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Asia's Small Firms Need More Nonbank Financing to Grow

10-04-2014 Banking and Finance Breaking News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Asia's Small Firms Need More Nonbank Financing to Grow

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Asia’s economies, but they need better access to finance to grow and generate badly needed new jobs for the region, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. “Most of Asia’s smaller firms are faced with difficulties in obtaining finance,” said Noritaka Akamatsu, Deputy Head of ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, which produced the inaugural edition of Asia SME Finance Monitor, released today. “SMEs need to be able to tap a wider range of nonbank financing options in addition to bank loans, including capital markets if they are to realize their...

AfrAsia, MasterCard and Infinia Launch Pioneering Travel Rewards Program

18-12-2013 Banking and Finance Breaking News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

AfrAsia, MasterCard and Infinia Launch Pioneering Travel Rewards Program

AfrAsia Bank and MasterCard introduce Africa’s first travel rewards program offering real time booking on over 450 airlines and at 200,000 hotels to its World and Titanium MasterCard cardholders. In collaboration with Infinia Services & Solutions and MasterCard, this travel rewards program enables cardholders to earn XtraMiles whenever they swipe their World or Titanium MasterCard credit cards. This innovative product underpins further the bank’s unremitting commitment to creating value for its niche market and differentiating itself through unique products with priceless privileges. XtraMiles is a new travel currency that clients can collect not only on everyday spending, but also on bank...

Developing Asia Growth Outlook Steady As Industrial Economies Firm

11-12-2013 Banking and Finance Breaking News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Developing Asia Growth Outlook Steady As Industrial Economies Firm

An improving growth outlook in Japan and the United States paired with stronger-than-expected performance in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) support a steady growth outlook for developing Asia, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. The Asian Development Outlook Supplement, released today, forecasts growth of 6.0% in 2013 for ADB’s 45 developing member countries, improving to 6.2% in 2014. The forecasts are unchanged from the Asian Development Outlook Update issued in October. “Despite uncertainties in the global economic environment, developing Asian economies remain resilient. The region has performed well in 2013 and is now poised to benefit from the...

ECB Comprehensive Assessment In Advance of Supervisory Role

23-10-2013 Banking and Finance Breaking News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

ECB Comprehensive Assessment In Advance of Supervisory Role

Large banks to undergo risk assessment, asset quality review and stress test Exercise starts in November and will take 12 months Aims to foster transparency, to repair and to build confidence The ECB is announcing details of the comprehensive assessment to be conducted in preparation of assuming full responsibility for supervision as part of the single supervisory mechanism. The list of banks subject to the assessment is also being published. The assessment is an important step in the preparation of the single supervisory mechanism and, more generally, towards greater transparency of the banks’ balance sheets and consistency of supervisory practices in Europe. The...

ECB Launches Comprehensive Assessment of 124 EU Banking Groups

23-10-2013 Banking and Finance Breaking News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

ECB Launches Comprehensive Assessment of 124 EU Banking Groups

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published first details of its comprehensive assessment. The assessment will include a total of 124 banking groups in the euro area, 24 of them German, and is to be concluded before the launch of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) in November 2014. Measured against total assets, the comprehensive assessment therefore covers around 65 % of the German banking sector. The ECB has stipulated a minimum ratio of 8 % of core tier 1 capital as the target for the balance-sheet assessment, which will be part of the comprehensive assessment. The transitional rules applicable from 1...

Nakumatt Collaborates With Mastercard To Launch New Card To Over One Million Customers

23-10-2013 Banking and Finance Breaking News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Nakumatt Collaborates With Mastercard To Launch New Card To Over One Million Customers

Leading Regional East African retail chain Nakumatt Holdings Limited today launched the Nakumatt Global Prepaid MasterCard card, in partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank and Diamond Trust Bank. The new card, which is EMV compliant, replaces the current Nakumatt Cybercash loyalty smartcard and provides a range of enhanced benefits and security features. With the multicurrency Nakumatt Global Prepaid Mastercard card, existing Nakumatt smartcard holders will continue accumulating their smart points for all purchases made across Nakumatt outlets. Nakumatt Global Prepaid MasterCard cardholders will also earn smart points for purchases made with the card at any of the over 35.9 million acceptance points, including...

Dubai International Financial Centre Unveils Updated Master Plan at Cityscape Global

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance International Financial Centers News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Dubai International Financial Centre Unveils Updated Master Plan at Cityscape Global

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s emerging markets with the markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas, presents its master plan at Cityscape Global. The new developments will add to DIFC’s world-class infrastructure and unique value proposition to meet the growing needs of regional and international clients. The latest plan is in line with DIFC’s long-term growth strategy and reflects the growing demand for space, from both existing and potential clients, who wish to expand their operations in the Centre. DIFC is now evaluating development proposals for a limited amount of plots, with a...

Power Swaps Can Help Asia-Pacific Manage Daunting Future Energy Needs

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Power Swaps Can Help Asia-Pacific Manage Daunting Future Energy Needs

Cross-border power exchanges can play a central role in helping Asia and the Pacific meet its booming demand for power, which is set to sharply outpace the rest of the world’s over the next two decades, says a comprehensive new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). “Our projections show the region will consume more than half the world’s energy supply by 2035, with electricity consumption more than doubling as economic growth and rising affluence drive demand,” said S. Chander, Special Senior Advisor, Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships at ADB. “Countries cannot meet these huge power requirements all on their own, so...

Developing Asia Slowing Amid Global Financial Jitters

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Developing Asia Slowing Amid Global Financial Jitters

Softer than expected economic activity in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India and jitters over the United States (US) quantitative easing (QE) program will weigh on Asia and the Pacific’s growth prospects in the near term, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. “Asia and the Pacific 2013 growth will come in below earlier projections due to more moderate activity in the region’s two largest economies and effects of QE nervousness,” said ADB Chief Economist Changyong Rhee. “While economic activity will edge back up in 2014, current conditions highlight the need for the region to exercise vigilance to...

PRC Growth Moderation Highlights Need to Quicken Structural Reforms

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

PRC Growth Moderation Highlights Need to Quicken Structural Reforms

Growth rates in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 2013 and 2014 will fall below earlier projections, highlighting the need to quicken structural economic reforms, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2013, ADB revised down its 2013 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for the PRC to 7.6% from 8.2% seen in April. For 2014, growth will slow further to 7.4% from the previous estimate of 8.0%. {gallery}China{/gallery} “Moderating growth in the PRC is the price of structural reform as authorities engineer a medium-term transition to a more sustainable growth...

UK Digital Adspend Hits Record 6 Month High Of £3bn

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Breaking News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

UK Digital Adspend Hits Record 6 Month High Of £3bn

British consumers average 43 hours a month online – 1 in every 12 waking minutes¹ – and advertisers spent a record six-month figure of £3.04 billion to attract their attention, according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) Digital Adspend report, conducted by PwC, with UKOM-approved comScore consumer data. UKOM/comScore reveals that 22% of all UK internet time across computers, tablets and mobile phones is now spent enjoying entertainment online. Social networks and blogging now account for 12% of internet time or one in every 7 minutes. Together, these activities account for over one third of Britons’ time online. IAB/PwC data...

Sopra Banking Software Named A ‘Leader’ in Gartner’s 2013 International Retail Core Banking Magic Quadrant

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Sopra Banking Software Named A ‘Leader’ in Gartner’s 2013 International Retail Core Banking Magic Quadrant

Sopra Banking Software is proud to announce that in Gartner’s annual International Retail Core Banking (IRCB) ‘Magic Quadrant’, it is considered a leading company in core banking solutions, based on its ability to execute and completeness of vision. Gartner is a world-leading IT research and advisory company. Gartner’s IRCB ‘Magic Quadrant’ is widely held as an authority on the performance, achievements, scope and strategy of the world’s key players in the core banking market. The Magic Quadrant is important to the companies in it, but it is even more important to banks that need guidance in their transformation projects. For 2013, Gartner...

HSBC Rolls-Out Talking ATMs

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

HSBC Rolls-Out Talking ATMs

HSBC today announces that it will roll-out talking ATMs in the UK to aid blind and partially sighted customers. The bank is investing in new machines and software across the UK. The roll-out began in 2012 and is ongoing, and new software which gives the ATMs the ability to ‘talk’ will be installed in early 2015. There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss, estimated to rise to 2.25m by 2020. Research shows that only 29 per cent of blind and partially sighted people say they are able to manage their finances independently even though most...

WFP Launches E-Cards for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon with MasterCard’s Support

14-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

WFP Launches E-Cards for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon with MasterCard’s Support

As part of its massive humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is rolling out an innovative electronic voucher programme in Lebanon that will allow hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to meet their food needs and help boost the local economy. By the year’s end, some 800,000 refugees will be using these electronic cards – or “e-cards” – at participating shops in Lebanon under an initiative realized with the technical support of WFP’s private sector partner, MasterCard (NYSE: MA). Besides Lebanon, WFP will be introducing a similar e-card programme for Syrian refugees in Jordan...

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre Partners With Bloomingdale's-Dubai To Provide Luxury Shopping Experience

25-09-2013 Banking and Finance Breaking News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre Partners With Bloomingdale's-Dubai To Provide Luxury Shopping Experience

A new partnership between two icons of luxury will provide a unique shopping experience for guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre. The five-star hotel, located in the heart of DIFC, has partnered with international retailer, Bloomingdale's-Dubai, to create a shopping package for guests who enjoy a weekend stay in one of the hotel's luxury suites. The new luxury hotel package, called 'Shop with You', will see guests of the hotel's Club, Premium and Royal Suites, enjoy a variety of luxury experiences, including a personal shopping session with Bloomingdale's-Dubai style experts. Guests can choose to enjoy the 'At Your Service' experience...

The International Banker: HSBC’S Best Service Awards Launched To Drive Service Excellence

26-09-2012 Banking and Finance Features International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

The International Banker: HSBC’S Best Service Awards Launched To Drive  Service Excellence

HSBC announced the launch of HSBC’s Best Service Awards as part of its continuous drive to enhance service quality and to improve customers’ banking experience in Hong Kong. At the launch ceremony, Diana Cesar, HSBC’s Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for Hong Kong, said, “Customer service is at the heart of our business. We have been able to maintain our leading position in Hong Kong thanks in large part to our commitment to providing customers with innovative and enhanced products and services. The launch of this award program is another step towards building on our service excellence culture.”

Markets

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Steady Growth For Developing Asia

14-04-2014 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Steady Growth For Developing Asia

Developing Asia will extend its steady economic growth in 2014 as higher demand from recovering advanced economies will be dampened somewhat by moderating growth in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. ADB’s flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2014 (ADO), released today, forecasts developing Asia will achieve gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.2% in 2014, and 6.4% in 2015. The region grew 6.1% in 2013. “Developing Asia is successfully navigating a challenging global economic landscape and is well positioned to grow steadily over the next two years,” said ADB President Takehiko...

Moderate Growth To Continue In People's Republic Of China In 2014, 2015

04-04-2014 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Moderate Growth To Continue In People's Republic Of China In 2014, 2015

Slowing investment growth and active implementation of structural reforms are expected to push economic growth slightly lower in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 2014, continuing a more moderate but still robust pace of growth, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. “The authorities are tightening credit growth and working to bring local government debt under control. At the same time, they have embarked on an ambitious reform agenda that will impact key areas of the economy,” said ADB’s Deputy Chief Economist Juzhong Zhuang. “The reform agenda is critical and well-designed. It has the potential to improve the quality...

Indian Growth To Pick Up In 2014 But Remain Below Potential

03-04-2014 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Indian Growth To Pick Up In 2014 But Remain Below Potential

The recent deceleration of economic growth in India appears to have bottomed out, but the economy will not reach its potential until remaining structural bottlenecks are overcome, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. “India’s capacity for more rapid growth over the long term is high, with a promising outlook for labor, worker skills, capital, infrastructure, and productivity,” said ADB Deputy Chief Economist Juzhong Zhuang. “But a serious effort on reforms is needed if the economy is to achieve and sustain higher rates of growth going forward.” In its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2014 (ADO), released today, ADB...

Firm Growth To Continue in Philippines - Job Creation Critical Challenge

02-04-2014 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Firm Growth To Continue in Philippines - Job Creation Critical Challenge

The Philippine economy is expected to continue its strong growth in 2014 and 2015 as it reaps the rewards of improving business confidence and rising investment, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. “While growth is forecast to slow from a very strong 2013, the economy will continue delivering well above its recent average growth rate this year,” said ADB’s Deputy Chief Economist Juzhong Zhuang. “The key challenge is to find ways to turn this strong performance into employment that will help to further reduce poverty and support inclusive growth.” In its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2014 (ADO)...

Indian Banking Industry to Emerge as the Third Largest in the World by 2020

22-01-2014 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Indian Banking Industry to Emerge as the Third Largest in the World by 2020

Banking assets in India account for 63 percent of the nation’s financial assets and play a crucial role in economic development. The central bank of India, which tightly regulates banking assets, is expanding the industry through financial inclusion and priority sector lending. This is increasing the rural and urban population’s access to banking services, reflected in the decline in the average population per branch from 15,600 to 12,500 in 2012 as penetration increases. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Competitive Landscape and Trends in the Indian Banking Industry, finds that public sector banks accounted for 67.2 percent of the total banking assets...

Reinvigorating Kenya’s Growth With a Dynamic Banking Sector

11-12-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Reinvigorating Kenya’s Growth With a Dynamic Banking Sector

Kenya’s economy is estimated to grow at 5 percent in 2013, says the latest World Bank economic analysis. The growth rate, supported by consumption and investment, is higher than the 4.6 percent recorded in 2012. Although Kenya has a history of low growth during election years, the economy remained stable after the March 2013 general election. “Maintaining a stable growth rate is encouraging as Kenyans celebrate their 50th independence anniversary,” says Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “One key message of this report is that Kenya has many achievements worth celebrating but there is ample room for improving the policy...

World Bank Supports Reconstruction and Livelihoods Recovery in Samoa

21-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

World Bank Supports Reconstruction and Livelihoods Recovery in Samoa

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors yesterday approved two grants totaling US$25 million to the Government of Samoa to help rebuild critical roads and bridges and to restore agricultural and fishery livelihoods for thousands of subsistence farmers whose crops and farms were damaged during Tropical Cyclone Evan (TCE). “These two grants support the Government of Samoa’s recovery framework to accelerate reconstruction and recovery and to help ensure the country is better prepared for dealing with disasters in the future,” said Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Pacific Islands. “The World Bank is pleased to...

$44 Billion a Year Needed to Protect PRC Infrastructure from Extreme Weather

21-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

$44 Billion a Year Needed to Protect PRC Infrastructure from Extreme Weather

More than one million people living in the coastal areas of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) could be displaced, with a landmass four times the size of Hong Kong, China submerged by 2050, if the country does not take action to prepare for rising sea levels and more intense cyclones, a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns. The report estimates that climate proofing of all infrastructure in the PRC, including roads and drainage, would cost up to $44 billion per year between 2010 and 2050. “Protecting the PRC’s coastal areas by building dikes and upgrading port facilities...

Singapore Inflation Expectations Trending Downwards Amid Continued Uncertainty

21-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Singapore Inflation Expectations Trending Downwards Amid Continued Uncertainty

Singapore consumers are expecting inflation to continue on a downward trend in the next one to five years in Singapore and the region, according to the latest findings of the SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx). This is partly due to moderation in imported inflation owing mainly to subdued demand and weak growth in regional economies such as China and India. The SInDEx, which was jointly developed by Singapore Management University’s Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) and MasterCard, is derived from an online survey of around 400 randomly selected individuals from Singapore households. The online survey helps...

Power Swaps Can Help Asia-Pacific Manage Daunting Future Energy Needs

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Power Swaps Can Help Asia-Pacific Manage Daunting Future Energy Needs

Cross-border power exchanges can play a central role in helping Asia and the Pacific meet its booming demand for power, which is set to sharply outpace the rest of the world’s over the next two decades, says a comprehensive new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). “Our projections show the region will consume more than half the world’s energy supply by 2035, with electricity consumption more than doubling as economic growth and rising affluence drive demand,” said S. Chander, Special Senior Advisor, Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships at ADB. “Countries cannot meet these huge power requirements all on their own, so...

Developing Asia Slowing Amid Global Financial Jitters

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Developing Asia Slowing Amid Global Financial Jitters

Softer than expected economic activity in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India and jitters over the United States (US) quantitative easing (QE) program will weigh on Asia and the Pacific’s growth prospects in the near term, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. “Asia and the Pacific 2013 growth will come in below earlier projections due to more moderate activity in the region’s two largest economies and effects of QE nervousness,” said ADB Chief Economist Changyong Rhee. “While economic activity will edge back up in 2014, current conditions highlight the need for the region to exercise vigilance to...

PRC Growth Moderation Highlights Need to Quicken Structural Reforms

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

PRC Growth Moderation Highlights Need to Quicken Structural Reforms

Growth rates in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 2013 and 2014 will fall below earlier projections, highlighting the need to quicken structural economic reforms, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2013, ADB revised down its 2013 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for the PRC to 7.6% from 8.2% seen in April. For 2014, growth will slow further to 7.4% from the previous estimate of 8.0%. {gallery}China{/gallery} “Moderating growth in the PRC is the price of structural reform as authorities engineer a medium-term transition to a more sustainable growth...

EMEA Ratings Movement Continues To Be Dominated By Sovereign Crisis

09-09-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Aon Benfield have launched its annual Evolving Criteria report, which reviews the latest developments in rating agency protocol and impact for the insurance industry in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. The report highlights key changes in the rating agency world including the Eurozone sovereign ratings landscape, the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) new insurers rating methodology and the impact of Solvency II. As the Eurozone crisis continues in 2013, the report notes that Fitch, Moody’s and S&P downgraded a number of sovereign ratings with many remaining on negative outlook. While insurers’ financial strength ratings remain strained, the interconnectivity between the...

BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey Reports Surge in Investor Confidence on Global Growth Outlook

16-08-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Global investors have become significantly more confident in the outlook for growth, according to the BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey for August. A net 72 percent of respondents now expect the world’s economy to pick up over the next 12 months – the survey’s strongest reading on this measure in nearly four years and a striking rise from July’s net 52 percent. Investors remain concerned over a “hard landing” in China, though this has calmed since last month. More than half of the panel still identifies this threat as the biggest risk for markets and economies. However, a net 32...

Renminbi Globalisation Index up 4.8% in June

16-08-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Standard Chartered today announced that the Standard Chartered Renminbi Globalisation Index (Bloomberg: SCGRRGI ), or the RGI, reached 1,050 in June, up 4.8% from the previous month and up 65% year-on-year, withstanding macro and market uncertainties. The rise was mainly driven by a rise in CNH FX turnover, offsetting a mild reduction in Renminbi-denominated cross-border payments through Hong Kong and Singapore on the back of falling Chinese exports in June. Primary issuance of offshore Renminbi bond market in July slid to the lowest in the year as risk appetite remained weak on concerns over China’s slowing economic growth and likely stalling...

Investors expect FTSE to rise more than 5% in 2013 but remain divided on UK growth outlook

15-03-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Halifax Share Dealing surveys investors to establish what impacts their investment strategies and where they are investing With the latest ONS figures showing the UK economy shrank 0.3% during Q4 2012, the latest Halifax Share Dealing Market Tracker reports investors are split 50:50 on whether the economy will grow by more than 1% in 2013.

Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana Industry Hits All-Time High in 2013

04-02-2013 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Recent activity in the markets has pushed the industrial hemp and medical marijuana sectors to new heights, setting a record volume of Hemp, Inc.'s (OTC: HEMP) traded shares of 70,226,200 this past week. Hemp, Inc. (OTC: HEMP), the industry leader that led the last growth curve back in 2009 with a 480% increase, is, again, leading the industry in 2013 as its CEO, Bruce Perlowin , predicted. According to Perlowin, the pioneer of the industry, the last spike was only a precursor to what is happening now in an industry that is officially "unstoppable." As one of the largest publicly-traded...

European IPO Markets Enjoy Second Wind After Olympics

20-10-2012 Banking and Finance Markets International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

In Q3 2012, PwC’s IPO Watch Europe survey reported 57 IPOs raising €4.4bn, compared with 81 IPOs raising €0.7bn in Q2 2012 and 121 IPOs raising €9.4bn in Q3 2011. The third quarter was dominated by the listing and capital raising of Sberbank, the largest commercial bank in Russia, which raised €4.0bn in September. The traditional IPO indicators, such as market volatility and stock market indices, have improved as the quarter progressed leading to some encouraging signs as we enter the final three months of 2012, with a number of high–profile companies signalling their intention to float, including Direct Line, Megafon, Telefonica’s...

Expat Life

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Impact Of Cyprus Banking Crisis Minimal For Expats

24-12-2013 The International Banker Expatriate Life International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Impact Of Cyprus Banking Crisis Minimal For Expats

The headlines were full of the woes of the Cypriot economy in March this year, but much of the predicted hardship has bypassed expatriates living on the island. Customers of the two biggest banks in Cyprus saw millions of euros stripped from their savings and austerity measures put in place. The €10 billion (£8.4 billion) bailout by the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) was newsworthy, but what of the expats on the ground? Expats living in Cyprus did not flee when the news broke in March and many did not have their cash tied...

QNB Launches Al-Safwa Services for Qataris and Egyptians in Doha

20-12-2013 The International Banker Expatriate Life International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

QNB Launches Al-Safwa Services for Qataris and Egyptians in Doha

QNB- the World’s Strongest Bank- announced the launch of “Al- Safwa” services that provides an innovative gatewayand a one-stop shop solution for Egyptians Expatriates living in Doha and for QNB First Qatari citizens. The new service also builds on the successful acquisition of a controlling stake of 97.12% in its QNB Al Ahli operations in Egypt (formerly NSGB). Said Heba Al-Tamimi, General Manger, QNB Group Retail Banking said “Whether you are a Qatari citizen or an Egyptian resident expat in Qatar, Al-Safwa World services from QNB Group, will offer you the most convenient way to benefit from free premium banking services through your...

Hong Kong and Singapore see Luxury Rents Fall

23-10-2013 The International Banker Expatriate Life International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Hong Kong and Singapore see Luxury Rents Fall

Two of the most expensive cities in Asia for apartment rental - Hong Kong and Singapore - are seeing the cost of living in luxury homes drop. This is the third consecutive year that rental prices have declined, due to expatriate workers seeing their budgets cut, reports Bloomberg. Several of the big banks in the region are decreasing their numbers of investment banking positions as a result of China's slowing economy and employees are seeing their expenses being scaled back. A survey by Employment Conditions Abroad Ltd in January showed that Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore were the most costly places in...

Interdean Celebrates UK Immigration Improvements

09-09-2013 The International Banker Expatriate Life International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Interdean Celebrates UK Immigration Improvements

It has been reported in Workpermit.com that the report identifies and celebrates the improvements made to the service it offers to applications for UK visas such as Tier 2 skilled worker visas, Tier 4 student visas and Tier 1 “high value migrant workers”, since previous visits in 2010 and 2012. Comprising the findings of a collection of spot checks made by himself and his team to Home Office facilities in Croydon, Manchester and Loughborough, Mr Vine’s report reveals that considerable progress has been made by staff over the past year. However, it was also noted that more could be done to...

Offshore Bank Closures Does Not Harm Expat Finance Options

09-09-2013 The International Banker Expatriate Life International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Offshore Bank Closures Does Not Harm Expat Finance Options

According to Expatforum.com, the Bank of Ireland has closed its offshore banking branch on the Isle of Man. This makes the Bank of Ireland just the latest in a series of high street banks that have opted to close their offshore branches. Previous banks to have exited the market include; AIB International, Clydesdale International, Yorkshire Guernsey and Bradford & Bingley International. David Retikin, Director of Operations at Pryce Warner International Group, commented: “The past several years have seen numerous banks wind down or close their offshore operations. This is hardly surprising as these kinds of banks were not very useful for...

Success of Malta’s Financial Services Marks it as Premier QROPS Jurisdiction

15-03-2013 The International Banker Expatriate Life International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Success of Malta’s Financial Services Marks it as Premier QROPS Jurisdiction

Pryce Warner International Group have provided QROPS overseas pensions since their inception seven years ago, and advise that the success of Malta’s financial services shows that it is the best jurisdiction for QROPS. QROPS offer Expats a secure way to grow their nest egg. Malta has really taken off, with almost 300 providers immediately flocking there from Guernsey last year. According to Iexpats, financials service providers have been moving to Malta in such large numbers that the island’s financial sector has doubled over the past five years. This is in part shown by the increase to 8.5% from 4.5% of...

Technology

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Temenos Expands Presence In Ghana With Three T24 Implementations

24-12-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Temenos (SIX: TEMN), have announced that it has completed the implementation of T24, its award-winning core banking software, through African distributor Global Solutions, at Ghana’s City Investment Company, NDK Financial Services, and The Royal Bank. There is strong growth in demand for financial services in Ghana. Firstly, Ghana has a growing middle class demographic – with 46% of Ghanaians now classified as middle class, compared to a continent-wide average of 34.3%[1] – which is demanding increasingly sophisticated products and services. Secondly, with around 50 percent of potential bank customers in urban areas currently unbanked[2], there is a need for financial inclusion...

Avaloq and HSBC Private Bank announce signing of contracts for Avaloq Banking Suite

24-12-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

The Avaloq group, an international leader in integrated and comprehensive banking solutions, and HSBC Private Bank announce the signing of contracts for the Avaloq Banking Suite. HSBC Private Bank will deploy the Avaloq solution for its global private banking business. HSBC Private Bank and Avaloq have signed an agreement for the Avaloq Banking Suite in December 2013. The fully integrated banking solution is to be deployed on a worldwide basis to support HSBC Private Bank’s global private banking business. In a first step the solution will be implemented at HSBC Private Bank’s entities in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Guernsey and Bermuda, before...

Digital Banking Could Put 35 Percent of Traditional Banks’ Market Share Up for Grabs by 2020 in North America

11-12-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Thirty-five percent of banks’ market share in North America could be up for grabs by 2020, as traditional branch banking gives way to digital banking and as new competition emerges, according to new research published by Accenture. Accenture’s market-analysis indicates that by 2020 an estimated 15 percent of traditional banks’ revenues could shift to online-only players, including branchless banks and new technology entrants. Another 20 percent could shift to retail-driven players with a mass-market focus -- under partnerships between big-box retailers and banks, and potentially independent ventures by retailers. “Digital technology and rapid changes in customer preferences are threatening full-service banks that...

Fiserv Launches Next Generation of Financial Crime Risk Management Platform

11-12-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), has announced the release of its next generation Financial Crime Risk Management (FCRM) Platform. This major release brings unique abilities for financial crime professionals to effectively and efficiently model, detect, investigate and resolve risks across crimes, channels and product lines. It does so through new complex event processing capabilities, designed to address each financial institution's unique and evolving set of financial crime threats and business requirements. This powerful new framework enhances a comprehensive platform — with anomaly detection, list matching, alert review, investigation tools, case management and reporting — that more than 1,000 institutions around the world...

Fiserv Releases TradeFlow for Linux to Help Greater Number of Financial Institutions Reduce Cost of Post-Trade Processing

26-11-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), have announced that its multi-asset post-trade processing solution, TradeFlow™, is now available for financial institutions operating on Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, the leading global provider of open source enterprise-class technology. TradeFlow for Linux is designed to meet the demand from wealth managers for secure and scalable financial solutions designed for an open source technology stack. TradeFlow for Linux allows wealth managers to minimize trading risks, reduce operating costs and enhance efficiency across a number of post-trade activities, including trade capture, data enrichment and management, confirmation and affirmation, as well as settlement and clearing. The solution integrates support...

China Bank Boosts Private Banking Business With Sopra Banking Software’s Wealth Management Solution

19-11-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Sopra Banking Software, the international financial services software provider, is pleased to announce today that they have signed their first deal in the Philippines with China Banking Corporation for their Wealth Management system. China Banking Corporation (known as China Bank) is Philippines’ fifth largest universal bank by market capitalization. China Bank provides a wide range of banking services through 289 branches nationwide (340 if including its thrift bank, China Bank Savings). The Wealth Management solution from Sopra Banking Software will provide flexibility and improved breadth of functionality to manage its Private Banking clients. According to Mr. Ricardo R. Chua, Director, Senior Executive...

Tetrad Bank of Zimbabwe Selects Infosys Finacle as its Banking Transformation Partner

23-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Finacle will power Tetrad Bank's Core Banking, Wealth Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Online banking, Mobile Banking and Alerts capabilities in its evolution from a merchant bank to a top-tier commercial bank in the region. The suite of solutions will enable Tetrad Bank to automate banking operations, expand reach through multiple new channels and launch targeted offerings to retail customers. It will also help the bank scale its services to meet the needs of its growing retail customer base. Tineyi Mawocha, Managing Director, Tetrad Investment Bank said, "As one of the last merchant banks in Zimbabwe, we are now in the process...

Provident Bank Chooses Lightower for 30+ Site Custom Ethernet Network

23-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Lightower Fiber Networks, announced today that Provident Bank of Montebello, New York, has selected Lightower for a customized Ethernet network to support the bank's competitive strategy of delivering superior performance through technology. Operating within a highly competitive business environment, Provident Bank operates more than 30 branches across New York's Hudson Valley region. Provident's information technology (IT) group manages an ever-increasing demand for bandwidth, application support and mobile device support. Deploying its corporate infrastructure on a custom Ethernet network from Lightower allows Provident Bank to consolidate network services across all of its branch locations and unifies the bank's networking services onto Lightower's...

Biller Advantage from Fiserv Brings Robust Electronic Billing and Payment Capabilities to Underserved Business Niche

23-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), have announced the launch of Biller Advantage, a multi-channel electronic billing and payment platform for small and mid-sized billers. Designed for the segment of billers that send 2,000 to 500,000 bills a month, Biller Advantage makes it practical for these companies to send electronic bills (e-bills) and accept electronic payments through a variety of channels including their website, mobile-optimized website, automated phone system (IVR) or customer service center. "Biller Advantage provides the functionality small to mid-sized billers need and the choices customers want," said Jardon Bouska, division president, Biller Solutions, Fiserv. "These companies can now offer branded...

Sopra Banking Software Named A ‘Leader’ in Gartner’s 2013 International Retail Core Banking Magic Quadrant

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Sopra Banking Software is proud to announce that in Gartner’s annual International Retail Core Banking (IRCB) ‘Magic Quadrant’, it is considered a leading company in core banking solutions, based on its ability to execute and completeness of vision. Gartner is a world-leading IT research and advisory company. Gartner’s IRCB ‘Magic Quadrant’ is widely held as an authority on the performance, achievements, scope and strategy of the world’s key players in the core banking market. The Magic Quadrant is important to the companies in it, but it is even more important to banks that need guidance in their transformation projects. For 2013, Gartner...

HSBC Rolls-Out Talking ATMs

16-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

HSBC today announces that it will roll-out talking ATMs in the UK to aid blind and partially sighted customers. The bank is investing in new machines and software across the UK. The roll-out began in 2012 and is ongoing, and new software which gives the ATMs the ability to ‘talk’ will be installed in early 2015. There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss, estimated to rise to 2.25m by 2020. Research shows that only 29 per cent of blind and partially sighted people say they are able to manage their finances independently even though most...

WFP Launches E-Cards for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon with MasterCard’s Support

14-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

As part of its massive humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is rolling out an innovative electronic voucher programme in Lebanon that will allow hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to meet their food needs and help boost the local economy. By the year’s end, some 800,000 refugees will be using these electronic cards – or “e-cards” – at participating shops in Lebanon under an initiative realized with the technical support of WFP’s private sector partner, MasterCard (NYSE: MA). Besides Lebanon, WFP will be introducing a similar e-card programme for Syrian refugees in Jordan...

Avaloq Launches New Avaloq Delivery Tool

09-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

The Avaloq group, the international reference for integrated and comprehensive banking solutions, has launched the new Avaloq Delivery Tool. As the first of its kind in the core banking market, this platform empowers banks to plan, independently arrange and execute software deliveries more efficiently according to their specific needs. The Delivery Tool is available to all Avaloq customers worldwide since June 2013. The financial industry is dominated by short innovation cycles and ongoing changes to be compliant with new regulations. Therefore it is crucial to industrialise the efficient delivery of new software solutions. Avaloq is transforming the way banks interact with their...

Sopra Banking Software And Gambit To Offer Combined Services For Wealth Management

05-10-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Sopra Banking Software and Gambit Financial Services are pleased to announce a partnership that combines both companies’ expertise in the field of wealth management. Sopra Banking is a global leader in banking software and services, while Gambit is a business expert in investment advisory, portfolio optimization and risk management. Their joint offering will help banks better serve mass affluent and high net-worth individuals. Wealth management is a diverse field. The traditional private banker serves the high net-worth individual (HNWI) with personalized advice to help them optimize their finances. However, private banks’ IT systems, especially in growth regions, are often poorly equipped...

ANZ Selects Wolters Kluwer Financial Services' Finance and Performance Solution Suite

30-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services today announced that ANZ, the third largest bank in Australia, has selected its Finance and Performance solution to further improve planning, performance and analytics in its Global Markets business. "Through selection of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services' integrated platform for finance and performance, ANZ will benefit from our financial expertise, highly functional technology and experienced hands-on consultants," said Chris Puype, managing director, Asia-Pacific, at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. "We are delighted that ANZ has opted for our solution suite and we look forward to building upon the strong relationship already developed through the very effective workshop sessions." "ANZ selected...

Leading U.K. Financial Services Firm Increases Scalability and Reduces Operating Costs with Kofax Solutions

25-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Kofax plc (LSE: KFX), a leading provider of smart process applications for the business critical First Mile™ of customer interactions, today announced that a leading financial services firm provider in the U.K. invested more than $550,000 in Kofax software to process more than five million documents per year. The implementation is expected to dramatically reduce operating costs while reducing document processing times by 70%. The organization invested in Kofax Capture™, Kofax Virtual ReScan® (VRS) Elite, and Kofax Transformation Modules™ to capture and process a wide range of financial documents such as mortgage applications, trailing documents, bank statements, tax and compliance forms and...

New Technology Developed by BluePhoenix, Oracle Tackles Mainframe Cost, Integration

25-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

BluePhoenix Solutions have announced new software and services which dramatically reduce costs of mainframe DB2 deployments and remove the risk of integrating legacy data with modern Oracle Database 12c environments. The new technology was developed in conjunction with Oracle's technical architecture team in support of Oracle Database Provider for DRDA. "This is cost reduction and integration for legacy systems at the lowest possible risk," says Rick Oppedisano, BluePhoenix Vice President of Product R&D and Marketing. "With DRDA, the risk of adjusting legacy application codebases is removed. There is no migration, no service or transaction interruption. This is pure integration achieved through unique...

SunGard K-12 Education Releases New Features, Tools for eFinancePLUS

25-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

SunGard K-12 Education, a leading educational software and technology services company, is releasing additional features for its eFinancePLUS financial and human resources management software. New eFinancePLUS functionality can help administrators improve the productivity of their day with an enhanced dashboard that provides key district performance indicators and additional automated notifications to support district business processes. Also, new eFinancePLUS add-on modules can assist 21st-century schools with recruiting and supporting the professional development needs of highly qualified teachers and staff. According to Todd Smith, product manager for SunGard K-12 Education’s financial products, these advances respond to expressed needs from SunGard K-12 customers. “Faced with...

Eagle Investment Systems Achieves Oracle Exadata Optimized Status

24-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Eagle Investment Systems, a leading provider of financial services technology and a subsidiary of BNY Mellon, today announced its Eagle V12.1 solution suite has achieved Oracle Exadata Optimized status through Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). Achieving this status demonstrates that Eagle's suite of middle and back-office financial services solutions has been tested and tuned with the Oracle Exadata Database Machine to help deliver speed, scalability and reliability to clients. "Eagle's software on Oracle Exadata offers additional scalability options and reliability of the services that Eagle provides to our investment management and financial clients," said Marc Firenze, Eagle's chief technology officer. "Attaining Oracle Exadata...

Foundation Financial Group Improves Services via VoIP

24-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Foundation Financial Group announced the company’s conversion to VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol, which allows telephone calls to be made over computer networks. Utilizing new technology is part of Foundation Financial’s ongoing effort to improve each customer’s experience and maximize corporate efficiency. “We continue to seek out modifications or adjustments that will improve our operations,” said Rolf Wilck, chief information officer. “With VoIP, Foundation Financial Group can provide more reliable communication performance and deliver the fastest, most pleasant customer service possible to our clients.” The VoIP conversion project was conducted over a one-year period in conjunction with related network upgrades and migration...

iGATE Selected as IT Testing Partner for Associated Banc-Corp

18-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

iGATE Corporation (NASDAQ:IGTE), the first Business Outcomes-driven integrated Technology and Operations (iTOPS) solutions provider, today announced that it has signed a multi-year deal to setup and establish a Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) and provide quality assurance (QA) testing services for the IT applications portfolio of Associated Banc-Corp, one of the top 50, publicly traded, U.S. bank holding companies. Under the agreement this TCOE will perform testing services for all applications in the areas pertaining to Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Private Client Services and Shared Services. As a part of the TCOE, iGATE will drive efficiencies by standardizing and centralizing the...

Clearing the Haze on Cloud Computing in the Financial Services Industry

17-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

Financial service firms, including banks, brokerages, security firms and more, are among the types of organizations that can take advantage of the endless benefits of cloud computing architecture. Many financial organizations have made the move to cloud solutions, while other organizations are examining such a move. However, for regulated firms, there are significant legal and regulatory challenges that IT teams must navigate before moving to cloud architecture. HOB, the market leader in pure software-based remote access solutions, seeks to help IT teams at financial institutions better understand the benefits of cloud computing and how to overcome regulatory challenges with a new...

MasterCard and Axis Bank Extend Security and Control to Corporate Customers

17-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

MasterCard (NYSE: MA) and Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, today announced the availability of the MasterCard Purchase Control solution for corporations of all sizes to significantly increase control and flexibility in their payments management. Powered by the industry-leading MasterCard InControl™ platform, Purchase Control will enable Axis Bank to offer its corporate clients enhanced global controls and increased transaction security that combine an integrated pre-approval process with secure virtual account numbers. Such a solution has not been available in India before. With continuing globalization in the business world and the evolution of transactional technology, corporations are increasingly seeing the...

Banks put customers first with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

17-09-2013 Banking and Finance Technology News International Banking and Financial Services Industry News

At the Sibos global financial services event in Dubai, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") today announced that a number of leading global financial institutions are modernizing their business operations and choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the platform to shift from transaction-based businesses to customer-centric businesses. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been designed from the ground up to help businesses engage and delight their customers by delivering exceptional customer experiences and interactions. Financial institutions are drawn to the customer-first design philosophy and the fact that Microsoft Dynamics CRM works seamlessly with other productivity applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft SharePoint...