FiNETIK – Asia and Latin America – Market News Network

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Credit Suisse paper offers qualified bitcoin backing

While it is unlikely to ever truly compete with traditional currencies, bitcoin could, when combined with the traditional finance system, have cost advantages over credit cards and money transfer firms like Western Union, according to a Credit Suisse article.

Bitcoins – Money Without Physical Form 

The article, penned by Jonathan Horlacher, concludes that bitcoin’s biggest advantage – decentralisation – is also its biggest drawback because there is no authority guaranteeing its value, preventing its widespread adoption as a means of payment.

“Nevertheless, bitcoins have a future in certain areas and countries,” says Horlacher, citing its cost advantage over cards and remittance providers as well as an alternative to state-backed currency in countries, such as Argentina and Zimbabwe, where confidence is low.

Ultimately, he asks: “Who do you trust more, your own central bank or an anonymous online network?”

This leaves open the question of central bank-backed virtual currencies; a prospect which has gained traction in recent months. In February, the Bank of England said that the distributed ledger technology that bitcoin relies on “may have considerable promise. This raises the question of whether central banks should themselves make use of such technology to issue digital currencies.”

Last month a senior researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis floated the idea of a government-backed ‘Fedcoin’ that uses a bitcoin-style protocol but the US dollar as the monetary object, combining the best of cryptocurrencies and cash.

And it has since emerged that IBM is taking the issue beyond the hypothetical, holding informal discussions with a number of central banks about the creation of a blockchain-based digital cash and payment system for major currencies.

Source: Finextra, 24.03.2015

Filed under: Banking, Standards, ,

GlobeOne partners InvestaBank and Bankaool to bring M-Banking tech to Mexico

GlobeOne, a new financial technology company, today announced a partnership with InvestaBank and Bankaool that will bring GlobeOne’s mobile banking solution to Mexico later this year.

Through this new partnership, GlobeOne will provide a mobile interface for a suite of financial services offered by InvestaBank and Bankaool in Mexico, bringing bank services to those who are currently underserved by existing financial services.

“Only 45% of the population in Mexico has a bank account, which is why this partnership is an exciting development for Mexican consumers,” said Michael Wolper, GlobeOne member and Chief Marketing Officer. “Through GlobeOne’s growing global network, consumers will have access to the basic financial services necessary to build a strong financial future, and banks will have a new platform to serve the many digitally connected Mexican consumers who do not participate in the traditional, brick-and-mortar banking system.”

GlobeOne leverages mobile technology to provide a digital banking solution that is expected to launch in the United States and Mexico in the fourth quarter of 2015. As new banking partners are secured around the world, additional countries will join GlobeOne’s integrated global network. GlobeOne’s innovative app will offer paperless checking, a security savings account, a line of credit, domestic and international transfers between GlobeOne members, and access to the global income-building SocialBoostTM program, which gives members the opportunity to earn a new income stream while helping those who need it most.

“We are excited to work with GlobeOne and launch a system, an app, which will add to our business model of financial inclusion in the country. Technology is part of every person’s daily life, which is why this is a great opportunity to expand financial services to the unbanked and underserved population in Mexico,” said Francisco Meré Palafox, Chief Executive Officer of Bankaool.

“Our partnership with GlobeOne guarantees our ability to provide state-of-the-art banking and payment technology to the widest Mexican population who will now have mobile phone access to the best in financial services,” added Enrique Vilarte, Chief Executive Officer of InvestaBank.

GlobeOne executives will present the mobile interface and features at the “Mobile Money & Digital Payments Americas” conference in Mexico City on March 24th.

Source: Finextra,19.03.2015

Filed under: Banking, Latin America, Mexico, , ,

Temenos seeds Core Banking Cloud in Mexico

Temenos (SIX: TEMN), the market-leading provider of mission-critical solutions to the financial services industry, today announces the expansion of its cloud-based services in Mexico with the launch of the T24 country Model Bank for Mexico in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Temenos has been working with Microsoft Azure since 2011, when together they were first providers to put core banking in the cloud. There are two early adopters for the service In Mexico, namely Servicios y Financiamiento Agrícola, S.A. de C.V. (SeFia); and Sociedad Financiera Campesina S.A. de C.V. (Soficam).

By offering core banking in the cloud, Temenos is enabling financial organisations to operate with lower costs and more flexibility and, by extension, help them to provide under-served communities with access to financial services.

By deploying a Mexico-specific modern core banking solution as a service on the Microsoft Azure platform, Temenos can offer the functionality to address local service needs, including assistance with regulation and compliance requirements, while removing the high cost, lengthy timeline and inherent risk of building or licensing a fully-functional, compliant technology platform in-house.

SeFia, one of two early adopters, was established in 2005 in Mexico and has a presence in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato and Queretaro. SeFia helps its customers finance the purchase of machinery and equipment in the agricultural sector. Their product portfolio is designed to facilitate farmers, cattle ranchers and builders in obtaining loans that allow them to expand their businesses and generate a positive impact on the local economy.

SeFia COO, Luis Fernando Rosado, said:

“We have in T24 a comprehensive solution for our loan portfolio administration, the software is quick and easy to use and the information it provides is of high quality.”

Soficam, another early adopter, was established in 2008 in Mexico and has a presence in 19 states. Soficam grew out of a strategic alliance between agricultural and banking sectors, offering loans to small producers in the Mexican agricultural and fishing industries. Soficam is related to the Confederacion Nacional Campesina, an organization formed by 2.5 million affiliates classified in 17 agricultural productive branches across Mexico.

Soficam CIO, Alejandro Hatchett Cruz, said:

“Accessing T24 in the cloud allows us to deliver financial services to our clients without the complexity and expense of in-house IT systems.”

Enrique O’Reilly, Regional Director, Temenos Latin America, said:

“We are delighted to kick off 2015 with the launch of our award-winning core banking solution in the cloud for Mexico. Deploying banking technology from a cloud-based platform solves significant issues for our clients by allowing them to launch quickly, to turn fixed into variable costs and to operate profitability at much lower levels of scale. The work we are doing in Mexico with Microsoft builds on our experience in other countries around the world such as Nigeria, Kenya and Myanmar.”

Ernesto Neve, Solutions Director for Financial Services, Microsoft, commented:

“We are very excited to bring Financial Institutions in México the best cloud platform available. Our cloud platform offers the best in IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, as well as compliance with the Mexican banking regulator CNBV’s requirements for institutions working with cloud services. Our security, privacy and integrity model enables Financial Institutions to feel confident when moving to our Azure platform.“

Filed under: Banking, Mexico, , ,

In the future, BBVA will be a software company

Fresh from his forecasts last month that half of the world’s banks would get left behind by the digital revolution in financial services, BBVA chairman Francisco González has mapped out a new future for his organisation, not as a bank, but as a software company.

González pointed out the dramatic impact that technology is having on the transformation of the financial sector during a speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“BBVA will be a software company in the future,” González told the audience, recalling that the bank embarked on its “digital journey” eight years ago.

During this time it has made significant investment to build a new customer-centric technological platform, which operates in real time and is also modular and scalable. This platform allows BBVA to develop a new generation of services to compete with new startups and major digital companies, with the emphasis on mobile says González.

“The mobile has emerged as the driving force for disruptive innovation in banking,” the BBVA chairman said.

The number of BBVA mobile customers has increased 14-fold in three years and totaled 4.3 million at the end of 2014.

González underlined the success of the bank’s mobile payments app BBVA Wallet, which already claims over 450,000 downloads in Spain and is poised to be rolled out in Mexico, the US and Chile. “It’s the world’s most-used cloud-based NFC payment app,” the BBVA chairman boasted.

The bank currently has 450 people working on the wallet, but this is just the beginning. Currently just 3000 of its 110,000 staff work on the digital side but in five years González reckons it will be a majority, as the company re-engineers its workforce to compete on equal terms with the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google and Amazon.

“There is a threat element which I like because banking needs competitors,” said González. “We need to be more efficient but we can also collaborate with them.”

Source: Finextra 05.03.2015

Filed under: Banking, Chile, Latin America, Mexico, Services, , , ,

B-Source migrates Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) core banking platform to Avaloq Banking Suite

The Avaloq group has successfully completed the transformation project to exchange the core banking platform at the Wealth Management Operations Back Office of Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd to the B-Source Master, the Swiss Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) platform based on the Avaloq Banking Suite.

Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd today announced that the migration of its core banking platform to Avaloq’s Swiss BPO platform, the B-Source Master based on the Avaloq Banking Suite, has been completed. The transformation project was carried out within 13 months after the Avaloq group had taken over operational responsibility for the Wealth Management Operations Back Office of Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

Avaloq is the only independent provider for the financial industry to both develop and operate its own software. Business Process Outsourcing and Operations of the Avaloq Banking Suite for Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd are provided through B-Source, Avaloq’s BPO centre in Switzerland.

Marco Bizzozero, CEO Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd, said: “The migration of the operational platform and the outsourcing of support processes allow us to concentrate on our strengths and to free up resources for our core business: client advisory and investment management. With this Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd is further extending its leading position in international wealth management.”

B-Source CEO Markus Gröninger adds: “In a short period of time we successfully finalised the migration. Our highly industrialised services allow banks to fully concentrate on their core business and focus on generating future growth – I am delighted that Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd now profits from these advantages too.”

Francisco Fernandez, Avaloq group CEO, expressed his satisfaction with the going live: “I am pleased to welcome Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd as an important customer in our growing BPO community and consider this successful migration as a powerful reference for other tier one banks.”

Source: B-Source SA, 17.09.2014

Filed under: Banking, BPO Business Process Outsourcing, Services, , , , , , ,

Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific adds CEO in Singapore

The Avaloq group, an international leader in integrated and comprehensive solutions for wealth management, universal and retail banks, announces the recruitment of Anantha Ayer. He will assume the position of CEO of the planned Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centre in Singapore.

Anantha Ayer joins Avaloq following more than 20 years in distinguished leadership roles in Technology and Operations within the Asset & Wealth Management industry. He was most recently the interim Head of Wealth Management Operations (Global) at Deutsche Bank AG. Prior to that he has lead teams from Technology, Operations and large change initiatives across various financial centres.

“I am delighted to have Anantha joining Avaloq at this exciting time. Given our ambitious goals for the Asia Pacific market, we want to have the most talented people in senior management roles. Anantha brings a strong leadership in building organisations and his skills and experience in the banking operations and technology area will prove invaluable as Avaloq builds its presence in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centre in Singapore for Asia Pacific”, comments Peter Scott, Chairman of the Board, Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.

Commenting on his appointment, Anantha Ayer says: “I am very enthusiastic to be part of this exciting journey with Avaloq. I am convinced that the BPO offering from Avaloq provides benefits, advantages and opportunities to banks and wealth managers – not only a cutting edge technology platform but also an industrialised operational process to support the businesses.”

Source: Bobs Guide, 16.09.2014

Filed under: Asia, Banking, BPO Business Process Outsourcing, Services, Singapore, , , , , ,

Avaloq to supply Wealth Management BPO services to Deutsche Bank in Singapore and Global BPO Expansion

Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., the newly founded subsidiary of the Avaloq group, will supply back office services for the Wealth Management business of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management in Singapore. The new organisation will be part of Avaloq’s global network of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centres.

Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. will provide Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (DeAWM), a division of Deutsche Bank Group, with full BPO services for its Wealth Management back office operations in Singapore. These services include back office administration processes. The BPO provider is the newly founded subsidiary of the Avaloq group, an international leader in integrated and comprehensive banking solutions for wealth management, universal and retail banks. The new organisation will be part of Avaloq’s global network of BPO centres.

The move to Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd, a subsidiary of the Avaloq group, is planned in two phases: the first in Q3 2014 and the second – the transfer of the core IT platform to Avaloq’s technology platform – is planned to take place in 2015, subject to compliance with local requirements.

“Business process outsourcing is rapidly gaining in importance as financial institutions continue to free themselves of processes and operations that are not regarded as differentiating but are subject to volume efficiencies. Following the successful establishment of BPO centres in Switzerland and Germany, we are now extending this business model to Singapore where we will be announcing the formal launch of a regional BPO centre later this year”, comments Peter Scott, General Manager for Avaloq Asia Pacific and Chairman of the Board for Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore).

Source: Bobsguide,02.09.2014

Avaloq adds Group Chief Acquisition Officer to expand Global BPO Strategies

The Avaloq group announces the appointment of Dr. Enrico Ardielli as Group Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO). His previous role as Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will be taken over by Markus Bertini.

In line with its market vision and growth plans, Avaloq will continue to execute its BPO strategy by creating a Global Processing Network (GPN). For the realisation of this international BPO centre network of excellence, new business will be added both organically and through acquisitions. Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Avaloq group has decided to create the new position of a Group CAO whose responsibility includes the successful handling of acquisitions at minimum risk. In addition, the Group CAO will be a member of the Board of Directors in the various Avaloq group subsidiaries.

The new position will be taken over by Enrico Ardielli, who has been with Avaloq for more than 12 years as Group CFO. Ardielli holds a Dr. oec. publ. degree as well as a degree in business and economics from the University of Zurich. His successor as Group CFO will be Markus Bertini, who joins the Avaloq Executive Board after having worked for Avaloq since May 2014. Prior to this, he successfully ran his own accountancy and consulting company serving multinational clients and worked as well as a lecturer at Zurich Business School. Enrico Ardielli and Markus Bertini assume their new positions on 1 September 2014.

Francisco Fernandez, Group CEO of Avaloq, comments: “I am glad that we could appoint two outstanding finance professionals for these key positions. Thanks to Enrico Ardielli’s extensive knowledge and his great achievements for the Avaloq group so far, I am convinced that the Group CAO position is perfectly filled and that he will further strengthen our business model and group strategy. At the same time, Markus Bertini’s passion for entrepreneurship and vast financial experience make him the best choice for the Group CFO position.”

Source: Bobsguide, 01.09.2014

Filed under: Banking, Data Management, Services, Singapore, Wealth Management, , , , , , ,

Brazil: BTG Pactual Buys Generali’s BSI (Banca Svizzera Italiana) Swiss private-banking Unit for $1.7 Billion

Grupo BTG Pactual (BBTG11), the only investment bank publicly traded in Brazil, agreed to buy Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G)’s Swiss private-banking unit for 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.7 billion) to help build a global private-banking platform.

BTG will pay for BSI Group with 1.2 billion francs in cash and 300 million francs of shares in units listed in Sao Paulo, Generali said in a stock-exchange statement today. The Trieste, Italy-based company said it will book a loss of about 100 million euros ($136 million) for the transaction, while the deal will add about 9 percentage points to its Solvency 1 ratio.

The Brazilian lender controlled by billionaire Andre Esteves is expanding internationally as the country’s growth slows. It’s added units in Mexico and Colombia, and in January Esteves said he planned to open offices in Geneva, Houston and Singapore as the firm expanded in commodities. Last week, it agreed to acquire Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd.’s reinsurance unit Ariel Re.

“This acquisition reflects our confidence in the tradition and strength in Switzerland as a global financial center,” Esteves, the bank’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “It’s an opportunity to build one of the biggest global private-banking platforms.”

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Assicurazioni Generali SpA Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco is selling BSI as part… Read More

BTG was unchanged at 34.15 reais at 10:31 a.m. in Sao Paulo. Generali reversed earlier gains, falling 0.1 percent to 15.38 euros in Milan, valuing the insurer at 24.1 billion euros.

Global Platform

The acquisition will almost double BTG’s assets under management to create a wealth- and asset-management business with more than $200 billion in assets, BTG said. The bank plans to keep the BSI brand for its global wealth-management platform.

“The acquisition is in line with BTG’s strategy to diversify revenue,” Ricardo Kim, an analyst at brokerage XP Investimentos CCTVM SA in Sao Paulo, said in a report today. He said the transaction was positive for BTG.

Brazil’s rising inflation and slowing growth has led to a drought in the nation’s initial public offerings, reducing investment banking revenue. BTG has been building a global commodities business since last year as part of its strategy to offset declining investment banking fees.

Brazil, which hosted this year’s World Cup, has expanded at an average annual pace of 2 percent since 2011, when President Dilma Rousseff took office, the slowest economic growth for a Brazilian administration in more than two decades. Economists expect the South American nation to expand 1.05 percent this year, according to a weekly survey published by the central bank today.

U.S. Fine

Proceeds from the sale, which is scheduled to be completed by the first half of next year, may be reduced by “any fine established pursuant to the U.S. Department of Justice’s tax amnesty program relating to Swiss financial banking institutions payable by BSI,” Generali said.

BSI is one of at least 36 Category 2 Swiss banks seeking to avoid prosecution for handling undeclared American money by joining the U.S. Justice Department’s voluntary disclosure program. The U.S. is scouring Switzerland for names of tax dodgers who used the world’s largest offshore haven to hide money from the Internal Revenue Service.

Under a program announced in August, about a third of Swiss banks with “reason to believe” they violated tax laws asked the Justice Department to forgo prosecution. In turn, banks must hand over data on undeclared accounts and pay penalties.

Revenue Goal

Generali CEO Mario Greco sold the unit to focus on the company’s main business, strengthen finances and boost profitability. The firm, which set a goal of 4 billion euros of revenue from asset sales by 2015, will have achieved 3.7 billion euros with the sale, Greco said in the statement.

“This sale completes the disposal process aimed at strengthening the capital base of the group, resolving a key issue for us, and allowing Generali to focus on driving forward with its core insurance business,” he said. “This result is a testament to our team’s ability and commitment to execute a complex transaction in a challenging environment.”

BSI Loss

BSI had a net loss of 722 million Swiss francs last year as it took writedowns faster than planned because of new regulations for accounting treatment of goodwill, the bank said in April.

Generali’s net income in the three months to March climbed to 660 million euros from 603 million euros a year earlier, the company said in May. The first-quarter pro-forma Solvency 1 ratio after the BSI sale will exceed the insurer’s 2015 target of 160 percent, it said today.

“Once the announced sale of BSI is concluded, Generali’s period of balance sheet repair will be complete,” Marcus Rivaldi, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in a report today. “Focus now turns to how earnings and dividends can be improved.”


Source: 14.07.2014 Bloomberg  by editor Elisa Martinuzzi at

Filed under: Banking, Brazil, Colombia, Latin America, Mexico, News, Singapore, , , , , , , , , , ,

Avaloq positioned as a ‘Leader’ in Magic Quadrant for International Retail Core Banking

The Avaloq group, a leader in integrated and comprehensive banking solutions, is proud to announce it has been positioned in the ‘Leaders’ quadrant by Gartner in the recently released ‘Magic Quadrant for International Retail Core Banking (IRCB) 2013’ report. Avaloq sees this as recognition of its strong community work and ability to deliver a full-service BPO option to its customers.

For Avaloq being positioned in the Magic Quadrant is a confirmation of its success in the retail segment and its market vision. “We are convinced that our unique community including client banks, universities, associations and partners gives us that extra edge by gaining important market knowledge. The feedback coupled with our own vision and insights from our BPO centres ensure that we stay ahead of trends and develop product capabilities accordingly”, says Francisco Fernandez, CEO of Avaloq. Pascal Foehn, Head of Marketing and Sales HQ Avaloq, adds: “After having been named ‘best selling private banking solution in the world’ by IBS, we are proud of Gartner’s recognition as a leader that is able to address present and future needs of retail banks.”

In the report, Gartner positioned vendors based on two parameters: ‘completeness of vision’ and ‘ability to execute’. To be included in the IRCB 2013 report vendors had to demonstrate market traction and momentum as well as product capabilities in international retail core banking.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant on international retail core banking (IRCB) software assesses vendors on the multi-currency products they offer in support of the bank’s financial transaction management in the retail banking market. Avaloq provides a fully integrated front to back banking solution and has a worldwide customer base of more than 100 banks, including tier one banks in the most demanding financial centres.

¹Gartner, Magic Quadrant for International Retail Core Banking, Don Free, Ethan Wong, October 8, 2013.

Source: Avaloq, 17.10.2013

Filed under: Banking, News, Wealth Management, , , ,

VAM: Vietnam Market Analysis August 2013

Admist concerns on capital outflows due to U.S Fed tapering and fear of Syria war, the market retreated quite badly in August with foreign net selling of USD 41.8mn across the 2 bourses. By the month-end, VN Index lost 3.7% to close at 472.7 whilst VN30 tumbled 1.72%. HNX was the best performer of the 3 indices when it only edged down 0.49%, closing at 61.19.

Read full analysis VAM Monthly Newsletter – August 2013.

Buoyant FDI continues to support recovery

As of 20th August, registered FDI reached USD 12.6bn, soaring 19.5% from a year earlier.Thiswas backed by 768 new projects mostly focusing on the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, the FDI disbursement edged up 3.8% y-o-y to USD 7.6bn and became a key factor contributing to the marked improvements in production activities. Indeed, while the employment index for the manufacturing sector in SOEs and private sector showed a negative growth, that in FDI sector still increased 5.6% y-o-y. Besides, FDI enterprises continued to be the main driving force to push export as they are contributing more than 60% of export and USD 2.7bn of trade surplus. YTD export turnovers advanced 14.7% y-o-y as of end August, however the YTD trade balance still suffers little deficit of USD 577mn due to a higher pace of import growth.

CPI accelerates but is still under control

The August general consumer price index edged up 0.83% m-o-m compared to previous month. Consequently, the year on year headline CPI was lifted up to 7.5% y-o-y, from 7.29% y-o-y in July. While aggregate demand was still weak, cost push effect became the primary reason for the return of inflation, in which electricity and gasoline price was adjusted up 5% and 2%, respectively. The healthcare basket, which was adjusted up remarkably in Hanoi, clearly produced the strongest effect. Fortunately, it only contributed little effect to the month-on-month CPI growth. The government’s inflation target of 7-8% would likely be met provided that there is no significant shock of gasoline price in the rest of this year.

Fast tracking VAMC

Sector-wide NPL figure at the end of 1H2013 was announced at 4.65%. This figure was indeed encouraging as NPL has fallen sharply from 8% by the end of 2012. 30 credit institutions that had NPL higher than 3% will be forced to bring down NPL level to 3% by selling bad debts to VAMC. In a recent interview, VAMC’s CEO said that in the next 2 months VAMC will issue bonds to swap for VND 10 trillion worth of bad debts of 10 banks. Banks with highest NPL will be given priority to sell bad debt to VAMC. The speedy execution of VAMC hopefully would help to clean up sector-wide bad debt more swiftly by year end.

More banking resolution to restructure banking system comprehensively

The PM signed a Resolution that allows SBV to assign financially strong banks or SBV itself, if there is no appropriate bank, to purchase stakes in weak banks which were unable to increase their capital or restructure themselves. Strong banks are requested to assist weak banks in both finance and management until their conditions come back to normal or acquired by other parties. This supportive resolution, together with VAMC formation, has clearly demonstrated the government’s determination to restructurethe banking system and tackle the NPL issue.

 More details on raising foreign ownership limit (FOL) plan available

According to the HOSE, the proposal on issuing Non-Voting Depository Receipts (NVDRs) was submitted to MoF. With the same model as Thailand NVDRs, an SBV subsidiary will buy and hold 10% of total outstanding shares of listed companies and issue equivalent NVDRs to foreign investors. Foreign investors holding NVDRs will be fully entitled to company financial benefit, but not voting rights. NVDRs will be converted to normal shares when foreign room is open. This NVDRs model will be applied to all companies. However, we do not think it will happen soon this year due to the amount of preparation required.

 Our View – 8 months of the year has passed and the economy has started showing some modest improvements. Inflation is under control and the government’s target would be likely to be met.  More affordable borrowing cost is supporting production activities and making business environment more attractive.  In addition, gold market has been gradually stabilized as the gap between domestic and global prices has been falling to half of previous high level. These improvements in economic conditions have prompted us to believe that the economy seems right on track for a gradual recovery.  Furthermore, the government’s serious effort in restructuring the banking sector and the future lifting of foreign ownership limit gave us reasons to be (cautiously) optimistic about the market despite recent pullbacks due to external factors, which actually revealed buying opportunities for some good stocks we have been watching.

Source: VAM, 11.09.2013


Filed under: Services, Vietnam, , , , , , , , ,

Brazil:Inseed Investimentos selects eFront

EFront, a leading software provider of solutions for managing alternative investments, has signed a new Brazilian client, Inseed Investimentos, a prominent venture capital firm based in Belo Horizonte.

With over 40 companies in its portfolio, Inseed Investimentos has a strong track record of investing in innovative companies with high growth potential in the early stages of development. The company will be making use of eFront’s front-to-back integrated solutions to improve efficiency and investor relationships and structure its investment operations and fundraising activity.

The client win forms the latest chapter of eFront’s ongoing expansion into Brazil where it already provides solutions to the largest private equity firm in Latin America, GP Investments. In order to support these clients and the broader regional market eFront will be opening an office in Rio de Janeiro later this year. GP Investments has invested more than USD$5 billion across 15 different sectors, and as eFront’s cornerstone regional client is a big factor in the decision to expand.

Ayman Daif, Area Sales Manager of eFront, says “With Brazil’s fast-growing alternative investment market, this is an incredibly exciting time to make inroads into the region; over the past decade the Brazilian private equity sector has deployed over USD$22 billion in capital, and this is only accelerating. Private equity funds have played a key role in Brazil’s economic rise, helping to professionalize family-owned businesses, improve corporate governance and provide much needed growth capital.

eFront’s software solutions are designed to help general partners, limited partners and fund administrators automate and optimize all aspects of managing both investment and investors. For example, with eFront GPs can automate difficult and often error-prone tasks such as issuing capital call notices, managing investor allocations and fees, and closing financial periods.

Source: Finextra 30.07.2013

Filed under: Brazil, Latin America, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , ,

Private banking in China finally taking hold

Considered one of the best retail banks in China, China Merchant Bank (CMB) has started their private banking business in 2007. At the end of 2012, CMB’s pre-tax profit from their private banking business reached 2.3 billion yuan. Other major banks in China have similarly increased their wealth management profit since 2010, when growth of the market really accelerated.

ICBC and BOC still have the largest private banking AUM among the top 5 while CMB has the most private banking centers to serve its HNWI customers. The high net worth customer segment (over 10M RMB in investable assets) is growing at 18% growth rate and reached to 700,000 by the end of 2012. It seems that banks have finally cracked the code and wealth management is set to grow in China.

Potential of private banking

Up coming Webinar on Banking and Risk Management in China on August 7th, 2013.

Source: KapronAsia, 18.07.2013

Filed under: Banking, China, Wealth Management, , , , , , ,

Avaloq announces going live of Avaloq Banking System at Moroccan investment bank CFG Group

The Avaloq Group, the international reference for integrated and comprehensive banking solutions, together with its partner Orbium, announces the launch of the Avaloq Banking System at CFG Group in Morocco. Twenty months after choosing this innovative solution, the bank draws positive conclusions regarding the implementation.

CFG Group has chosen all modules of Avaloq’s universal front-to-back banking platform, which ensures in particular the seamless integration of the securities modules with the cash modules. “Avaloq’s excellence in private banking as well as numerous references from its community dispelled any doubts we might have had about our choice. Moreover, we had already tried out the solution’s adaptability that enables us to customise and develop new operational business models. This further confirmed that we made the right decision”, says Younès Benjelloun, CEO of the CFG Group.

Based in Casablanca, CFG Group is an independent investment bank providing the full spectrum of investment banking services: corporate financing, capital market transactions, portfolio management, and venture capital. It aims to offer a wide range of value-added services to its private clients.

This demanding project was managed by Avaloq’s Premium Implementation Partner Orbium and brought about a genuine revolution within the bank. CFG Group replaced every IT system across all its business processes with the Avaloq Banking System, from accounting to finance operations, payment transactions, credits and the entire securities value chain, one of Avaloq’s areas of special expertise. All online stock exchange transactions are processed via the e-banking platform “e-services” by Avaloq’s partner Swisscom IT Services.

In addition, the implementation of the multi-entity capable Avaloq platform has enabled reorganisation measures at CFG Group by consolidating banking activities and distribution services for private clients within the CFG Group bank.

Source, Avaloq 10.07.2013

Filed under: Banking, Wealth Management, , , , , ,

B-Source (Avaloq Group) takes over Wealth Management Operations of Back-Office of Deutsche Bank (Switzerland)

Avaloq subsidiary B-Source is taking over operational responsibility for the Wealth Management Operations Back-Office of the Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd with effect from July 1, 2013 and supports the bank in further concentrating on its core business.

With effect from July 1, 2013, B-Source, a member of the Avaloq group, is taking over operational responsibility for the Wealth Management Operations Back-Office of Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd, including 80 employees in Geneva. Transformation of the core-banking platform to the integrated Avaloq Banking Suite is scheduled for summer 2014.

Markus Gröninger, CEO of B-Source, said: “Our continuously increasing community corresponds clearly to our growth path. This confirms us to be on the right track with our strategy of offering highly industrialised services that let banks concentrate on their core business and generate future growth.”

Francisco Fernandez, CEO of Avaloq, is also very pleased with the new deal: “In migrating to the integrated Avaloq Banking Suite, our clients are setting the highest standards in terms of individualising processes and industrialising operations. We love challenges like that. This is how we generate maximum added value for our clients.”

Source: Avaloq 28.06.2013

Filed under: Data Management, Reference Data, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investors News Letter 18 April 2013


Mexico Peso Declines as U.S. Earnings Crimp Outlook for Exports

Mexico says Nestle to sell Pfizer baby food business

MEXICO CITY – Swiss food giant Nestle will sell the assets of U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s baby food business in Mexico, a business it acquired globally in an $11.85 billion deal last year, Mexico’s competition watchdog said on Monday.

Analysis: Mexico’s smaller homebuilders set to gain as top three struggle

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s top three homebuilders, facing heavy debt burdens and holding land where Mexicans no longer want to live, will sell fewer homes this year, leaving a market wide open for smaller rivals or even private equity funds to snap up business.

Mexican manufacturing: from sweatshops to high-tech motors

SILAO, Mexico – Made in Mexico is increasingly more likely to mean cars than clothes as the country’s manufacturing sector moves away from the low-skill, high-volume production lines of the past toward more sophisticated products.

VIP Interview: Enrique Peña Nieto, forging the future

Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, on a new spirit of democracy and cooperation, and the economic future of Mexico.


Itau Bet on Stocks Outside Brazil Leads Latin America Funds

QItau Unibanco Holding SA has found a winning strategy for the Itau Latam Pacific mutual fund: avoiding shares from the bank’s home country, Brazil.

 Brazil’s Votorantim Cimentos files for $5.4 billion IPO

Votorantim Cimentos S.A., Brazil’s biggest cement producer, on Wednesday filed with regulators to raise up to $5.4 billion in an initial public offering of its units.

Brazil clears Pão de Açúcar’s appliance stores deal

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO – Grupo Pão de Açúcar SA , Brazil’s biggest retailer, won regulatory approval on Wednesday for its 2009 purchase of the Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio appliance chains in exchange for selling less than 8 percent of their store fronts.

Brazil Indian-farmer standoff intensifies, tribes storm Congress

BRASILIA – Brazilian Indians are trying to derail a congressional proposal to change the way indigenous lands are recognized, intensifying a standoff between the powerful farm sector and a carefully protected minority by literally storming the floor of Congress.

Special Report: Rough justice as Brazil tries to right past wrongs to Indians

MARAIWATSEDE, Brazil – Damião Paridzané was nine years old in 1966 when the Brazilian Air Force loaded him and hundreds of other Xavante Indians onto a cargo plane. | Video

UK-based TMO Renewables building cellulosic fuel plant in Brazil

SAO PAULO – UK-based TMO Renewables said on Friday it plans to build Brazil’s first commercially viable second-generation ethanol plant, betting on the South American country’s need for non-food-based biofuels.

Brazil’s Embraer looks to shock Lockheed with price of cargo jet

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA is looking to shock rivals with the price of its KC-390 military transport plane when it starts booking firm orders within the next 12 months, according to a senior executive.

Higher volumes and more investment for Brazilian railfreight
INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY JOURNAL – Despite a slowdown in economic growth, Brazil’s freight railways invested nearly Reais 4.9bn ($US 2.4bn) in new infrastructure and equipment last year, a 6.6% increase over 2011,


British Firms Explore Trade Opportunities in Mexico and Colombia

A four-day trade mission to Mexico and Colombia by medium-sized British businesses took place in March, focusing on high value opportunities in key sectors.

Jamaica’s decades of debt are damaging its future

The latest IMF loan does not ‘rescue’ Jamaica, whose debt must be written off if its people are to take control of their economy

 The Logistics Hub Project and Jamaica’s Development
An ideal location midway between North and South America, in close proximity to the Panama Canal contributes to this advantage. The Panama Canal will be widened by 2015 to accommodate wider ships and Jamaica hopes to capitalise on this by expanding its port facility and affiliated infrastructure spread over four south coast parishes: namely Kingston, St Catherine, Clarendon and St Thomas. An IDB (2010) study on the productivity of the LAC region concluded that “ports and airports are grossly inefficient.

Latin America’s top port faces logistical woes
Santos’ cargo handling volumes made a strong start to 2013, with the port hitting a record high of 7.9 MM tons, up 27 percent year-on-year, according to Santos’ Port Authority CODESP. If the trend continues, the port is expected to close 2013 with total cargo traffic of 109 MM tons, up from 104 MM last year and 97 MM in 2011. But a record soybean harvest this year has clearly overwhelmed its storage and loading capacity. “It seems that our infrastructure can’t cope with the growth in grain production,” said Sergio Mendes, executive director of the Brazilian Cereal Exporters Association (ANEC). Last month, the logistical nightmare reached epic proportions, with a 64-kilometer traffic jam of trucks waiting to unload their soybean cargo outside Santos port. And the port congestion and resulting shipment delays led Sunrise Group, China’s largest soybean importer, to cancel an order to buy 2 MM metric tons of Brazilian soybean.

Latin America’s Largest PV Projects

As of April 1, 2013, 9.8 gigawatts of large-scale PV projects had been announced in Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, the generating capacity of projects in operation is just 114 megawatts. Of the 9.8 gigawatts’ worth of announced projects, 731 megawatts have signed off-take agreements of some sort (power purchase agreements, feed-in tariff contracts, etc.) and a further 168 megawatts are under construction. These large numbers have generated a lot of hype for various Latin American markets, in particular, for Chile, Mexico, and Brazil.

Filed under: Banking, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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