Today, 29 Sep, Tuesday
HSBC shares rebound In Hong Kong after China's Ping An increases its stakePing An just bought 10.8 million HSBC shares for a total consideration of $39.4 million from the open market when it was on a downward spiral these two weeks. The Chinese insurer increased its position in HSBC from 7.95% to 8% with the purchase, according to SCMP. These transactions were carried out through Ping An’s investment management arm, Ping An Asset Management. Financial services company BlackRock Inc holds 7.14% in HSBC, SCMP noted. An expose last week on the FinCEN files — the Suspicious Activity Reports review — flagged many questionable transactions by HSBC. As a result, the bank’s stock crashed to $17.95, a new 52-week low. Bank of America analyst, Richard Thomas, downgraded HSBC's debt last week, citing the FinCEN files report as well as a possibility that the Chinese regulators would classify the bank as an “unreliable company.” A Ping An spokesperson told SCMP that the insurance company has always viewed HSBC as a "long-term investment." The Chinese insurance company has been buying HSBC stock since 2016 and exceeded the 5% regulatory reporting threshold in December 2017.
19hours ago, 28 Sep, Monday
Federal judge halts Tiktok ban hours before it was set to go into effectSingularity Financial Hong Kong September 28, 2020 – A federal judge on Sunday postponed a Trump administration order that would have banned the popular video sharing app TikTok from U.S. smartphone app stores around midnight. A more comprehensive ban remains scheduled for November, about a week after the presidential election. The ruling followed an emergency hearing Sunday morning in which lawyers for TikTok argued that the administration's app-store ban would infringe on First Amendment rights and do irreparable harm to the business. Earlier this year, President Trump declared that TikTok was a threat to national security and that it must either sell its U.S. operations to American companies or be barred from the country.U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington said in a court filing Monday that he blocked a ban on new downloads of ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok because the government has likely overstepped its authority under the emergency-powers law it invoked to justify the prohibition. On Sept. 19, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco blocked a similar ban on Tencent Holding Ltd.’s WeChat.“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees. At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement.” Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s general manager, also tweeted support for the judge’s decision. The TikTok order was issued with a sealed opinion, so the reasons for the judge’s ruling weren’t immediately available. The judge asked both parties to submit filings by 11 a.m. on Monday to say whether the opinion should be unsealed. The government submitted sealed papers on Friday that it said contained “confidential business information,” but much of that filing was later released with minor redactions. The judge also ordered both parties to submit a joint proposed schedule for further hearings “on or before” Sept. 30. A Treasury Department spokeswoman noted that the November sale deadline remains in effect. If the government chooses to appeal the decision, it would go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, one level below the Supreme Court.
4days ago, 26 Sep, Saturday
Coronavirus mutation emerges that may bypass mask-wearing, hand-washing protectionsA new COVID-19 mutation appears to be even more contagious, according to a study — and experts say it could be a response by the virus to defeat masks and other social-distancing efforts.
Scientists in a paper published Wednesday identified a new strain of the virus, which accounted for 99.9 percent of cases during the second wave in the Houston, Texas, area, the Washington Post reported.The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, said people with the strain, known as the D614G mutation, had higher loads of virus — suggesting it is more contagious. Though the strain isn’t more deadly, researchers said it appeared to have adapted better to spread among humans. David Morens, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the findings suggest that the virus may become more contagious and that this “may have implications for our ability to control it.” He said it’s possible that the virus had evolved to resist efforts such as hand-washing and social distancing.
5days ago, 24 Sep, Thursday
Tesla tumbles on Battery Day aftermath and network outageTesla (TSLA) stock has taken a big 10% tumble today as the market digests the Battery Day announcement and Tesla suffers a significant network outage. To be fair, the market has taken a downturn during the second half of the day, but Tesla’s stock was already taking a big hit before the broader market followed. Tesla closed at $380 per share — down more than 10%. The bulk of the slip can likely be attributed to the market being disappointed by Tesla’s Battery Day. Tesla unveiled its strategy to bring its own battery cell to mass production with a 56% reduction in cost. TSLA stock price also dropped on the news that Tesla’s network is experiencing some major issues: While Tesla’s app and website were down temporarily and sporadically throughout the day, the bigger concern is that Tesla’s internal systems are also down. Sources told Electrek that Tesla is having issues with processing orders, deliveries, and service since this morning. Tesla still hasn’t commented on the issue and the reason behind the system outage is still unknown. It’s happening at a critical time for Tesla as the automaker is in the middle of its end-of-the-quarter delivery push.
China will ease entry restrictions for foreigners from Sept 28
Singularity Financial Hong Kong September 24, 2020 – China will ease entry restrictions for foreigners from Monday, with the spread of thecoronavirus through imported cases largely under control.
Foreign nationals holding valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters or family reunion are allowed to enter China without applying for new visas, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement released late on Wednesday.
If these permits expired after March 28, the holders can apply for new visas through Chinese embassies or consulates if the purpose of the visit to China remains unchanged.
But other restrictions introduced in March would continue, the statement said.Anybody coming from abroad will still have to have coronavirus tests and complete 14 days of quarantine, according to the regulations.
Trading app Robinhood raises $660 million in latest funding round
Unicorn trading app Robinhood has taken over $600 million in an extended funding round as it rides the summer’s retail trading wave.
Reuters reported Wednesday that Robinhood had raised a total of $660 million in its latest Series G round.
The trading app, which lists some cryptocurrencies, took commits from existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Ribbit Capital, 9Yards Capital, and D1 Capital Partners.
The round had originally raised $460 million, but was extended when D1 Capital offered to invest a further $200 million. That last-minute commit has taken Robinhood's valuation upwards of $11.7 billion, a spokesperson told Reuters.
The funding will be used to support core products and roll out a cash management and recurring investment feature. Robinhood said it will also improve its customer experience after a year with a number of outages – the latest being earlier this month – that have rendered the app temporarily unusable.
Coinbase hires executives from Venmo, Adobe and Google
Cryptocurrency exchange and wallet platform Coinbase announced it has hired Shilpa Dhar, Ravi Byakod and Frank Yoo for VP roles on its product, engineering, and design & research teams.
In an announcement published on its website, Coinbase said it was also creating a new “Platforms” team across its product and engineering organisations and that Dhar and Byakod would head the new team.
Prior to joining Coinbase, Shilpa Dhar worked at Venmo as head of product after spending 10 years at Paypal.
Ravi Byakod previously worked with Adobe, and also held senior engineering leadership positions at eBay, Flipkart, and Google.
Frank Yoo, the new VP for design & research, previously led Google’s global design and research teams for that company’s GSuite product. He also worked with Lyft and led design at Linkedin and Yahoo!.
ECB to accept sustainability-linked bonds as collateralSingularity Financial Hong Kong September 24, 2020 – The European Central Bank will from next year accept as collateral green bonds with payouts linked to sustainability targets, and also include such debt in its asset purchase schemes, it said on Tuesday.
Starting Jan. 1, 2021, the ECB will accept bonds that have coupon structures linked to environmental objectives or one or more of the United Nations' sustainable development goals related to climate change or environmental degradation.“The coupons must be linked to a performance target referring to one or more of the environmental objectives set out in the EU Taxonomy Regulation and/or to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals relating to climate change or environmental degradation,” the ECB said. The move was welcomed by money managers. "This statement from the ECB sends a very strong signal acknowledging its important role in addressing the climate crisis," said Mitch Reznick, head of sustainable fixed income at the international business of Federated Hermes, in a statement.
TikTok seeks injunction to stop Trump banTikTok filed for an injunction Wednesday to stop President Trump from banning the video-sharing app from being downloaded, an action that is expected to happen Sept. 27 unless a deal involving Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. is completed. President Trump issued an executive order last month that sought to ban TikTok and WeChat, a messaging app owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd. due to their Chinese ownership. WeChat managed to receive an injunction through the court system to stop its ban, as TikTok attempted to strike a deal for a new corporation in the U.S. that would be partially owned by Oracle and Walmart. That deal is still in doubt, however, so TikTok and Chinese parent company ByteDance filed for an injunction Wednesday. "If allowed to remain in place, the Prohibitions will irreversibly destroy the TikTok business in the United States: they will devastate TikTok's user base and competitive position, destroy the goodwill necessary for TikTok to maintain commercial partners in the United States, and cripple Plaintiffs' ability to attract and retain talent," the filing seeking an injunction states.
California will halt sales of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks by 2035California will halt sales of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks by 2035, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday, a move he says will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35% in the nation’s most populous state.The proposed rule would not ban people from owning gas-powered cars or selling them on the used car market. But it would end the sales of all new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks in the state of nearly 40 million people. California and the roughly dozen states that follow its lead on auto emissions standards make up a significant part of the U.S. auto market, giving the day’s move huge potential impact for the U.S. automobile industry as well as for long-term efforts against pollution and climate change, which is driven by fossil-fuel emissions. It also is likely to meet opposition from President Donald Trump, who wants to roll back tougher Obama-era auto emissions standards and is battling California to force it to comply. California already has rules mandating a certain percentage of new car sales must be electric or zero-emission vehicles. This rule, if implemented, would make California the first U.S. state with a plan to phase them out completely. At least 15 other countries have already made similar commitments, including Germany, France and Norway.
7days ago, 23 Sep, Wednesday
Study shows one-third of asset managers not engaging on climate changeA recent study carried out by Redington’s Manager Research Team has shown that more than a third (39 per cent) of asset manager respondents are unable to provide an example of a climate change related engagement effort, while less than two thirds (62 per cent) have an ESG engagement policy in place. Moreover, despite three quarters (76 per cent) of managers surveyed saying they consider climate related risks and opportunities, the firm’s analysis found that just 60 per cent can provide an example of when these factors have actually influenced buying or selling decisions. Nick Samuels, Head of Manager Research at Redington, says the discrepancy highlights a significant industry issue that, despite engagement seemingly increasing, this is not yet translating into concrete and consistent portfolio decisions. Samuels says: “climate change is a widespread and global problem, impacting all sectors of the economy in one way or another. We would expect all our managers, regardless of asset class, to have at least one, if not several, examples of climate change related engagements with their portfolio companies. “Managers who thoroughly analyse – and take action on – risks are crucial to driving progress so, moving forward, we strongly hope to see this number increasing.” The firm interviewed a total of 104 managers from across the globe, representing over USD10 trillion in combined assets under management, on a vast spectrum of areas relating to ESG. One area it was clear asset managers needed to give greater attention to was climate change. With global momentum around climate change quickly rising, Redington says that all players in the global economy – including investors, asset managers and investment consultants – must be prepared to play their part in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.
Manulife launches ESG fixed income fund for AsiaManulife Investment Management has unveiled a new ESG strategy focused on Asian credit. The Manulife Global Fund – Sustainable Asia Bond will primarily invest in Asian bond issuers with sustainability attributes and will focus on three sustainability themes: climate change, ageing population and corporate governance. The Ucits fund will be registered for distribution in Singapore with plans to seek registration in other countries in the region. “Sustainability is top of mind among global investors,” said Endre Pedersen, deputy chief investment officer for global fixed income and chief investment officer for Asia ex-Japan fixed income. “The fund is the result of our team’s years of research and successful integration of E, S, and G factors into our credit analyses, which enables us to gain a better understanding of the true worth of companies we invest in,” he added.
United States Department of Labor proposes increase in H-1B wagesThe US Department of Labor has submitted a proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget seeking to hike the minimum wages of H-1B and other work permit holders, a move that could significantly impact the H-1B visa programme. The details of the proposal have not been published yet, but lawyers expect the administration of US President Donald Trump to clear the proposal before the presidential elections in November. If given the go-ahead, it will be implemented immediately without public comment, unlike the case with most other rules. The Office of Management and Budget is tasked with producing the US President’s Budget, among other functions. The labour department submitted the proposal -- to restructure the wage levels of H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 and PERM (Employer Sponsored Green Cards) -- for review last week. “This rule has the potential to decimate the H-1B program as many businesses would be unable to meet the minimum wage threshold,” said Nandini Nair, immigration partner at law firm Greenspoon Marder.
7days ago, 22 Sep, Tuesday
Boris Johnson imposes stricter restrictions on UK for six monthsU.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced new restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, which included advising people to work from home, a 10 p.m. curfew for hospitality businesses and stricter measures on wearing face masks alongside hefty penalties for flouting the rules.Johnson said the new restrictions, set to apply for six months, are necessary to help stop the alarming spread of the virus, but said the U.K. was not entering a second lockdown. “This is no means a return to the full lockdown of March, we are not issuing a general instruction to stay at home,” he told MPs. Johnson said the new restrictions were a “stitch in time to save nine” and said they were designed to “shelter the economy from the far sterner and more costly measures,” that would be necessary if the spread of the virus continued to accelerate. “Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules,” he added. Staff in retail and indoor hospitality will have to wear masks, and they will be necessary for anyone in taxis. Covid-secure workplace rules will become a legal obligation and those that attend weddings will be limited to 15, down from 30. As of 1 October, the plan to ease the rules for sports events will be suspended. The change in plans, following midsummer messages for firms to go back to work, comes as the government’s chief scientific and medical advisers warned on 21 September that there could be 50,000 daily infections by mid-October and 200 daily deaths by November.
Financial stocks came under pressure amid a report of allegedly illicit funds moving over the past two decadesFinancial stocks came under pressure on Monday amid a report that global banks moved allegedly illicit funds over the past two decades despite warnings from U.S. officials. Shares of Deutsche Bank dropped more than 7%, while JPMorgan fell 4.4%. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of New York Mellon all traded at least 3% lower. The sell-off was triggered by a new investigation by BuzzFeed and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that said the banks’ internal compliance officers flagged a total of more than $2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 as possible money laundering or other criminal activity. The report cited confidential documents submitted by banks to the U.S. government. These leaked suspicious activity reports do not necessarily indicate wrongdoing, and they were just a tiny fraction of the reports filed with U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the report said. Deutsche Bank appears to have facilitated $1.3 trillion of suspicious money in the files, while JPMorgan disclosed $514 billion, the report found. Other banks mentioned in the investigation include HSBC Holdings, Standard Chartered and Bank of New York Mellon.
New Japan prime minister Suga holds first talks with US president Donald TrumpYoshihide Suga, the new prime minister of Japan, held his first talks with U.S. President Donald Trump since he took office, a diplomatic phone call that was one of his first as the country’s leader and one that highlights the close tie between the two allies. On Sept. 16, Yoshihide Suga was elected as Japan’s 99th prime minister, following the country’s longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Suga was Abe’s right-hand man, serving as the chief cabinet secretary and achieving the longest tenure in Japanese history for this position. Now as prime minister, Suga is widely expected to continue many of Abe’s policies and has publicly vowed to do so. “I told him that the Japan-US alliance is the foundation of regional peace and stability, and we agreed to continue to coordinate closely,” Suga told reporters late Sunday night after the call with Trump.
VPN interest surges in the U.S. as TikTok and WeChat users panic about access to Chinese appsInterest in virtual private network (VPN) software surged in the U.S. over the weekend as citizens realized President Donald Trump could soon block their access to Chinese-made apps like TikTok and WeChat over national security concerns. VPNs allow users to conceal their location online and pretend to be somewhere they’re not. Chinese citizens use the software to access apps like Facebook and Google, which are blocked by the Chinese Communist Party. U.S. citizens could theoretically use a VPN to try to bypass a government block on TikTok or WeChat. VPNs allow users to conceal their location online and pretend to be somewhere they’re not. Chinese citizens use the software to access apps like Facebook and Google, which are blocked by the Chinese Communist Party. U.S. citizens could theoretically use a VPN to try to bypass a government block on TikTok or WeChat.
1week ago, 21 Sep, Monday
U.S. CDC says coronavirus spreads mainly in the air, through respiratory aerosols and dropletsSingularity Financial Hong Kong September 21, 2020 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) quietly changed its guidance on coronavirus transmission through the air on Friday, saying it is “thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” The smaller particles, known as aerosols, are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes and can be inhaled into someone's nose, mouth, airways or lungs, according to the CDC, which says that, in general, indoor settings without good ventilation increase the risk of contagion. The CDC noted in its guidance of how COVID-19 “most commonly spreads” that the virus can be spread through airborne particles when an infected person “coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.” “There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the agency said in its guidance. “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.” For months, public health experts have cautioned that the coronavirus could be spreading through aerosols, making the virus airborne and able to spread further, CNN and The Washington Post reported. The experts said the updates to the guidance could change how policy is developed, specifically as the school year launches and many children are going back to in-person classrooms.
The U.S. death toll climbed to within a few hundred of 200,000 on Monday as California became the fourth state to top 15,000 deaths, joining New York, New Jersey and Texas.
The pandemic has also strained California's unemployment services, and state officials announced over the weekend that they will not accept new applications for two weeks in an effort to clear a backlog of nearly 600,000 claims that have not been processed for more than 21 days.
Dow skids about 650 points in early Monday trade as investors reassess risk amid rising coronavirus cases. Rising COVID-19 cases across several European economies sparked fears of renewed restrictions on activity. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was in talks on Monday to discuss introducing new measures to stem the coronavirus' spread.
SGX welcomes the world's largest Chinese pure government bond ETFSGX welcomes the listing of ICBC CSOP FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index ETF on Monday. The fund replicates the performance of fixed-rate government bonds issued in mainland China as measured by the FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index (CGBI). It is the world’s largest Chinese pure government bond ETF with US$676 million in assets under management and CSOP Asset Management’s first ETF listing in Singapore. The Chinese Government Bond Index (CGBI) ETF, managed by CSOP Asset Management Limited and developed in partnership by ICBC Wealth Management and ICBC Asset Management (Global), has gathered subscribers' interest with nearly 700 million dollars in assets under management (AUM) drawn from both institutional and retail investors. The launch of the China bond ETF represents an important turning point for the further opening-up of the domestic financial market and a continuation of previous efforts toward increased market access for global investors through the establishment of Stock and Bond Connect Schemes between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.
1week ago, 20 Sep, Sunday
U.S. Magistrate Judge in California halted the the move of banning WeChat from US downloadSingularity Financial Hong Kong September 20, 2020 – U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler on Sunday halted the move that would have forced Apple and Google to remove Tencent Holding’s WeChat for downloads. In a ruling dated Saturday, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California said the government’s actions would affect users’ First Amendment rights, as an effective ban on the app would remove their platform for communication. WeChat is a messaging-focused app popular with many Chinese-speaking Americans that serves as a lifeline to friends, family, customers and business contacts in China. It’s owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent. The group of WeChat users requested an injunction after the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it would bar WeChat from U.S. app stores and keep it from accessing essential internet services in the country beginning Sunday at 11:59 p.m. The Trump administration has targeted WeChat and another Chinese-owned app, TikTok, for national security and data privacy concerns, in the latest flashpoint amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. The administration contends that the data of U.S. users collected by the two apps could be shared with the Chinese government. On Saturday, President Donald Trump said he supported a proposed deal that would have TikTok partner with Oracle and WalMart to form a U.S. company. There is still a chance that TikTok could be banned in the U.S. as of Nov. 12 if the deal isn’t completed, under the restrictions put in place by the Commerce Department. However, a restriction to bar TikTok from app stores in the U.S., similar to what WeChat faced, was pushed back a week to Sept. 27 after Trump backed the latest TikTok deal. In the WeChat case, the users argued that the moves targeting the all-in-one app with instant-messaging, social media and other communication tools would restrict free speech. In her ruling, Beeler found that a WeChat ban “eliminates all meaningful access to communication in the plaintiffs’ community,” and that an injunction would be in the public’s interest. Furthermore, specific evidence about WeChat posing a national security threat was also “modest,” she wrote. The White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the injunction, but Kerri Kupec, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, said the department was reviewing the judge’s order.
2weeks ago, 18 Sep, Friday
The current chief risk officer Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse will join HKEXHong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX) has appointed the current chief risk officer for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse as its new group chief risk officer effective from November. Richard Wise will take up the position overseeing HKEX Group’s risk management functions, including group credit and quantitative analysis, group cyber and technology risk management, and enterprise risk management. Wise brings with him nearly 30 years of industry experience in senior risk roles at several major institutions, including JP Morgan where he was formerly global head of market risk management, before being appointed chief risk officer for JP Morgan Securities in New York.
ZTO Express aims to raise $1.56 billion in Hong Kong secondary listingZTO Express (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE: ZTO) is looking to raise as much as $1.56 billion in its Hong Kong listing. The express delivery giant said in a filing with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission Wednesday that it will 45 million shares priced at no more than HK$268 ($34.60) each. The offering price represents a 10% premium from its closing price on Tuesday in New York. The deal includes a greenshoe option that allows the underwriters to purchase an additional 6.75 million shares. The lone sponsor and global coordinator on the deal is Goldman Sachs, while, Citigroup, CICC, and UBS are serving as joint bookrunners.
2weeks ago, 17 Sep, Thursday
BlackRock to jump on Hang Seng Tech Index bandwagon with new ETFBlackrock launched a Hong Kong-listed ETF on Thursday that is targeted on the new Hang Seng tech index. The new iShares Hang Seng tech etf is anticipated to debut on the Hong Kong stock-exchange on September 17. The etf closely follows the performance regarding the recently established Hang Seng tech index, which incorporates 30 constituent stocks, including heavyweight Chinese technology leaders such as for instance Tencent, Alibaba and Meituan. Hong Kongs Securities and Futures Commission offered the US fund monster the go-ahead the brand-new etf on September 8, regulating files reveal. the fund's initial supplying period started on September 14. Blackrock's brand-new etf product uses steady development in interest in contact with technology organizations. the number of tech shares noted on Hong-Kong bourse's mainboard has grown by 19 percent since 2017 now represents one-third of its complete equity marketplace capitalisation.
Leaked EU draft proposes all-encompassing laws for crypto assetsSingularity Financial Hong Kong September 16, 2020 – A leaked legislative draft shows the European Commission is thinking seriously about aligning its oversight over the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry with standing regulations for traditional financial instruments. Europe’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) is due this September, but will not likely be transitioned into EU law until 2022 at the earliest.
The MiCA proposals begin with a broad definition of crypto assets and a base set of rules that apply to the issuers of those assets and service providers, the latter is more or less in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) definition of a virtual asset service provider (VASP).
There is a particular focus on stablecoins in Europe, which are defined as either asset-referenced tokens or e-money tokens.
Siân Jones, senior partner at XReg Consulting, said the bill takes particular focus on stablecoins, which could affect development in projects as diverse as the multi-asset-backed Libra project and the nascent decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.“Those stablecoins that rely on a basket of currencies or are based by reference to other assets, whether that’s another crypto or other kinds of assets, they will be classed as asset-reference tokens,” Jones said in an interview. “Essentially, the subgroup that behaves like e-money will be sucked into the existing e-money framework, while those that are asset-referenced have a load of extra rules on top of the base rules. So clearly, this is targeting stablecoins and particularly global stablecoins.”
2weeks ago, 16 Sep, Wednesday
Stock market faces‘lost decade’as corporate earnings struggle, Blackstone investor warnsBlackstone official Tony James, cautioned investors not to expect a lot from the U.S. stock market in the coming decade. Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday during a virtual Singapore Summit, the investor with the private equity group told the network that companies will struggle to generate strong earnings in the coming 10-year period, as he predicts that eventually super-low interest rates prevailing now will give way to higher rates in the future that will raise costs for American corporations.James said higher taxes and stepped-up regulation, which are expected if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the White House in November, will also lead to greater costs and lower profits, which could take the wind out of the stock market. “All of that will be economic headwinds for companies. So I think you can have disappointing long term earnings growth with multiples coming in a little bit, and I can see anemic equity returns over the next five to 10 years,” he told CNBC. James credited the Federal Reserve with preventing financial markets from falling off the precipice amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Blackstone official’s comments come as the U.S. central bank is slated to hold its regularly scheduled policy statement at 2 p.m. Eastern and Chairman Jerome Powell will host a news conference later Wednesday.
Senior Shanghai banking regulator comes under probe
Zhou Wenjie, a member of the Communist Party committee and deputy director of the Shanghai Bureau of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), is being probed for “serious violation of discipline and law,” the party’s anti-corruption watchdog said Monday in a statement.The Shanghai banking sector has been rocked by graft scandals under Zhou’s oversight. At least five top bankers have also come under investigation. Three of the cases are intertwined and are most likely linked to an investigation of former securities chief Liu Shiyu, sources close to the matter told Caixin.
Bank of America Names New China PresidentBank of America Corp. has appointed Zhang Wenjie as president of its China branch, according to an internal notice seen by Caixin. The position was vacant for three and a half years. Zhang will be based in Shanghai and report to the bank’s China country executive Wang Wei. He was also named to head the bank’s Shanghai branch, pending regulatory approval. Before joining Bank of America, Zhang was an executive vice president at HSBC Bank (China) Co. Ltd. He has more than 20 years’ experience in corporate and investment banking.
JD.com's fintech unit plans to spend $230m to get second payment licenseChinese e-commerce giantJD.com Inc.’s fintech unit plans to spend 1.6 billion yuan ($230 million) to get its hands on a second payment license, sources familiar with the matter told Caixin, as it seeks to expand its growing financial services business for brick-and-mortar merchants. Jingdong Digits Technology Holding Co. Ltd., or JD Digits, aims to get the license by acquiring payment platform 99Bill Corp., which is currently controlled by Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., one of China’s largest real estate conglomerates. With the deal, JD Digits aims to make money by providing services for brick-and-mortar stores and small businesses, the sources said, rather than compete head on with Alipay and WeChat Pay in mobile payments, on which the two platforms have a lock.
UBS is charting out a plan to tie up with rival Credit SuisseSingularity Financial Hong Kong September 15, 2020 – Chairman of Swiss multinational investment bank UBS, Axel Weber, is charting out a plan to tie up with rival Credit Suisse. According to a report from Inside Paradeplatz, the deal nicknamed Signal has Switzerland's Finance Minister, Ueli Maurer in the knowhow and could be announced in 2021. The merger of the two Swiss banks, which have redefined themselves as global wealth managers in recent years, comes at a time when there is pressure on the banks to cut costs due to the pandemic. If the deal goes through, the merged entity would have total deposits of €1.6tn ($1.9tn), giving stiff competition to not just European giants like HSBC but also to big Wall Street banks. According to the FT, a top-10 shareholder opined that, “There is a case for partnering in some of the businesses like investment banking markets [where] they don’t have the same critical mass as their US competitors,” and added, “but a full merger I cannot see the logic.” The deal could lead to about 15,000 job losses worldwide, reported Inside Paradeplatz. Bonds of both UBS and Credit Suisse were largely stable while their stocks rose by 2.4% and 4.3% respectively.
2weeks ago, 14 Sep, Monday
EU, China sign food protection deal ahead of challenging summitSingularity Financial Hong Kong September 14, 2020 – The European Union and China signed a deal on Monday to protect each other's exported food and drinks items from feta cheese to Pixian bean paste ahead of challenging discussions on trade, climate change and human rights at an online summit. The two sides will respect the names of 100 European regional food designations and 100 Chinese equivalents, meaning for example that China will only allow "champagne" to be used on sparkling wine from the French region of that name. The deal will extend to cava, Irish whiskey, feta and prosciutto di Parma, as well as China's Pixian bean paste, Anji white tea and Panjin rice.
China was the third-largest destination for EU agricultural and food products in 2019, worth 14.5 billion euros ($17.2 billion).
The new deal is a trade coup for Europe as U.S., Australian or New Zealand producers will no longer be able to use the protected names on their exports to China, although there is a transition period for certain cheeses.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU’s chief executive and chairman will later hold talks on more taxing topics in a summit that was to have been held in the German city of Leipzig with all EU leaders present.
Mastercard releases platform enabling central banks to test digital currenciesSingularity Financial Hong Kong September 14, 2020 – Payments giant Mastercard has released a platform that allows central banks to test how proposed central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) would work in real life. Mastercard announced on Sept. 9 it had launched a virtual testing environment that can simulate issuance, distribution and exchange of CBDCs between banks and financial service providers, as well as end-consumers purchasing everyday goods and services. Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard's executive VP, told Forbes his firm is already working with some central banks and that other entities, such as banks or tech firms, are being invited to use the platform. Mastercard was one of the founding members of Facebook's Libra Association – an initiative now considered a catalyst for getting central banks to look at digital currencies seriously. Along with rival Visa, Mastercard left Libra in October aftermounting concerns over compliance and the business model. Visa, which already offers payment cards for Coinbase, said in July it would do more to support digital currencies and blockchains popular with their clients.