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iSTOX Graduates From MAS Regulatory Sandbox: Now A Fully Regulated DLT-Based Capital Markets Platform

iSTOX is now a fully regulated DLT-Based capital markets platform
Vlad Poptamas

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Next-generation capital markets platform iSTOX passed a major milestone on 1 Feb 2020 when it graduated from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s Fintech Regulatory Sandbox.

ICHX Tech Pte Ltd (ICHX), the Singapore-based operator of the iSTOX platform, has been approved by MAS as a recognised market operator (RMO) and a capital markets services (CMS) licensee. This makes iSTOX the first capital markets platform using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to feature integrated issuance, custody and trading of digitised securities to be approved and licensed by a major regulator.

A Big Step Forward

“This is a big milestone both for iSTOX and for the financial industry as a whole,” said Danny Toe, Founder and CEO of ICHX. “We started this just over two years ago as a vision of how investing could be done better. Today we truly emerge as a 21st century financial institution.”

“While capital markets have seen many changes and innovations over the years, the underlying core infrastructure hasn’t really changed since the advent of electronic trading decades ago,” said iSTOX Chief Operating Officer Darius Liu. “We are proud to deliver an operational platform that can address market demand while meeting the robust regulatory standards and licensing conditions set by MAS.”

MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty hailed iSTOX’s graduation as a success of the program: “We are delighted that the regulatory sandbox has enabled iSTOX to validate its technological innovation with actual customers in a safe manner,” he said. “This has again demonstrated that proportional regulations through sandbox experimentation can foster innovation and bring new benefits to consumers and the financial industry. We look forward to further our collaboration with innovators as we build a smart financial centre.”

Chew Sutat, Senior Managing Director and Head of Global Sales & Origination at Singapore Exchange (SGX), said, “Capital markets across the world are evolving at a rapid pace and those that embrace innovation and set new benchmarks will prove successful. Singapore has long been a world-class fintech hub, known for its innovative business environment. This recognition of iSTOX will further elevate Singapore’s capital markets position globally.”

Looking Ahead To 2020

Graduation from the MAS sandbox means the removal of restrictions for iSTOX, including limitations on the size of issuances that it can host and number of investors that can be onboarded.

“We are very excited to graduate from the sandbox as we are now fully operational and moving ahead at full speed,” said Chief Commercial Officer Choo Oi Yee. “In addition to opening registration for accredited and institutional investors, we’re working hard on a pipeline of exciting issuances across different asset classes.”

Drawing on the power of advanced smart contracts and DLT to streamline the issuance and trading process, iSTOX brings private capital markets into the 21st century. By allowing buyers and sellers to connect directly, iSTOX removes longstanding barriers that have prevented a far greater pool of investors from access to private market opportunity.

Compared with traditional trading venues, iSTOX is a more flexible, affordable and inclusive alternative, and offers investment options that were previously inaccessible.

Key investors of ICHX include Singapore Exchange (SGX), Asia’s leading international multi-asset exchange; Heliconia, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings focused on investing in fast growing companies;

Japan’s Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings (via subsidiary Tokai Tokyo Global Investments); Thailand’s Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group; and South Korea’s Hanwha Asset Management.

Further strengthening its digitised security ecosystem, ICHX has also forged partnerships with law firms Allen & Overy, Allen & Gledhill, Rajah & Tann and Dentons Rodyk; with corporate finance advisors SAC Capital and RHT Capital; and with professional services firm PwC Singapore and audit firm Deloitte.

MILESTONES:

2018, SEPTEMBER: Singapore Exchange, Asia’s leading international multi-asset exchange and Heliconia, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings focused on investing in fast growing companies, agree to join ICHX as investors.

2019, MAY: ICHX is accepted into the MAS Fintech Regulatory Sandbox.

2019, SEPTEMBER: Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group, a prominent Thai investment bank and pioneering private wealth business, agrees to join ICHX as an investor.

2019, OCTOBER: Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings (via subsidiary Tokai Tokyo Global Investments), a prominent Japanese financial services firm, agrees to join ICHX as an investor.

2019, NOVEMBER: ICHX completes the world’s first issuance, custody and trading of a regulated DLT-based security on a single integrated platform.

2020, JANUARY: Hanwha Asset Management, South Korea’s leading comprehensive asset management company, agrees to join ICHX as an investor.

2020, FEBRUARY: ICHX graduates from MAS’ sandbox as a regulated RMO. ICHX is also awarded a CMS licence to carry out dealing in capital markets products and to provide custodial services.

 

SOURCE iSTOX

Fintech

Chinese fintech attracted investments of USD 962.2 million in 2H 2019

Vlad Poptamas

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Fintech companies in China attracted USD 962.2 million in investments from venture capital, private equity and M&A in 2H 2019, resulting in a total of USD 4,479 million in investments for the whole of 2019, according to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech H2’19 bi-annual report on global fintech investment trends.

Fintech investment in China took a breather after a massive 2018, but the country’s fintech market continued to see substantial activity and Chinese companies still ranked among the largest fintech deals in Asia Pacific for the whole of 2019. China’s large technology giants continued to focus on growing their reach geographically, making investments or plays well outside of Greater China. Ant Financial, for example, submitted an application for a digital banking license in Singapore in late 2019, while Tencent made a number of significant investments in fintech companies in other regions throughout the year, including Ualá in Argentina.

Investors in China also began to turn their attention to up-and-coming areas of fintech. These include regtech, which has appeal among VC investors because of its ability to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess risk and identify fraud. China-based investors are also interested in fintech companies that use these technologies more broadly to improve the operations of banks and financial institutions, such as improving operational efficiencies, generate and analyse data, as well as support wealth management.

The third quarter of 2019 saw the People’s Bank of China unveiled a three-year plan to support the development of the fintech industry. Since then, there has already been a number of moves focused on implementation. For example, a fintech sandbox is in development, with testing currently being concluded in Beijing. It is expected that this plan will help fuel future investment in fintech, particularly in key areas like risk management, cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence, distributed databases and authentication.

Chris Wang, Partner, Head of Fintech, KPMG China, commented, “China’s central bank and other authority bodies are working to move fintech in the country to ‘2nd half’ as part of their three-year fintech development plan. We anticipate an increased regulation and guidance for the industry and an enhanced infrastructure to support fintech development. For example, sandbox mechanism is being designed and may soon roll out to test the concept of different fintech to make sure they comply with regulations and will achieve the desired results before they enter the market.”

The fintech market in Hong Kong saw some resilience in the fourth quarter of 2019, particularly on the back of Alibaba’s decision to do a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which raised USD 11.2 billion, making it the largest listing of the year globally.

Earlier in 2019, Hong Kong issued the first batch of eight digital banking licenses. ZhongAn was the first to launch a digital bank pilot, with others expected to follow suit in 2020. As the licensees continue to formulate their digital bank offerings, Hong Kong could see an upswing in investments in related areas, like KYC, regtech, digital onboarding and communications, and digital banking infrastructure. The issuance of digital banking licences has also spurred traditional banks to improve their own digital offerings and experience.

Avril Rae, Director, Head of Fintech, Hong Kong, KPMG China, said, “We’re starting to see ecosystems evolving with respect to digital banks. Partners are coming together to get digital banking licenses. Once they have their pilot projects underway, and they have proven their technology both internally and to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, we’ll start to see them leveraging those partnerships more deeply – integrating banking services with other offerings like travel bookings or insurance to provide their customers with a seamless experience.”

 

SOURCE KPMG China

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Fintech

Chinese fintech attracted investments of USD 962.2 million in 2H 2019

Vlad Poptamas

Published

on

 

Fintech companies in China attracted USD 962.2 million in investments from venture capital, private equity and M&A in 2H 2019, resulting in a total of USD 4,479 million in investments for the whole of 2019, according to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech H2’19 bi-annual report on global fintech investment trends.

Fintech investment in China took a breather after a massive 2018, but the country’s fintech market continued to see substantial activity and Chinese companies still ranked among the largest fintech deals in Asia Pacific for the whole of 2019. China’s large technology giants continued to focus on growing their reach geographically, making investments or plays well outside of Greater China. Ant Financial, for example, submitted an application for a digital banking license in Singapore in late 2019, while Tencent made a number of significant investments in fintech companies in other regions throughout the year, including Ualá in Argentina.

Investors in China also began to turn their attention to up-and-coming areas of fintech. These include regtech, which has appeal among VC investors because of its ability to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess risk and identify fraud. China-based investors are also interested in fintech companies that use these technologies more broadly to improve the operations of banks and financial institutions, such as improving operational efficiencies, generate and analyse data, as well as support wealth management.

The third quarter of 2019 saw the People’s Bank of China unveiled a three-year plan to support the development of the fintech industry. Since then, there has already been a number of moves focused on implementation. For example, a fintech sandbox is in development, with testing currently being concluded in Beijing. It is expected that this plan will help fuel future investment in fintech, particularly in key areas like risk management, cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence, distributed databases and authentication.

Chris Wang, Partner, Head of Fintech, KPMG China, commented, “China’s central bank and other authority bodies are working to move fintech in the country to ‘2nd half’ as part of their three-year fintech development plan. We anticipate an increased regulation and guidance for the industry and an enhanced infrastructure to support fintech development. For example, sandbox mechanism is being designed and may soon roll out to test the concept of different fintech to make sure they comply with regulations and will achieve the desired results before they enter the market.”

The fintech market in Hong Kong saw some resilience in the fourth quarter of 2019, particularly on the back of Alibaba’s decision to do a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which raised USD 11.2 billion, making it the largest listing of the year globally.

Earlier in 2019, Hong Kong issued the first batch of eight digital banking licenses. ZhongAn was the first to launch a digital bank pilot, with others expected to follow suit in 2020. As the licensees continue to formulate their digital bank offerings, Hong Kong could see an upswing in investments in related areas, like KYC, regtech, digital onboarding and communications, and digital banking infrastructure. The issuance of digital banking licences has also spurred traditional banks to improve their own digital offerings and experience.

Avril Rae, Director, Head of Fintech, Hong Kong, KPMG China, said, “We’re starting to see ecosystems evolving with respect to digital banks. Partners are coming together to get digital banking licenses. Once they have their pilot projects underway, and they have proven their technology both internally and to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, we’ll start to see them leveraging those partnerships more deeply – integrating banking services with other offerings like travel bookings or insurance to provide their customers with a seamless experience.”

 

SOURCE KPMG China

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Fintech

CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Announces Best Paper Winners for 2020 Academic Research Colloquium

Vlad Poptamas

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The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Best Paper Awards that were presented last week in Arlington, Va., during the Center’s fourth annual Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines.

  • The TD Ameritrade Best Paper Award in Behavioral Finance – Sung Lee of Stern School of Business, New York University, for “Fintech Nudges: Overspending Messages and Personal Finance Management”
  • The Northwestern Mutual Best Paper Award in Insurance/Risk Management – Hossein Salehi, CFP® of California Lutheran University, and Charlene Kalenkoski, CFP® of Texas Tech University, for “The Relationship Between Ownership of Insurance Products and Retirement Satisfaction”
  • The Emerging Scholar Best Paper Award – Derek Tharp, CFP® of University of Southern Maine, for “Consumer Perceptions of Financial Advisory Titles and Implications for Title Regulation”
  • The Best Paper Award in Investments – Da Ke of University of South Carolina, for “Left Behind: Partisan Identity and Wealth Inequality”
  • The Best Paper Award in Household Finance – Nick PretnarAlan Montgomery, and Christopher Olivola of Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, for “A Structural Model of Mental Accounting”

A full list of 2020 accepted papers is available here.

“We received many compelling paper submissions this year, but the committee selected those that they felt demonstrated the highest research standards,” said Charles R. Chaffin, Ed.D., director of Academic Initiatives, CFP Board Center for Financial Planning. “We congratulate the winners for their contributions to knowledge and innovation in the financial planning industry.”

The Best Paper series of awards recognizes authors from a variety of disciplines and sub-disciplines that relate to financial planning. The award carries a $2,500 cash prize for the author(s) of each winning paper.

The colloquium gathers the global academic community to showcase rigorous and relevant research within financial planning and related disciplines that directly or indirectly relates to the global financial planning practice and the body of knowledge. The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning hosts the colloquium in collaboration with FP Canada and the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd., owner of the international CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification program outside the United States.

The colloquium is made possible with support from the Center’s Lead Founding Sponsor, TD Ameritrade Institutional, and Founding Sponsors Northwestern Mutual, Envestnet and Charles Schwab Foundation, in partnership with Schwab Advisor Services.

 

SOURCE Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

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