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Thursday March 15 2018, Daily News Digest

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United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Asia

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United States

GM Launching Peer-To-Peer Car Sharing (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

According to Fortune, the peer-to-peer car share service will allow car owners to rent out their vehicles when they aren’t using them.

Sources said the program will begin this summer through the automaker’s Maven car-sharing unit, which allows owners to put their vehicles on the platform for rent and share their profits with GM.

The service could become a full-scale business if the pilot proves to be a success. A spokesman for GM declined to comment.

Ameritech Financial: FinTech Leader in Student Loan Document Preparation Industry (PRNewswire), Rated: A

FinTech companies are focusing on using technology to drive their services and offerings and support their clients. Commonly, this means financial institutions are operating online. For Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company focusing on helping federal student loan borrowers apply for existing federal repayment plans, the private company uses technology in every part of its business to support clients in their search for relief from high student loan payments.

Growing Fintech Companies Partner to Revolutionize Digital Mortgage Technology to Make Buying a Home Easier (Benzinga), Rated: A

WebMax, a digital mortgage solution provider, and FinLocker, a financial data and analytics platform, announced today that they finalized a partnership as a result of successful execution on their five joint customers. The partnership aims to build on 17 months of collaborative efforts to further propel lenders into the digital mortgage revolution.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, between 2010 and 2017, mortgages took 70 percent longer to close and origination costs skyrocketed 80 percent as the burden of regulatory compliance grew.

 

Fintech Mobile App Pockitapp Announces Partnership With Dwolla (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

On Tuesday, fintech mobile app Pockitapp announced it has teamed up with Dwolla to deliver back-end banking integration services. According to Pockitapp, Dwolla provides a secure online payment system and mobile payment network to enable auto clearing house (ACH) transfers, including vendor payments. Pockitapp reported that working with Dwolla allows the fintech startup to offer access to all financial institutions rather than just one.

United Kingdom

LendInvest Returns to Retail Bond Market with Fixed Rate Notes (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LendInvest, a UK based online marketplace platform for property finance, has announced a proposed issuance of  5.375% fixed rate bonds due October 2023 by its wholly-owned subsidiary, LendInvest Secured Income plc.

LendInvest’s first bond issuance is trading on the LSE (LIV1) and was issued in August 2017 after raising £50 million from both retail and institutional investors. This new issuance is expected to trade on the LSE as well.

Virgin Money introduces financial wellbeing portal for employees (Pensions Expert), Rated: AAA

In March 2017, the Financial Advice Working Group produced a report for HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority on financial wellbeing in the workplace.

The report said: “Many employees are struggling with their finances: they face increasing personal debt, demanding financial commitments, and a limited ability to save for the future.”

It features guidance on common money issues, such as improving credit scores and dealing with debt. The site also provides tips and guidance with links to the company’s benefits.

Estonia’s LHV to open UK bank to serve fintech industry (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Estonia’s LHV Bank is swimming against the Brexit tide by setting up shop in the UK to service the country’s thriving fintech market.

LHV UK is currently recruiting and intends to be in a position to start servicing new financial intermediaries by H2 2018. Banking services on offer will include real-time payments, overdraft facilities, and forex.

Industry reacts to Spring Statement 2018 (Bridging & Commercial), Rated: B

The chancellor addressed the House of Commons earlier today to provide an update on the overall health of the UK economy.

Mr Hammond also revealed the government’s progress since the Autumn Budget 2017 and discussed new measures to help achieve policies introduced last year.

Mr Hammond announced that the government was working with 44 areas on their bids for the £4.1bn housing infrastructure fund.

He also announced that London would be receiving £1.67bn of funding to support the development of a further 27,000 affordable homes by the end of 2021/22.

Small businesses need to explore finance options available to them (London School of Business & Finance), Rated: A

The study found that start-ups are nearly twice as likely to use personal savings as those that have been in business for a decade or more, suggesting that small businesses in the UK are not seeking support from high street lenders.

The study also showed that small businesses are more ambitious than older companies when it comes to their growth plans, with 14% predicting business growth in the next three months compared to 3% of businesses that have been trading for longer.

The top forms of finance for small businesses over the past 12 months were revealed in the research, with more than 35% of start-ups using personal finances and 15% relying on money from family members.

 

Why brexit could be a good thing for the UK’s Fintech industry (Computer Business Review), Rated: A

The UK fintech scene has the world’s biggest financial centre at its disposal. UK fintech’s will enjoy privileged access, in geographical and regulatory terms, to the enormous B2B market that the City of London gives them access to.

They will also have privileged access to the UK’s highly competitive retail finance market, worth £58 – £67 billion a year. There are also signs that leaving the EU could help invigorate at least some segments of that market. A recent article in the FT — not by any means a Brexitcheerleader — reported that small-to-medium UK providers of retail banking services are actively looking forward to Brexit in the hope that it will free them from onerous EU regulations designed for huge ‘too large to fail’ banks but now applied to all financial institutions, even smaller ones.

China

Chinese Fintech Yirendai Unveils Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2017 Financial Results (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The company reported that in the fourth quarter of 2017, it facilitated RMB 13,438.5 million (US$2,065.5 million) of loans to 202,370 qualified individual borrowers through its online marketplace, representing a year-over-year growth of 95%; 74.6% of the borrowers were acquired from online channels; nearly 100% of the loan volume originated from online channels was facilitated through mobile.

During that quarter, Yirendai facilitated 233,374 investors with total investment amount of RMB 15,967.4 million(US$2,454.2 million), 100% of which was facilitated through its online platform and 92% of which was facilitated through its mobile application. Also in the fourth quarter, total net revenue was RMB 1,824.8 million (US$280.5 million), an increase of 21% from the previous quarter and 70% year-over-year; net income was RMB 448.8 million (US$69.0 million), an increase of 48% from the previous quarter and 18% year-over-year.

Yirendai also noted that in the full year of 2017 it facilitated RMB 41,406.1 million (US$6,364.0 million) of loans to 649,154 qualified individual borrowers through its online marketplace, representing a year-over-year growth of 102%; 72.9% of the borrowers were acquired from online channels; nearly 100% of the loan volume originated from online channels was facilitated through mobile.

China’s $ 814 Billion Fund Will Cut Exposure to Volatile Markets (Bloomberg), Rated: A

China Investment Corp., which recently sold its shares of Blackstone Group LP, is seeking to boost alternative and direct investments to 45 percent or more of its overseas portfolio in the next three years, from about 38 percent at the end of last year, President Tu Guangshao said in an interview in Beijing.

The divestment of the Blackstone stake, one of the first investments for the wealth fund that was started in 2007 with an initial $200 billion, may signal CIC’s pursuit of steadier returns. It ends a wild ride for CIC — Blackstone shares plunged 89 percent from the U.S. firm’s IPO to a February 2009 trough, but have since surged almost nine-fold.

European Union

Sit Back, Relax, and Pray for the Best: A European Manifesto for the Age of Irrelevance (INTL FCStone  Email), Rated: AAA

About a year ago, European indices were outperforming, pundits were certain that the Euro would fall to parity with the dollar, and the biggest political risk was France. A year later, the Eurostoxx 50 Index has underperformed almost every major global index (in local currency at least), M. Draghi spends his press conferences talking down the Euro, and France has become the continent’s anchor of stability.

Relative Strength of the EuroStoxx 50
Source: INTL FCStone
Eurozone
Source: INTL FCStone

The Eurozone manufacturing PMI fell to 58 last month, the European Commission Economic Sentiment Indicator fell in the past two months, and, most worryingly for the European Central Bank and the normalization of monetary policy, headline inflation fell to 1.2% last month, against 1.9% a year ago. To add insult to injury, this European soft patch is taking place just as U.S. growth accelerates: the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index for the U.S. has jumped to 45, against minus 22 for the Eurozone.

Bottom Line:
1 – European indices have underperformed since May and recent economic data has disappointed
2 – The European economy is not rolling over: it is settling at a sustainable growth rate
3 – M. Draghi turned a treacherous press conference into a success
4 – Greek bonds could benefit from the normalization of European monetary policy
5 – The European discount reflects the continent’s irrelevance. That may not be such a bad thing.

See the full report here.

LENDO DAZZLES AT 2018 GIBRALTAR INTERNATIONAL FINTECH FORUM (Olive Press News), Rated: B

Lendo’s CEO, David Honeyman, joined a panel of experts including the managing director of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange Nick Cowan to discuss the crypto industry.

International

How Peer-to-Peer Lending Companies Could Benefit From Blockchain (guruFocus), Rated: AAA

Some of the blockchain’s strongest marketing points include its ability to democratize markets and, given the way peer-to-peer lending platforms operate, they could do a lot better if they adopted the use of blockchain. This could result in companies like LendingClub Corp. (NYSE:LC) and Hexindai Inc. (NASDAQ:HX), which have experienced mixed performances since going public, expand their addressable market by targeting customers that hold crypto assets of some form.

With blockchain technology, however, borrowers can tokenize the assets they own and add them to the distributed ledger infrastructure to sell, trade or use as collateral for loans. Some of these assets may not qualify as collateral in the mainstream lending market, but with blockchain technology and through tokenization, assets such as patents, intellectual property or even branding can be tokenized and used as collateral for hard money loans.

There are companies that have already launched this type of service. SALT Lending, which allows cryptocurrency traders to use their investments in the market as collateral for loans, is a perfect example. However, analysts suggest peer-to-peer lending platforms that are already established could do even better since their profiles are already proven as good alternatives for sources of loans in the credit market.

Understanding the global growth in direct lending (TMF Group), Rated: A

It’s a maturing market that’s here to stay. European direct lending has grown from a relatively unknown asset class to raising around US$22bn in 2017 alone. According to research by the Alternative Credit Council (ACC), the global direct lending market is expected to break the US$1tn mark by 2020. That’s quite a trajectory.

P2P platforms and crowdfunding sites also have an important role to play. We’re seeing them dominate the €50,000 – €1m loan range . Larger deals are more appropriate for asset managers, who have the necessary scale and risk analysis expertise.

India

Fintech startup Avail Finance raises $ 17.2 million from Matrix Partners, Ola founders, and others (The Financial Express), Rated: A

Fintech startup, Avail Finance, has raised 17.2 million in an investment round led by Matrix Partners india. The round also saw participation from Ola’s co-founders – Ankit Bhati and Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Flipkart – Binny Bansal, Freecharge founder – Kunal Shah and founder of Mswipe – Manish Patel. The funds raised include debt and credit lines from multiple NBFCs.

 

Asia

Open banking eases regulatory hurdles in fintech (The Korea Herald), Rated: A

One of the key topics at this week’s Money 20/20 Asia fintech trade show is also the so-called open banking that allows more flexibility when these small players in the market launch their own financial services.

It is long since an established bank has shared its license and regulatory expertise through an open platform based on application programming interface, or API, but related technologies are thriving recently along with the fever for fintech across industries.

5 notable startup trends seen at Top100 Indonesia Qualifier Roadshow (E27), Rated: B

The roadshow yesterday also saw a presentation by TaniJoy, which aims to help vegetable farmers get capital through a P2P lending platform.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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