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Record registrations for Citi Asia Pacific mobile challenge
<p>More than 70 teams have been chosen from 1900 registrations across 376 cities for the Asia Pacific Citi Mobile Challenge (CMC). </p> <p>Participants will show working prototypes for mobile apps and interconnected devices, ranging across every area of banking and FinTech including mobile payments, investment banking, wealth management, B2B services, financial inclusion and financial literacy, authentication and savings and personal financial management.</p> <p>They will be evaluated by a group of Citi executives and technology influencers with the potential to making them marketable.</p> <p>“The Citi Mobile Challenge is fostering the development of the next generation of FinTech solutions. This region is home to a fast growing FinTech community and this strong support for the Asia leg of the challenge will help accelerate and uncover new and exciting opportunities,” said Francisco Aristeguieta, Citi’s Asia Pacific CEO, in a statement.</p> <p>CMC Asia Pacific is a next-generation accelerator that combines a virtual hackathon with an incubator and a worldwide network of FinTech experts and developers who will compete to build tech systems that are capable of running on Citi’s digital platform. </p> <p>The registration number sets a record for the CMC with demo days to be held November 3 in Bengaluru, November 6 in Singapore, November 10 in Sydney and November 12 in Hong Kong.<br /> Photo: Tao Tsai<br /> &nbsp;</p>
People Moves: AXA appoints senior fund manager; HSBC Global AM names new Singapore CEO
Asset Management
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>HSBC Global AM names new Singapore CEO. Puneet Chaddha, a 20-year HSBC veteran, has been named CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management Singapore. Pedro Bastos, Asia-Pacific CEO of HSBC Global AM, had this to say regarding Chaddha’s appointment:<br /> “Puneet has been with the HSBC Group for over two decades and has worked in several of our global businesses. He has successfully transformed the business in India in line with HSBC’s commercial and governance strategy. We are determined to expand our presence in Asia-Pacific and capitalise on our leading expertise and capabilities as a global asset manager to provide innovative products and bespoke solutions to meet our clients’ long-term investment goals.”<br /> Chaddha has held several key roles within HSBC, and prior to his current appointment, was CEO of HSBC Asset Management India. He will report to Pedro Bastos, Asia-Pacific CEO of HSBC Global AM, and to Matthew Colebrook, HSBC’s head of retail banking and wealth management in Singapore. Asia Asset Management</p> <p>AXA appoints senior equity fund manager. Simon Weston, an old hand in the Asia-Pacific investment arena, has been appointed senior equity fund manager by AXA Investment Managers. Mark Tinker, head of Framlington equities Asia, had this comment regarding Weston’s hiring:<br /> “With tremendous experience and a strong performance track record, we are excited to have Simon join us and are certain that he will bolster AXA IM’s positive momentum in the Asia Pacific.”<br /> Weston was previously with Semeru CLSA Capital Partners in Singapore, where he was managing director and portfolio manager of the firm’s Semeru Asian Equity High Yield fund. Prior to that, he worked at Old Mutual Asset Managers, Perpetual Investment Management, and Hill Samuel Asset Management. He will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Mark Tinker. Citywire Global</p> <p>M&amp;G Investments strengthens Asia team. M&amp;G Investments, in part of an initiative meant to bolster its Asia-Pacific intermediary team, has appointed Anthony Yeung as associate director and Sophia Shi as relationship manager.</p> <p>Yeung, who apparently holds more than 15 years’ experience in business development, client management and operations, will be joining the British firm from GAM, where he handled fund distribution sales as well as client management. Shi meanwhile joins M&amp;G from BNY Mellon, where she focused on private banks in Singapore and Malaysia. They will both report to Ben Cherrington, Director of Intermediary Channels, Asia Pacific. M&amp;G Investments (pdf)</p> <p>Robeco Asia CEO resigns. Tony Edwards, in a surprise move, recently resigned from his post as Asia-Pacific CEO of Robeco. He is reportedly leaving due to family reasons.</p> <p>Edwards’ was Robeco Asia’s CEO for over four years, and drove all of the Dutch firm’s businesses in the region during his tenure. Prior to that, he held several senior roles in various firms, including Head of Asia ex-Japan for Neuberger Berman. Asian Investor<br /> Photo: Luke Ma<br /> &nbsp;</p>
People Moves: Morgan Stanley loses Asia IB vice-chair; MUFG chief returns to Morgan Stanley board
Capital Markets
<p>Morgan Stanley loses Asia IB vice chairman. Chong Leong, a near 14-year veteran of the venerable U.S. investment bank, has reportedly left the firm to join the Shenzhen-based delivery services firm, S.F. Express.</p> <p>Leong apparently joined Morgan Stanley back in 2002, and was – at the time of his departure – managing director and vice chairman of its Asia investment banking division. Finance Asia</p> <p>Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group boss to rejoin Morgan Stanley board. Nobuyuki Hirano, president and group chief executive of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), is set to rejoin Morgan Stanley’s board after a four-year hiatus.</p> <p>Hirano will be replacing Masaaki Tanaka, a senior adviser of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, who had been serving as MUFG’s representative director on the bank’s board since May 2011, and will also be part of the board’s risk committee. Wall Street Journal</p> <p>China Merchant Securities IB chief leaves. Daniel Ng, a big player in Hong Kong’s investment banking scene, left China Merchant Securities earlier this week.</p> <p>Ng, who was the firm’s head of investment banking, was also deputy CEO of the group’s brokerage division. Prior to joining China Merchant, Ng was Bank of China International’s vice chairman of investment banking, and held several key roles in Schroders, Bear Stearns, and Standard Chartered as well. Whether or not he has joined a rival firm is currently unknown. Finance Asia<br /> Photo: Wendy</p>
Kate Middleton helps 100 Women in Hedge Funds raise £550,000 for The Art Room
100 Women in Hedge Funds, a group that represents more than 13,000 women who work in the hedge fund sector, announced it has raised over £550,000 in gross proceeds to support of The Art Room. A national charity, The Art Room provides art therapy to children in nine different schools to help increase self-esteem, self-confidence, and independence. “100 Women in Hedge Funds
Yanis Varoufakis seems to be pretty pleased with himself
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>You think getting kicked out of the finance ministry got Yanis Varoufakis down? Wrong. Speaking to the Financial Times, the former Greece finance minister points out that his life isn't just awesome right now, it's gone all the way up to eleven.<br /> “How physically fit are you?</p> <p>Fitter than I deserve, given the past year’s trials and tribulations.</p> <p>What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?</p> <p>Nothing. A penchant for ownership and possessive individualism are the greatest enemies of the good life. But I do want many more wholesome experiences — which usually come through sharing.</p> <p>If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?</p> <p>Exactly what I am doing now.</p> <p>If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?</p> <p>Eleven.”<br /> Photo: Marc Lozano</p>
Wanda boss puts the record straight
Capital Markets
<p>A recent report by The New York Times suggested that the reason behind Wanda’s rapid growth lies in the company’s political ties, stating that relatives of President Xi Jinping and other leaders are Wanda shareholders.</p> <p>This week, Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin told 1000 students at Harvard Business School that the report was wrong:</p> <p>“Wanda has no political affiliation,” he said.</p> <p>“In August 2009, our commercial properties subsidiary had initiated a round of private placement and…[President] Xi’s brother-in law, Deng Jia Gui’s investment company, Qin Chuan Dadi, participated in the private placement at the same subscribed price level as other investment companies…Just two months before the listing, Mr Deng sold all the shares held by his investment company and fully exited at a low price point, and I’d like to state at this point that Mr Deng was never a shareholder of our listed company.” </p> <p>“After six years of investment, he sacrificed the opportunity to realize a huge return in investment. This incident demonstrates that President Xi is not only strict in managing our country but is even more scrupulous when it comes to family affairs.”<br /> Photo: Richard, enjoy my life!</p>
Workers unite!
Capital Markets
<p>Here's an interesting take from Société Générale on the flat-wage conundrum during this US economic growth spurt:</p> <p>"The lack of wage acceleration continues to be one of the most puzzling aspects of this expansion. Solving this puzzle is of crucial importance to both policymakers and investors. We explore the thesis that low productivity growth is the culprit behind sluggish wage growth. If true, this would point in the direction of structural weakness in both, rendering the Phillips curve ineffective. However, our analysis suggests that the causality actually goes the other way, from real wages to productivity. In other words, after a five year period of no gains in real wages, labor has effectively gone on a productivity strike. This phenomenon is not new and has been observed in previous cycles. The only difference about the current cycle is that the process has taken longer. We continue to assume that the US economy has been operating on a dormant portion of the Phillips curve, but is nearing an inflection point."</p> <p>Meanwhile the rich get richer...<br /> Photo: Ilya Boyandin<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Equity investment outlook October 2015: global growth scare: is it warranted?
Capital Markets
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During the third quarter, global markets were roiled by heightened investor uncertainty and downright fear that China’s slowing economic growth might tip the global economy into recession. The selling pressure that took hold in mid-August had all the elements of a mini panic. The only assets that held their value or posted gains were cash and investment grade bonds. The further out one looked on the risk spectrum, the worse the decline. Non-investment grade bonds traded off 3-5%. Even the 6% decline in the S&amp;P 500 Index during the quarter was relatively benign compared to smaller cap stocks that pulled back nearly 12% and emerging market equities that tanked nearly 18%. China and the economies that depend most directly on China’s demand were hit hardest: the Chinese market fell 30% and Brazil was down 33%.</p> <p>The key development precipitating the sell-off was China’s decision to let its currency devalue versus the U.S. dollar. This was read by global markets as tacit acknowledgement by the Chinese authorities that China’s growth was flagging and needed a lift from a weaker currency. Given the leading role that China has played in driving global growth over the past decade, investors ran for the exits, fearful that a recession in China could trigger a global recession. Our response is “not so fast.” In China and the economies dependent on it, concern is completely justified by the facts. The “miracle” hyper growth phase of China’s economic development may very well be over, leaving China to manage a potentially difficult downshift into an extended period of much slower growth (slow growth, not zero growth). This could have serious, lasting implications for many emerging market economies and stock markets. That said, the implications for the U.S. are much more nuanced and the current level of investor concern may be unjustified and overdone. We think a strong case can be made that the U.S. economy can decouple from a Chinese slowdown. Some even argue that the U.S. economy will prove to be a net beneficiary of the cooling-off in Chinese and emerging market growth. This Outlook will look at the growth scenarios for China and China-dependent countries compared to the U.S.</p> <p>China</p> <p>China is experiencing a significant slowdown in its growth rate, a change that is having wide-ranging spillover effects. Year after year of double digit Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) growth helped power global growth over the past 15 years (Figure 1). Since the year 2000, the emerging markets’ share of the global economy has increased from above 45% to 60% now (Figure 2). Investors are rightly concerned about the impact of a Chinese slowdown on global growth, but we think that the brunt of this slowdown will be borne by China and its main suppliers (not the U.S.). China’s voracious appetite for commodities during its go-go days helped lift growth for many commodity and goods producing countries. Now that China’s growth is slowing, demand for these commodities is waning and prices are plummeting. This, of course, is devastating to the profitability of commodity producers and the countries dependent on them (e.g. Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa and Australia). The big question is: could this commodity deflation be good news for the U.S. consumer? We try to answer this question later in this Outlook.</p> <p>Figure 1:</p> <p>Source: Cornerstone Macro, Economic Research, October 11, 2015 (end date: 6/30/15). Year-on-year growth rate.</p> <p>Figure 2:</p> <p>Source: Cornerstone Macro, Econ</p>
Financial markets are a game
Asset Management
<p>Financial Markets Are A Game by EconMatters<br /> Forget about Market Multiples: Totally Meaningless Sell-Side [email protected]</p> <p>Anyone thinking about investing in financial markets should realize that most of the professionals who are on the inside, i.e., have power and access to information and capital to move markets, do not view financial markets as investment vehicles, decisions about P/E ratios, equity multiples, etc. but rather see financial markets as a giant game of making money.</p> <p>Financial Markets are Giant Criminal Playgrounds</p> <p>Consequently the first thing all ‘investors’ need to realize is that markets are crooked, always have been, and always will be despite year after year of new regulations trying to prevent ‘crooked behavior’! Once you understand that the market is a giant game, and you stop thinking about the market from a valuation sense or a fundamentals standpoint; your next task is to identify the rules of the game, or the way the game is being played during your ‘investment horizon’ as in, when you as an investor are risking your capital in the markets.</p> <p>Market Makers Never Risk Anything: They Make Markets Move Directionally</p> <p>Most of the games in the market are about fooling other investors and taking their money, but there are all types of games, some actually can benefit average investors who actually believe in the fundamentals and a fair market. The problem is that you as an average investor will be thinking that the fundamentals are why an asset is going up, which can be the case, but the party will end while you are still looking at the same fundamentals that are in place, and the game players have already sold the stock or asset and bought derivatives in the opposite direction because they are Making the party to be over, there is no guess work involved on their end as they are Market Makers!</p> <p>Sell Dungarees to the Gold Rush Crowds </p> <p>In short, fundamentals do not matter in financial markets! This is the hardest thing that investors have to learn about financial markets because they have been so conditioned to believe that the financial markets are based upon the fundamentals because of all the folks who sell shovels and axes to the market participants. The amount of money made off of the financial markets over its history probably surpasses the amounts of money made from financial assets. Again the game within the game.</p> <p>An Example of Game Playing</p> <p>I will give you an example of a recent game just to get your mind to start thinking in terms of the games behind the financial markets. So remember when the Federal Reserve was dovish at the September Meeting and the markets had sold off in a tizzy fit, don`t be fooled there was a game already in place, and it played out according to the predetermined script.</p> <p>What you have to realize is that this game, and the entire game of selling the markets off because of “China Turmoil” had very little to do with China and a whole lot to do with pushing the financial markets down into quarter end. So when the new money came into financial markets for the Christmas Rally of the 4th quarter the game players have a low base from which to work from and have a monster fourth quarter. Most of the real money is made in derivatives off of the movement in the core assets due to the massive amount of leverage that can be attained. Therefore if you know wher</p>
Daily Scan: Asian shares post best month in six years; Bank of Japan slashes growth, inflation forecasts
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>October 30</p> <p>Asian bourses turned in their best monthly performance in more than six years as dreams of stimulus propelled prices higher. Friday was a bit of bust -- Asia-ex Japan finished lower on Friday. And, ironically, the Nikkei 225 notched gains after the Bank of Japan declined to expand its stimulus program. Go figure. Here's what happened in October:</p> <p>Day<br /> Week<br /> Month</p> <p>Hang Seng Index<br /> -0.79%<br /> -1.89%<br /> +8.60%</p> <p>Hang Seng China Enterprises Index<br /> -0.41%<br /> -2.96%<br /> +10.54%</p> <p>Shanghai Composite<br /> -0.14%<br /> -1.36%<br /> +10.80%</p> <p>Shenzhen Composite<br /> +0.02%<br /> -0.82%<br /> +17.36%</p> <p>Nikkei 225<br /> +0.78%<br /> +1.46%<br /> +9.75%</p> <p>Straits Times Index<br /> -0.09%<br /> -2.33%<br /> +7.40%</p> <p>European bourses meanwhile are edging upwards, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 is currently up 0.05%, Germany’s DAX 30 is up 0.37%, and France’s CAC 40 is up 0.41%. As for Wall Street, S&amp;P 500 futures have so far climbed 0.32%.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>RBS, BNP profits beat estimates. BNP Paribas’ third quarter net income rose to $2.01 billion, beating a $1.85 billion showing expected by analysts, while the Royal Bank of Scotland, despite a massive hit from litigation, misconduct and restructuring costs, posted $1.46 billion in attributable profit, thrashing forecasts of a $276 million loss. Reuters / Financial Times</p> <p>German retail sales miss forecasts. German retail sales grew 3.4% in September versus the previous year, a pretty good climb compared to August’s revised 2.1% growth rate. Unfortunately, it’s a hair shy of the 4.1% showing analysts had been expecting. Financial Times (paywall)</p> <p>Italian unemployment falls to two-year low. Things are looking good over in Italy. According to the nation’s statistics bureau, Istat, unemployment in the country fell to 11.8% – its lowest level since January 2013. Istat</p> <p>Bank of Japan stands pat. In an 8-1 vote, the Bank of Japan’s Policy Board decided to keep its stimulus program unchanged. Shortly after the closing bell, the bank also decided to slash its growth forecast and push back the time frame for its 2% inflation target. Bank of Japan (pdf)</p> <p>Samsung sells chemicals business to Lotte. In another chaebol to chaebol deal, South Korea’s Lotte Group is set to acquire Samsung’s chemical business for around $2.63 billion. The deal reportedly includes 31% of Samsung Fine Chemicals and 90% of Samsung SDI’s chemicals operation. </p>