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All-Chinese team returns to the Rolex China Sea Race
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Entries for the 2016 Rolex China Sea Race are finally open and according to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, China’s Seawolf and its all-Chinese crew were among the first to sign up for the illustrious – and challenging – event.</p> <p>Seawolf – owned by Y.F. Liu – took fourth place in the IRC Race 2 division last year, and is reportedly itching for a top three finish this time around.</p> <p>Simon Powell, Chairman of the race organizing committee, had this to say regarding Seawolf’s entry:<br /> “[I]t’s fantastic to see Seawolf return to compete in this premier event. After a great showing by the all-Chinese crew in the last edition in 2014, they are the first Chinese boat to enter this edition, and by all accounts are a boat to watch this year. Given the growing popularity of sailing in China we are expecting an increased number of Chinese entries, to expand the already strong fleet making the 565-nm race.”<br /> It faces some though competition from Hong Kong though. Powell’s own Sell Side Dream and Eric Doguet’s Ex Libris are also signed up from the race.</p> <p>The 2016 edition of the Rolex China Sea Race is scheduled for March 23, 2016 and will start from Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour and will finish 565-nm later in Subic Bay in the Philippines.<br /> Photo: C.K. Tse</p>
And the city with the most valuable property is…
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>With residences averaging a whopping $1,416 per sq. ft, Hong Kong keeps its crown as the world’s most expensive place to buy a home in, leaving London, New York, and Tokyo sinking in its wake, as the World Property Journal reports:<br /> “Following Hong Kong are London and New York with an average property price of $1,025 per sq. ft. and $842 per sq. ft., respectively. From across the region, Singapore and Tokyo made the top ten list of highest value locations in fifth and sixth place with $810 and $697, respectively.”<br /> Just to put things in perspective, Hong Kong’s per square foot price tag is more than double L.A.’s $671 valuation, and nearly three times that of Rome’s $524.</p> <p>Interestingly, CBRE’s Global Living Report – which the article cites – points out that there may be some upside left in the city’s residential market. A wonder given all the bearishness currently embedded in it:<br /> “Prices are underpinned by a very constrained supply backdrop. Over the last decade on average around 110,000 units have been built, yet population has increased by half a million residents.”<br /> With the reflexive nature of the markets however, I’m not sure if a lot of people are betting on that.<br /> Photo: Bertrand Duperrin</p>
Wealth management plays fintech catch-up
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>New technologies are disrupting the financial industry. Innovative applications and alternative service providers are transforming the sector across the spectrum, from payment systems to cryptocurrencies, from client accessibility to more efficient trade execution.</p> <p>However, wealth management firms have been slow to introduce technologies that have been vigorously implemented in other parts of the industry. The arrival of new entrants with vast databases, such as Alibaba and Google, has been a catalyst for a change in mindset.</p> <p>“There are so many exciting trends and developments taking place on the internet, and so much that wealth managers can adopt and apply in order to enhance their services and reduce costs,” says Mads Faurholt-Jorgensen, managing partner, Nova Founders, who will be delivering a presentation at the Cyberport-Nexchange O-2-O Meetup in Hong Kong on 27 October. (Register here.)</p> <p>This need is nowhere more evident than in Asia. China and India are home to the fastest growing number of rich individuals on the planet, according to the RBC Wealth Management and Capgemini World Wealth Report (2015). Banks and the new pretenders are eager to tap into these growing markets, but costs are high and competition is feverish.</p> <p>The winners are likely to be firms that not only introduce new technologies rapidly, but also create viable, long-term business models.</p> <p>“There is fierce competition in the industry. Wealth managers are investing in financial technology, often through accelerator programs, and are now implementing essential services demanded by a digital-savvy new generation of clients,” says Joanne Murphy, managing director, Asia Pacific, CAIA Association.</p> <p>"They must branch out digital channels to connect with customers and reduce cost pressures," agrees Peter McMillan, head of wealth management, Asia, Thomson Reuters.</p> <p>Asian operations, in particular, suffer from high cost-to-income ratios and a shortage of experienced, well-connected relationship managers. They are also under pressure to offer open architecture products, differentiated by specialist services such as high-prestige property investments and philanthropy.</p> <p>This means that robo-advisors will not take over their world yet. There is clearly still a requirement for the personal touch.</p> <p>“New technology is supplementing not replacing the role of relationship managers,” argues Phillip Yoon, CEO, Phinary Advisors.</p> <p>Nevertheless, “if a bank were to start up a wealth management firm now, its business model would look very different if it made full use of the technology available today,” says Dr. Cédric Jeannot, founder and CEO, APrivacy.</p> <p>“Costs would be lower and client satisfaction greater,” he adds.</p> <p>The potential uses of state-of-the-art technology are extensive. Both relationship manager and client can benefit from more focused research and data, providing a customized service. Portfolio allocation, rebalancing, optimization and measurement can all be improved, and trade execution made cheaper and faster.</p> <p>And this is where new entrants have an edge.</p> <p>“Often, they are can create nimble platforms catering for specific demand. In addition, the conventional wealth management industry is being challenged by niche family office service providers, as well as from penetration by firms ranging from Google to insurance companies with access to large databases,” says Andrew Crooke, editorial and content director, Hubbis.</p> <p>Editors note: Cyberport and NexChange are hosting a three-hour “Wealth Management and Fintech” Meetup on 27 October (16:00-19:00) at Cyberport 3, Hong Kong. It will be the second in a series of events that will examine the impact of new technology in the</p>
The Week Ahead: UK GDP; Fed rates take center stage
Capital Markets
<p>(Note: all times HKT)<br /> Good morning everyone. With the ECB’s interest rate decision and China’s GDP figure firmly in the rearview mirror, all eyes will shift to the U.K. and the U.S. this week as the former reports its third quarter GDP data while the latter sees the Fed unveil its interest rate decision. With Draghi clearly stating that more stimulus is in store however – not to mention the PBOC’s recent rate cut – an October liftoff care of Yellen et cie seems pretty dubious at this point.</p> <p>Also of note this week are the U.S.' preliminary GDP growth figures, Japan’s inflation rate data, and the Bank of Japan’s policy decision.</p> <p>Here’s what else you should look out for:</p> <p>Monday:</p> <p>1:00 pm – Singapore industrial production (Sept, MoM) – Forecast: -7.4% from -7%</p> <p>5:00 pm – Germany IFO Business Climate (Oct) – Forecast: 107.1 from 108.5</p> <p>10:00 pm – U.S. home sales (Sept, MoM) – Forecast: -1% from 5.7%</p> <p>Tuesday:</p> <p>4:30 pm – Hong Kong trade balance (Sept)</p> <p>4:30 pm – Hong Kong exports (Sept, YoY) – Forecast: -7.1% from -6.1%</p> <p>4:30 pm – Hong Kong imports (Sept, YoY) – Forecast: -8.7% from -7.4%</p> <p>5:30 pm – U.K. preliminary GDP growth rate (Q3, QoQ) – Forecast: 0.6% from 0.7%</p> <p>8:30 pm – U.S. durable goods orders (Sept, MoM) – Forecast: -1.59% from -2.3%</p> <p>9:00 pm – U.S. Case-Shiller Home Price Index (Aug,YoY)</p> <p>10:00 pm – U.S. CB Consumer Confidence (Oct)</p> <p>Wednesday:</p> <p>7:50 am – Japan retail sales (Sept, YoY) – Forecast: 0.52% from 0.8%</p> <p>8:30 am – Australia inflation rate (Q3, QoQ) – Forecast: 1.3% from 1.5%</p> <p>3:00 pm – Germany Gfk Consumer Confidence (Nov) – Forecast: 9.2 from 9.6</p> <p>10:00 pm – U.S. DOE crude oil inventories</p> <p>Thursday: </p> <p>2:00 am – Fed interest rate decision – Forecast: unchanged at 0.25%</p> <p>7:50 am – Japan industrial production (Sept, MoM) – Forecast: -1.3% from -1.2%</p> <p>10:30 am – Singapore preliminary unemployment rate – (Q3) – Forecast: unchanged at 2%</p> <p>4:55 pm – Germany unemployment rate (Oct) – Forecast: unchanged at 6.4%</p> <p>8:30 pm – U.S. preliminary GDP growth rate (Q3, QoQ) – Forecast: 2.5% from 3.9%</p> <p>9:00 pm – Germany preliminary inflation rate (Oct, YoY) – Forecast: 0.2% from 0%</p> <p>Friday:</p> <p>7:00 am – Korea retail sales (Sept, MoM) – Forecast: 0.07% from 1.9%</p> <p>7:30 am – Japan household spending (Sept, MoM)</p> <p>7:30 am – Japan inflation rate (Sept, YoY) – Forecast: 0.1% from 0.2%</p> <p>7:30 am – Japan unemployment rate (Sept) – Forecast: unchanged at 3.4%</p> <p>11:00 am – Bank of Japan interest rate decision – Forecast: unchanged at 0%</p> <p>9:45 pm – U.S. Chicago PMI (Oct) – Forecast: 49 from 48.7</p> <p>10:00 pm – U.S. final Michigan Consumer Sentiment (Oct) – Forecast: 92.1 from 87.2<br /> Photo: Hernan Pinera</p>
Barron's Roundup: Breaking down liquid alts; Sherwin-Williams offers buying potential
Capital Markets
<p>Liquid alternatives are growing rapidly as a new round of products offer protection from market crashes. This week in Barron's cover story, the magazine examines whether liquid alts are the right choice for a portfolio. Investors have been desperately seeking downside protection since the financial crisis. But because the products are relatively new, they lack performance records.</p> <p>Paint your portfolio with Sherwin-Williams. The paint stock has been growing steadily over the last decade, even better than stocks like Starbucks, Home Depot, and Walt Disney. And, Barron's writes this week, the stock has room for continued growth. Now may be the time to buy. The stock fell 13% in the last six months, but could climb back up in the next year, giving investors a nice return.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: Poldy Bloom </p>
Mario Gabelli: From shoe shiner to Wall Street CEO
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Mario Gabelli’s first job was shining shoes in the Bronx when he was six years old. By thirteen, he was already making his own investments in the stock market and was on his way to becoming one of Wall Street’s most notable names. With years of experience under his belt, Mario shares what it took to found his own firm, how his investing philosophy changed over the years, and his opinion on today’s economy.</p> <p>Watch the video interview on ValueWalk.</p>
Fintech companies build financial basics in Africa
<p>For a region where only one-third of people have bank accounts but more than two-thirds have cellphones, fintech isn't just revolutionary. It's essential.</p> <p>Fintech in Sub-Saharan Africa is beginning to chip away at cash's dominance, giving more options for banking, payments, and transfers, reports CNN. Here are five fintech startups can are impacting finance in Africa:</p> <p> 22Seven: This Cape Town-based app links to bank accounts to allow users to create budgets and make investments.<br /> Nomanini: Linked to cloud software, Nomanini is a payments platform for informal vendors in unstructured markets making small transactions.<br /> Zoona: Similar to the popular Kenyan system M-Pesa, this Zambian cellphone-based service allows money transfer for the unbanked.<br /> GetBucks: Another South African startup, GetBucks wants to be the "private bank of the underbanked," providing short term loans and other products online.<br /> Cellulant: The Kenya-based company works across 10 African countries allowing mobile payments and banking services.</p> <p>Photo: David Stanley</p>
U.S. ETFs/ETPs gathered a record $145 billion in net new assets as of the end of 3Q15
Asset Management
<p>ETFs and ETPs listed in the United States have gathered a record 145 billion US dollars in net new assets as of the end of Q3 2015. Although September was another roller coaster ride for investors they allocated US$19.1 billion in net new assets to ETFs and ETPs listed in the United States during the month. This marks the 8th consecutive month of positive net inflows, according to ETFGI’s ETF and ETP United States insights report for September 2015.<br /> U.S. ETFs/ETPs net inflows reached US$145.4 Bn in Q3 2015<br /> In the first three quarters of 2015 record levels of net new assets have been gathered by ETFs/ETPs listed globally with net inflows of US$250.5 Bn marking a 26% increase over the prior record set at this time last year. In the United States net inflows reached US$145.4 Bn, which is 7.8% higher than the prior record set in 2012, while in Europe year to date (YTD) net inflows climbed to US$61.6 Bn, representing a 30% increase on the record set YTD through end of September 2014. In Japan, YTD net inflows were up 143% on the record set last year, standing at US$36.4 Bn at the end of September 2015.</p> <p>“Uncertainty on China and when the Fed will raise interest rates continues to weigh the markets and  investor sentiment.  The S&amp;P 500 decreased 2.6% in September, and is down 6.7% year to date.” according to Deborah Fuhr, managing partner at ETFGI.</p> <p>The US ETF and ETP industry had 1,787 ETFs/ETPs, assets of US$1.98 trillion, from 88 providers listed on 3 exchanges as of the end of September.</p> <p>In September 2015, ETFs/ETPs listed in the United States gathered net inflows of US$19 Bn. Fixed income ETFs/ETPs gathered the largest net inflows with US$9.5 Bn, followed by equity ETFs/ETPs with US$8.1 Bn, while commodity ETFs/ETPs experienced net outflows with US$472 Mn.</p> <p>YTD through the end of September 2015, ETFs/ETPs have gathered record net inflows of US$145.4 Bn. Equity ETFs/ETPs gathered the largest net inflows YTD with US$91.6 Bn, followed by fixed income ETFs/ETPs with US$38.9 Bn and commodity ETFs/ETPs with US$1.1 Bn.</p> <p>iShares gathered the largest net ETF/ETP inflows in September with US$12.2 Bn, followed by SPDR ETFs with US$4.1 Bn, Vanguard with US$3.9 Bn, ProShares with US$1.4 Bn and Schwab ETFs with US$1.1Bn in net inflows.<br /> iShares gathered the largest net ETF/ETP inflows YTD with US$58.2 Bn, followed by Vanguard with US$52.8 Bn, WisdomTree with US$19.6 Bn, Deutsche Bank with US$16.4 Bn, and Schwab ETFs with US$9.8 Bn in net inflows.</p> <p>This article was originally published by ValueWalk. </p>
What we’re reading: Lunch with Bernanke and Bond villain profitability
Capital Markets
<p>From a possible Chinese Ponzi scheme to SPECTRE’s annualized returns, here are some great reads for you this weekend.</p> <p>The Chinese exchange that lured 220,000 investors may have been a giant Ponzi scheme. A great look into the suspended trading platform-turned-asset manager, Fanya Metal Exchange. Was it really a failed money manager? Or was it – as one analyst put it – a massive Ponzi scheme? Quartz</p> <p>Lunch with the FT: Ben Bernanke. Call him what you want, but in my view the Ben Bernank was one of the most competent central bankers the U.S. ever had, and here he is talking to Martin Wolf about interest rates, the cathartic effects of a depression, and why you shouldn’t reduce risk too much. Financial Times</p> <p>Low-income Chinese men should share wives to deal with gender gap: Professor. Okay, this is a little off-beat, but the reasoning behind Professor Xie Zuoshi’s argument is – at the very least – interesting. The Nanfang</p> <p>Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger on generalists vs. specialists.  Charlie Munger, much like Jim Rogers, is always a great read, and here’s a fun piece on his thoughts on the multidisciplinary approach. Climateer Investing</p> <p>On the profitability of SPECTRE Capital LLP. Crunching the numbers, an FT Alphaville reader argues that Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s organization – SPECTRE – despite its godawful risk management procedures against James Bond, may have actually produced annualized returns well north of 100% a year prior to Thunderball. Beat that, VCs. FT Alphaville<br /> Photo: Brookings Institution</p>
Nat Rothschild’s Brazilian bachelor pad hits the market
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Looking to live like a Rothschild? Well, now’s your chance.</p> <p>The Brazilian pied-a-terre of former Atticus Capital co-chairman Nat Rothschild is currently on the market, and man, does it look like the quintessential party pad.</p> <p>Built by noted Brazilian architects Claudio Bernardes and Paulo Jacobsen in the early 90’s and spruced up by Mlinaric, Henry, &amp; Zervudachi in the late 2000’s, the 9,700 square foot home – which was featured in Architectural Digest – is located in Rio de Jainero’s tony São Conrado neighborhood, and boasts “spectacular views to the ocean, to the islands and to the mountains.”</p> <p>Those views are also available in the home’s four bedrooms apparently, though the villa’s swanky infinity pool, deck, and “lake” might actually be better spots to check it out.</p> <p>How much for the whole thing? The realtors would rather you call and ask – and you know that means.</p> <p>Christie’s has the listing here, while the architects have older photos of the place, here.<br /> Photo: Sam valadi</p>