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INTERNATIONAL

CNNMONEY SWITZERLAND INVESTING IN THE SUBSCRIPTION ECONOMY

SPRING ISSUE

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EDITOR’S NOTE COVID-19 sent the world into lockdown. Our lives, our jobs, and our supply chains have all been interrupted. And that’s if we’re lucky. From supporting those working on a cure to others predicting what the long-term impacts on global trade (p.28) will be, this pandemic factors heavily in our financial decisions. But it hasn’t managed to slow the impact investing movement! Even the prospect of cheaper fossil fuel has failed to convince investors away from solar energy, which has seen remarkable share surges in the past few months. Meanwhile, the blue economy could also stand to benefit from COVID-19 (p.64). CNNMoney Switzerland’s Editor-in-Chief, Andreas Schaffner, argues that the pressure on businesses and investors to go green will only increase after COVID-19 (p.22). In this issue, we can’t help but discuss this crisis. But we’re also looking beyond. From the Asian Development Bank’s innovative anti-corruption efforts (p.16) to the Yo me uno fundraising platform for non-governmental and non-profit organisations in Central America (p.70), we’re bringing you stories of innovators and pioneers in their respective fields. If you know an organisation or individual who deserves to be recognised, please do nominate them for an award! Stay safe, Sophie Rasbash


CONTENTS

22 08 Like and Subscribe

22 The Digital Bridge Between Switzerland and the World

48 37 Beyond Conventional Financing

An interview with Andreas Schaffner, CNNMoney Switzerland’s Editor-inChief.

T Bridge’s renewable energy fund has a target of a 1000MW of renewable energy projects by 2022.

28

43

Successful Trading after COVID-19

China’s Road to Recovery

Panthera Solutions empowers professional investors towards most evidence-based investment decisions.

Graham Bright, Euro Exim’s Head of Compliance and Operations, explores the post-pandemic international trading landscape.

What are the challenges China faces in reopening its economy? .

16

33

48

How are investors responding to a subscription economy?

13 Empowering Professional Investors

Innovation in AntiCorruption

Developing Custom Strategies for International Growth

The Asian Development Bank is promoting innovation and efficiency to enhance its anti-corruption efforts.

ARC Capital supports their clients through the process of accessing new markets.

The Bond Watch is Revealed Omega unveils 007’s latest timepiece.


56 The Race for a Viable Vaccine Despite big investments in a cure, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on supply chains.

60

81 The International Investor Awards We celebrate the organisations innovating and driving the world of investment.

INTERNATIONAL INVESTOR MAGAZINE

AI-Powered Innovation in Mobile Banking With an exclusively online presence, au Jibun Bank is a pioneer in the mobile banking field.

64 Tapping the Seas for Power Will COVID-19 ultimately drive more money into the blue economy?

72

56

64

Five-star luxury in the Canyamel valley The Park Hyatt Mallorca has been designed as a traditional Majorcan hilltop village, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

76 A Prototype City of the Future Envisioned as a living laboratory, Toyota’s Woven City will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

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HOW INVESTORS ARE RESPONDING TO THE SUBSCRIPTION ECONOMY by Viktor Tachev

In recent years, the subscription business

Subscription Commerce Economy report,

businesses’ revenues grew five times

model has managed to penetrate a

for the last five years, the industry has had

faster than those of S&P 500 companies

variety of industries, including health care,

a 17.33% CAGR. Harvard Business Review

(18.2% vs. 3.6%) and U.S. retail sales (18.2%

transportation, cosmetics, fashion, and

states that, since 2011, it has been growing

vs. 3.7%).

more. Today you can get everything f rom

200% annually.

HOW INVESTORS ARE RESPONDING

sneakers and designer clothes to your family tree and DNA analysis for a monthly

Zuora’s Subscription Economy Index

The investing community is actively

fee.

also confirms the trend. The index was

embracing the migration to a subscription

created to track the performance and

economy due to its unique characteristics.

Such is the success of the subscription-

reflect the growth metrics of subscription-

It disrupts the status quo on the existing

based model, it is already seen as the

based businesses worldwide. It covers

markets, generates large-scale social

norm, rather than an alternative.

companies from industries like media,

effects, aggregates capabilities, and

telecommunications, corporate services,

enhances the current business models.

THE RISE OF THE SUBSCRIPTION ECONOMY According to the Subscription Trade

and IoT. According to the last issue, released in October 2019, over the period January 2012 – June 2019, subscription

Association’s (SUBTA) 2019 State of the

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To get a clearer understanding of why

about a product, check it out, decide to

access to movies and music. From the

investors respond positively to the

buy it, and everything is concluded in one

investors’ point of view, though, the real

subscription economy, it is essential to

swift transaction. If you ever get back to

benefit is that these users spend much

look at their perceptions f rom several

the company, it will most probably be to

more time on Amazon, which dramatically

angles:

complain about something. Subscription

increases their chances of making

companies, on the other hand, rely heavily

additional purchases.

• The subscription model’s characteristics

on their long-term relationships that help

The success of subscription businesses is

guarantee steady revenue growth. They

In the subscription medicine niche,

also ease the collection of information

patients, who get used to perks like same-

about their customers, analysis of their

or next-day doctor appointments and

behaviour flow, and coming out with

phone or video chat consultation, slowly

better and more personalised experiences.

get attached. Over time, the comfort

The biggest challenge for investors in

of the service makes them less likely to

subscription businesses is churn. The cost

cancel their subscriptions. From a financial

of replacing lost subscribers is very high

point of view, this means a steady income

and this can dramatically undermine the

stream for the service provider, thus more

viability of a business and even drain its

accurate projections for investors.

built on their ability to lock in their most faithful customers. Forming a tighter relationship with clients is easier because they have phased out the middleman, now it’s a direct connection between the business and the market. This is a very straightforward relationship for investors to analyse. Shifting the focus from retailers to producers directly helps companies build stabler relationships and first-hand experience with their clients by providing a more convenient and quick service for the consumer. The industry leaders are very much focused on community building and making their customers feel like part of a bigger movement. All this contributes to a higher lifetime sales potential f rom each customer.

cash reserves. That is why it is so crucial for companies to ensure continuous value

In the case of Netflix, the model is very

delivery so that they can maximise the

well-built and applied, which directly

customer lifecycle value and minimise

influences customers’ reasoning. A

churn.

subscription of $8.99 per month is identical (even lower, depending on the

Investors should be aware that not everything can be sold using the subscription model. Many businesses have tried and failed.

The subscription economy businesses interest investors because they show adaptability and flexibility. Transitions to subscription-based models require lots of resources and adequate strategic planning. Firms have to reshape their structure, change the existing sales culture, disrupt incentives, and convince both existing and new customers of the new offering’s value. Another reason investors are responding positively to the subscription economy is the room for businesses to adopt more

MoviePass, for example, tried to offer a cinema projection per day for a monthly fee of $9.95, which almost brought the company to bankruptcy. There are also several examples of subscription boxes that have appeared on the market before disappearing just as suddenly. It’s normally because they lack flexibility and a loyal customer base. Clients subscribe only to the services they need and care about. Their primary focus is the quality of the service, and they are often quick to cancel subscriptions that lack perceived value.

efficient growth strategies. Subscriptionbased services have higher potential for successful upsell campaigns beyond their initial subscription. This is because their customers already have an existing habit and are more open to paying extra for a better service. In fact, experts’ analysis points out that upselling additional services to the existing subscriber base is, by far, the most effective way to generate extra revenue. This is crucial for investors to better estimate the future profitability potential of such companies. With the pay-per-product model, the process is pretty straightforward. You hear

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• The psychological perspective and the demographics factor

state) to the costs of a cinema ticket. For the client, the perspective of consuming as much content as you want for the same price as going to see a single film per month is perfectly reasonable. The shift from a transactional to a subscription-based model was marked by the concentration of spending power in millennials and Generation Z. Their buyer profile has simple characteristics – they don’t fancy owning things and prefer having the freedom to explore and switch between new things effortlessly, with no strings attached. Instead of buying furniture for $5 000, millennials prefer renting it for $200 per month. According to McKinsey, e-commerce subscribers are younger individuals with spending power. The demographics analysis derives a client profile within the

From a psychological point of view,

age of 25 to 44, with income between

investors perceive subscription-based

$50 000 and $100 000, living in urban

models as a passive way for customers to

areas. 60% of the group are women.

build up familiarity with a service. Younger generations have embraced the In many cases, subscription services

subscription economy with 62% within the

become embedded in customers’

18 to 34 age group and 56% between 35

lifestyles. In the case of Amazon Prime, for

and 44 having subscriptions for three or

example, 50% of US households currently

more services at the same time.

have a monthly subscription worth $13. They are willing to renew it every month due to perks like faster shipping and full

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• The investment potential perspective

THE REAL-TIME IMPACT

Almost all of the leading tech companies

Research by the Harvard Business Review

are now using the subscription model.

focused on studying the way the stock

Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Autodesk,

market responds to the news that a

and many more are partially or entirely

company is migrating to a subscription

ditching the outdated one-time license.

model, particularly software vendors

The effect on the share price since the

becoming SaaS (Software as a Service)

switch to subscription-based models is

providers, found several interesting points.

staggering. Adobe (ADBE) has jumped

First, a SaaS announcement has no effect

843.7%, Microsoft (MSFT) rose 522.2%,

on a company’s value. However, investors’

while Autodesk saw a 321% jump.

preferences are more aligned with new

If we rank companies based on their P/E

SaaS offerings, rather than product

ratios, we see that a significant part of

conversions. The study found that this

the 15 leading tech, media, and telecom

can result in intra-day stock valuation

businesses employ the subscription

moves of up to 3.5%. The other important

model.

conclusion is that companies that partner with third-party cloud service providers

Another reason why investors are fond of

to deliver their SaaS solutions, instead of

subscription businesses is their stabler

building everything in-house from scratch,

sales and income streams, which are

enjoy up to a 2.9% increase in stock prices

typically referred to as recurring revenue.

on announcement day. Investors also

This significantly increases the accuracy

tend to increase their valuations by an

of companies’ earning estimations and

average of 2.2% if the company announces

reduces the risk of missing out on initial

that the SaaS offering is combined with a

projections. That way, investors can avoid

perpetual licensing model.

increased volatility for the shares in their portfolio.

Another finding is that having a previous version of the product, before switching

Subscription models go down well with investors because it gives them a clearer understanding of the corporate finances - the current inflow of subscribers and the potential for

to a SaaS offering decreases company value by 3.5% on average, compared to new subscription-based product launches. This means investors would instead prefer companies launching new product lines, rather than converting existing.

growth. The conclusion is that companies adopting a smoother shift from pay-perFor example, if the business has already

product to SaaS that has a transition

conquered a small and competitive

period of facilitating both models perform

domestic market, then this might not be

better on the market. An example of such

the best choice unless there are plans

a business is Autodesk. The perpetual

for international expansion. On the other

licensing option and subscriptions were

hand, a company with stable growth in its

offered together for a period of 15 years

subscribers in a bigger market can prove a

before the company shifted completely to

great investment opportunity.

SaaS.

Investors usually give higher valuations

GOING FORWARD

to companies employing a subscription

The subscription model has been around

model, rather than relying on transactional sales. Subscription businesses can more efficiently predict the number of customers they can address and acquire, how many customers they can retain, and, most importantly, how much revenue they can get per customer.

since the first newspapers went to print in the 17th century. Since then, it has been growing stronger and is slowly becoming the dominant model on the market. With the new generations having the spending power, there will be no turning back. The subscription economy is here to stay, and investors are more than happy with it.

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EMPOWERING PROFESSIONAL INVESTORS BUZZWORDS VS INNOVATIVE SPECIALISATION

This is the environment we create.

Professional investors share their pain

empower.

points across asset classes, strategies and geographies: how to meet their investment and career objectives as durably and effortlessly as possible.

INTERVENTION FRAMEWORK

Others might train or consult. We

How to intervene in the choice architecture of a professional investment process that enables empowerment

APPLIED BEHAVIOURAL FINANCE SPECIALIST

towards most evidence-based decisionmaking? The framework needs to

Panthera Solutions Sarl is an Applied Behavioural Finance specialist, based in

Digitisation-driven margin pressure,

the Principality of Monaco.

oligopolistic tendencies in the asset

Our Intuitive Behavioural Design

management industry and regulatory

Solutions® empower asset managers and

requirements that strengthen the trend

asset owners to significantly, lastingly and

towards standardised services are pushing

measurably improve the quality of their

asset managers and asset owners in

investment decision-making. Panthera

a direction they have long avoided:

inclusively facilitates directed change

developing a comparative advantage

through customised training, coaching,

through innovative specialisation.

consulting, and Behaviour-Tech solutions.

believe while applying less than we know.” - Markus Schuller Nowadays, boardrooms, media publications and consulting pitches are full of buzzwords like change management, agile organisations, selfoptimisation, and mindfulness. However, despite all the buzzwords, the industry is full of ineffective passive learning offerings. They ignore that directed behavioural change requires real effort, which can be difficult and painful at times. Empirically we know, the more tailored an active learning environment is for an individual, the better the directed change can be facilitated.

interventions on an individual level, empowering the decision-maker to make the most of the enabling choice architecture. Our approach to satisfy these assumptions is represented by the Panthera

Our intervention framework, assignments

“We know less than we are willing to

be concrete enough to derive from

(which covers assets worth over €125 billion) and academic publications have proven us to be innovation leaders in

Intervention Framework. It addresses the need to overcome the described resistance to change by constructively closing the knowing-doing gap. In empowering professional investors towards more evidence-based investment

Europe.

decisions, our framework concentrates on an intervention design based on three

MISSION

layers:

Panthera Solutions is more than a company. It is a think tank. A laboratory. A solutions provider. An agent to facilitate directed change.

• A choice architecture that incentivises meaning creation, reduces friction and provides a tailored active learning environment for decision makers

We embody the idea that financial

(nudges, simple rules, etc.).

market complexities can be mastered most effectively with empowered market

• A team configuration that facilitates

participants supported by aligned teams

critical appraisal through cognitive

and a robust choice architecture. This

diversity and procedural design

transforms professional investment management into a crafted, skilful art.

• Directed behavioural change towards empowerment via

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• establishing focus through intuition-driven heuristics (i.e. internal and external distractor management via search, stop, decide routines) and debiasing techniques. • applying the established focus to select plausible tools, methods and/ or sources in building the case for most evidence-based investment decision.

ACADEMIC RESEARCH

CAPACITY BUILDING

THE PANTHERA TREE

UNIVERSITY TEACHING

The Panthera Tree is a state-of-the-art

The Panthera team teaches at renowned

behaviour-tech solution that facilitates

universities like HEC, London Business

most evidence-based investment

School, IUM, IE Business School and

decisions for asset managers and owners

EDHEC Business School. Our students

to strengthen their competitive edge.

gain exposure to our latest academic

As a habit-forming technology, it is

research and use new methodologies

incorporating learning, management and

on how to translate scientific insights

compliance aspects. Investment decisions

into applicable solutions for investment

are reasoned and monitored all in one

professionals. A win-win situation.

place.

EXECUTIVE EDUCATION

Maximising the use of adaptive and

Our expertise in applied behavioural

technical skills, while minimising luck

Our sound proprietary research is the

finance is a tool for us to intervene more

starting point for Panthera’s commercial

precisely and more meaningfully in the

offerings. As a team of internationally

long term for our clients. We love to see

renowned specialists in different asset

progress happening when working with

management fields, the catalogue of

professional investors. In our seminars,

our academic publications cements our

workshops and simulations, we apply a

position as innovation leaders in applied

multidisciplinary, constructivist form of

behavioural finance. Being research-driven

learning, where participants develop their

is easy to claim. In our case, it is embedded

adaptive and technical skills in a holistic,

in the Panthera DNA to generate and

instead of a subject-based, approach.

translate academic insights into applicable

in an investment decision process generates a competitive edge. MASTERCLASS INNOVATION In recent years, we have developed a unique concept of how to effectively develop participants’ skills in an educative setting: the Panthera Masterclass. Our Panthera Masterclass solves the

solutions for investment professionals. Our

COMMERCIAL CONVERSION

team composition was shaped for that.

The combined insights from academic

to seamlessly implement tailored lessons

research and educative field experience

learned from educative offerings. We not

have proven to be a rich source of

only train participants but initiate directed

applicable solutions for commercial use.

behavioural change through deliberate

The Panthera Tree, our first Behaviour-

practice during a 4-6 day bootcamp,

Tech solution, was the result of this

either in Monaco or at the client’s office.

interplay.

The participants define their individual

Our Panthera intervention framework was based on that. So are its elements, like the Panthera Tree. This bridge-building is now further strengthened with the launch of our Panthera Academy. We are excited to work with our clients on new Academy offerings like the Panthera Masterclass.

significant managerial problem of how

learning paths to meet their learning objectives, and work on their own case, while being guided through coaching and apprenticeship elements over three months after the Panthera Masterclass to ensure the most seamless adaptive and technical skill developments.



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INNOVATION IN ANTI-CORRUPTION THE STATISTICS

THE METHODOLOGY

In 2019, ADB concluded 110 investigations

OAI conducted eight Proactive Integrity

into integrity violations, a 93% increase

Reviews (PIRs) of ADB-financed projects in

f rom the previous year, and assessed and

Afghanistan, Bhutan, Georgia, Indonesia,

closed 219 complaints, an increase of 16%.

Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Palau.

ADB debarred 69 firms and 62 individuals

PIRs assess the application of sound

for violating ADB’s Anti-corruption Policy

financial management, procurement,

(1998, as amended since). It cross-debarred

and asset management practices by

153 firms and 20 individuals sanctioned

government agencies responsible

by other multilateral development banks.

for implementing ADB projects and

Impositions of other remedial actions

recommend remedial measures for any

resources to align with ADB’s long-

against firms and individuals, such as

shortcomings. In 2019, OAI conducted a

term strategy, Strategy 2030,” said

reprimands and cautions, more than

PIR on an emergency assistance project

doubled from 2018.

for the first time.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is promoting innovation and efficiency to enhance its anti-corruption efforts by streamlining case management and expediting the assessment of complaints and completion of investigations, according to the Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI)’s 2019 Annual Report, published in April.

“We reassessed and rebalanced our

the OAI’s Head, John Versantvoort. “These measures have allowed us to provide better value to our stakeholders and achieve significant improvements in the number of completed investigations and complaints that we assessed and closed.”

Strengthening governance and institutional capacity to improve service delivery in ADB’s developing member countries is one of seven operational priorities under ADB’s Strategy 2030.

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“We are fully appreciative of

ADB maintained quality screening

the constructive review and

methods to identify, assess, and mitigate

recommendations that OAI has provided in the ongoing Nikachhu Hydropower project so that we can improve, benefit, and better manage

integrity risks associated with its private sector counterparts and projects. It conducted integrity due diligence on 954 entities and issued 869 advisories on compliance. It provided capacity-building

our present and future projects,” said

support on anti-money laundering and

Managing Director of the Bhutan

combating the financing of terrorism in

Druk Green Power Corporation, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, who is responsible for the implementation of the project. “We will continue to work

Mongolia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. ADB also expanded its technical assistance to strengthen tax integrity standards to Armenia, Cambodia, Maldives, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of

to ensure that the recommendations of

Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa,

the OAI report get implemented.”

and Thailand.

THE FUTURE ADB launched its first gamified e-learning course and delivered 98 learning sessions, including training on anti-corruption and respect at work to widen the reach of its knowledge-sharing and communication work. It also contributed to the G20’s Good Practices Guide on Promoting Integrity and Transparency in Infrastructure Development. It gathered representatives from 14 international financial institutions to strengthen integrity risk management in private sector transactions. Together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Government of Vietnam, ADB hosted a conference for the Anti-corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific—the largest anti-corruption network in the region! ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

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DURBAN: A PREMIUM DESTINATION FOR INVESTORS Invest Durban has been recognised by

all investment stakeholders.

organisations such as the Department of

the Durban City Council and various

Invest Durban delivers a world-class

Trade & Industry including Invest SA, Trade

businesses as the first stop for stimulating

investor support service, encompassing

and Investment KZN (TIKZN), the Durban

new investment in the Durban metropolis.

our four-part business mandate, namely

Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the

We act as a partnership between the

investment promotion and marketing;

KZN Growth Coalition, and state-owned

Metro City Council and the private

foreign investment identification,

enterprises such as Dube TradePort, the

business sector, offering a f ree investor

attraction and facilitation; FDI aftercare

DBSA, IDC, Eskom, ACSA and others.

advisory service, plus key promotion,

and expansion; plus investment advocacy.

facilitation, and aftercare services between

Invest Durban works together with

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THE OFFER TO INVESTORS The thrust of Durban’s proposition to

Other major projects in the pipeline

The research aims to find out how best to

include:

grow particular economic sectors, and indepth discussions are held about how to

attract investors can be put into three broad categories:

• Premium Destination - a business and lifestyle environment most conducive to both profitability and sustainability with ample land available. • Catalytic Projects - projects which have the potential to shift the socioeconomic landscape and trigger a series of investments across several sectors. • Priority Sectors - areas which receive the focus of planners in a variety of ways, including the creation of clusters and the development of value chains to promote new ventures and investment opportunities.

CATALYTIC PROJECTS Durban is working on a number of largescale projects that have the potential to

• GO!Durban Transport Oriented Development, which has already

of KwaZulu-Natal is mostly consumed

received major road upgrades and will

or exported in its raw state - much more

be an even greater enabler of trade.

could be done to add value through processing.

• The Centrum Government Precinct which would formalise the relationship

on national trade routes or they should

The priority sectors are:

between buildings such as the International Convention Centre (and extensions) and a related hotel, the library, council chambers and the redevelopment of Gugu Dlamini Park. • Cornubia integrated human settlement development north of Durban, on 1 300 hectares, a partnership between Tongaat Hulett Development, the human settlement departments at the national and provincial levels and the eThekwini municipality. • Dube TradePort, the multi-modal

• Automotive and allied industries • Logistics and logistics management • ICT and BPS (Information & Comm’s Tech, plus business process services) • Agri-processing • Life sciences (incl. Pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturing, plus health facilities) • Tourism asset development

facility at King Shaka International

Some of these initiatives play to the

Airport.

existing strengths of the regional economy, some seek to exploit newer

make a regional impact. The location of these projects is vital. They must either be

develop and grow value chains. The wealth

CLUSTER INITIATIVES

avenues as in the emphasis on the environment and a growing interest in the

Durban has a very diverse economic

ocean economy. A variety of projects link

living/working dynamics. Projects are

landscape, within which there are

tourism, renewable energy generation,

selected for their scale in terms of job

some large-scale enterprises.

recycling and job creation.

Cooperation between the public and

There are various other broader

private sectors is formalised by the large

programmes which have their own goals,

number of cluster initiatives which aim to

but there will be positive spin-offs for

draw to together experience and expertise

the targeted sectors. These schemes

f rom commerce and industry, labour

include the drive to increase local content,

Goals.

organisations, government and academia.

boosting metal fabrication across sectors,

The Point Waterf ront Development is a

Under manufacturing, the following

promoting exports and the overarching

clusters or programmes are active:

eThekwini Industrial Development Policy

help to break down the old apartheid

creation, investment size and potential revenue creation. Ideally, the projects should include a combination of uses (retail, commercial and housing, for example) and they should fit in with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development

prime example of a catalytic project. Some

the promotion of black industrialists,

Action Plan.

projections put the potential investment value at R40 billion and the number of permanent jobs to be created at 6 750. It is an ambitious plan, linking the city’s beach promenade and the harbour. The Point Waterf ront Development offers a property use mix of office space, retail

• KZN Clothing and Textile Cluster (KZN CTC)

seen significant investment. A new cruise line terminal in the harbour, backing on to the Point will dovetail well with the new atmosphere of the precinct.

sectors are invited to contact Invest

• Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC)

Durban and benefit from these initiatives!

• Durban Chemical Cluster (DCC)

Visit www.invest.durban for more

• eThekwini Maritime Cluster (EMC)

shops, residential dwellings and leisure options. The 55-hectare site has already

Any companies operating in these key

• KZN Furniture Incubator • Agro-processing development programmes

information.


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CNNMONEY SWITZERLAND: THE DIGITAL BRIDGE BETWEEN SWITZERLAND AND THE WORLD AN INTERVIEW WITH MR ANDREAS SCHAFFNER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF CNNMONEY SWITZERLAND

CNNMONEY SWITZERLAND WAS SET UP AS AN INDEPENDENT SWISS MEDIA COMPANY. WHAT IS ITS RELATION TO AND ROLE WITHIN THE WIDER CNNMONEY BRAND?

access to CNN studios and correspondents

journalism.

around the world. If we have breaking

Soon we realised that we could create

We are a great asset for CNN and we

Strike – we are able to provide them with

complement its global brand within the

coverage and additional information.

sport. This was a very positive surprise for us and

CNNMoney brand. In a certain sense,

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TOPICS YOU WERE SURPRISED TO SEE INTERESTED YOUR VIEWERS?

we are pioneers. For us, it’s a privilege to

We started with what some might call

use CNN Business content and to have

a traditional approach toward business

European region. We are proud to be the first TV channel to create a fully integrated digital and linear TV outlet using the

news for our colleagues in London, New York, or Atlanta – like we did on the Swiss National Bank, Swissport, or the Women’s

communities around specific topics, such as innovation, entrepreneurship, blockchain, but also the arts and

made us reshape the company. Of course, in times of COVID-19, we had to adapt slightly to cover the pandemic in Europe.

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WHAT INSPIRED THE BIG PICTURE SEGMENT, WHERE YOU DEEP DIVE INTO TOPICS BEYOND THE HEADLINES?

YOU’VE BEEN COVERING THE SWISS ECONOMY FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS NOW. LOOKING AHEAD WITH YOUR INSIGHT, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE EMERGING TRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE THE MARKET?

I believe that luxury brands are here to

the big picture. We are strong with long-

Since I started, I think the economy, and

especially from mainland China.

format interviews, and we will continue to

for that matter, many businesses, have

work on this type of content. I think this is

never really gotten out of crisis mode.

Will Baselworld remain the same?

exactly where we can provide our viewers

There was the dotcom bubble bursting,

Probably not. Will the Geneva Motor Show

and communities with added value. I

followed by 9/11, and then later the

remain the same? Probably not. Events

believe there is a need for conversations

big financial crisis that dominated the

will need to be more agile, digital, and

on this level. And by having these broader

conversation. Digitisation, too, has led to a

much more global than they used to be.

conversations with CEOs or experts, we

constant need to adapt business models.

Just waiting for the big luxury community

We were never in the business of breaking news only. Our approach was to look at

Well, we have been very lucky so far. Being the new kids on the block helped us here for sure. The fact that Switzerland is the place to be for many international players – just think about the WEF Annual Meeting – helped even more.

the globe will continue and this will be the main driver moving forward. I don’t see it picking up after the crisis quickly but you already see signs coming from Asia,

to travel to Switzerland once a year is not a

still create headlines.

IT’S CERTAINLY TRUE THAT CNNMONEY SWITZERLAND HAS INTERVIEWED SOME HUGE PLAYERS IN THE WORLDS OF FINANCE AND BUSINESS.

stay. The rise of the middle class across

A big topic that has changed companies

business case as such. Banks have shown

was the corporate governance discussions.

that they learned this lesson the hard way.

Now I really see companies adapting to a more sustainable way of production. Going green is not just an option anymore – even more so after the COVID-19 crisis.

DO YOU SEE THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE BEING CHANGED IN THE LONG TERM AS A RESULT OF THIS PANDEMIC? Yes, we have seen a dramatic shift already. Less spending on advertising is a fact that

BY CANCELLING EVENTS LIKE BASELWORLD AND THE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW, THE PANDEMIC IS PROVING DIFFICULT FOR ALL KINDS OF BRANDS. WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DO YOU THINK IT WILL HAVE ON LUXURY BRANDS IN THE LONG TERM? HAVE YOU SEEN ANY STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL THAT IMPRESSED YOU?

has impacted larger media companies across Europe, and this will have huge significance. At the same time, news consumption has reached new records and the need for trusted sources is higher than ever. And yes, linear TV has made a comeback. Like in all crises, there are many chances, too. Smaller, agile players like us at CNNMoney Switzerland can adapt their business models quicker.

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CITY THAT’S

GEARED FOR GROWTH

A truly smart city, Durban, KZN, South Africa seamlessly combines an innovative business environment with an exciting, contemporary lifestyle. Connecting continents, here you will find Africa’s busiest port, the top ranking conferencing city and the home to the continent’s very first Aerotropolis. Boasting world-class infrastructure, manufacturing and industrial concentration that is constantly evolving, isn’t it time to join this progressive society rich in investment opportunities? …We can help you make it happen, now.

Tel: +27 31 311 4227 Email: invest@durban.gov.za web: invest.durban

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Rated in top 5 ‘Quality of Living’ cities in Africa and Middle East by Mercer Consulting in 2015

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Continuing succ essfu l trade after COVI D -19

CONTINUING SUCCESSFUL TRADE AFTER COVID-19 by Graham Bright, Head of Compliance and Operations at Euro Exim Bank

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have

Whilst governments, health

such as ventilators, and soon, hopefully,

global repercussions, and our lives will be

authorities and essential services

life-saving vaccines.

changed irreparably, affecting the goods we want, the goods we need, and what constitutes luxuries and essentials. We have seen how COVID-19 does not respect borders, resulting in appalling mortality rates, crashes and rebounds of stock markets, the general population isolated, with unclear ever-changing guidance, uncertainty and fear.

tackle the effect domestically, ultimately, global trade must continue. International trade generates trillions of dollars per year, supporting economies and huge workforces filling insatiable demand for garments, metals, foodstuffs, pharma, electronics and plastics across the globe. Now that demand has changed to include PPE - masks, testing kits, surgical gowns and medical equipment

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Whilst many companies have switched to PPE production, these are short-term strategies. When COVID-19 is beaten, we will need to re-tool original production processes, rebuilding supply sources and re-starting import of materials and export processes for finished goods. With a new world dynamic – will the world still want or need those goods?


THE OUTLOOK The economic forecast remains grim, with US Federal Reserve Bank predictions of unemployment rates higher than the Great Depression (30%) and GDP falls of 50%. Unprecedented times indeed. Few foresaw the sustained falls across international markets, triggering trade

cash flow, loss of workforce and potential

and costs of using far-distant networks of

long-term bankruptcy.

suppliers and factories.

Unfortunately, it may be too late for some

Meanwhile, the potential of Africa has

companies, as the digital world will grab

not gone unnoticed. With the availability

a larger market share, redefining how

of specialist raw materials not currently

we shop in future with household names

as heavily impacted by COVID-19, the

consigned to history.

region offers proximity and replacement supply source for companies seeking to

But there are always positive seeds of

distance themselves from Chinese market

optimism that come from every adversity.

dominance.

THE GOOD NEWS

We’ll have to see how effective this

Despite market fluctuations, those with

alternative proves, as few countries are yet

active wealth management strategies

able to match China’s size and availability

Net effect? Car sales falling 97% f rom

will be best positioned to minimise the

of workforce, efficient suppliers and highly

the same time last year, travel industry

effects of this outbreak and benefit from

developed infrastructure.

stagnation, air passenger and flight

the long-term recovery. Indeed, global

volumes down 90%, with fuel demand and

markets have recovered some of their

oil prices at historic lows.

losses, with the MSCI World Index ending

circuit-breakers designed to prevent panic-trading four times in 20 days. With no time to hedge, billions were wiped off company values with investors fleeing to safer market sectors.

April up 26.5% from its lowest point in

EXPOSING VULNERABILITIES The pandemic has shown vulnerabilities in contingency planning, especially with disrupted supply chains, short-term exposure, rise in liquidity demand, ravaged

March. Manufacturers will look more locally and may radically change their supply, logistics and production strategies, by cutting ties

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Continuing succ essfu l trade after COVI D -19

THE FACTORS THAT WILL ASSIST THE FUTURE OF TRADE

1.

APPLYING APPROPRIATE COLLATERAL REQUIREMENTS

Key elements in all trades are trust, identity, means and intent to pay. Buyers need collateral and funding options but are constantly hampered with unreasonable financial demands. Many large financial institutions are charging buyers punitive rates for instruments, requiring locking of funds of up to 110% of the face value of trades for

3.

To survive in these uncertain times,

APPLICATION OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY

firms must be realistic in profit

The complexity of cross-border trade

pragmatic management, hire

flows and industry initiatives in the

professionals, listen to peers and

standardisation of processes led us early on to build a bespoke trade platform, incorporating blockchain and AI

value and contribution, not just expenditure, and ultimately keep

operations and enabled us to pass on

producing and delivering what

benefits of speed, trust, efficiency and

customers need.

immutability to our clients.

4.

As a facilitator of global trade, Euro

DIGITISING DOCUMENTS

Remote working, coupled with video conferencing, have altered work dynamics

cripples cash flow, especially with smaller

and re-ignited the move towards more

values, leaving companies disadvantaged

digital services, allowing trusted creation

and non-competitive.

and distribution of electronic complex documents. We expect greater use of

At, Euro Exim Bank, we take a pragmatic

verified, trusted delivery in preference to

approach, looking at appropriate collateral,

current ‘wet ink’ bills of lading as physical

enabling clients where possible to transact

papers in multiple copies. And who will

multiple deals and therefore to trade

need bricks and mortar offices?

competitively and profitably.

RESOLVING PAYMENT AND LIQUIDITY ISSUES

competition. They must understand

technologies. This has future-proofed our

up to one year. Good for banks, but this

2.

and investment outlook, exercise

5.

FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS (FTAS) As threats of a renewed trade war between

Access to exchange-traded currency

the US and China loom, agreements in

such as US dollars can be expensive or

Af rica (AfCFTA) and the Far East (RCEP)

restrictive in emerging markets. Euro Exim

could hold the key to minimising a long-

Bank was one of the first regulated banks

term recession. Designed to eliminate

to embrace new payments technology

protectionism and isolation, FTAs allow

through participation with RippleNet.

f reer movement, unencumbered by tariffs,

Using xCurrent delivery of real-time,

excessive complex process or currency

f rictionless payments, cross-border

restrictions, encouraging trade with

transactions are guaranteed without

neighbouring partners, i.e. promoting

multiple routing hops or the necessity

faster, cheaper supply, where profit or

for traditional correspondent bank

economic supremacy cease to be the sole

relationships.

trade drivers.

With innovative ODL (On-Demand Liquidity) services, clients benefit f rom low-cost liquidity underpinned by Ripple XRP digital assets. This gives settlement with certainty, guaranteed exchange rates and immutability in terms of transfer and settlement allowing bilateral cross-border transactions in a local currency, without switching between expensive mainstream currencies.

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Exim Bank remains well-positioned and ready to work with corporates and SMEs finding innovative trade initiation solutions, enabling them to deal safely and competitively in the wider international arena. We look forward to a fast economic recovery, to a better, more charitable healthy humane world, with all citizens having access to the goods they need, at prices they can afford, as soon and as safely as possible.


GLOBAL VISION, LOCAL IMPACT THE THREE PILLARS OF BDC’S VALUES

Our definition of success is an

(BDC) has been effectively adopting a wide range of prominent Corporate Social

In line with the Sustainable Development

Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, providing a

empowerment of tomorrow’s young

Goals (SDGs) and Egypt’s vision for 2030,

dedicated approach that drives significant

BDC’s strategy focuses on economic,

leaders.

impacts on community development in

social and environmental development.

Additionally, Banque du Caire’s 5-year

various fields.

With a global vision and local impact,

strategy supports the governmental

the CSR team based our model on three

endeavours pertinent to SDG10 that strive

Banque du Caire’s strategy takes

main pillars: the economic empowerment

to reduce inequality and promotes social

into consideration the social and

of women and youth, sustainable

inclusion by ESG.

environmental consequences of business

communities, and the environment. Each

activities, not only across the country

of the three pillars works in tandem to

As a pioneer in micro-finance, BDC fosters

but also up to the most innovative

transform our communities and empower

partnerships with local and youth-led non-

global standards. We guarantee that the

people to lift themselves out of poverty

governmental organisations (NGOs) with

workflow demonstrates a full dedication to

and into developed social mobility.

the overall objective of creating new job

Established in 1952, Banque du Caire

impact that sustains for decades and

implementing effective governance.

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Global vision, local impact

opportunities for the youth by providing

With the training, they can start their

of their waste and can help them develop

vocational training and adequate support

own projects, generating income for

better living habits at an early age.

to persons with disabilities while assuring

their families, and, most importantly,

gender equality in all its activities.

become independent business owners. The project will continue on an annual

SUPPORTING HEALTH IN THE COMMUNITY

As for the second pillar related to

basis and expand targeting sustainable

In line with our core values, the bank

sustainable cities and communities, we

development of the less privileged areas

has supported the local health units to

have a wide range of support including

across Egypt.

better serve residents. BDC has provided

the transformation of selected rural

the necessary medical devices used for

villages in upper Egypt. This support

FROM ORIGIN TO DISTINCTION

means providing the inhabitants with

In February, we launched the bGreen

community. The bank provides consistent

access to clean water and sanitation,

initiative, engaging all of our stakeholders

technical support visits for one year for

renovating schools and enhancing the

to follow sustainable practices in their

the units’ doctors, and bi-annual medical

curriculum, refurbishing and equipping

daily businesses. Under the umbrella

convoys to stipulate support through free

medical centres. Women are also

of bGreen, we are implementing green

medical examinations, medicines and

supported as self-sufficient earners.

roofing in our headquarters as well as

operational surgeries when needed. We

launching the initiative to be the first bank

also delivered free treatment of animals

As for the third pillar, we believe in leading

to plant trees in some neighbourhoods

in the villages, who provide a big portion

by example. In 2020, we launched the

across the country.

of income to families, in terms of both

bGreen initiative with a special focus on

treating diseases widely spread in the

food and textiles. The bank partners with

advocacy and awareness-raising among

The bank takes the necessary measures

numerous hospitals, providing them

our clients, suppliers, staff and community,

to ensure its branches are designed in

with not only financial support but also

addressing numerous identified areas

line with both national and international

psychological support where employees

such as:

standards by rebranding old branches.

visit those in need on a regular basis.

We implemented the use of LED lighting • Climate change • Recycling projects in 150 schools • Cleaning 10 beaches across the country and helping clean the River Nile • Planting roofs • Being a green bank

The bank has been adhering to the United Nations’ Global Compact principles since 2016; supporting precautionary approaches to environmental challenges, encouraging initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility and ecof riendly technologies.

THE BCR EDUCATIONAL VALUES IN THE COMMUNITY Leveraging on our commitment to sustain the economic and educational pillars, we launched vocational training initiatives, in which we bring workers from underprivileged areas and provide them with vocational training to develop their skills. We help them sustain and expand their small businesses by opening up their sales opportunities. The training is available for both men and women, who can be the breadwinners of their families.

along with the renovated floors of the

ENGAGING THE STAFF

headquarters - replacing traditional

As part of our CSR & Sustainability strategy

fluorescent lighting. This helps save

to keep employees engaged by giving

energy and increase air conditioners’

them a sense of contributing to society,

efficiency as it decreases the heat

we launched our internal volunteering

emissions coming from lighting. Eco-

programme, designed for nine thousand

f riendly plumbing systems are used in

employees. The programme targets

the bank’s buildings to save water and

all bank staff across Egypt, engaging

energy, provide clean water, and decrease

employees with monthly planned

chemical pollution. The bank’s main

activities that revolve around giving back

building is equipped with double-glazing

to the community. As a promotion and

to absorb heat before it can negatively

motivation for more engagement and

affect the central air conditioning system.

loyalty to the programme, we reward the

Additionally, the branches’ facades are

champions with a paid overseas trek to

designed with thermal control to save

volunteer with one of the international

energy consumed by air conditioners.

NGOs that we partner with. Additionally,

Highlighting our environmental

the programme holds an annual summit

conservation initiatives, the bank also

at the end of each year, where all our CSR

designed and developed a fully eco-

partners and volunteers are invited to

f riendly branch in Siwa where all materials

recognise the champions and announce

used are environmentally friendly and in

new targets and trek destinations for the

line with international standards.

following year.

To highlight our focus on sustainability

Banque du Caire follows its path to

within our community, we provided

achieving the ultimate goals of creating

both public and private high schools

environmental, social and governance

with recycling bins to reduce waste.

values.

This served as a medium to provide educational awareness for the students, where we closely monitored workshops focused on environmental challenges. This programme makes students more aware

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DEVELOPING CUSTOM STRATEGIES FOR INTERNATIONAL GROWTH ARC Capital is a mid-market investment bank with an international presence, and offices in China, Singapore, the United States, Indonesia and Mexico. Our financial team specialises in public listings, mergers & acquisitions (M&A), financial advisory services, and wealth management. ARC provides a customised and personal approach to our clients.

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Developing custom strategies for international growth

ACCESS TO NEW MARKETS We founded the company in 2015 with the aim of helping Chinese companies to find alternative sources of financing, taking advantage of our knowledge and experience in the US stock markets. We were fortunate to start with a client who gave us the opportunity to work with him and prove our worth. ARC Capital started its business offering focusing on the capital markets area, mostly with IPOs in the NASDAQ f rom companies f rom China, as well as other companies in Asia. However, over the past few years, we have also paid particular

investment fund that allows public stock

STRATEGIES FOR INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION

market investors to invest in private

ARC Capital’s main focus has been mainly

equity-type transactions, particularly

in small and medium companies across

leveraged buyouts.

different industries. We have helped our

companies (SPAC) This is a type of

clients to gain international exposure, In addition, we offer M&A services for

finding the best strategy according to

companies, as well as providing the best

their expansion goals, including offshore

corporate finance solutions and different

services to provide them the best strategic

types of investments to ensure the best

location for their expansion purposes.

returns for our clients. Also, some M&A transactions we have performed in the

Sectors that we have focused on in Asia

past have had an important cross-border

include high-tech, e-commerce, retail,

component, particularly between Western

luxury, food and beverage, chemicals,

countries and China, as much on the buy

pharmaceutical, automotive, aerospace,

side as the sell side.

agriculture, hospitality, infrastructure,

attention to special purpose acquisition

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among many others.


ARC Capital has seen increased deal

We leverage our deep experience

ARC Capital continues to grow its SPAC

flow over the past few months. We have

in Asia to provide our clients with

practice, we now take companies from the

advised multiple companies on IPOs such as Indonesia Energy Corporation, the first Indonesian company to ever list directly on the New York Stock Exchange and the first family office-backed SPAC out of Singapore called Yunhong International. ARC Capital was also the lead advisor on a recent M&A transaction involving a publicly-traded company called CTI Industries, and, in just the past six months, we have closed four private capital raises in excess of $70 million, just in Asia! Our multiple offices around the globe enable

IPO process through the merger process,

services and guidance in other countries. Most of our clients hire us to guide them through complicated

offering a complete range of services. We have also been in talks with multiples companies looking to raise money

transactions in foreign countries.

through a merger with a SPAC.

ARC Capital is also an advisor for private companies in confidential transactions. We have been working with an important real estate developer in Peru that is

Raising money through a SPAC merger is a great alternative for companies that operate in countries where credit markets have frozen due to the COVID-19 crisis.

currently in the final stages of raising capital for their most recent project. We are the exclusive advisors on this deal.

us to provide invaluable advice to our clients and work around the clock on fastmoving transactions.

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LOOKING BEYOND CONVENTIONAL FINANCING The T Bridge mantra is “We back the

property, renewable energy and telecoms

into co-investing into our chosen sectors

innovative, the courageous, the risk-takers

and he is part of several entrepreneurial

that share our enthusiasm for positive

and the boundary pushers”.

communities and associations.

change, he believes T Bridge is the radical

T Bridge Venture Partners is a dynamic

Innovation, ambition and dynamism

solution that can bridge the gap. and impactful venture company investing in companies. The company was started on the premise of seeking innovative and ground-breaking firms across a number of sectors: renewable energy, proptech,

have been the key actors through Oluleye’s endeavours with the underlying theme to excel and build leading and defining companies.

fintech, consumer retail, TMT and agritech. Started in 2017 by award-winning serial

THE ORIGINS OF T BRIDGE

entrepreneur Fope Oluleye who has

While building his own companies,

been building successful companies

Oluleye realised the gap in funding for

since he was 21 years old and runs

new-age companies that fitted outside

multiple operations through his group of

conventional financing due to their

companies across Europe, USA and Africa

business models and positioning to

that sit under the parent umbrella, Zenith

disrupt the status quo. Partnering with

Guild Group. Since 2011, he has built up a

family offices, wealth management and

collective set of organisations involved in

climate funds and attracting institutions

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Looking beyond conventional financing

T Bridge’s mission to invest capital into innovative and creative companies has seen them form a partnership with Brightstar Solar Global to focus on tackling the shortage of electricity inf rastructure in sub-Saharan Af rica through renewable energy. Renewable energy is a key sector for them as it is still at a nascent stage in terms of potential applications and wideranging uses.

THE INDUSTRY

2020 AND BEYOND

The venture capital industry remains,

With the present situation of the current

first and foremost, an essential source of

adverse fluctuation in the oil market, T

capital and resources for a great number

Bridge aims to further draw attention to

of burgeoning industry startups seeking

renewable energy as a reliable source of

to address a number of problems through

energy production through Brightstar

a variety of sectors and provide active

Solar Global to the region and provide

solutions. T Bridge aims to further add

much needed electrical production

value to the industry by focusing on early-

to hospitals, homes and commercial

stage companies and founders that have

premises.

enormous potential to disrupt current inefficient norms or create new innovative

We have initiated a series of options

pathways and create lasting value for

to implement and create a pipeline of

potential users and society as a whole.

opportunities to attract further investment from investors that are looking for

THE T BRIDGE APPROACH

T BRIDGE RENEWABLE ENERGY FUND – THE OPPORTUNITY

alternatives to oil.

T Bridge takes its vocation seriously,

The current marketplace provides

having established the partnership with

an opportunity for T Bridge and

Brightstar Solar Global for a £500m fund, setting its sights on renewable energy as

T Bridge realises that building successful

a medium to help address and positively

firms means infusing them through both

increase the electricity production to

active collaboration and investment that

increase productivity and impacting

will ultimately steer them onwards to

economic growth. The T Bridge renewable

growth and success. We want to create

energy fund, with its £500m fund, will

an ecosystem where our companies can

target Brightstar Solar Global’s mandate

thrive. Fope Oluleye describes a three-step

of 1000MW of renewable energy projects

process for identifying businesses that fit T

by 2022. With a 30MW solar farm already

Bridge VP’s investment profile.

underway in Nigeria, we have signed with the Nigerian Government to supply

1.

electricity and are looking at potentially Potential for viable high

another 300 MW of projects in the country.

transformative growth through tackling a key problem in our chosen sectors.

The company has also signed an MOU with a major first-tier banking institution

2.

to complement its rooftop strategy for Founder team with knowledge and

understanding of the addressable market to execute its vision.

3.

Brightstar as the financial incentive of investing in renewable energy becomes as attractive as the oil market. Over the coming years, we will deliver our goal of 1000MW across our four main operational systems of large-scale utility solar farms, commercial solar systems, distributed mini energy grid systems and rooftop solar systems with a key emphasis on technological innovation and longterm sustainability. To find out more about the T Bridge Venture partners, visit www.tbridgevp.com.

home installations. In addition to home solar systems, utility-scale solar farms, commercial and industrial systems are targets. Energy solutions on a commercial basis would cater to agribusiness, mining, healthcare and commercial premises.

The company has a clear identity of

Whether it is integrated solar systems

where they sit within their sector and how

or stand-alone systems, we aim to use

they can impact it.

these solutions to positively influence the electricity and energy market in the

Most importantly, he recognises that those

region.

founders with boundless energy, untiring commitment to reaching their goals, and a deep desire to win as ones most likely to succeed. Through co-creating and fostering an environment that allows portfolio companies to shape their brand identity along with best-in-class resources, T bridge believes they can further accelerate their growth.

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Fope Oluleye


OUR EMPLOYEES A R E C R U C I A L TO OUR SUCCESS

WHITESTAR.PT SERVICING OF CREDIT LOANS

WHITESTARPROPERTIES.PT

REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT ADVISORY AND SOLUTIONS

BPO


LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND IN THE DIGITAL ERA

Our vision is to promote digital economies that leave no one behind. Our goal is to equip millions of people by 2024 to use innovative digital services in their daily lives that will empower them and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has announced partnerships with digital services providers to increase access to and usage of digital services in the North and West Nile regions of Uganda. Through these partnerships, the UNCDF is supporting private sector players to develop and scale digital solutions for communities that are often marginalised and denied digital innovation and technology due to social norms, societal status, and limited revenue and capacity. The partnership is part of the ‘Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era’ strategy, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which aims to build an inclusive digital economy in Uganda. The programme focuses on empowering rural communities to use digital services in their daily lives for development impact in agriculture, health, education, and finance. “In line with our strategy, the partnerships aim at breaking the obstacles that limit the reach of digital services in rural communities,” said Jenifer Bukokhe Wakhugu, Deputy Head of Office at UNCDF Uganda.

“Our goal is to enable at least one million people in rural communities of Uganda to use digital services that will empower them to lead productive and healthy lives while at the same time contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

THE DIGITAL GAP While the overall number of people accessing digital products and services in Uganda continues to grow, the digital access gap is widening, negatively impacting routinely excluded populations: rural communities, smallholder farmers, women, youth, MSMEs & refugees. Over the last four years, the Ugandan digital financial market has grown from 26% of the adult population actively using digital financial services in 2014 to roughly 56% in 2019. However, in rural communities, such as the Northern and West Nile Regions of Uganda, access to mobile digital financial services lags behind at dismal levels of less than 30%.

BRIDGING THE GAP To bridge this gap, the UNCDF is partnering with mobile network operators (MNOs), Airtel Uganda and MTN Uganda, to increase mobile phone penetration, strengthen the rural agent network, improve liquidity, optimise connectivity across the target areas, and develop relevant and affordable products for rural communities.

The UNCDF is also partnering with agri-techs, Ensibuuko Tech Limited and MobiPay Agrosys Limited, to create a network of digital community entrepreneurs (lead farmers) aimed at increasing last-mile distribution of digital inclusion related services and products such as phones, off-grid energy solutions, bank accounts, farming inputs, and electronic airtime. Additionally, these partnerships will also be leveraged to teach financial and digital literacy skills to build and foster an open payment ecosystem that empowers these communities. “Through these partnerships, we aim at building the digital infrastructure in the rural communities to pave the way for digital technologies that will remove the major market constraints in agriculture, education and health, while at the same time creating impact in entire market systems,” Ms Bukokhe added.


Leading the way in sustainability and innovation in Latin America

Looking beyond conventional financing

www.baccredomatic.com

@baccredomatic Guatemala El |Salvador Honduras Nicaragua Costa Rica 0 42 I N T E R N AT I ON AL INVE STO R MAGAZ INE Panamรก


CHINA’S ROAD TO RECOVERY by Kenny Fowler

While much of the world was still in the throes of the coronavirus

Transportation in and around Beijing has been strictly limited.

that originated in the city of Wuhan, China declared itself open

The movement of foreigners has been restricted due to fears of

for business. Chinese factories began roaring back to life, even

additional cases being imported back in. In the Hubei province

though serious concerns about the virus coming back continued.

itself, even though there are no new cases, officials seem to be taking the risk seriously. The province continues to maintain the strictest emergency response measures.


Looking beyond conventional financing

Railway stations have escalated their

In the city of Wuhan, those residents who

or leaving a business, the knowledge that

protocols for disinfection and inspection

have been tested for the virus are assigned

people can be contagious without being

across the entire county, as it is expected

QR codes through a government app. For

symptomatic leads to persistent suspicion.

that many of those who have been

those who have been tested and found

trapped in Hubei will begin to venture

f ree of symptoms, their QR code will show

outside to the rest of China. Other cities

up as green, giving them permission to

have said that these people will have to

leave their homes. Those residents without

self-quarantine and endure regular rounds

a green QR code continue to be limited in

of testing to prevent the possible spread

their movement. Despite these measures

of the virus.

and the fact that residents are often checked for temperature when arriving

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Looking beyond conventional financing

CHALLENGES OF RE-OPENING THE ECONOMY

Various strategies are being employed

Since the virus originated in China and

spreading the virus. One factory in Jiangsu

cases first appeared here months before they did elsewhere, the timeline of the virus puts China ahead of much of the world. China, therefore, offers a glimpse into the future for countries still suffering f rom the pandemic at what restarting

to prevent workers from potentially is dividing employees into separate units to keep the workers separated from each other. These units eat, work and sleep in separate areas. As the facilities are not designed for this level of separation, this arrangement is understandably hard to

their economies could look like.

manage.

U.S. President Donald Trump continues

The Chinese central bank has so far

to push for the reopening of the economy sooner rather than later, despite the advice of public health officials who have offered timetables as late as November for returning to any semblance of normal life. Such impatience with the lockdown was also seen in members of the Chinese Politburo as early as late February. Perhaps, China’s plan is a compromise between these two approaches and shows

avoided the massive stimulus plans proposed in the EU and the U.S. But large parts of these stimulus plans were to prop up industries like the airlines. The Chinese government owns so much of the economy that such measures are simply not necessary.

WAITING FOR THE WEST TO RECOVER?

how to reopen an economy before the

The demand for Chinese exports has

virus has completely disappeared.

been greatly decreased due to the global pandemic. However, things are better

The world was much impressed by the

off for China than they were during

management of the virus by countries

the global financial crisis that occurred

like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and

f rom 2007 through 2009. This is because

South Korea. Just as these countries had

domestic consumption now plays a far

flattened the curve and began to resume

more significant role than exports do. But

their normal lives, the number of cases

domestic demand is also low because

began to rise again. It was discovered that

of the lockdown. And even with the

the coronavirus was being reimported

lockdown ending, many continue to avoid

back to Asia f rom the U.S. and Europe.

large gatherings of people. Furthermore,

Whether a second wave of coronavirus

the lockdown has also prevented people

is spreading through China is hard to

f rom going to work and their income has

tell, especially since much of the world

been affected.

already questions the official government numbers of the first wave.

Many provinces have finally reduced their alert levels and even Hubei province is

One of the challenges of returning to

allowing people outside the capital city to

normal production levels is that much of

travel. It will take time for the population

the country returned home for the spring

to build up enough confidence in the

festival just before the lockdown began.

economy to begin spending again. Once

This meant that they were trapped at

the West has overcome the pandemic,

home and were unable to come to work.

its demand for Chinese manufacturing

The production centres on the coast then

goods should return. However, factories

chartered transportation to bring these

that produce goods for the West are

workers back f rom the inland on trains

facing order cancellations, which will also

and buses. It is difficult to say exactly how

negatively impact the income of Chinese

efficient the operations of the factories

citizens and reduce their ability to spend.

are. There are reports that officials were told to embellish their firms’ performance. When an analysis of the electricity usage of factories by government officials was done, some of these factories were told to power up idle equipment in order to make the electricity usage fit the narrative that all is well.

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THE FUTURE AFTER COVID-19 COVID-19 began in Wuhan and while China appears to have overcome the virus as a country, it has yet to overcome it as an economy. It must act decisively to ramp up its production without sparking a second wave of coronavirus due to workers being in close contact and through the import of the virus back from the rest of the world. The Chinese domestic market is now a major force in the Chinese economy, but the decreased demand from the West is causing orders to be cancelled. It will be interesting to see if the recovery of the Chinese domestic market can keep China going long enough for Western demand to come back.


UNIONBANK SELECTED AS ONE OF ASIA-PACIFIC’S TOP 20 BANKS ONLY PHL BANK ON THE LIST

UNIONBANK SELECTED AS ONE OF ASIA-PACIFIC’S TOP 20 BANKS ONLY PHL BANK ON THE LIST

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) has been named as one of the 20 best banks in the Asia-Pacific region in 2020 by IDC Financial Insights. It is also the only Philippine bank on the list that includes DBS Bank, Shinhan Bank, and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) has been named Maybank, among other brands. as one of the 20 prestigious best banks in the Asia-Pacific region in IDC Financial Insights is Insights. part ofIt the International Data 2020 by IDC Financial is also the only Philippine Corporation thelist premier global provider of Bank, market bank on- the that includes DBS Bank, Shinhan and intelligence, advisory and events for the information Maybank, amongservices, other prestigious brands. IDC telecommunications, Financial Insights is part the International Data technology, andofconsumer technology - the premier globalaccurate, provider timely of market markets.Corporation IDC Financial insights provides and intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information insightful fact-based research and consulting services. technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology “The 20 best banks are chosen because of the select unique markets. IDC Financial insights provides accurate, timely and capabilities that each of them has that was discovered insightful fact-based research and consulting services.by IDC in a series“The of interviews with C-suite leaders. We develop 20 best banks are chosen because of thewill select unique continuous research suchofas case studies and executive capabilities that each them has that was discovered by IDC seriesthese of interviews with C-suite leaders. We will develop briefingsin awith institutions,” said Michael Araneta, research suchatasIDC case studies Insights and executive head of continuous research and advisory Financial Asia briefings these institutions,” Araneta, - Pacific. “One with important intention of said this Michael program is to

head of research and advisory at IDC Financial Insights Asia - Pacific. “One important intention of this program is to

show that despite the threat of disruption by fintechs and challengers, traditional banks are in fact thriving more than ever.” This award from IDC Financial Insights, which was based show that despite the threat of disruption by fintechs and on the success of UnionBank itself over the years challengers, traditional banks aretointransform fact thriving more than to be ready for a new decade of financial services, validates ever.” the with no was onebased left behind Thisbank’s award digital from IDCtransformation Financial Insights, which promise, as well as dovetails with the numerous on the success of UnionBank to transform itself over the recognitions years to newcountry’s decade of leading financial digital services,bank. validates of be theready bankforasa the theFrom bank’sthe digital with no oneInsights left behind top transformation 20 list, IDC Financial will select promise, as well as dovetails with the numerous recognitions winners for the Financial Insights Innovation Awards 2020 of the bank as the country’s leading digital bank. scheduled later this year. From the top 20 list, IDC Financial Insights will select This is the firstInsights time Innovation that IDC Awards Financial winners for not the Financial 2020Insights recognized UnionBank for its banking innovation. In scheduled later this year. 2018, thenotorganization named the Bank as “Asia’s This is the first time that IDC Financial Insights Leader recognized UnionBank for its banking in Omnichannel Engagement” at theinnovation. Financial InInsights 2018, the organization named thewas Bank as of “Asia’s Leader Innovation Awards (FIIA) that part the Asian Financial in Omnichannel Engagement” at the Financial Insights Services Congress for that year. Innovation Awards (FIIA) that was part of the Asian Financial Services Congress for that year.


THE BOND WATCH IS REVEALED OMEGA is delighted to unveil 007’s newest timepiece that will feature in the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die.

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Appearing on-screen will be a thrilling new Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition. )LUVW ODXQFKHG LQ WKH 'LYHU 0 has built its legacy with real-life divers and VW\OH DILFLRQDGRV DV ZHOO DV EHFRPLQJ WKH quintessential wrist-wear of James Bond. OMEGA has worked closely on the development of the Bond watch with Daniel &UDLJ DQG WKH ÿOPPDNHUV ZKRVH NQRZOHGJH of James Bond has brought invaluable insight to OMEGA’s watch developers and designers. Daniel Craig’s own experience as 007 has DOVR LQÄ€XHQFHG WKLV H[FLWLQJ ÿQDO GHVLJQ ,Q WKH IROORZLQJ SDJHV \RX FDQ GLVFRYHU DOO the Seamaster models that James Bond has WUXVWHG VR IDU 7KHQ ÿQG RXW PRUH DERXW the watch that will be seen in No Time To Die.

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THE SEAMASTER DIVER 300M EDITION Looking beyond conventional financing

:KHQ -DPHV %RQG HPEDUNV RQ KLV QH[W PLVVLRQ D QHZ 20(*$ watch will appear on screen. The Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition has been purposefully built with military needs in mind DQG ZDV HYHQ GHVLJQHG ZLWK LQSXW IURP DFWRU 'DQLHO &UDLJ 7KLV non-limited watch will be placed in OMEGA’s iconic current collection from February - available to customers either on a WLWDQLXP PHVK EUDFHOHW RU D VWULSHG 1$72 VWUDS LQ GDUN EURZQ JUH\ DQG EHLJH ZLWK HQJUDYHG RQ WKH ORRS (DFK PP WLPHSLHFH KDV EHHQ FUDIWHG IURP *UDGH 7LWDQLXP which is used for the case and bracelet with its innovative adjustable buckle. This special material is particularly strong DQG OLJKWZHLJKW PDNLQJ LW SHUIHFW IRU DQ XQGHUFRYHU DJHQW Special new doming of the sapphire-crystal glass has also created a slightly slimmer watch than the standard Seamaster Diver 300M models.

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)RU WKLV ZDWFK 20(*$ KDV LQWURGXFHG DQ DOXPLQLXP GLDO ZLWK D colour that replicates the aged brown hue that certain vintage dials turn over time. This colour tone is referred to by collectors as “tropicalâ€?. The aluminium bezel ring of this watch also features the same colour shade. 2Q WKH FDVHEDFN \RXĂ™OO ILQG D VHULHV RI QXPEHUV ZKLFK IROORZ the format for genuine military-issue watches. “0552â€? is a QDYDO FRGH QXPEHU ZLWK Ă› Ăœ EHLQJ WKH QXPEHU IRU D GLYHUVĂ™ ZDWFK 7KH OHWWHU Ă›$Ăœ VLJQLĂżHV D ZDWFK ZLWK D VFUHZ LQ FURZQ ZKLOH LV RI FRXUVH -DPHV %RQGĂ™V LFRQLF DJHQW QXPEHU )LQDOO\ WKH QXPEHU Ă› Ăœ UHIHUV WR WKH \HDU RI WKH YHU\ ĂżUVW -DPHV %RQG ĂżOP

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Looking beyond conventional financing

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:KHQ GHVLJQLQJ WKLV FDSWLYDWLQJ QHZ ZDWFK 20(*$ UHPDLQHG LQ close contact with Daniel Craig and the filmmakers. Daniel Craig’s LQIOXHQFH DQG DGYLFH SOD\HG D ELJ UROH LQ WKH ILQDO UHVXOW +H VD\V “When working with OMEGA, we decided that a lightweight watch would be key for a military man like 007. I also suggested some vintage touches and colours to give the watch a unique edge. The final piece looks incredible.â€? 7KH QHZ ZDWFK LV FRPSOHWHG E\ D 1$,$' /2&. FDVHEDFN which keeps all of the engravings in correct alignment. ,QVLGH LW LV GULYHQ E\ D SDUWLFXODUO\ LPSUHVVLYH PRYHPHQW Ă– WKH 20(*$ &R $[LDO 0DVWHU &KURQRPHWHU &DOLEUH which has achieved the industry’s highest standards of SUHFLVLRQ FKURQRPHWULF SHUIRUPDQFH DQG PDJQHWLF resistance. For adventurous customers who choose this Seamaster 'LYHU 0 (GLWLRQ PRGHO LW ZLOO EH GHOLYHUHG LQ an exclusive brown fabric pouch. The watch is waterresistant to 30 bar (300 m / 1000 ft) and comes with OMEGA’s full 5-year warranty.

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B .I.C . Markets Expands into Asia with a Strong I B Programme

B.I.C. MARKETS EXPANDS INTO ASIA WITH A STRONG IB PROGRAMME WHO IS BIC MARKETS? BIC Markets is the Forex and CFD division

HOW FREQUENTLY DOES BIC MARKETS PAY THE IB COMMISSION?

IF THE CLIENT DOESN’T PAY EXTRA, HOW DOES A BROKER COMPENSATE THE IB?

of B.I.C. Banking Group. Our objective

The introducing broker is paid in real-time

is to provide traders across the globe

to their secure online Partner Portal. The

At BIC Markets, we rebate the introducing

with cutting-edge technology to trade

introducing broker can then withdraw the

broker a percentage of the spread. The

on the world’s markets. We are driven to

rebates by submitting an online request or

spread is the maximum a straight through

offer traders incredibly low-cost pricing

they can transfer internally to their trading

processing (STP) broker can make. This

across all FX, CFDs and Commodities

account.

means that all of the trades are passed

with the added security of strict financial

onto a liquidity provider and the broker earns the difference in the spread

support. BIC Markets offers a range

WHY DON’T CLIENTS PAY MORE WHEN THEY GO THROUGH AN IB?

of online trading platforms including

The introducing broker refers clients to

and that with the liquidity provider.

MetaTrader 4, WebTrader and mobile apps

BIC Markets, the referral commission is

for iPhone, Android and tablets.

their reward for advertising and referring

WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL IB?

regulation and industry-leading customer

between the transaction with the client

the client. It’s important to BIC Markets

The best way for the introducing broker

WHY IS THE BIC MARKETS IB PROGRAMME SO SUCCESSFUL?

that these clients have the same pricing

to increase their revenue is to use social

as if they came directly to our firm. This

media to promote their referral link.

At BIC Markets, we understand the

ensures that every BIC Markets client has

Some of our best performing introducing

importance of the introducing broker and

the same trading and customer support

brokers manage their own trading blogs

we offer one of the leading programmes

experience.

and websites. Facebook adverts are a

in the industry, featuring competitive

valuable tool for the introducing brokers

commissions, marketing tools and

as they can choose the audience and

excellent support. Furthermore, all of our

generate a lot of traffic to their blog or

introducing brokers have access to an

directly to the broker’s website.

online portal where they can view their referred clients’ every trade and rebate.

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Multi-Asset

Trading Platform

info@bicfx.com

www.bicfx.com

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF TRADING THE FOREX MARKET?

Global Exposure: Forex trading provides

In terms of specific risks, the forex market

investors with an opportunity to obtain

can present investors with less liquidity

There are several reasons investors might

exposure to economies across the world.

risk because of this particular market’s

By taking a more international approach,

highly liquid nature. In other words, there

traders might diversify more successfully

is less risk that an investor will find himself

or potentially achieve higher returns by

unable to buy or sell a currency pair

over equities.

putting their money to work in areas that

because he doesn’t have another market

have greater potential. Once again, risk is

participant to take part in a transaction.

Accessibility: Forex trading takes place

inherent to investment, so no returns are

Liquidity risk can increase around major

guaranteed and investors must conduct

news events.

choose to trade currencies instead of other products. Below are five main points as to why many people choose to trade forex

on many different exchanges across the world, and as a result, investors can make currency trades 24 hours a day during weekdays. The forex market is also the largest capital market in the world, involving more than US$5 trillion in notional value worth of transactions per day.

their due diligence on regions. Low Trading Expenses: Because there are

HOW CAN I OPEN AN ACCOUNT AND TRADE FOREX?

so many buyers and sellers, spreads are

You can easily open an account online

low and trading costs are modest.

with BIC Markets, we accept clients from most countries, however, there are certain

IS IT RISKY TO TRADE FOREX?

jurisdictions we cannot accept.

Like any form of investment, forex trading Liquidity: As there is so much activity, the

involves risk. The currency markets can

global forex markets provide substantial

experience sharp fluctuations, just like

liquidity to traders. While certain assets

the stock, bond or commodity markets.

may be more difficult to buy and sell,

Therefore, investors interested in forex

traders interested in currencies will likely

trading are encouraged to conduct

find substantial opportunities. Liquidity

their due diligence and/or consult an

risk can occur around major news events

independent financial advisor before

if liquidity providers seek to limit their

making any transactions.

exposure to market volatility. Leverage: Investors can potentially access far more leverage when trading currencies than they can when trading other assets. However, it is important to keep in mind that risk is inherent to investment. While using leverage to make larger trades can amplify returns, it can also amplify the size of losses.

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THE RACE FOR A VIABLE VACCINE by Sam Morgan


Coronavirus has shed new light on the

“The bank offers numerous options for

closed down way back in 2008, due to

pharmaceutical sector and healthcare in

companies looking for funding to develop

being squeezed out by cheaper Asian

general. The industry is scrambling to find

the next generation of vaccines in the

alternatives.

a vaccine for the pathogen, but despite

search for solutions to global disease

big investments in a cure, the outbreak is

outbreaks,” said the EIB’s Vice-President,

The subcontinent is still wrestling with

wreaking havoc on supply chains.

Ambroise Fayolle.

its own coronavirus outbreak, which

According to a number of virus

Donald Trump is not the only American

in March to put restrictions on the exports

showing an interest in vaccine

of drugs like simple painkillers and anti-

development, singer-songwriter Dolly

malaria treatment, hydroxychloroquine.

Parton has funded work on identifying

Although that policy was later relaxed

antibodies at a university in Tennessee,

after pressure from Washington, the

which has attracted the attention of global

temporary cut-off has already prompted

pharma giant AstraZeneca.

European policymakers and its drug

prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi

deconfinement plans drafted by countries around the world, certain aspects of everyday life will only be able to resume as normal once a viable vaccine is identified and rolled out en masse. Large gatherings of people at sporting events or music concerts, as well as full-scale tourism, are likely only to be possible without risk factors once a coronavirus inoculation is available. Given the economic value involved, it is no surprise that big investments into virus research have come thick and fast since the pandemic first hit. One of them, made by the EU, was a response to US President Donald Trump’s courting of a German firm working on a vaccine. Trump was reportedly interested in brokering an exclusive deal with CureVac, prompting the European Commission to intervene with funding worth €80 million. The institution’s President, Ursula von der Leyen, said the cash would help scale up ongoing research, adding that “CureVac’s home is here”. The European Investment Bank, the bloc’s triple-A rated lender, backed the investment after it too saw the potential in the German firm’s approach, which could drastically slash the costs of vaccines if successful.

industry into a rethink over how medicine

NEVER BREAK THE CHAIN

supply chains are structured.

Virus lockdown measures have interfered greatly with global supply chains for

“The crisis has revealed our morbid

medicine. Border closures and mandatory

dependency on China and India as regards

quarantines are obvious causes but

pharmaceuticals,” said the Commission’s

the complete fall-off in demand for

Vice-President, Věra Jourová, on 19

commercial flights has also made an

April. “This is something that makes us

unexpected dent in supply.

vulnerable and we have to make a radical change there.”

Most airlines supplement their already razor-thin profit margins by filling their

According to the Czech official, the EU

aircraft with high-value cargo, much

will reassess the delicate situation so as

of which is often perishable goods and

to boost drug production in Europe. Its

medicine. Europe’s trade volumes are

action plan will be submitted to national

admittedly small, just 2.6% of commerce,

governments and MEPs later this year.

but in value terms, 21% of cargo is shifted But the supply chains issue is not one

by air.

where all European countries are on the Planes are still by-and-large grounded,

same page. Despite emergency virus

although plans are afoot to get the

guidelines asking capitals to make sure

industry back in the air. For now though,

cross-border medicine trade continues

there is a gaping hole in the logistics side

unhindered, restrictions remain in place in

of the pharma trade.

Belgium and Hungary.

But it is the situation in China and

“The consequence of export bans are

India, two of the world’s largest drug exporters, that is proving to be most damaging to medicine supply chains.

directly detrimental to the availability of medicines for patients across the EU and globally, as well as risking retaliatory measures from other regions,” warned the European Federation of Pharmaceutical

On 29 April, the EIB - whose mandate explicitly instructs the Luxembourg-based bank to only pursue strong investment options - signed a landmark deal with a global organisation that specialises in developing vaccines for emerging diseases. Under the terms of the agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the EIB will provide the group’s members, which are made up of private and public companies, with financial advice and support.

Industries and Associations. The group

Many countries still remain dependent

also urged the EU to make sure that no

on China for medical gear like masks and test kits, which its government has taken advantage of as part of its ‘mask

state takes unilateral action that would block vaccine development or treatments, adding that “no one country can meet all

diplomacy’ efforts, but it is India, the globe’s number one exporter of generic medicines, where the pinch could be truly felt.

its pharmaceutical needs on its own”. The EU insists that its policies will not stray into isolationist or populist territory but the impact of coronavirus suggests that

Europe is hugely reliant on India for

the post-outbreak recovery period will put

medicines that are as ubiquitous as paracetamol, after the region’s last factory

that pledge to the test.

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The pandemic has shaken an already

Coronavirus prompted the EU to relax

That could usher in a new era of domestic

wobbly rules-based multilateral order,

state aid laws to help the economy,

pharma growth or prove to be misguided

as Trump’s attacks on the World Health

unlocking billions in government aid, and

faith in an industry that will always be

Organisation clearly demonstrate, as well

although the bloc’s mighty competition

undercut by more economical options

as the significant lack of coordination

chief, Margrethe Vestager, insists the

elsewhere. Time will tell.

between countries.

status quo will be restored after the outbreak passes, political sentiment at the moment indicates that any policies that strengthen Europe’s hand will remain in place for the long-run.

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AI-POWERED INNOVATION IN MOBILE BANKING As a bank with an entirely online presence,

The accuracy of AI deposit execution is

au Jibun Bank provides a wide array of

constantly being improved through deep

SUPPORTING PEOPLE’S MONEY MANAGEMENT

smartphone banking services including

learning of all the latest market data.

In April 2019, au Jibun Bank became a

deposits, loans, payments and currency

consolidated subsidiary of au Financial

exchanges with a full banking license

These unique AI-powered services have

Holdings, a 100% owned subsidiary of

obtained in early 2008. The au Jibun Bank

won au Jibun Bank several awards and

KDDI.

was founded as a joint venture between

accolades from around the world, proving

As a member of the au Financial Group, au

KDDI, the second-largest telecom carrier

the value of investing in technology, as

Jibun Bank aims to enhance their services

who runs their business under the brand

well as recognising the company’s skills,

more to support people’s life design from

name ‘au’ in Japan, and MUFG Bank, the

commitment, creativity and execution.

financial aspects, including their asset

largest commercial bank in Japan.

These services were developed in

management.

collaboration with AlpacaJapan Co. Ltd.,

A MOBILE BANKING PIONEER

a start-up company with advanced AI

The au Jibun Bank has been a pioneer in

expertise.

the mobile banking field, by providing customers with a useful smartphone app that is both easy and fun to use. It’s a one-

As a part of this strategy, au Jibun Bank partnered with IHS Markit in July 2019 by sponsoring Japan PMI (Purchasing

WITHDRAWING CASH WITH A PHONE

Managers’ Index) surveys.

stop app that is home to all the company’s

Another advanced service of au Jibun

The au Jibun Bank Japan PMI is compiled

most recent innovations.

Bank is ‘Smartphone ATM’ (released in

by IHS Markit, based on data collected

March 2017) which allows customers

monthly from around 800 purchasing

Some of the most innovative services

to withdraw or to deposit money at a

or other senior managers in Japan and

of au Jibun Bank are the ones using

Seven Bank’s ATM, by simply scanning a

covers both manufacturing and service

artificial intelligence (AI) technology for

QR-code displayed on their smartphone

sectors.

foreign currency savings. These AI services

screen – no need to carry a traditional

support Japanese customers who want

cash card! People could find its ATM at

The panel is stratified by detailed sector

to deposit foreign currencies into their au

various places, such as at Seven-Eleven,

and company workforce size, based on

Jibun Bank accounts. They can currently

Ito-Yokado (one of the Japanese general

contributions to GDP. The au Jibun Bank

choose f rom 5 different currencies: US

merchandising stores, under the Seven &

Japan PMI would provide an early insight

dollar, Euro, Australian dollar, South

i Group), as well as airports, stations, and

into the health of the economy. In order

Af rican rand and New Zealand dollar.

branches of financial institutions – the

to support and to expand individual

total number of its ATMs exceeded 25 000

customers’ investment activities, au Jibun

in 2019 and is only expected to increase.

Bank also has a plan to develop app

‘AI Prediction of Foreign Currency Rate’ (released in June 2017) is a service

options that share content related to its

that predicts the future rate of foreign

As cash is still a king with a strong

currencies in order to support customers’

reputation for being reliable in Japan, it is

investment activities. It predicts the rate-

quite common among people to withdraw

Within the banking industry, where

to-come within an hour, within a business

money from ATMs located at convenience

opening up the banking system

day or within 5 business days, then shows

stores, which they would be able to find

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

the results using emoticons on the

almost anywhere nationwide. With its

is becoming crucial, au Jibun Bank has

customers’ smartphone apps. This service

high accessibility and friendly usability,

been proactive in collaborating with other

adapted machine learning and image

the number of users has exceeded

market participants, not only with other

feature extraction technologies to analyse

100 000, and it was the first of its kind in

au Financial Group companies but also

huge datasets of historical exchange rates

Japan to allow customers to withdraw or

with other players who provide financial

to provide forecasts that were as up to

to deposit money using smartphones at a

services.

date and accurate as possible.

nationwide level.

PMI in the very near future.

Further down the road, the au Jibun Another service is the ‘AI Automatic

bank will not limit itself to act as a service

Savings of Foreign Currency’ (released in

builder but will expand their services by

March 2018), which allows AI to execute

bridging the transactions with others, in

automatic deposit transaction for foreign

order to accompany each of its customers

currency savings at the best single

on a lifelong journey.

moment of that month.

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CHAMPIONING THE VALUES OF ETHICAL FINANCE Etica Funds has won Italian Responsible

being a member of the Forum per la

Investor of the Year. We spoke with

Finanza Sostenibile and the EUROSIF

WHAT IS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND ETICA’S SUCCESS?

Luca Mattiazzi, the Director-General, to

(European Sustainable Investment

Our strength lies in our belief that

understand what’s behind their success.

Forum), Etica is part of the ICCR (Interfaith

sustainable, responsible investment

Center on Corporate Responsibility) and a

PERHAPS YOU CAN START BY TELLING US ABOUT ETICA FUNDS.

can deliver competitive performance

signatory of PRI (Principles for Responsible

versus the market and, in periods of

Investment) and CDP (formerly the Carbon

high volatility, allows financial risk to be

Etica Funds is the only Italian asset

Disclosure Project).

mitigated more effectively than traditional

management company that exclusively

investments.

offers sustainable and responsible mutual

In 2015, the company was the first Italian

funds to private and institutional investors,

asset manager to sign the Montréal

representing the values of ethical finance

Carbon Pledge and commit to measuring

in financial markets.

and reporting the carbon footprint of its investments.

The distinctive character of Etica’s funds is the rigorous selection of securities issued by businesses and countries that show a special commitment to environmental

HOW HAS THE MARKET CHANGED AS SUSTAINABILITY BECAME MORE MAINSTREAM?

Our mission is “to champion the values of ethical finance in the financial markets, raising awareness of socially responsible investments and corporate social responsibility among the general public and financial operators”.

protection, human rights and good

When Etica was established in 2000, it

corporate governance.

was definitely more of a niche market.

In other words, to think about investing

Today sustainability and responsibility are

from a long-term perspective, which takes

Etica is in constant dialogue with the

keywords in the financial sector, exceeding

society and the planet into consideration.

management of the companies we invest

$30 trillion of assets under management

in. Etica fully exercises its voting rights

worldwide, with 34% growth in only

All the financial instruments that make

in the shareholders’ meetings to urge

two years and Europe sits at the top of

up the funds of Etica are selected

companies towards more responsible

the rankings, according to the Global

based on careful issuer screening. Our

behaviour and help them achieve this

Sustainable Investment Alliance.

selection process involves both excluding controversial sectors (e.g. oil, arms, nuclear

goal. This strong focus on sustainability and

power and gambling) and targeting the

By embracing Environmental, Social and

responsibility in the financial world is

best ESG issuers.

Governance (ESG) criteria, codified in a

no accident. According to the World

transparent methodology, we can manage

Economic Forum, in only a decade, global

Etica was created out of Banca Etica’s

risk more effectively and seize interesting

risks have shifted from being mainly

desire to make the finance and credit

investment opportunities.

economic in nature to environmental and

sectors more sustainable and responsible.

social. Not only have these risks become

At the start of our journey, it was very hard

more f requent, but they have also become

to get investors to see that sustainable,

more significant given the extent of the

responsible investment products were a

economic and financial damage they can

different way of investing their savings,

cause.

and not charity. We can now say that

For us, the goal of achieving positive financial returns goes hand in hand with generating positive effects for the environment and society. As the last phase of the sustainable and responsible investment process, we measure the impact of our funds’ equity investments, using social, environmental and governance indicators linked to the United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Etica is an integral part of a network of excellence in ethical finance: besides

investing in our future and the future of What have we brought to the world of

the planet is possible.

investment? First of all, the very possibility of sustainable, responsible finance, which,

Now, everyone is talking about it. We

in 2000, seemed like an oxymoron. Etica

welcome this, but we believe in the

has legitimised a new and different way

importance of demonstrating the

of investing that, as well as the purely

effectiveness of our strategy through

financial aspect, takes into account other

numbers, data and reporting.

important variables: the environment, human rights, and good corporate governance.


HOW DO YOU SELECT SECURITIES? CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE PROCESS?

AND WHAT DOES SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM MEAN TO YOU?

The careful selection of the securities

the dialogue we cultivate with companies,

that make up our mutual funds is a

is part of engagement, one of the

defining feature of our concept of

most direct strategies for sustainable,

sustainable, responsible investment. Our

responsible investment, and one that we

proprietary methodology, which has a

regard as fundamentally important.

For us, shareholder activism, along with

long track record, only accepts issuers that demonstrate that they are both financially

We have previously decided to link

attractive and, of course, sustainable f rom

engagement activities to the SDGs, the

an ESG perspective.

action plan signed by the governments of the 193 UN Member States to promote

Our ESG Analysis and Research

sustainable economic, social, and

Team, made up of expert analysts of

environmental development. Etica

environmental, social and governance

decided to focus in particular on climate

issues, carries out a double screening

change, water resource management,

process on countries and companies,

biodiversity, respect for human rights, and

to identify the countries that best align

tax fairness.

with social and environmental objectives and the companies most sensitive

To act more effectively, Etica teamed

to sustainability issues and collective

up with other responsible investors by

wellbeing, creating the “Investable

joining international networks to boost

Universe” of issuers.

engagement activities at the European level and to coordinate initiatives. Since

One welcome piece of news is that, since

some of your country’s companies are

2019, Etica’s funds have been able to invest

potential investments, who knows? Maybe

in South Korean corporate securities.

in the future, we will be able to tell a story about South Korean shareholder activism.

We base our assessment of issuers on a containing reliable and up-to-date

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROJECTS YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT?

information; affiliated partners such as

All results of the dialogue with companies

range of sources: specialised databases

the ICCR, PRI, CDP, EUROSIF and SfC (Shareholders for Change); and NGOs such as Amnesty International and Legambiente. We also examine research in the specialist press and corporate publications (e.g. financial statements and sustainability reports) and assess information gleaned from direct dialogue with companies. We really seek to look at companies from all angles before deciding whether or not to invest in them. Our assessment of issuers is based exclusively on information f rom authoritative sources, and all news is duly checked to protect us f rom the risk of fake news.

and shareholder activism are presented annually in our Engagement Report, available online in both Italian and English. Etica Funds, along with around 80 other major investors, joined the Access To Medicine Index initiative because, as investors, we want guarantees that the managers of the companies in which our funds invest have considered risks and opportunities related to drug access and pursued policies and processes to manage these challenges. In 2018, our company supported the motions of shareholders of two American companies on the subject of risks relating to the price of medicines. The aim is to help, as far as we can, to recognise the universal right to receive the highest possible level of health care.

Another key issue is climate change. Etica has always been at the forefront of tackling environmental issues. It is a fundamental part of our way of thinking, however, that the environmental approach should always be assessed alongside the social and governance dimension. We embarked on this journey about 20 years ago and our three-dimensional approach is now meeting with growing global recognition, as borne out by the transition to a resilient, low-carbon economy. We believe that divestment is the way forward, but its implications for employment and the wider community should always be evaluated. Etica, therefore, intends to pursue a just transition, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, to accelerate climate action and meet the ambitious SDGs. To this end, we have signed up to the “Statement of Investor Commitment to Support a Just Transition on Climate Change” campaign. In the context of reducing inequality and promoting peace and justice, Etica has been focused on tax responsibility, given that for a company it is strategically important to reconcile economic growth with the correct distribution of resources, adopt transparent fiscal management, adequately remunerate all stakeholders and report on its business activities. We also joined the “Collaborative engagement on corporate tax responsibility” campaign, aimed in particular at companies in the healthcare and ICT sectors, to improve disclosure on taxes paid and encourage the development of responsible strategies in this area.


TAPPING THE SEAS FOR POWER By Sam Morgan

The energy produced at sea could satisfy

unprofitable energy prices and negative

developers to build wind farms. Ideas on

most of Europe’s power needs. Although

public opinion.

the table include relaxed spatial planning rules and stronger incentive schemes.

the blue economy has come on in dribs and drabs lately, the coronavirus outbreak

As a result, the power generated by the

risks turning the taps off altogether. For

seas themselves barely registers in the

DELAYED BY COVID-19

now, at least.

energy mixes of most European countries,

The industry group, WindEurope, is

while offshore wind has struggled to

confident that the energy source’s

Ocean, tidal, and offshore wind power all

establish itself as strongly as onshore has

potential will be enough to see it through,

have a monumental potential to provide

managed.

estimating that most countries will aim to

clean energy to our societies, as some

eventually get around a quarter of their

studies estimate that there is capacity

The European Union had planned to debut

to generate anything between 100% and

new rules to help offshore wind later

400% of the planet’s power needs.

this year but the coronavirus outbreak’s

However, the association’s CEO, Giles

impact on the workflow of its executive

Dickson, did concede that “with COVID-19

branch, the Commission, means there will

we are likely to see delays in the

be a delay.

development of new wind farm projects

OBSTACLES TO RENEWABLE ENERGY The prospect of ditching fossil fuels in

power from offshore.

which could cause developers to miss

favour of turbines is a tantalising one but

Details about the strategy are still thin on

the deployment deadlines in countries’

the sector has faced severe obstacles over

the ground but it will reportedly suggest

auction systems and face financial

the years, such as high investment costs,

legislative tweaks to make it easier for

penalties.”

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Coronavirus delays are not exclusive to the

quadruple and wind power double over

an advanced enough stage to roll out en

energy sector but blue economy-linked

the next ten years.

masse. Specific auctions are suggested as an avenue to build interest and bring

power projects can at least count on

demo projects to maturity.

long-term strategies drawn up by Europe’s

“Spain has long been a leader in

governments for the coming decade.

renewables: wind is 20% of their electricity and they create more export revenues

Energy experts have suggested that blue

CLIMATE COMMITMENTS

f rom wind energy than from wine,” Giles

economy energy tech is a perfect fit for

The Paris Agreement on climate change

Dickson said in praise of the government’s

outlying communities in Spain - as well as

obligates countries to cut emissions

plan.

other parts of Europe - which cannot be connected to the Iberian peninsula’s main

and limit global warming. Part of that process includes meeting stricter green

Spain was able to commit to such a green

targets in 2030 by switching to renewable

agenda largely because renewable energy

energies, one of the main weapons in the

prices are falling at a consistent rate. Clean

environmental arsenal.

energy is rapidly becoming economically competitive with nuclear, coal and natural

Spain was the latest major country

gas, a fact that Madrid has recognised.

to submit its finalised plan and it has

power grid.

Interest in the clean energy potential of our seas is not an exclusive domain of the environmentally-minded either, as the fossil fuel industry is also

received widespread accolades f rom the

In its strategy, it also acknowledges

making bolder and more effective

ecological community for the scope of its

the “huge potential” of ocean and tidal

forays into the sector.

ambition. Solar power capacity is set to

technologies but insists they are not at

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This is significant for countries like France

Equinor’s floating behemoths are not

Norwegian gas and oil giant Equinor

and those located in the Mediterranean,

purely a force for green good though, as

- formerly Statoil - has made a name

which has so far been off-limits to wind

the energy major was granted permission

for itself in the offshore wind sector by

aficionados.

earlier in April to build another farm far off the Norwegian coast. But that installation

pioneering massive floating turbines, the largest examples of which are taller

The French government, in particular, is

- due to come online in 2022 - will not

than Big Ben. Its Hywind wind farm off

interested in ramping up its insignificant

power Scottish homes, it will fuel Equinor’s

the coast of Scotland was the world’s first

wind capacity and tagging turbines with

fossil fuel exploration efforts.

major floating installation and has peaked

tidal power generators where possible.

interest in building turbines in deep water,

President Emmanuel Macron has pledged

where conventional technology simply

to scale back his country’s reliance on

cannot operate.

nuclear energy and cheap wind is a candidate to fill the gap left by atomsmashing.

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It is touted as a world first and the project’s architects claim it will reduce the firm’s carbon footprint by 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Industry rivals Shell and Total are also forging ahead with their own greening efforts.

Given the volatile nature of oil markets, which have only just been placated by an OPEC agreement on cutting output, fossil fuel producers and other investments see the low return but low-risk nature of offshore as being increasingly attractive. The virus outbreak’s huge impact on the world economy could end up funnelling more money into mature clean energy sources for that very reason.

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I’m in! He l ping C e ntral American non-profits grow

I’M IN! HELPING CENTRAL AMERICAN NON-PROFITS GROW Since the launch of the Yo me uno initiative in Costa Rica in 2014, more than 185 organisations have joined the programme, which is now established throughout Central America. Yo me uno (meaning “I’m in”) is one of BAC Credomatic’s initiatives focused on the development of Central America. The objective of the platform is to help non-governmental and nonprofit organisations grow, through the fundraising platform, as well as through training programmes designed to improve the organisations’ managerial capacity.

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“We set out to provide a space where

As part of the Yo me uno programme,

we do to support the organisations and

NGOs would make known the work

BAC Credomatic regularly hosts events

their causes, so that they can continue

and trainings, to enable networking

contributing to the growth of our

opportunities and promote the exchange

countries,” Nagel said.

they do and receive support from people and companies that identify with their cause,” said Monica Nagel,

of best practices between NGOs and non-profits. Thus, the programme aims

If you are an NGO or non-profit

to improve the administrative capacity,

organisation, or if you want to get involved,

Relations and Sustainability at BAC

financial governance, and marketing

please visit www.yomeuno.com, look for

Credomatic.

muscle of these organisations, to allow

your cause of choice, and contribute with

them to grow sustainably and continue

just one click!

Yo me uno is the only regional

making a positive impact in the countries

e-commerce site designed specifically for

where they operate.

Regional Director of Corporate

NGOs and non-profits. Over the past five years, Yo me uno has raised more than

“During 2019, we had different events in

$2 million in donations for the different

Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, and El

causes registered on the platform. This

Salvador, where we shared experiences

is in addition to the non-cash donations

and practical tools such as best practices

(think physical goods and volunteer time),

in digital marketing, and provided

which are also donation options that the

more information about our regional

platform offers.

donation portal. This is an investment

I N T ER N AT I ON AL I NVESTOR MAGAZ INE | 07 1


I’m in! He l ping C e ntral American non-profits grow

FIVE-STAR LUXURY IN THE CANYAMEL VALLEY As part of Cap Vermell Group, the Park

innovative Asian dishes. VORO, the

eight elegant and versatile conference

Hyatt Mallorca has been designed as

Michelin Star-awarded restaurant at Park

and event rooms. The meeting spaces

a traditional Majorcan hilltop village,

Hyatt Mallorca, offers a bold gastronomic

are equipped with the latest technology,

drawing inspiration f rom local art and

proposal, designed by chef Álvaro Salazar.

including one spacious room, Ca Nostra,

cultural heritage. It features 142 spacious

Two tasting menus (Voro and Devoro)

with a show kitchen to make sure your

guest rooms and 16 exquisitely designed

and a wine list with 200 national and

events are unique and unforgettable.

suites, all enriched by private terraces

international references. The kitchen

overlooking the verdant valley or the

uses seasonal products, mostly from the

The Serenitas Spa is an oasis where

Mediterranean Sea.

Balearic Islands, for dishes that change

guests can find serenity and balance.

with the seasons.

Seven treatment rooms, including two

INNOVATIVE FLAVOURS WITH REGIONAL FLARE

THE IDEAL VENUE

by local minerals and locally harvested,

The resort offers exceptional dining

Planning a dream wedding or an

organically grown fruit, vegetables, herbs

options, fusing innovative flavours with

elegant event? A resort with a plethora

and seaweeds.

authentic regional flare. Guests can taste

of activities, look no further than Park

specialities from Mallorca, Catalonia

Hyatt Mallorca. The hotel offers the

Making the most of the warm

and mainland Spain in the chic and

Park Ballroom, an ideal indoors venue

temperatures from April to November,

convivial atmosphere of the Balearic

for large events, which boasts a vast

Park Hyatt Mallorca offers a wide range

restaurant. Guests can also experience the

terrace overlooking the valley and the

of recreational facilities for wellness fans

famous Spanish ritual of tapas. For more

Mediterranean Sea. It also features Cap

and thrill-seekers alike. The landscaped

adventurous palates, the Asian restaurant

Vermell Residences, a unique venue

poolside terrace features three swimming

offers a menu of both traditional and

of over 1,000 square metres, featuring

pools, two of which are heated, and a

couple rooms, house therapies inspired

separate children’s pool.

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The Cap Vermell Country Club, adjacent to the resort, has the latest technology for indoor sports, offering a comprehensive programme of guided courses and personal training and boasts a 25-metre covered semi-Olympic pool.

IN THE HEART OF THE MALLORCAN COUNTRYSIDE Those looking to explore the beautiful, rugged countryside in this undiscovered corner of eastern Mallorca will be able to enjoy Alpine walking, horseback riding, as well as on and off-road cycling. On the warm waters of the Balearic Sea, guests will have the option of trying their hand at sea fishing and a range of active water sports, such as sailing, kayaking and paddleboarding. Within 15 minutes of the hotel, guests will have a choice of four superb golf courses, including a full 18hole course, adjacent to the resort.

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More than T rading :

MORE THAN TRADING: BDSWISS ON BECOMING A THOUGHT LEADER IN THE FOREX INDUSTRY In a rapidly evolving forex arena, brokers seeking to remain

Anticipating its traders’ need to make sense of the financial

competitive need to not only keep up with the latest innovations

markets, BDSwiss has established itself as a reliable go-to source

but also lead the field with a unique offering that cements

of market commentary, complete with daily market briefs, weekly

their market presence. As more and more brokers jump on

and yearly outlooks, expert reports and projections, live webinars

the bandwagon of low spreads and multilingual support, true

and expertly-hosted educational seminars.

innovation requires solid inf rastructure, excellence in operations, proper funding and the right resources. Always seeking to offer

BDSwiss understands that the main objective of every trader is

its clients more than trading, BDSwiss affirms its position as a

to be able to confidently trade the markets. This requires finding

thought leader through expert education, multilingual support

reliable and up-to-the-minute sources of market analysis which

and world-leading market research.

are easy to follow and can help them anticipate the next big price trend to trade. BDSwiss addresses this need for constant access to expert commentary and live analysis as well as fintech innovation that allows for trend recognition and trade automation.

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EXPERT COMMENTARY Exemplifying the importance of a highquality educational offering, BDSwiss’ Investment Research is headed by veteran fundamental analyst, Marshall Gittler, who provides daily, weekly and quarterly market briefs along with exclusive projections on the markets. Marshall’s extensive commentary offers BDSwiss traders an expert’s view into the current state of the markets and how its possible impact on the forex markets.

daily live webinars in more than five

coordination, innovation and considerable

different languages. Addressing the

investment but it has been well-received

needs of traders of all levels, the webinars

by both clients and partners who consider

allow BDSwiss clients to interact with the

this a unique advantage for traders who

broker’s team of analysts and vary from

wish to stay ahead of the markets. Tuning

introductions to basic trading concepts to

in to the client’s needs and supporting

tutorials, morning briefs, special strategy

them throughout their trading journey is

webinars and even live trading sessions

what lays at the foundation of BDSwiss’

during key market events such as the NFP

pledge to give its clients more than

(nonfarm payrolls).

trading.

TRUE AUTOMATION

ABOUT BDSWISS GROUP:

While offering true market insight is a

BDSwiss Group is a leading financial

Marshall’s analysis is regularly referenced

really powerful advantage for any financial

group, offering forex and CFD investment

and quoted by world-renowned business

institution, in a rapidly evolving financial

services to more than a million clients

and financial news networks including

arena, it is also essential to equip clients

worldwide. BDSwiss as a brand was

Reuters, Nasdaq and Marketwatch

with the latest platforms and tools;

established back in 2012 and has been

amongst others; while he also appeared

which is why BDSwiss has invested in

providing top-class products, a wide range

on CNN, BBC and Bloomberg News.

integrating world-leading platforms

of platforms, competitive pricing and fast

Recognised by the global financial

including MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader

execution on more than 250 underlying

community, Marshall’s 30-year career

5. Constantly seeking to improve user

CFD ever since. BDSwiss complies with a

spans high-profile positions in elite banks

experience through easy-to-navigate

strict regulatory framework and operates

including UBS, Merrill Lynch, Bank of

dashboards and user-friendly apps, the

its services on a global scale under

America, BoC and Deutsche Bank, where

broker also features a natively-developed

different entities. With over 200 personnel,

he headed the FX Committee for Deutsche

WebTrader platform and a multi-awarded

BDSwiss Group’s holding company is

Bank Private Wealth Management. As

app. Focusing on offering clients a truly

located in Zug, Switzerland and maintains

Head of BDSwiss’ Investment Research,

superior service, BDSwiss allows for trade

its operating offices in Berlin, Germany

Marshall was able to bolster BDSwiss’

automation through stop and pending

and Limassol, Cyprus.

Research & Analysis section and establish

orders, EA integration, and automated

it as a reliable and unique source of

analysis through its complimentary

market commentary.

market scanning tool, Autochartist.

TIMELY ANALYSIS

EXPANDING IN NEW REGIONS

As a perfect complement to its

Bringing its educational offering full

fundamental offering, BDSwiss also caters

circle, BDSwiss also hosts a large number

to the needs of technical traders looking

of seminars on a global scale, from

for reliable trend and pattern analysis. In

Berlin to London, to Colombia and Kuala

his daily webinar sessions and technical

Lumpur. BDSwiss hosts and sponsors

briefs, leading BDSwiss market analyst

local educational events featuring key

and professional trader, Frank Walbaum,

industry figures, expert trading coaches

dissects charts and sentiment to provide

and guest speakers in every corner of

actionable trading opportunities and

the world. Staying true to its mission of

technical setups across different asset

giving its traders and partners more,

classes in both English and German.

BDSwiss supports its local partners by helping them expand their network but

With markets constantly on the move,

also educates traders through multi-

time is of essence when it comes to

level trading seminars presented by true

providing any form of analysis, which

industry professionals.

is why BDSwiss maintains multiple distribution channels; f rom articles to

BDSwiss seeks to disrupt the financial

emails, dashboard plugins, real-time

services industry by maintaining a

Trading Alerts and live webinars, BDSwiss

forward-thinking approach and investing

gives clients a wide array of avenues

in continuous innovation and fintech

through which to get they can get their

solutions that redefine the world of

daily scoop on the markets. Giving traders

online trading. Creating a holistic

direct access to true industry experts in

educational approach has been no easy

real-time, BDSwiss also hosts multiple

feat for BDSwiss as it requires cross-team

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TOYOTA TO BUILD PROTOTYPE CITY OF THE FUTURE Toyota has revealed plans to build a

and artificial intelligence in a real-world

intelligence (AI) technology... in both

prototype city of the future on a 175-

environment.

the virtual and the physical realms... maximising its potential,” said Akio

acre site at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Called the Woven City, it will be a

TESTING FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES

Toyoda, President of the Toyota Motor

fully-connected ecosystem powered by

“Building a complete city from the ground

Corporation.

hydrogen fuel cells. The groundbreaking

up, even on a small scale like this, is a

for the site is planned for early 2021.

unique opportunity to develop future

Toyota is extending an open invitation to

technologies, including a digital operating

collaborate with other commercial and

Envisioned as a living laboratory, the

system for the city’s infrastructure.

academic partners and invite interested

Woven City will serve as a home to full-

With people, buildings, and vehicles all

scientists and researchers from around

time residents and researchers who will

connected and communicating with

the world to come work on their very own

be able to test and develop new and

each other through data and sensors, we

projects in this one-of-a-kind, real-world

emerging technologies such as autonomy,

will be able to test connected artificial

incubator.

robotics, personal mobility, smart homes

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“We welcome all those inspired to

For the design of Woven City, Toyota has

“A swarm of different technologies are

improve the way we live in the future,

commissioned Danish architect, Bjarke

beginning to radically change how we

Ingels, Founder and Creative Director,

inhabit and navigate our cities. Connected,

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). His team at BIG

autonomous, emission-free and shared

have previously designed many high-

mobility solutions are bound to unleash

profile projects: from 2 World Trade Center

a world of opportunities for new forms

in New York and Lego House in Denmark,

of urban life. With the breadth of

Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor

to Google’s Mountain View and London

technologies and industries that we have

Corporation.

headquarters.

been able to access and collaborate with

to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all,” said Akio

from the Toyota ecosystem of companies, we believe we have a unique opportunity to explore new forms of urbanity with the Woven City that could pave new paths for other cities to explore.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG.

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DESIGNING THE CITY The masterplan of the city includes the designations for street usage into three types: for faster vehicles only, for a mix of lower speed, personal mobility and pedestrians, and a park-like promenade for pedestrians only. These three street types weave together to form an organic grid pattern to help accelerate the testing of autonomy. The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood to minimise the carbon footprint, using traditional Japanese wood joinery, combined with robotic production methods. The rooftops will be covered

Residences will be equipped with the

Both neighborhood parks and a large

latest in human support technologies,

central park for recreation, as well as

such as in-home robotics to assist with

a central plaza for social gatherings,

daily living. The homes will use sensor-

are designed to bring the community

based AI to check occupants’ health, take

together.

care of basic needs and enhance daily life, creating an opportunity to deploy connected technology with integrity and trust, securely and positively.

Encouraging human connection will be an equally important aspect of this experience.

To move residents through the city,

Toyota plans to populate Woven City with

only fully-autonomous, zero-emission

Toyota Motor Corporation employees and

vehicles will be allowed on the main

their families, retired couples, retailers,

thoroughfares. In and throughout Woven

visiting scientists, and industry partners.

City, autonomous Toyota e-Palettes will be

To begin with, the plan is based on an

used for transportation and deliveries, as

initial population of 2000, with room for

well as for changeable mobile retail.

growth as the project evolves.

in photovoltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota plans to weave in the outdoors throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics.

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the name of recognising excellence in all we areas, we select In the In name of recognising excellence in all areas, select champions wide range of businesses our awards. champions from afrom widearange of businesses for ourfor awards. The awards areto open any business, large, mid-size or The awards are open any to business, large, mid-size or established or start-up, provided they display ďŹ rst rate small, small, established or start-up, provided they display ďŹ rst rate service, opportunity, innovation and performance. service, opportunity, innovation and performance. The The following celebrate organisations thatforward drive forward following pages pages celebrate organisations that drive the of world of international business. the world international business. your business deserving of being celebrated the global Is yourIsbusiness deserving of being celebrated on theon global putorganisation your organisation forward for consideration stage?stage? To putTo your forward for consideration go to our website. pleaseplease go to our website.


Award Winners

AWAR ALPHA GLOBAL WEALTH

ARC CAPITAL

ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS

Alpha Global Wealth provides exceptional

ARC Capital is a mid-market investment

ARM Investment Managers provides

independent financial advice to

bank with international presence, and

professional global asset management

international professionals in Switzerland

offices in the U.S., China and Mexico. Our

services across a wide range of traditional

and around the globe.

financial team specialises in public listings,

and alternative investment options,

M&A advisory and wealth management

including equities, fixed income securities,

We pride ourselves on offering first-class

services.

cash and real estate. We offer optimum

financial advice to our clients and building

Our team brings years of specialised

investment opportunities to a substantial

lasting relationships. We achieve the very

industry expertise, to ensure our clients

and diversified client base that includes

best for our clients and offer 24/7 access

receive the benefits of a team of leading

corporations, high net-worth individuals,

to our services. Our reputation speaks

experts (financiers, attorneys, CPAs and

and small savers.

for itself as over 80% of our business

insurance professionals among others) to

is generated from our existing clients’

achieve their goals.

With over 20 years of investment

recommendations.

We pride ourselves on always providing:

management expertise, we have

• Cutting-edge, creative solutions: We

consistently distinguished ourselves

We provide tailored wealth advisory,

provide our clients with a multitude

through our superior research quality,

investment services, pension services,

of financial solutions and products

asset management track record and

cross-border tax solutions, insurance and

delivered in the most cost-efficient way.

value-adding financial advisory services.

lifestyle solutions. • Partnerships with world-class service

Our activities are divided into two

As an international expatriate or localised

providers: We work with the best

distinct parts. We offer traditional asset

foreigner, you have specific financial

auditors, lawyers, underwriters

management, providing a wide range of

opportunities and challenges to manage.

and brokers to help you reach your

services to diverse client groups through

We tailor our financial advice and tax

company’s growth goals.

pension plans, wealth management,

solutions to you and your family. You will have access to your own dedicated Wealth Manager as well as our whole team of financial experts who will consider your

• A world-class team: Our aim is to create a diverse and global workforce who feel inspired to deliver brilliant results.

discretionary savings plans, trust services and stockbroking execution. Our investment philosophy explains

individual situation in depth. We are a

Our local expertise and global reach allow

the way we manage investments.

Swiss-registered limited company with our

us to offer customised solutions to our

This philosophy focuses on delivering

head offices in Geneva.

clients.

consistent returns to our clients and is shaped by two overarching principles: value investing and risk management. .

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RD WINNERS AU JIBUN BANK

BAC Credomatic

Banque du Caire

au Jibun Bank was founded in 2008

BAC Credomatic Group evolved from

Founded in 1952, Banque du Caire is an

as a joint venture between Japanese

Banco de América Central, which

avid contributor to the Egyptian economy,

communications company KDDI

began in 1952 in Managua, Nicaragua.

as one of Egypt’s top banks. Banque du

Corporation and The Bank of Tokyo-

Headquartered today in San José, Costa

Caire has played an instrumental role in

Mitsubishi UFJ. From the very start, the

Rica, this dynamic banking group is now

effectively and efficiently supporting the

bank decided on a mobile approach and

present in many countries across Central

national economy across all sectors.

became a pioneer when deploying the

America, including Costa Rica, Guatemala,

first banking application for smartphones

El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and

Banque du Caire offers its clients a full

in Japan.

Nicaragua.

range of value-added products and

As a mobile-only bank, it provides various

To meet the needs of its customers, BAC

level of customer service. The bank has

banking services fully available via its

Credomatic operates under a united

been keen on offering a diverse range of

mobile application, such as account

regional approach, promoting a culture

stand-alone and packages of products

opening, balance inquiries, money

of organisational alignment, measured

and services that satisfy all segments

transfers, foreign currency deposits as

by the standards of world-class financial

of customers’ evolving needs, while

well as Japanese yen deposits. au Jibun

institutions.

contributing to the revitalisation of the

services and ensuring an outstanding

economic cycle and development.

Bank distinguishes itself with its mobile offering: around 80% of its services can be

The group has now implemented

accessed f rom a smartphone.

online and mobile banking in Panama,

Within the retail sector, Banque du Caire

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,

offers various innovative and competitive

One of its most popular services is the

Honduras and at home in Nicaragua.

products and services. On the corporate

Smartphone Debit Card, which has

While such cross-border strategy is not

front, the bank plays an effective role in

attracted Japanese people with its high

without financial and legal hurdles, BAC

financing the vital sectors of the national

usability; 10,000 accounts were opened

Credomatic has adapted accordingly as it

economy through participating in the

within eight days of launch in April 2019. It

became the first Central American local

syndicated loans serving different sectors,

offers a virtual debit service for customers

bank with a mobile banking app.

besides its vital role in financing the SMEs

that is usable both online and offline,

and microfinance projects.

making payments via the app without the usual plastic card – the first of its kind in Japan.

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Award Winners

B.I.C. MARKETS

CURRENCY.COM

DELTAMARK

Founded in Phnom Penh in 2017, B.I.C.

Currency.com is the world’s first

Deltamark Fund Management Ltd.

Markets is an award-winning derivative

regulated tokenised securities platform.

is a pioneering AIFM firm, managing

broker offering clients access to forex,

It’s a one-stop place to trade over 1,300

numerous Alternative Investment Funds

metals and commodities via metaTrader 4.

tokenised assets including stocks, indices,

with multidisciplinary strategies covering

The trading services and facilities are open

commodities and FX pairs with crypto and

private equity, real estate, hedge funds,

to both retail and institutional clients.

fiat at competitive prices.

fixed income, and multi-strategy funds

Our policy is to provide the best possible

We offer the tightest spreads and up to

positioning and exposure has allowed

trading conditions to clients and allow

1:500 leverage. We ensure deep liquidity

them to build an infrastructure and solid

both scalpers and traders using expert

and split-second order execution (50 M/

network, including major global credit

advisors unrestricted access to our inter-

sec). We enable cutting-edge trading on

institutions and finance houses. This

bank liquidity. B.I.C. Markets is positioning

charts and 75 accurate technical indicators

provides immense access to knowledge,

itself as the forex broker of choice for

to spot the best trading opportunities.

solutions, and economies of scale to the

in other categories. This diverse market

funds under their management; adding

traders worldwide who want more security than trading with a traditional broker. B.I.C. Markets offers various accounts

Currency.com’s award-winning platform

unprecedented value to funds of different

is fully regulated and compliant with the

sizes.

best-in-class security standards.

types, trading software and tools to

Operating out of Cyprus since 2014, the

facilitate individuals and institutional

company’s strength lies in its expert

customers to trade online. B.I.C. Markets

multilingual team who are handpicked

provides an unparalleled variety of

from diverse backgrounds within the

account options that clients can select to

financial services industry. This team

enjoy a tailored trading experience that

has realised multiple projects for

perfectly suits their needs.

entrepreneurs, family offices, and medium to large-sized management houses, as a holistic solution provider. With a problem-solving approach, Deltamark adeptly nurtures Funds from start-ups to matured projects requiring growth and expansion.

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ETICA SGR

EURO EXIM BANK

IBH INVESTMENT BANK

Founded in 2000, Etica Sgr is an asset

Euro Exim Bank Limited is an innovative

IBH Investment Bank Limited was

management company that exclusively

global financial institution with its head

incorporated on 9th July 2009 and

offers sustainable and responsible mutual

office in St. Lucia and a representative

is wholly-owned by its bank holding

funds designed to represent the values

office in London.

company.

and focus the attention of the public

We hold a “Class A” international banking

IBH Investment Bank is licensed to

on socially responsible investment and

license from Financial Services Regulatory

operate conventional banking, corporate

corporate social responsibility.

Authority (FSRA) of St. Lucia so we can

or personal fund management, consulting

conduct business with third parties across

and advisory services relating to corporate

The company has signed up to the

industries and geographies worldwide,

and investment matters, loans and

United Nations Principles for Responsible

exercising strong due diligence, full

credit facilities, risk management and

Investment (PRI) and was the first

compliance and operational excellence in

investment activities, forex transactions,

Italian asset manager to make concrete

our processes.

interest rate swaps, dealings in derivative

of ethical finance in financial markets

a commitment on climate change by

instruments or derivative financial

signing the Montréal Carbon Pledge

We cater to a range of trade finance

beginning in 2015.

instruments such as instant letters

instruments.

of credit, corporate bank accounts,

Headquartered in Labuan International

In the pursuit of its statutory mission and

letters of credit, stand-by letters of

Business and Financial Centre, IBH is

in its relationships with all stakeholders,

credit, international wire transfers, bank

strategically located in the heart of the

Etica Sgr sets out to be as economically

guarantees, and trade credit lines.

Asia Pacific region. Rapid development of

effective and efficient as possible, while

the business has pushed IBH Investment

at the same time attentive to governance,

There is a supervised practice of strong

Bank to set up two business marketing

social and environmental issues.

Anti-Money Laundering compliance

offices in Malaysia’s capital city to provide

policy and a comprehensive Know-Your-

better opportunities for Asian economic

Customer process and our competent

integration.

team of specialist are highly trained to detect, deter and prevent the use of

Through its international investment

Euro Exim Bank as a conduit for illegal

banking affiliations, IBH Investment

activities.

Bank has access to more than 915 correspondent banks in over 80 countries.

We deploy the latest technology to ensure

The bank is capable of handling all

uninterrupted payment processing and

major global currencies, with a strategic

issuance of trade finance instruments

alliance network of overseas financial

f rom a single point within a shorter period

corporations. Currently, the bank’s market

of time.

covers Europe, Middle East, United States, Southeast Asia and China.

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Award Winners

INSTAFOREX

INVEST DURBAN

PANTHERA SOLUTIONS

InstaForex was established in 2007

Invest Durban acts as a partnership

Panthera Solutions Sarl is an Applied

by the InstaForex Group for providing

between the Metro City Council and

Behavioral Finance specialist, based in

top-quality brokerage services to clients

the private business sector, offering a

the Principality of Monaco. Our Intuitive

worldwide, particularly those f rom the

f ree investor advisory service, plus key

Behavioral Design solutions empower

CIS countries, Southeast Asia, and Eastern

promotion, facilitation, aftercare services

asset managers and asset owners to

Europe. Nowadays, the companies

between all investment stakeholders.

significantly, lastingly and measurably

operating under the InstaForex brand

improve their investment decision quality.

offer innovative trading services to a

Invest Durban delivers a world-class

vast clientele including more than seven

Metro based investor support service,

Panthera Solutions Sarl is more than

million traders.

encompassing our four-part business

a company. It is a think tank, an agent

mandate, namely investment promotion

to facilitate directed change. Panthera

InstaForex offers its customers vast

and marketing; foreign investment

Solutions embodies the idea that market

opportunities for effective work on the

identification, attraction and facilitation;

complexities can be mastered most

international forex market, providing

FDI aftercare and expansion, plus

effectively with empowered market

a variety of investment services f rom

investment advocacy.

participants that are supported by aligned

registering a new account to profit

teams and a robust choice architecture.

withdrawal as well as on-time technical

Invest Durban works closely with the

This combination put in action transpires

and client support.

Department of Trade & Industry including

professional investment management into

Invest SA, Trade and Investment KZN

a crafted, skilful art.

From the very start, InstaForex has tailored

(TIKZN), the Durban Chamber of

its services to the customers’ needs.

Commerce and Industry, the KZN Growth

Our academic and commercial success

Streamlining our products, services, and

Coalition, and state-owned enterprises

has proven our intervention framework

continuously improving technologies to

such as Dube Trade Port, the DBSA, IDC,

to significantly improve the investment

maintain our leading position, InstaForex’s

Eskom & others. Key partners include the

decision quality of our clients.

priority is providing superior trading

largest banks, audit and advisory firms,

services to its clients.

plus sector-based organised business

Over the years, a diverse range of asset

bodies working in concert to promote

managers and asset owners across

investment in Durban.

different cultures, sizes and levels of sophistication trusted our service. Clients of our coaching, consulting and behaviour-tech solutions aggregate to more than €100 billion in assets under consultancy since inception.

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SDB BANK

T BRIDGE

TURNKEY TRADING PARTNERS

SDB bank is a licensed specialised bank

T Bridge Venture Partners is a dynamic

Turnkey Trading Partners is an award-

regulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

and focused venture capital firm investing

winning derivatives consulting firm. We

& listed on the Main Board of Colombo

in companies. We are a team focused

offer customised support to the brokerage

Stock Exchange with a Fitch rating of

on bridging the gap for investment in

and trading industry. Since the company’s

BB + (Stable). It offers a wide range of

startup firms and driving them onwards

formation in 2008, Turnkey has grown

financial services for a clientele of all walks

across the bridge to success and growth.

into a leading provider of operational,

of life. The bank’s main focus is to provide

We understand the needs of startups

compliance, and accounting solutions

groundbreaking financial solutions to

to grow in a fostering and encouraging

around the globe. Our customers are

the SME & Cooperative sector. The bank

environment. Backing firms that are

located on five continents and hail from

is proud of its 94-branch network & over

dynamic, creative and impactful in nature

dozens of countries.

5000 ATM points which brings SDB that

across the following sectors globally across

much closer to the end consumer.

the following regions UK, Europe, Africa,

The Turnkey team is made up of former

Americas, Asia.

regulatory examiners, career CPAs,

SDB bank was also able to secure three

and other highly specialised industry

awards at the Asian Banking & Finance

We strongly believe in co-creative

professionals. We are knowledgeable in

Awards 2019 for the Financial Inclusion

collaboration. that’s why we bring in a set

virtually all trading and brokerage industry

Initiative of the year, the Advertising

of professionals that are experienced in

matters related to commodity futures,

Campaign of the year, as well as Rural/

their sectors when we invest in firms, to

options, swaps, forex, digital currency,

Cooperative Bank of the year. The direct

help them grow, succeed and prosper.

cash and physical trading, as well as

connection SDB bank has to over 8500

several other specialized financial markets

Cooperatives is a key factor in making an

Startups that have creative solutions to

internationally recognised mark in this

existing problems, entrepreneurs that

transaction types.

sector.

have a strong sense of will to unfold their

Our central offices are located in

vision and teams that have the tenacity

downtown Chicago, the alternatives

The bank also has secured the attention of

and drive to execute them. We consider

trading capital of the United States. We

few international investors which includes

them to be as much our clients as our

also have an office servicing international

International Finance Corporation (IFC) &

investee companies, we are here to

customers conveniently located for year-

attracting significant investments in the

serve and grow with our companies and

round travel within the greater Miami area.

bank.

ultimately to help them flourish.

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UNIONBANK

WHITESTAR

Union Bank of the Philippines

Founded in 2007, Whitestar Asset

(UnionBank) is a publicly-listed universal

Solutions, S.A. is the leading servicer in

bank. UnionBank’s superior technology

Portugal managing credit portfolios.

allows the delivery of online, real-

Our expertise covers performing, sub-

time business solutions to meet the

performing and non-performing loans,

customers’ changing and diverse needs

complemented by a range of related

through innovative and customised

services such as advisory, real estate

cash management products and service

management, securitisation and

offerings.

structuring, analytics and related loan portfolio investment services.

The bank offers a range of products and services, such as deposit and related

In 2015, Whitestar was acquired by Arrow

services; corporate and middle-market

Global Group PLC (U.K.) and is now

lending, and consumer finance loans, such

integrated into one of Europe’s largest

as mortgages, auto loans and credit card;

and fastest-growing providers of debt

investment, treasury and capital market;

purchase and receivables management

trust and fund management; remittance,

solutions.

cash management and electronic

Being part of Arrow Global Group and

banking, and preneed insurance.

following the group’s strategy, we aim to provide a full range of asset management

Its unique branch culture ensures efficient

services where our interests are aligned

and quality service as well as mitigates

with the ones of our partners.

operational risk. Centralised operations enable the bank to provide responsive,

The company has roughly 500 employees,

scalable, and secure transaction

in offices in Lisbon and Porto.

processing. UnionBank has always been among the first to embrace technological innovations to empower its customers. With this, it has consistently been recognised as one of Asia’s leading companies, ranking among the country’s top universal banks in terms of profitability and efficiency.




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