by Florin Oprea
China will raise foreign ownership limits in financial firms in a step granting access to a tantalizing multi-trillion dollar financial services market, as the world’s second-biggest economy seeks to position itself as a major global finance hub.
FAO: The Trump effect…?!? He asked for a better access to China’s markets, and this was finally obtained. But what are the “costs” of this “gift” ?!??
Enoch Yiu – SCMP
China’s decision to remove foreign ownership restrictions on financial firms within five years has been welcomed by Hong Kong’s government, but many in the local financial industry believe the change has come too late to be of much benefit to the city.
FAO: Maybe this was the whole point…coming too late for HK…
Crystal Tse, Alfred Liu – Bloomberg (subscription)
Online lender PPDAI Group raised $221 million after pricing its U.S. IPO below the bottom end of a marketed range. PPDAI priced its offering a week after news that Chinese regulators are considering a crackdown on the country’s cash microlenders in response to claims that some have charged excessive interest rates.
FAO: Bad luck or bad timing for PPDAI? Anyway, I reckon the group’s co-founder, Shaofeng Gu, who owns more than 25% of the business, is still a very very wealthy man. We had an article last week covering Gu’s, among others, financial status. Qudian’s IPO at NYSE last month surely sent some waves in the markets, and some of these waves reached regulators too.
Devidutta Tripathy – Reuters
India’s Axis Bank is to raise $1.8 billion to further strengthen its capital base by selling shares and warrants to a group of investors including Bain Capital and top Indian insurer Life Insurance Corp.
FAO: Axis Bank moved into fintech earlier this year by acquiring Freecharge, Snapdeal’s payment subsidiary for $60m.
Joelyn Chan – Asean Today
Singapore’s Government-Linked Companies seem to be infallible as long as Temasek Holdings remains as their major shareholder. Temasek is one of the three key financial institutions linked to the government. It is an investment holding company with a net portfolio value of US$202b. Temasek’s website states that “Temasek’s shareholder is the Singapore Minister for Finance”.
Peter Rudegeair – The Wall Street Journal
Riley McDermid – San Francisco Business Times
After multiple lawsuits from employees alleging sexual harassment ousted its CEO, San Francisco fintech Social Finance says it will abandon plans to expand globally.
DNT: In October, SoFi announced the withdrawal of its U.S. Banking Application (read here). More about the sexual harassment scandal that affected the student online lender and caused the departure of cofounder and CEO Mike Cagney, in our Archive.
Brian Gaynor – NZ Herald
Xero’s proposed NZX delisting is a huge blow to the domestic sharemarket. The unexpected announcement is accentuated because Xero’s founder and CEO Rod Drury was an NZX director from November 2009 to May 2013.
FAO: We reported Friday about Xero’s plans to move to ASX. Here’s a well documented analysis on the move…
Robin Raskin – Huffington Post
A new study that looks at our emotional relationship to money and how banks can capitalize on this, published by Cognizant, advises banks to better understand their customers’ relationship to money and focus on where those needs are not being met.
FAO: Money could indeed be very stressful, which is exactly why fintech companies win, sometimes so easily, in their competition with banks. Making payments, lending, or financial advice, etc. less stressful might be the “secret” of fintechs’ rapid development.
Ingrid Lunden – TechCrunch
PayPal launched Money Pools, a service that takes on the likes of GoFundMe and other group-based payment and funding platforms, where people can create pages to let their contacts fundraise for a specific item or event, such as buying a group gift, a group trip, or housemates paying the rent. PayPal launched the service in 16 countries.
FAO: Another “tick” on PayPal’s development checklist. It’s a busy year for PayPal. For example: Facebook announced last month it is incorporating PayPal into P2P payments on Messenger. You can check more facts in our Archive.
Damian Fantato – Financial Times (subscription)
Canadian robo-adviser Wealthsimple has said it is looking for advisers to service its clients. The company launched its services in the UK earlier this month and already has $1bn (£750m) in assets under administration and 40,000 clients in Canada, the US and the UK.
DNT: A paradox, but it might be a good solution for “conservative” clients.
Visa Inc. continues to forge ahead with efforts to revolutionize payment systems, partnering with Latin American fintech companies as part of a connect-and-cooperate strategy to compete in a digital era dominated by mobile devices.
Priyanka Pani – The Hindu Business Line
YES Bank is all set to launch a first-of-its-kind fintech survey. Called India Fintech Opportunities Review, the study will cover India and a few major fintech markets in the world.
FAO: This could be useful. YES Bank, which also runs a startup accelerator programme called Yes Fintech, said earlier this year it is aiming to start global exchange programme partnerships – more here.
Singapore FinTech Festival, 13-17 November, more here – Via Mondovisione
Singapore expects its annual Fintech Festival to yield some major innovations that may shape the future of the industry. The event is attracting an audience that includes not just bankers and tech afficionados, but also the blue blood in the person of the Queen of Holland.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News