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Chinese Firms Show Resilient Interest in U.S. IPOs Despite Regulatory Hurdles

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FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Despite regulatory challenges and geopolitical tensions, there is a sustained interest among Chinese companies in listing on U.S. stock exchanges. This trend is indicative of the global financial clout and reputation of U.S. capital markets, which offer Chinese firms access to a wider investor base and potentially higher valuations than domestic or other international exchanges. The U.S. stock market, being one of the largest and most liquid in the world, provides significant advantages for Chinese companies seeking to expand their international presence and secure capital for growth and innovation. As of October, seventeen Chinese companies raising a total of $405 million started trading on U.S. exchanges this year, according to data from IPO research firm Renaissance Capital. Last year’s 14 IPOs raised a total of $468 million. VCI Global Limited (NASDAQ: VCIG), Tencent Holding Ltd. (OTC: TCEHY), Lufax Holding Ltd (NYSE: LU), Qifu Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: QFIN)

This ongoing interest, despite regulatory and geopolitical headwinds, underscores the strategic importance and perceived benefits of U.S. listings for Chinese companies. As noted by Kobe Ge, head of China at the New York Stock Exchange, despite the negative impact last year from Covid-19 restrictions and U.S. regulatory uncertainty, many of those issues are now resolved and “we still see very strong interest from Chinese businesses for listing in the U.S.,” he told CNBC‘s East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China earlier this year. 

VCI Global Limited (NASDAQ: VCIG) just announced breaking news that it has unveiled, “a strategic collaboration with Evolve Capital Advisory Private Limited (“Evolve Capital”). This collaboration seeks to cultivate a comprehensive avenue, providing companies with enhanced opportunities to facilitate capital markets access through public listings on NASDAQ or SGX.

Evolve Capital, a boutique investment bank focusing on growth enterprises across Southeast Asia, brings extensive expertise in providing comprehensive strategic advice, including M&A and capital markets capabilities. As a holder of the Capital Market Services Licence authorised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”), Evolve Capital is also an Accredited Mainboard Issue Manager and Catalist Full Sponsor by the Singapore Exchange Limited (“SGX”). Additionally, Evolve Capital has achieved the distinction of being the first Asia-based firm granted the OTCQX and OTCQB Sponsor license by OTC Markets Group Inc., offering alternative listing options for in the United States.

While acknowledging the unique strengths of various international exchanges, this collaboration seeks to provide companies with an optimal pathway to listing, including NASDAQ as a strategic option. The U.S. capital markets, renowned for their size, liquidity, and stability, offer an additional avenue for global issuers to access capital. The synergistic strengths of VCI Global and Evolve Capital aim to establish a versatile platform that caters to the evolving needs of businesses in today’s dynamic market environment. This endeavour is further fortified by VCI Global’s extensive consultancy experience, having played a pivotal role for numerous companies, especially in tandem with their listing endeavours on NASDAQ.

“This collaboration proves timely, aligning with the escalating trend of companies, particularly those from this region, actively pursuing listings, notably on NASDAQ, a platform rapidly ascending in popularity. One of the primary incentives for selecting NASDAQ as the listing venue lies in its comparatively lower minimum prerequisites for qualification. Furthermore, the positive reception of its entirely electronic trading infrastructure is noteworthy among a diverse spectrum of traders,” said Dato’ Victor Hoo, Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VCI Global.

Jerry Chua, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner at Evolve Capital, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “The collaboration with VCI Global signifies a pivotal convergence of industry acumen and strategic foresight. We eagerly anticipate harmonising the nuanced strengths of the various international exchanges, including NASDAQ and SGX, presenting companies with a bespoke and sophisticated approach to their listing strategies. This partnership underscores our unwavering dedication to ushering in a paradigm shift in the landscape of international markets, where businesses can explore a multifaceted array of listing options tailored to their unique objectives. Our enthusiasm lies in guiding companies through the intricate dynamics of global markets, establishing a collaborative paradigm that redefines possibilities and elevates our clients’ strategic positioning in the ever-evolving global marketplace.”

Tencent Holding Ltd. (OTC: TCEHY) is an investment holding company, offers value-added services (VAS), online advertising, fintech, and business services in the People’s Republic of China and internationally. It operates through VAS, Online Advertising, FinTech and Business Services, and Others segments. Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, said, “During the third quarter of 2023, we achieved solid and high quality revenue growth, notable margin expansion, and structural operating leverage. Relatively new services such as Video Accounts and Mini Games contributed high margin revenue streams while we re-focused away from less-scalable activities. We are increasing investment in our AI models, providing new features to our products and enhancing our targeting capabilities for both content and advertising. We aspire to position our leading AI capability not only as a growth multiplier for ourselves, but also as a value provider to our enterprise customers, and the society at large.”

Lufax Holding Ltd (NYSE: LU) operates a technology-empowered personal financial services platform in China. The company offers loan products, including unsecured loans and secured loans, as well as consumer finance loans. It also provides wealth management platforms, such as Lufax (Lu.com), Lu International (Singapore), and Lu International (Hong Kong) to the middle class and affluent investors to invest in products and portfolios; retail credit facilitation services platform that offers small business owners with lending solutions; and technology empowerment solutions for financial institutions. YongSuk Cho, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lufax, commented, “As part of our diversification efforts, we plan to acquire 100% of the equity interest of Ping An OneConnect Bank, pending the approval of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and OneConnect’s shareholders. PAOB is a fully licensed bank with a service scope similar to traditional banks. As of June 30, 2023, a significant portion of PAOB’s loan balance is backed by the Hong Kong government’s SME Financing Guarantee Scheme and its capital adequacy ratio was 100%, which was substantially higher than the relevant regulatory requirement. We believe the business and target customers of PAOB sync well with our existing operations.”

Qifu Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: QFIN) through its subsidiaries, operates credit-tech platform under the 360 Jietiao brand in the People’s Republic of China. “We are pleased to report another quarter of solid financial results in a rather challenging macro environment. Total revenue was RMB4.28 billion and non-GAAP net income was RMB1.18 billion for the third quarter,” Alex Xu, Chief Financial Officer, commented in the Company’s most recent financial report. “During the quarter, despite the macro uncertainty, we continued to improve our operational efficiency and drive for better economic returns. At the end of the third quarter, our total cash and cash equivalent was approximately RMB8.2 billion, and we generated approximately RMB1.2 billion cash from operations. Our strong financial positions not only enable us to drive quality growth, but also allow us to deliver attractive shareholder returns through dividend payout and share repurchase.”

Bilibili Inc. (NASDAQ: BILI) provides online entertainment services for the young generations in the People’s Republic of China. Its platform offers a range of content, including video services, mobile games, and value-added service, as well as ACG-related comic and audio content. In it’s recent financial report Rui Chen, chairman and chief executive officer of Bilibili, said “We delivered remarkable user growth and engagement in the third quarter while effectively improving our commercialization efficiency. Our DAUs surpassed an exciting milestone of 100 million, marking a 14% year-over-year increase to 103 million. Additionally, users’ average daily time spent on our platform reached a historical high of 100 minutes, boosting total user time spent2 by 19% year-over-year. Meanwhile, we are continuing to strengthen our commercialization efficiency by integrating advertising solutions and live broadcasting across our content ecosystem. This strategy has driven our revenues from advertising and value-added services up by 21% and 17% year-over-year, respectively. We are proud of the quality community growth we have achieved thus far, and we are confident that our self-driven content ecosystem will lead to even more user growth and commercial opportunities ahead.”

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Newmark Group Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Financial Results

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Conference Call to Discuss Results Scheduled for 10:00 a.m. ET Today

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Newmark Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMRK) (“Newmark” or “the Company”), a leading commercial real estate service provider to large institutional investors, global corporations, and other owners and occupiers, today reported its financial results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2023.

A complete and full-text financial results press release, including information about today’s financial results conference call and Newmark’s dividend declaration, is accessible in the “Media” section at https://nmrk.com. It is also available directly at any of the following web pages:

https://ir.nmrk.com (PDF version of the full press release, PDF of a quarterly results investor presentation, and supplemental Excel financial tables)

https://ir.nmrk.com/investors/news-releases/financial-and-corporate-releases (Links to the PDF version of the full press release, PDF of a quarterly results investor presentation, and to Excel financial tables)

https://nmrk.com/media (PDF version of the full release only)

(Note: If clicking on the above links does not open a new web page, you may need to cut and paste the above URLs into your browser’s address bar.)

Today’s conference call is expected to contain forward-looking statements with respect to the Company’s financial outlook.

ABOUT NEWMARK
Newmark Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMRK), together with its subsidiaries (“Newmark”), is a world leader in commercial real estate, seamlessly powering every phase of the property life cycle. Newmark’s comprehensive suite of services and products is uniquely tailored to each client, from owners to occupiers, investors to founders, and startups to blue-chip companies. Combining the platform’s global reach with market intelligence in both established and emerging property markets, Newmark provides superior service to clients across the industry spectrum. For the year ended December 31, 2023, Newmark generated revenues of approximately $2.5 billion. Newmark’s company-owned offices, together with its business partners, operate from approximately 170 offices with 7,400 professionals around the world. To learn more, visit nmrk.com or follow @newmark.

DISCUSSION OF FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS ABOUT NEWMARK
Statements in this document regarding Newmark that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These include statements about the Company’s business, results, financial position, liquidity, and outlook, which may constitute forward-looking statements and are subject to the risk that the actual impact may differ, possibly materially, from what is currently expected. Except as required by law, Newmark undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For a discussion of additional risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see Newmark’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including, but not limited to, the risk factors and Special Note on Forward-Looking Information set forth in these filings and any updates to such risk factors and Special Note on Forward-Looking Information contained in subsequent reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-Q or Form 8-K.

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Singularity Closes $2.2M in Latest Funding Round to Provide Institutions Confidential Access to DeFi

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DENVER, Feb. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Singularity, founded in late 2022, has successfully concluded its second funding round at the end of 2023, with this round led by Gumi Cryptos Capital. The funding will support the development of its protocol, aimed at facilitating compliant access to DeFi as well as ensuring commercial confidentiality for all on-chain activities, with an emphasis on institutional users.

Notable participation from investors such as Nomura’s digital asset subsidiary Laser Digital, Eureka Partners, and previous round investors including Apollo Crypto, Digital Asset Capital Management, and Gandel Invest, underscores top tier institutional and Venture Capital firms’ confidence in Singularity’s vision. With this latest round, Singularity has raised close to US$4 million since its inception.

Singularity is leading the way in developing a KYC/KYB-compliant institutional DeFi access layer, providing access to leading protocols for on-chain institutional participants while prioritizing commercial confidentiality. Users can seamlessly access existing on-chain liquidity and conduct transactions within Singularity, all while benefiting from on-chain anonymity by utilizing advanced zero-knowledge technology.

The initial cohort of institutional users comprises a significant portion of Singularity’s investors, spanning liquid funds, asset managers, and venture capitalists. Singularity stands as one of the first DeFi infrastructure protocols leveraging Noir-based zero-knowledge circuits. Noir is a domain-specific language for SNARK proving systems developed by Aztec Labs. It serves as a universal language for zero-knowledge (ZK) circuits. Users can have confidence in the commercial confidentiality of their on-chain activity protected by state-of-the-art cryptography.

“We look forward to launching in the coming months with our early institutional users. We focused on designing and building in 2023, and, in what was a very difficult year for primary markets, our investors’ commitments validate the institutional need to transact on-chain without information leakages” said Jemma Xu, co-founder of Singularity, “We have an exciting product roadmap ahead with more integrations and multichain deployments. Our immediate focus is on growing our institutional user base.”     

“We are proud to support Singularity in their efforts to advance DeFi accessibility. Singularity addresses a crucial need in the market, providing institutional users with both the compliance and the commercial confidentiality necessary to participate in DeFi. We look forward to partnering with Singularity in this journey,” said Miko Matsumura, Managing Partner at Gumi Cryptos Capital.

“We are excited to support Singularity on its journey to bring private and compliant DeFi accessibility to institutions.” said Jez Mohideen, CEO of Laser Digital.

Users can both leverage the underlying existing on-chain liquidity and transact within the Singularity, obfuscating both wallet addresses and order details. At launch, Singularity will be integrated with some of the major DeFi protocols and will continue to grow its integrations to provide users with a diversity of on-chain strategies.

About Singularity:

Singularity, a protocol developed by PG Foundation, is a compliant institutional DeFi access layer that provides access to popular protocols for institutional on-chain participants with commercial confidentiality. Users will have their wallet addresses obfuscated whilst leveraging existing DeFi liquidity. Singularity uses the state-of-the-art UltraPLONK proof system with zero-knowledge circuits based on Noir.

Contact:

Email: [email protected] 
Website: thesingularity.network
Twitter: https://twitter.com/singularityzk
LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/company/singularityzk 

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Kakao Brain Debuts ‘KARA-CXR’, a Web-Based Radiology Report Service Powered by Large-Scale AI

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“AI Assistant for Radiologists”

  • Kakao Brain introduced last month a web-based radiology report Research Use Only (RUO) service powered by its large-scale artificial intelligence (AI), “KARA-CXR.”
  • Kakao Brain plans to expand the interactive functions supporting various imaging medical examinations through the advancement of large-scale multi-modal generation AI technology.

SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Kakao Brain has unveiled the research use only (RUO) web-based solution powered by “KARA-CXR” (short for “Kakao Brain AI for Radiology Assistant-CXR”), a large-scale AI algorithm that instantly generates preliminary radiology reports for doctor’s review when chest X-ray images are uploaded onto the web.

Through this user-friendly and seamless solution, medical researchers can experience various functions such as: receiving two types of AI interpretations of chest X-ray images together (a simple report and a detailed full report); ability to upload multiple DICOM files at once and receiving multiple reports simultaneously; and being able to share the AI interpretations within the research group or medical community. It also features compliant security measures that anonymize and protect any personal information contained in DICOM files.

Kakao Brain started developing ‘KARA-CXR’ in 2022, collaborating with 11 leading university hospitals and large medical institutions. Partners include: Ewha Womans University Medical Center (Seoul, Mok-dong), Ajou University Hospital, Soonchunhyang Medical Center (Cheonan, Gumi, Seoul), Chungnam National University Hospital, Chungbuk National University Hospital, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, Inha University Hospital, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, among others. ‘KARA-CXR’ has analyzed over 16 million chest X-ray images and readings. KARA-CXR is built on Kakao Brain’s healthcare-specialized large-scale generative AI model, and the research team is preparing to publish the results in influential academic journals.

Kakao Brain is preparing to obtain the European Union certification and seek approval from the US FDA and Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. Kakao Brain is committed to the expansion of AI-powered radiology solution to address the inefficiency in the existing interpretation and reporting process, a shortage of radiologists, and to unburden healthcare professionals from the increasing workload. As an RUO tool, KARA-CXR is currently available for research use only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Kim Il-doo, CEO of Kakao Brain, stated, “As KARA-CXR was developed using high-quality data and the latest technology involving large-scale learning and generative AI, I hope that it will eventually play a great role in enhancing the workflow for the radiologists, not to mention improving the efficiency of chest x-ray image interpretation.” He also added, “We are planning to go beyond generating AI interpretations of chest X-rays by expanding the algorithms to include interactive functions that support a variety of medical imaging tests, by utilizing the advanced large-scale multi-modal generative AI technology.”

Kakao Brain is a Korea-based global AI technology company. Founded in 2017, Kakao Brain aims to develop AI technology that will change people’s lifestyle and embraces the challenge of asking the ‘Unthinkable Question’ to spark innovation, allowing everyone to live better lives. Kakao Brain has developed numerous innovative AI technologies and services designed to enhance people’s quality of life through continuous technological innovation. These include the large-scale language model KoGPT and the image generation model Karlo. Additionally, Kakao Brain contributes to the development of the AI technology community by releasing ‘Coyo,’ a dataset consisting of approximately 740 million images and text. More information about Kakao Brain can be found on their official website: https://KakaoBrain.com/.

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