Sharp will not reject Hon Hai financial support: CEO

JapanWant China Times — Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp said it will not refuse financial help from Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer Hon Hai even though the two companies failed to reach partnership agreement three years ago, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Commercial Times. In March 2012, Sharp was said to have rejected Hon Hai in its bid to acquire a 9.9% stake in Sharp for 66.9 billion yen (US$559 million) which would’ve allowed Hon Hai to have a say in the Sharp’s management.

Baidu Announces Pricing of US$1.25 Billion Notes Offering

China.gifBEIJING – Baidu, Inc., the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, today announced the pricing of its public offering of US$1.25 billion aggregate principal amount of its notes. The public offering consists of US$750 million of 3.000% notes due 2020 and US$500 millionof 4.125% notes due 2025. The notes have been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and are expected to be listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.

NAB completes Oracle customer master rollout, from AU

AustraliaThe National Australia Bank has completed its rollout of an Oracle-based customer master, allowing 4500 of its business bankers to see a customer’s entire relationship with the bank on one screen. NAB last November announced it would begin rolling out the NAB View master customer database in order to provide its bankers a single view of a customer’s interactions with the bank.,nab-completes-oracle-customer-master-rollout.aspx

Xiaomi’s money market fund rolls out of beta, to take on Alibaba and Tencent

ChinaLike Baidu and Alibaba, Xiaomi is eyeing China’s finance industry and seeing dollar signs. Today the company is officially launching a money-market fund called Huoqibao inside a new standalone app called “Xiaomi Finance.” Like the Alibaba-affiliated Yu’ebao, Xiaomi’s Huoqibao lets consumers save excess cash and earn interest from it. After registering for a Xiaomi Finance account with one’s national ID, users can bind a bank card to the app can store as little as RMB 1 (about US$0.15). The fund is managed by China’s E Fund Management and currently offers an annual return rate of 4.26 percent.

India’s Snapdeal acquires RupeePower, launches financial services marketplace

IndiaSnapdeal today announced it acquired a majority stake in RupeePower, a financial products distribution platform. RupeePower will be integrated into Snapdeal’s newly launched financial services marketplace. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed. As a result, Snapdeal customers will now be able to apply for loans through the ecommerce site. RupeePower will use its credit comparison, matching, and processing tech and its network of banks and financial institutions to find the loans best suited for those customers.

Big data to serve as credit check for China’s internet finance industry

China.gifBig data may be used for credit checks for internet finance in China in the near future, reports our Chinese-language sister newspaper Want Daily. One correlation that has been thrown up already is that people who stay up late are more likely to be in debt, the paper said. At the session on internet finance during the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), an annual conference held in China’s Hainan province, several attendees said that behavioral data is being used more and more often as a gauge of credit security by e-commerce companies.

Japan’s P2P lending platform Crowdcredit raises $1.7 million from trading giant Itochu

JapanAs Nikkei reported last week, Tokyo-based Crowdcredit, a startup behind a peer-to-peer lending platform focused on financing emerging markets under the same name, officially announced on Monday that it has fundraised 200 million yen ($1.7 million) from Japanese trading house Itochu. According to the Nikkei article, Itochu has taken an 18% stake in the lending company, so the latter’s market cap is valued at over 1 billion yen ($8.4 million).

China’s booming online finance market starts to lose momentum

ChinaChina’s appetite for online financial products has slowed dramatically, according to a report from the China Internet Network Information Center (via Xinhua). Products like online mutual funds, peer-to-peer loans, and insurance only showed 2 percent growth in the second half of last year. Between the time these products began to hit the market in early 2013 through the first half of 2014, CNNIC says 12.1 percent of Chinese internet users subscribed to or bought some sort of online financial product, but the rate of growth slowed in the second half of 2014 and only reached about 14 percent.

Banks, Microfinance Institutions Agree to Voluntary Standards

CambodiaThe majority of Cambodia’s financial institutions on Monday signed a nonbinding code of conduct that aims to increase customers’ awareness of their rights at a ceremony at Phnom Penh’s Intercontinental Hotel. The standards relate to issues including privacy and information disclosure, such as a customer’s right to hold a private PIN number and to know the conditions of a loan.

With China markets high, Baidu launches stock analysis finance app

ChinaBEIJING: Chinese search engine company Baidu Inc is tapping renewed interest in equities trading by launching a stocks app using artificial intelligence to predict how stocks, sectors and markets may perform. It will compete with similar products from other internet firms, in particular Tencent Holdings, and it marks a further step into the financial sector by Baidu, as it and other companies including Alibaba Group Holding vie to be at the cutting edge of financial service innovation in China.

Struggling Bank to Merge With Micro-Lender in Industry First

CambodiaMicrofinance institution Sathapana Ltd. and its majority stakeholder, Maruhan Japan Bank, announced Tuesday that they would merge to form Sathapana Bank in the first consolidation of its kind in an increasingly competitive finance sector. Sathapana Ltd. CEO Bun Mony, who will also be CEO of the new firm, said that—subject to approval by Cambodia’s central bank—Maruhan and Sathapana will combine their respective assets of $200 million and $350 million.

Maybank junks outsourcing; brings IT operations in-house, from SG

After 10 years of outsourcing its IT infrastructure, Maybank, a Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) in Singapore, needed to bring back the IT infrastructure and operations in-house to better support the business’ goals and objectives. At the same time, the existing data center was facing capacity limitation and it was timely to look for a new data center solution that could not only meet the business’ needs but also the regulatory expectations on improved service-level agreement.

Inside BOQ’s new approach to end-user computing, from AU

The move into a new headquarters in Brisbane’s Newstead precinct provided the perfect opportunity for Bank of Queensland CIO Julie Bale to sow the seeds of technological change in the way the bank – and its branches – approached working. As its existing Brisbane CBD lease approached expiry, the bank started plotting how a new-look headquarters would evolve. It settled on the growing area of Newstead and decided to take an entirely new approach to workplace design – underpinned by technology.,inside-boq8217s-new-approach-to-end-user-computing.aspx

5 Australian Companies That Took Their Brands Global

Australia is one of the most affluent and advanced countries in the world, and it is home to many multinational companies. These companies managed to achieve success both domestically and globally because they are able to develop great products and marketing campaigns that are appealing to consumers around the world. Businesses of all sizes can learn valuable lessons from them. Here is a look at a few of the top Aussie companies that succeeded in taking their brands global.

Huawei Technologies to upgrade VTB Bank’s Azerbaijan branch

During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in China on Monday, the Azerbaijan branch of VTB Bank announced it has hired Chinese technology company Huawei Technologies to upgrade its facilities. Huawei is considered a global leader in information and communication technology solutions. Andrey Kostin, the president and chairman of VTB’s management board, and Meng Wanzhou, the executive board director at Huawei Technologies, signed and finalized the agreement.

ASIC pushes for telco data interception powers

Financial regulator ASIC has lobbied the Government to expand the agency’s powers so it can receive telecommunications data from law enforcement bodies to aid in its efforts to combat financial crime. In a recently published submission to a parliamentary committee investigating financial-related crime, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission argued that the national broadband network would render existing sources of data – such as call records – obsolete.,asic-pushes-for-telco-data-interception-powers.aspx

St George turns on fingerprint login for Apple iOS Internet banking

St George Bank has activated Touch ID login for its iOS mobile application following the successful implementation and trials of the biometric technology by subsidiary, Bank of Melbourne. iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus users who own a St George account can now use Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor to log into the app rather than typing account details each time. Support for the Android-based Samsung Galaxy S5 is expected to go live “in the coming months”.

Cloud, big data propel bank CISOs into the boardroom、from AU

The boards of Australia’s top four banks increasingly see information security as an issue worthy of their focus, according to the security chiefs at ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac. Taking part in a spirited and congenial discussion at the annual AISA conference in Melbourne, the four executives described how their organisations today regard the IS function as essential and no longer view it through the narrow lens of compliance and cost.,cloud-big-data-propel-bank-cisos-into-the-boardroom.aspx

Messaging app Line to dip toes in financial service industry

Line, the messaging app with nearly 500 million registered users worldwide, is starting a new service in its home base of Japan. Nikkei is reporting  that the company intends to help customers track their personal finances by spring 2015. If a user adds his or her bank’s official account to the friend list and verifies a bank account, they will receive notices from that bank when money is deposited or withdrawn. Users will also be able to confirm the current amount of cash in the account at any given time.

CommBank discovers security issues with NBN-connected ATMs

The Commonwealth Bank’s new CIO David Whiteing has offered up his thoughts on how the process of migrating users to the NBN could be improved, revealing security issues resulting from the connection of ATMs to the NBN. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull last month asked industry how the migration of users from copper services to the NBN could be fixed following difficulties with the first round of transfers.,commbank8217s-new-cio-weighs-into-nbn-migrations-debate.aspx