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Twitter reacts to surprise rate cut in China
<p>#China cuts rates again, but growth is on target… right?<br /> — Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta) October 23, 2015</p> <p>S&amp;P futures after China rate cut</p> <p>— zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 23, 2015</p> <p>To compensate for lost jobs, US cuts rates. To compensate for lost US exports to jobless Americans, China cuts rates. Russia buys Gold.<br /> — Max Keiser (@maxkeiser) October 23, 2015<br /> Photo: © kool99</p>
China cuts interest rate in unexpected move
<p>From the Guardian:<br /> China’s rate cut is the sixth since last November as the authorities try to kickstart the slowing economy. The People’s Bank of China has lowered its one-year benchmark bank lending rate by a quarter point to 4.35%, effective from 24 October. The one-year benchmark deposit rate was also cut by 25 basis points, to 1.5%.</p> <p>This is China’s most aggressive policy easing cycle since the global financial crisis in 2008/09, Reuters said.<br /> Photo: Michaël Garrigues</p>
70% of bankers see fintech making significant impact on banking
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p> A new survey of bankers and Fintech executives highlighted the impact that Fintech is having on the banking world.</p> <p> Nearly three out of every four bankers foresee some form of major disruption from Fintech.<br /> Fintech executives expect the deposits and small business loan segments to be most impacted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Fintech revolution has grown rapidly in recent years, and it appears as if it will not be going away anytime soon.</p> <p>How much of a threat does Fintech pose to traditional banks? A new survey of 100 Fintech executives and 100 senior bankers conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise shed some light on where Fintech is headed and if big banks should be worried.</p> <p>Here’s a look at some of the key findings from the ...</p> <p>Full story available on</p> <p>Photo: FamZoo staff</p>
How to play oil's short-lived rally
<p>There has been plenty of chatter about an alleged oil rebound in recent weeks. If theUnited States Oil Fund (NYSE: USO), which tracks front-month West Texas Intermediate crude futures, being up half a percent over the past month qualifies as a legitimate rebound, so be it.</p> <p>Oil equities have been vastly superior over that period. For instance, the usually volatileSPDR S&amp;P Oil &amp; Gas Exploration &amp; Production ETF (NYSE: XOP) is up 10.3 percent over the past 30 days and that is even with the burden of an almost 5.4 percent decline over the past week. Still, there are reasons to be cautious with the oil patch, both futures- and equity-based exchange traded funds.</p> <p>There is political wrangling regarding the US potentially becoming an oil exporter and headlines about Saudi Arabia moving to crush the U.S. shale boom. The Direxion Daily S&amp;P ...</p> <p>Full story available on</p> <p>Photo: Natalie Maynor <br /> &nbsp;</p>
China’s profitable congress
<p>Chinese media called it the “wedding of the century”. Earlier this month, TV star Huang Xiaoming tied the knot with Angelababy, who has been described as “China’s Kim Kardashian”. The nuptials took place at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre, witnessed by more than 2,000 rich or beautiful guests and set the groom back a small fortune.</p> <p>“The centre, which costs half a million yuan a day to rent, was sealed off for several days beforehand for decoration purposes. The South China Morning Post reports that the main hall of the centre was filled with tens of thousands of roses while 200 workers laboured overtime to replicate the bride’s dream of getting married in a castle. There was also a 2.5 metre cake fashioned to look like a carousel, which is said to have taken a month to make,” writes Week in China.</p> <p>“Days before the wedding, the bride also showed off her pear-shaped six-carat diamond Chaumet Josephine engagement ring via her social media account. It is estimated to be worth $1.56 million. During the wedding ceremony, she also wore an antique brooch and a crown that were rented from Chaumet’s own museum.”</p> <p>Yet despite the excess, online advertising and endorsements meant the marriage apparently got off to a lucrative start.</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: 路易豪豪</p>
CITIC Capital seals the deal on Akakura buyout
<p>Despite the nation’s shaky fundamentals, foreign investors are still enthralled Japan – and it appears that China’s CITIC Capital is no different.</p> <p>The $5 billion private equity and real estate shop announced that it recently completed its acquisition of Akakura, the 60-year old Japanese footwear retailer, adding that it has installed a new CEO and that it’s looking forward to seeing it grow:<br /> “Following the acquisition, CITIC Capital will continue to operate the 60 profitable stores, which are expected to grow further in the coming years. Mr. Masahiro YAMADA, a footwear industry specialist, has been appointed as the new CEO to lead the restructuring process. CITIC Capital will assist Akakura to capture the rise of consumer spending, emergence of the middle-class in China and the rapid growth of in-bound tourists into Japan, as well as enhance Akakura’s supply chain management.</p> <p>CITIC Capital is also committed to working closely with Akakura’s management and employees to rebuild Akakura’s leadership in the women’s footwear industry and create long-term value to the Company.”<br /> How much CITIC spent for the retailer however was not disclosed.<br /> Photo: 드림포유</p>
Cybersecurity and Israel's booming fintech space
<p>Cybersecurity was high on the agenda this week when a delegation of Israeli startups gathered in Hong Kong for the 2nd Israeli FinTech Forum.</p> <p>The event, hosted by the Consulate General of Israel of Hong Kong and Macau alongside FinTech HK, saw a total of 11 companies showcasing their businesses to attendees.</p> <p>Sectors varied from payments and big data analytics to software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, but security was overwhelmingly the biggest fintech sub-sector. Here are some of the start-ups that presented:</p> <p> Algosec (Cyber securuty)<br /> Beyond Security (Cyber securuty)<br /> BondIT (Portfolio managament)<br /> Checkmarx (Cyber Security)<br /> CyberInt  (Cyber Security)<br /> OffLA (Cyber Security)<br /> (Payments)<br /> SentinelOne (Cyber Security)<br /> ThetaRay (Big Data)<br /> Wisesec (Payments)<br /> 2 Team (SaaS)</p> <p>Israel is a natural hub for the fast-growing cyber security industry which offers a range of fintech solutions including fraud preventation and anti-hacker software.</p> <p>The sector sits at a crossroads between the Israel's hi-tech industry and its sizable defense sector. The synergies are such that Israel startups are now poaching military and intelligence officers to give them the competitive edge in the space, according to the Wall Street Journal.</p> <p>For its part Hong Kong could be a big investor in Israeli cyber security. During the event, Sagi Karni, Israel's Consul General in Hong Kong, told the audience that in the last three years VC flows from Hong Kong to Israel's tech industry totalled $500 million, and the number is increasing.<br /> Photo: istock</p>
China funds did pretty well in September
Hedge Funds
<p>High-profile hedge funds like Pershing Square and Third Point may have been hammered in September, but according to China Money Network, their China-focused counterparts didn’t do too bad:<br /> “Greater China-focused hedge funds gained 1.26% in September, compared with the CSI 300 Index, which was down 4.86%, and the global hedge fund index's 0.58% decline during the month, according to data released by industry data tracker Eurekahedge.</p> <p>The gain compares with a decline of 6.55% in August for China-focused hedge funds. Asia ex-Japan was the best performing regional index during the month, up 0.67%.”<br /> Unfortunately, a hulking 42% of them are still underwater, and yes, 1.26% doesn’t really make you go “hmmm,” but still, their performance has so far eclipsed those of their North American peers (-1.34%) as well as those of their South American rivals (-2%).</p> <p>They still have a long way to go to beat their Australasian counterparts though; Aussie and Kiwi-focused funds apparently gained a whopping 7.37% in the same time frame, quite the hurdle to jump.<br /> Photo: Charles LeBlanc</p>
Is Xiaomi losing its magic?
<p>For a while now venture capital-backed smartphone maker Xiamoi has been the darling of Asian tech, disrupting incumbants left and right, but new sales data shows that the firm may be losing some of its lustre.</p> <p>Tech in Asia reports that the firm may be feeling the effects of a China slowdown, citing several reports that indicate Xiaomi might be fall short of its revised goal to ship 80 to 100 million units this year.</p> <p>Xiaomi is yet to release it Q3 sales figures but the consensus among research firms is that the hype might be wearing off. That said, most agree the firm could still be on course to shift around 70 million units, which is still an awful lot.<br /> Photo: nijanthan_v</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
A Blockchain Alliance has been formed – not everyone is happy
<p>As part of the industry’s ongoing fight for legitimacy, a group of blockchain companies have decided to club together and form the Blockchain Alliance in order to better aid law enforcement. Some in the industry are alarmed.</p> <p>Created by Coin Center and the Digital Chamber of Commerce, two Washington D.C. trade associations, the Alliance is a private sector initiative intended to create a forum whereby enforcement agencies and regulators can share information and get technical assistance from the industry on blockchain. </p> <p>Some 16 companies and organizations – see the release for a full list – have agreed to work with a several government enforcement groups including:</p> <p> The FBI<br /> U.S. Marshals Service<br /> U.S. Secret Service<br /> Immigration and Customs<br /> Homeland Security<br /> Commodity Futures Trading Commission</p> <p>Needless to say, in a post-Snowden world, this does not chime well with some liberty-loving bitcoiners. Knowing this, the Alliance has stressed that it will not be a backdoor for the government to get info on companies and their customers but rather a “higher level discussion about typologies, trends, and technical issues.”</p> <p>That said, there is still some skepticism and debate on both Reddit and on the Bitcoin community forums over the extent to which the bitcoin community should be engaging with The Man. People like Bitcoin foundation director Bruce Fenton and Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist Gavin Andresen have weighed in on either side of the argument. And then there are the twitter reactions: </p> <p>New Blockchain Alliance is a big step to ensure Bitcoin is used for innovation, not crime. Well done, @coincenter.<br /> — Rep. Jared Polis (@RepJaredPolis) October 22, 2015</p> <p>Blockchain Alliance -- at first glance, a profoundly bad idea<br /> — Bruce Fenton (@brucefenton) October 22, 2015</p> <p>Value your privacy? DO NOT use any of the products or services listed in this Article.</p> <p>— Samourai Wallet (@SamouraiWallet) October 22, 2015</p> <p>@lightcoin Fintech is getting into Bitcoin that is why we nee</p>