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Last week, at The Fifth Session of the twelfth National People's Congress in China, Mr. Zhou Xiaochuan, the chief governor of People’s Bank of China (PBOC), encouraged the development of Fintech during the press conference among all topics about finance reform and development in China.

In the last year, Panda bonds (the name of mainland RMB denominated bonds from a non-domestic issuer) have become increasingly competitive and attractive for investors. What explains the increased usage of inland bonds in contrast to slightly diminishing performance of the Dim Sum (RMB denominated bond issued abroad)? How do we define the current interrelationship of the two. And what is in store for the future of the Chinese bond market?

Nothing is easy in the banking industry, and it's getting tougher in China. The Chinese central bank (PBOC) used to control banks’ lending and deposit interest rate by setting high and low limits, as the top line and bottom line in the chart. If a bank in China can always lend/borrow at the limit rates, the margin would not change much over the years. However, the story is not that simple.

In its recent mobile app update, Alipay has put its QR code for accepting payments away from the main screen to a separate button on the top right corner. This seemingly small technical change has operational and business implications too.

Over the past year, China's Consumer Finance industry has been attracting a significant amount of attention. It may be the next hot spot for financial development in China.

Following more stringent regulation on hydrocarbon emissions and new economic stimulus, 2016 has been characterized by a notable shift in the Chinese commodities market from extraction to processing. The new trend can be seen in rising indices of oil refineries, steel, aluminium and copper in tandem with a cut of supply of crude and coal. This phenomenon will have far reaching implications for construction companies, tech firms, China’s commodity exchanges and the macro economy as a whole in 2017.

The regulatory culture in the Asia-Pacific region shows a preference for incremental change being initiated in the markets by the regulators, as opposed to big bang measures. The manner in which the mainland Chinese markets have been slowly liberalized has been discussed in an earlier commentary. In this one, we look at the some of the upcoming changes being proposed in India and how they fit into the overall approach of the capital market regulator in the country.

The new US President Donald Trump has made clear his intention to roll back, and possibly repeal, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. This will have wide-reaching repercussions for Asia.

The RuPay is an initiative by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It is intended to provide a domestic alternative to the global MasterCard and Visa card payment systems. It will also allow NPCI to consolidate various payment systems in India. It is directly comparable to its Chinese counterpart, China UnionPay, which has been highly successful and is a world leader in payment systems.

China’s consumer finance industry is booming amid the rising level of consumption among the Chinese Millennials group, a population representing nearly one-third of China’s whole population. The scale of the industry has been pushed to RMB 107.72 billion by total asset value by September last year, almost doubling the scale of RMB 51 billion in 2015.

December 6th, 2016 China Merchants Bank (CMB) held its press conference in Shen’Zhen, China, for its new AI wealth management product: MachineGene Investment, or “Mo’Jie” in Chinese. The launch represented the first time a Chinese bank released a wealth management product based on AI/Robot technology.

The launch of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect on December 5, 2016 was an important next step in the liberalization of China’s capital markets. The platform will offer a new opportunity for foreign firms to access the Chinese capital markets through the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, which is prominent for its technology stocks and exhibits higher returns than the Shanghai Stock Exchange, partly because its listed companies are newer and smaller.

Last Friday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, issued a new notice for the third party payment companies which will be enacted on April 17th, 2017 and will require the payment companies to deposit around 20% of the held customer fund to specified general bank accounts.

The inauguration of the new India International Exchange (INX) on January 9, 2017 by India’s Prime Minister Modi in a new finance zone, the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City or GIFT city, heralds the possible beginning of a new era in offshore financial centers in Asia.

On December 31st the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) of China announced more stringent rules on individual purchases of foreign currencies, alarming the Chinese citizens with increased restrictions on forex-related investments at the start of the New Year.

The recent move by the Indian Government to ban the old Rupees 500 and 1000 notes has created turbulence far beyond what was imagined and planned for. The intent was laudable, as the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to curb growing corruption in the economy. However, the lack of preparation on part of the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the commercial banks has meant that the citizens have been left in the lurch.

The first batch of Chinese credit scoring companies has been waiting for their licenses for 24 months now. What are the reasons for the delay and how has the recent Alipay Circles incident affected the formal launch of the industry?

Since the start of this year, there have been many news about the set up of “Wang’Lian”, which means Non Bank Internet Payment Union, in China.

NFC standards have been agreed and in place for just over 5 years in China, but have made little headway. On Monday this week, China UnionPay launched their own QR code solution. China UnionPay was one of NFC's primary supporters, so this shift to QR could mean the end of NFC in China.

Recent announcements in the personal credit scoring market in China show that both global established giants and smaller, but cutting-edge companies are carving out niche markets for themselves in the country.

Since December 1st, China’s Central Bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has implemented a new Classification Management Rule for Personal Bank Accounts in China. It divides individuals’ bank accounts into three categories: 1. the main account, 2. the wallet for everyday use and 3. the 'coin purse'.

This week, the Internet Banking Union (IBU) was approved by China’s central bank the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) thus creating a 'Digital Union Pay' that may bring cross-platform interoperability to digital payment platforms including Alipay and WeChat Pay. The platform is expected to launch by the end of the year and may bring a big change in the digital payment industry in China.

As part of our China Fintech initiative, we brought a group of Chinese executives to Singapore for the Fintech Festival and a number of company visits. The 17 fintech executives from some of China's largest P2P lenders, consumer finance groups and digital payments platforms were part of the group. 

The Singapore Fintech Festival concluded on Friday November 18th, much like it started, with a bang. At the beginning of the week it was the Monetary Authority of Singapore laying out its vision for the future of fintech, while the closing party consisted of drums, music and a celebratory finish to a hectic week of innovation center visits, conferences, meetings, openings, drinks, awards ceremonies, more drinks and a general celebration of Fintech in Singapore.  

KPMG and H2 Ventures, an Australian Fintech ventural capital company, have issued their report on the 2016 Top 100 Global Fintech Companies. Amongst many of the key findings in the report, it is clear that China Fintech is in the lead. 

The recent wave of Alipay partnerships with merchant acquirers has spanned the globe. With the common goal of letting Chinese tourists pay with Alipay, one of their favorite payment methods, Ant Financial has partnered with Wirecard in Germany, Ingenico in France and First Data in the US.

With November 11th right around the corner, we will soon be in the midst of the China's largest shopping day of the year. The real question will be what happens this year. We know that e-commerce sales will be huge, but will Alibaba be able to beat their 91.2 billion RMB ($18.8 billion) 2015 singles day turnover and set another global record for the largest one day GMV sales?

Last week, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), who are collectively known in China as the “Yi Hang San Hui” (one central bank, three commissions), have issued four major implementation plans around Internet finance. The plans are aimed at reducing risk and further issues in the internet finance industry. Although the regulations will mean tighter controls around internet finance and fintech development in China, it should result in a more healthy environment for the industry in the future.

Alipay, the most popular mobile payment app in China, has launched a brand new feature at the end of September called “Everywhere”. This new function can help Alipay users to find people nearby who may provide certain services you want. So if you need a plumber, you can use "Everywhere" to find one near you. 

On October 14, HNA Usolv, a cross-border trade solutions provider under the brand of HNA Group, signed a cooperation agreement with CRIF, one of the leading European credit information companies.

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