Iran wants to set up a financial centre on Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz to act as a gateway for banks and other institutions looking to gain a foothold in the country, according to Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary, a senior adviser to the island’s development agency. A number of Chinese and (more…)Bloomberg Read More»
Turkey’s determination to localise its fintech infrastructure has prompted Paypal to announce that it is halting operations in the country. In a statement released this week, the international payment system said that the decision by Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) to reject its licence application (more…)dailysabah Read More»
The first Russian Islamic bank will open in the Tatar capital of Kazan next month as a joint pilot project between Tatfonbank and Tatagroprombankom, “This will be the first bank in the country whose work is completely compatible with the principles of partnership funding [that are (more…)
Iranian assets unfrozen: Iranian assets worth $100bn that had been frozen since sanctions were imposed on the country more than two decades ago have now been freed up, Government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht has confirmed.
“These assets have fully been released and we can use them,” Nobakht said in comments posted on the website of state-run Press TV earlier this week. Most of the money belonged to Iran’s central bank and National Development Fund, he added, and that it would not all be repatriated but used to purchase goods and services abroad. A significant proportion of the money has been piling up in banks in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey since international sanctions were tightened in 2012 over Tehran’s nuclear program.
In the meantime, nine Iranian banks have now been reconnected to the SWIFT financial messaging service, although not as yet their network of ATMs, according to senior central bank official Nasser Hakimi.
Southern Gas Corridor bonds: Azerbaijan is getting ready to go on the road next month in a bid to sell $2bn worth of bonds in the Southern Gas Corridor on the international market, its Finance Minister Samir Sharifov told a press conference yesterday. The bonds will be issued by Southern Gas Corridor CJSC, he said, and three banks – Citibank, JP Morgan and Unicredit Bank – have been appointed to manage the process.
On completion, the Southern Gas Corridor is intended to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe through Georgia and Turkey and is considered to be of high priority by the EU in its efforts to wean its members off their dependence on Russian gas by securing alternative supplies. It will initially be used to distribute gas from Azerbaijan’s giant offshore Shah Deniz, and may tap into other sources (including fields in Turkmenistan and possibly Iran) at a later stage.
“This project is of great importance for Azerbaijan,” Sharifov said.
Hong Kong’s Futures and Securities Exchange HKEx is planning to launch a commodities trading platform in mainland China, its chief executive Charles Li Xiaojia announced last week. The platform would most likely be located at Shenzhen, an hour’s drive from Hong Kong. The mainland commodity futures market (more…)scmp Read More»
Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank is planning to test the viability of yuan deposit accounts for its Far East retail customers next year, the Vladivostok-based Zoloty Rog business publication reported this week.“We’ll initially focus on deposits,” Sberbank Chief Executive German Gref is reported as saying. “Demand for loans is very small.”
His announcement follows the IMF’s decision to add the yuan to its reserve currency basket, and is also response to the growing volume of Sino-Russian bilateral trade that is particularly strong in the border provinces and regions. According to the Russia-China Investment Fund, this had grown from $15.8bn in 2003 to $65.3bn by 2014.
Russia is looking to raise $1bn in yuan-denominated sovereign bonds, the Financial Times reported this week. on Dec. 7. The bonds would set a benchmark interest rate in yuan (or renminbi) for the Russian government, and subsequently for corporate issuers, Denis Shulakov, head of capital markets at Gazprombank, which is providing informal assistance in preparing the issue, told the paper.
The International Monetary Fund (more…)
The China International Payment System (CIPS), China’s answer to the SWIFT secure financial messaging service, officially came into operation yesterday. CIPS “will allow increasing efficiency of cross-border settlement in yuans and encourage the yuan’s use globally,” the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China Fan Yifei told guests at an opening ceremony in Shanghai.
The new payment system (more…)
With an estimated worth of $44,700m, Internet services giant Tencent has been named China’s most valuable brand for the second year running in the annual rankings compiled by the Hurun Institute.
The top ten is dominated by the ICT and banking sectors, with Alibaba subsidiary Taobao in second place. The ten most valuable brands are
- Tencent $44,700m, IT
- Taobao – $42,900m E-commerce (more…)
Bitcoin: The Cyprus-based online electronic payment system operator Qiwi is planning to launch a Russian version of the bitcoin open source peer-to-peer ‘cryptocurrency’ next year, according to its CEO and co-owner Sergei Slonon. The so-called bitrouble would use bitcoin’s blockchain technology, he said, and claimed that Qiwi had already held informal meetings with the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) whose official blessing will be needed before the new service can be launched. That is by no means a foregone conclusion, as CBR’s CEO Elvira Nabiullina has repeatedly warned that digital currencies can be used for carrying out suspicious transactions.
Blockchain technology works by creating a huge, decentralized ledger of every bitcoin transaction ever made that is verified and shared by a global network of computers and therefore is virtually tamper-proof, and could well become mainstream in the near future; according to Ars Technica, nine of the world’s biggest financial institutions have partnered with financial technology specialists R3 to develop their own proprietary blockchain.
Kazakhstan bond sale: Kazakhstan put a record $4bn of bonds up for sale this month, the first among developing nations to take advantage of the calming effect of Greece’s deal with creditors. The central Asian country is selling $2.5bn in 10-year bonds at 285 basis points over Treasuries and (more…)Bloomberg Read More»