News > All

Knowing the difference between 'fintech' and 'techfin'
FinTech
<p>When we say the word fintech, are we all really talking about the same thing? A portmanteau of “finance” and “technology”, fintech has become a trendy buzzword for the finance industry, but can all financial technology really be described as fintech? Some say no.</p> <p>The issue comes down to disruption. There is a difference between a company that offers a technology solution to established financial institutions and a startup that is uses technology to find entirely new ways of handling money. James McKeogh — a partner at KPMG who is leading the firm's fintech initiative in China — say this is the difference between techfin and fintech. At the first Cyberport NexChange Fintech O-2-O Meetup in September he told NexChange:<br /> "We are seeing an awful lot of techfin in Asia at the moment where existing financial capability is being optimized through technology, but I'm really keen on the area where we are seeing new products some out."<br /> Not everyone uses the terms fintech and techfin, but similar distinctions have been made. Earlier this year FSClub blogger Chris Skinner noted the difference between traditional fintech and emergent fintech. Like techfin, the first group includes 'facilitators’, larger incumbent technology firms  supporting the financial services sector, while the second group are the ‘disruptors’ with small innovative firms disintermediating incumbent financial services.</p> <p>Often these traditional — techfin — players will offer partial stack solutions: taking new technologies and then selling or licensing them to big banks. Most of the real disruptors however are the full stack startups offering the end-to-end solutions that cut out existing players. We have seen this in other sectors such as with Uber and taxis, Netflix and cable, or AirBnB and hotels. This, some argue, is real fintech, and banks are terrified of it.<br /> Photo: Caleb Roenigk<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Barron's Roundup: Computer chip companies forced to innovate
Capital Markets
<p>The computer chip industry is facing a crisis, Barron's writes in this week's cover story. Intel and other companies have been forced to add extra manufacturing steps to make their chips more efficient. But the result has increased costs for the companies. At the same time, massive Internet companies like Facebook are changing the computing as the chip companies know it. The result is an opportunity for innovation.</p> <p>China is causing problems for emerging markets, but there are still opportunities for investments, Barron's writes. Emerging markets aren't over, but investors will have to shift how they think about emerging markets. They won't be the same as they have been for the 12 years or so. On the plus side, valuations have improved. And Internet companies are holding strong.<br /> Photo: Henry Mühlpfordt </p>
Infographic: The Narwhal Club is home to Canada’s $1 Billion tech startups
Venture Capital
<p>The Narwhal Club is going strong with plenty of recent news concerning prominent Canadian startups. Working with Brent Holliday from Garibaldi Capital Advisors, we got the latest scoop on the sector and have updated the narwhal list accordingly.</p> <p>The most recent notable event occurred in the summer of 2015, when Markus Frind sold his 100% owned Plentyoffish.com to Match Group for US$575 million. As a result, we have removed POF from the Narwhal list, and instead have inducted Markus to a new category called the Nar-Wall of Fame. Plentyoffish.com allowed Markus to amass a personal fortune from profits and sale of his business that makes his personal valuation Narwhal-esque.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist<br /> This was originally published by ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: Matt Biddulph</p>
Your new book hub
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>For the reading obsessed, whether it's investment insights, historic fiction, or a biography, BookBub has become the new go-to.</p> <p>BookBub offers readers hugely discounted ebooks in every genre, and some even for free, reports The Book Insider. Last year registered users were offered Dan Brown's bestselling "The Da Vinci Code" free for one week.</p> <p>Follow authors and genres to know when the deals you want pop up. Everyone deserves a little pleasure reading now and then!<br /> Photo: Ginny <br /> &nbsp;</p>
Real Estate Porn: Brooklyn condos
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Brooklyn may be holding on to its hipster stereotype, but the New York City borough also houses some of the most expensive and stylish real estate- all with gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline.</p> <p>This Park Slope condo holds five bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Listed with Warren Lewis Sotheby's International Realty, the property is going for just over $3.5 million.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nearby in Dumbo, this corner condo has three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms.</p> <p>More sleek and modern than the Park Slope property, Sotheby's lists this condo at $4.6 million.</p>
Bolstering cyber security
FinTech
<p>Last week’s cyber attack on TalkTalk, allegedly by a couple of teenagers, highlights the threat posed by hackers to businesses worldwide. The British telecoms group said the details of up to 1.2 million customers had been left vulnerable as it rushed to limit the damage to its reputation and business, according to the Financial Times. (paywall)</p> <p>Now companies “are bracing themselves for an avalanche of cyber security regulation, as governments scramble to introduce rules forcing corporate groups to build stronger defences against catastrophic hacks,” says the FT.</p> <p>Other high-profile incidents in the US, such as the assaults on Target in 2013 and Sony Pictures last year, “are forcing global authorities to consider tougher regulations”.</p> <p>In Brussels, the European Parliament, 28 member states and the European Commission are working on a deal to create new data protection rules by December.</p> <p>Proposed measures include a fine for businesses representing up to 5% of global turnover or €100 million — whichever is bigger — for a privacy breach.</p> <p>“Such a fine would have wiped out most of TalkTalk’s £95 million ($143 million) of pre-tax profits last year,” notes the FT.</p> <p>However, the paper points out that the financial industry has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on its cyber security teams, hiring former intelligence officials from spy agencies and recruiting young techies from hacker clubs.<br /> Photo: Charis Tsevis</p>
Video: Northern Trust- Why we’re launching a long bond ETF when rates seem likely to rise
Asset Management
<p>Northern Trust recently launched a new long duration bond ETF, right as it seems interest rates will rise. Counter intuitive? Ed Rosenberg, head of ETF Capital Markets and Analytics, says you'd be surprised at what really happens to some bonds when the Federal Reserve raises rates. Plus: Whether or not rates or high or low, investors need to match their long-term liabilities with their investments.</p>
Weekend Scan: Stock markets roar in October despite recession fears
Capital Markets
<p>October 31</p> <p>It was a great month for global stock markets. Major bourses surged to near record highs in October as investors rushed back into equities, encouraged by central bank reassurances.</p> <p>The S&amp;P 500 and the Eurofirst 300 both rose more than 8% and are now up for the year, and the FTSE World Index jumped 7.8%, its biggest monthly rise in four years.</p> <p>Policy makers rallied round and gave investors a cuddle. The US Federal Reserve has put an interest rate hike on hold, the European Central Bank indicated another bout of quantitative easing and the People’s Bank of China joined the support group by cutting its key interest rates for the sixth time in 12 months.</p> <p>Otherwise, the macroeconomic environment looks pretty bleak. Commodity prices, including oil and copper, are stagnant and US corporate earnings are falling which indicate muted demand and raise the specter of deflation.</p> <p>Meanwhile, experts ranging from the IMF and Ben Bernanke to the credit rating agencies warn about the systemic risk to the financial system of vast amounts of emerging market dollar debt</p> <p>No worries, mate! It’s a massive night in Asia Pacific. No, not that stateside festival when people do strange things with inflated pumpkins, adults dress up like pantomime witches and kids beg for chocolate. Instead, at midnight in Hong Kong Aussie and Kiwi expats will invade the Wan Chai bars, neck gallons of amber nectar and watch the All Blacks crush the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup final.</p> <p>Here's what else you need to know:</p> <p>South China Sea tensions rise. A court in The Hague took jurisdiction over seven out of 15 submissions by the Philippines against China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, which is likely to encourage other Asian countries to challenge Beijing's claims. Earlier, China's navy chief warned his US counterpart that encounters between their forces could spiral into conflict, two days after a US destroyer sailed close to Beijing's artificial South China Sea islands. SCMP (paywall)</p> <p>24 hours of calamity. A Russian airliner carrying more than 200 passengers is missing on flight over Egypt's Sinai peninsula; a Bucharest nightclub fire killed 27 people and injured 155; fifteen traders including four children died in a fire at a public market in Zamboanga, Philippines. BBC</p> <p>Accusations of vote-buying in Myanmar elections. Opposition parties allege that the army-backed government is splashing out economic incentives to woo voters ahead of the November 8 election. Nevertheless, political analysts expect a coalition of groups led by Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do well. The Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>Sharing the costs of failure. Six of the biggest US banks would have to make up a $120 billion shortfall in their long-term debt to prevent another “too-big-to-fail” systemic meltdown under a Federal Reserve proposal unveiled on Friday. The Fed estimates that compliance would increase each bank’s annual funding costs by between $680 million and $1.5 billion. Financial Times (paywall)</p> <p>Another suspected suicide in Macau. Police discovered the body of Lai Man Wa in a public toilet in Ocean Gardens on Taipa Island on Friday. Lai, who was appointed director-general of Macau Customs in December, was due to attend a security meeting in Zhuhai later that day. Initial investigations suggested she had committed suicide. Two weeks </p>
More bad news expected at Deutsche Bank
Capital Markets
<p>After posting a €6 billion loss for the third quarter and scrapping its dividend for the next two years, Deutsche Bank announced plans to leave 10 countries and cut its workforce by 35,000.</p> <p>The decisions follow a writedown at its investment bank and the firing of three of the bank's eight board members.</p> <p>It was bold shake-up by the bank’s new boss John Cryan. But his problems are far from over.</p> <p>“A sanctions settlement may also be in the making. As early as next week, Deutsche is expected to pay at least $200 million to resolve investigations into its dealings with countries like Iran and Syria,” notes Wall Street Breakfast.<br /> Photo: ConstiAB</p>
EU probes Hutchison deal
Capital Markets
<p>Hong Kong’s domestic economy is notoriously dominated by a coterie of tycoons. But, it is harder for them to carve up key business sectors in other parts of the world.</p> <p>On Friday, European Union trust busters launched a full investigation  into Hutchison Whampoa’s HK$123.06 billion ($15.9 billion) bid for British mobile phone operator O2, reports SCMP. (paywall)</p> <p>Hutchison’s planned acquisition of Telefonica’s O2 would make it the top mobile operator in Britain.</p> <p>The company, which is controlled by “Superman” Li Ka-shing, already has a UK mobile business, so the deal would reduce the number of network operators from four to three, a number that raises regulatory alarm bells.</p> <p>"The Commission has concerns that the transaction would remove an important competitive force and that the merged entity would have limited incentives to exercise significant competitive pressure on the remaining competitors," said the European Commission.<br /> Photo: akika8</p>