle. Prior, she was the Head of Alternatives at Tongyang Life Insurance, Korea’s fifth largest life insurer, and, earlier in her career, Ms. Han was hired as one of the founding members of the alternatives business – and its first dedicated real assets specialist – for the National Pension Service. Ms. Han holds a Bachelor of Science in Design from the University of California at Davis.

“Pretium has an incredible team, and I am excited to join at a time of growth as we seek to expand our footprint internationally and throughout Asia,” said Ms. Han. “Having supported GPs and led teams across all aspects of capital raising, deployment, and asset management, I look forward to working with Pretium’s clients throughout Asia and around the world.”

Mr. Matthew brings nearly three decades of business development and investor relations experience, supporting and expanding client offerings for limited partners including high-net worth individuals and sophisticated institutional investors such as endowments, sovereign wealth funds, superannuation funds, and family offices. He joins Pretium from Asia Principal Capital and Morpheus Ventures, where he served as Director in the private market investor relations group. Before joining Asia Principal Capital, he was a Director of Institutional Relationships at Capital Group Companies, where he played an active role in establishing its first office in Sydney, Australia. Prior to that, he served in a variety of business development roles of increasing responsibility in New York and Sydney at global asset manager Alliance Bernstein. Mr. Matthew is an accredited superannuation trustee director and has spent the past decade as an active organizer of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’sAnnual Conference. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bucknell University.

“Joining an innovative, forward-thinking global investment platform like Pretium is an incredible opportunity,” said Mr. Matthew. “With an existing network of leading investors and partners in Australia and New Zealand and an unmatched investment track record, I am confident that we are positioned to continue growing the firm’s client base and presence throughout the region.”


Techcombank Wins Best Supply Chain Finance Bank Award in Vietnam for 2022

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 30 August 2022

Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) has just been honored by The Asian Banker.

Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) has just been honored by The Asian Banker – A leading financial rating organization in Asia, with the award “Best Supply Chain Finance Bank in Vietnam“. This is the first time this organization has awarded the SCF Award to a domestic bank in Vietnam – based on Techcombank’s outstanding breakthroughs in digitizing supply chain financing for Vietnamese businesses.

The bank has launched a holistic supply chain finance solution for a real-estate corporate to unlock cash and free up working capital needs for contractors and sub-contractors. As a leader in technology and financial digitization, Techcombank’s end-to-end solution for supply chain finance has been assessed by The Asian Banker as a breakthrough step to remove the “knot”, thereby freeing up working capital for manufacturing enterprises, especially SMEs. Mr. Phan Thanh Son, Deputy General Director of Techcombank shared:

“In order to support businesses in the long term in their business journey, Techcombank believes that digital transformation is the most sustainable and effective companion. Therefore, in the 2021-2025 strategy, Techcombank focuses on investing strongly in the three pillars of Digitization – Data – Human Resources to realize the vision of “The transformation of the financial industry, the raise in the value of life”. This award we received from The Asian Banker shows that this is an appropriate direction from the perspective of international experts. We aim to be the standard of financial service in the region to help Vietnamese businesses to have a solid fulcrum in their daily journey of excellence.”

Due to customer-oriented improvements and established a data and analytics division, in 2021, Techcombank’s number of supply chain financed businesses has grown by 195% and continues to double in just the first 6 months of 2022. Mr. Dang Trung Hieu, GTS Solution Development Director of Techcombank, expresses gratitude to Premium Technology, developer of the FinShare supply chain finance digital platform, and says;

“With the goal of providing the best digital experience to the financial activities of Vietnamese businesses, Premium Technology’s professionalism and modern technology are an important factor in helping Techcombank successfully develop the SCF End -to-end technology.”

Mr. Gerald Huang, Chief Sales Officer of Premium Technology, expressed excitement about Techcombank’s success:

We would like to thank Techcombank for selecting Premium Technology to be their supply chain finance solution partner. It has been a challenging but amicable journey. We are glad that we can use our market-leading position and expertise in supply chain finance to contribute to the bank’s success. Techcombank and Premium Technology are working closely together so that we can help even more of the bank’s customers.”

Premium Technology is continuously working to ensure Techcombank stays to lead the supply chain finance business by providing an excellent digital business life cycle end-to-end and supported by the pool of experts in this domain space.


Fosun International Enters into Strategic Cooperation Agreement with HSBC China

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 29 August 2022

The strategic cooperation agreement will provide strong support in the aspects of global operation and investment capabilities, growth strategies, financial resources, etc.

Fosun International Limited and HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited (“HSBC China”) renewed a strategic cooperation agreement (the “Agreement”) today to provide strong support for Fosun International and its subsidiaries (“Fosun”) in the aspects of global operation and investment capabilities, growth strategies, financial resources, etc.

In the presence of Wang Qunbin, Co-Chairman of Fosun International, and Wang Yunfeng, President and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC China, Zhang Houlin, Senior Vice President and Co-CFO of Fosun International, and Ma Jian, Executive Vice President, Country Head of Commercial Banking of HSBC China signed a strategic cooperation agreement today at Fosun’s Bund Finance Center in Shanghai, marking further cooperation between Fosun and HSBC. The two parties will work together to support the strategic goal of stabilizing economic growth, promote the high-quality development of private enterprises, and make new and greater contributions to advance both the pandemic prevention and economic and social development.

Wang Qunbin, Co-Chairman of Fosun International, said, “As a global innovation-driven consumer group, after 30 years of development, Fosun has grown into one of the few domestic enterprises that is equipped with global operation and investment capabilities, and accumulated profound technology and innovation capabilities. Fosun has a diversified business portfolio, globalized asset allocation, and has always maintained good relationship with financial institutions, resulted in its stable business operations and abundant capital. While continuing to develop the four business segments of Health, Happiness, Wealth, and Intelligent Manufacturing, Fosun remains true to its original aspiration and actively fulfills its corporate responsibility. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Fosun has contributed to the prevention of the pandemic and promoted the resumption of work and production in an orderly manner. HSBC has always been an important long-term strategic partner of Fosun. In the future, Fosun will continue to work with HSBC to continuously deepen our globalization strategy, strengthen our investment and development in continuous innovation, actively fulfill corporate social responsibility to make greater contributions to national economic and social development.”

Wang Yunfeng, President and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC China, said, “As a leading private enterprise in China, Fosun has been actively innovating in many fields and promoting globalization over the years, and has played an important role in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resumption of work and production. Leveraging our global network advantage and local service capability, HSBC is committed to providing financial support to private enterprises with global vision like Fosun, and contributing to the growth and transformation of China’s economy. Through this renewal of the strategic cooperation agreement, HSBC will further strengthen its cooperation with Fosun to promote the win-win situation of both parties in more fields, providing support for the sustainable and high-quality development of private enterprises.”

HSBC is an internationally renowned financial institution. Through this Agreement, Fosun International and HSBC China are committed to strengthening the cooperation between the two parties. On the basis of strategic fit, complementary advantages, and mutual support, the two parties will carry out comprehensive cooperation in the future.


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