Lead Stories

China to Shake Up Global Market With Yuan-Based Oil Futures Contract; Chinese traders, analysts expect start by early 2018
By Georgi Kantchev – WSJ
China is preparing to launch its own yuan-based oil futures contract, a move set to shake up the 96 million barrel-per-day global crude market currently dominated by trading in London and New York.

Cameron sold out more than China
Bruno Maçães – The Royal Gazette
When it was announced earlier this week that former British Prime Minister David Cameron had accepted a leadership role in a new $1 billion UK investment fund intended to back China’s Belt and Road Initiative, many were quick to point out that a certain pattern was being repeated.

Exchange News

New Platform for Green and Social Bonds
Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE) will be launching a dedicated platform on our official website for both Green and Social bonds (*). The platform will be available from January 22, 2018 as part of our professional-oriented bond market, TOKYO PRO-BOND Market. The platform will allow issuers to post information about Green and Social bonds directly on our official website.

HKEX to Introduce New Stock Option Classes and Stock Futures Contracts
5 new stock option classes and 4 new stock futures contracts to be introduced on 5 February 2018; Commission levy for new stock futures to be wavied for the first 6 months
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) will introduce five new stock option classes and four new stock futures contracts on 5 February 2018 (Monday).

North Korea Is Suspect in Hack of Seoul Bitcoin Exchange
By Kanga Kong and David Tweed – Bloomberg
Attack seen as extension of April heist linked to North Korea; Youbit exchange closed and entered bankruptcy proceedings
South Korean investigators are looking into North Korea’s possible involvement in the hack of a Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed this week, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Regulatory News

ASIC releases guidance on sell-side research
ASIC today released regulatory guidance on managing conflicts of interest and handling inside information by Australian financial services (AFS) licensees that provide sell-side research.

Swiss regulator raps JPMorgan over 1MDB failings; Finma to conduct in-depth review of JPMorgan’s anti-money laundering protocols
By Fareed Sahloul – Financial News
Switzerland’s markets regulator is to conduct an in-depth review of JPMorgan’s anti-money laundering protocols after finding the US bank breached rules in its dealings with 1MDB, the scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund of Singapore.

Mainland China

China-Kazakhstan border woes dent Silk Road ambitions; Delays, high costs and mutual animosity hamper key trade hub on Beijing’s Belt and Road
Emily Feng in Khorgos and Henry Foy in Moscow – FT
Soaring mountains and golden plains surround the nascent city of Khorgos, one of the most important land transport hubs planned for China’s new Silk Road.

Alipay pursues Chinese tourists in hard-to-crack Japanese market
Alipay, a third-party mobile and online payment platform by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., is chasing Chinese tourists to Japan, where it’s signing up a growing number of retailers and eyeing the long-term potential of the nation’s $45 billion digital payments market.

China’s Didi raises $4bn in latest investment round
Emily Feng – FT
Chinese ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing has raised $4bn in its latest round of investment as it readies itself to push beyond China’s borders.

China’s policy-makers signal 3-year financial-risk campaign
By Bloomberg News
China’s top leaders said they are taking a three-year approach to winning “critical battles” against financial risk, pollution and poverty, and signaled that monetary policy will remain “prudent and neutral” next year in support.

Hong Kong

How I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower changed Hong Kong’s skyline
Written by Juan Du, CNN
This year of 2017 marks the 100th birthday of the renowned Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei


Pundi X Integrates with the Stellar Network to make Indonesian Rupiah cross-border payments faster and less costly
Pundi X
Small businesses and individuals to enjoy a more cost-effective way to send and receive payments in Indonesian Rupiah
Pundi X, a cryptocurrency point-of-sale (“POS”) solutions provider for retail stores, today announced that it has partnered with Stellar.org, a Silicon Valley non-profit organization that supports the Stellar network, an open-source blockchain network that provides interoperability between financial institutions and different payment systems.


Most Singapore firms not treating climate change as financial risk: KPMG poll
Rachel Mui – Straits Times
SINGAPORE – Sustainability reporting among Singapore-listed companies has begun, though more needs to be done in terms of recognising climate change as a financial risk.

Freed from Singapore jail, Sunshine Empire founder James Phang claims trial in Malaysia to accepting illegal deposits
Trinna Leong, Nadirah H. Rodzi – Straits Times
KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysia court on Thursday (Dec 21) charged Singaporean James Phang Wah for taking illegal deposits a day after he was released from prison in the Republic.


Vietnam’s hydropower dam builder to raise $100m in IPO; State-owned Song Da to float 49% of shares on Dec. 25
Vietnam’s state-owned Song Da Corporation plans to raise some 2.4 trillion dong ($106 million) at its initial public offering on the Hanoi Stock Exchange on Dec. 25.

South Korea

North Korea Is Suspected in Bitcoin Heist; Pyongyang’s hackers turn to cryptocurrency and banks as Kim regime hunts for funds
By Timothy W. Martin, Eun-Young Jeong and Steven Russolillo – WSJ
Investigators in South Korea are looking into North Korea’s possible involvement in a heist from a bitcoin exchange that collapsed here on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the situation, as the sanctions-choked regime develops new ways to raise money.

South Korea’s Bank Chief Warns Bitcoin Investors Against ‘Irrational Exuberance’
South Korea’s central bank chief on Wednesday warned of ‘irrational exuberance’ in trading of virtual coins, which have risen dramatically in value this year amid frenzied speculation.


Philippine Monetary and Banking Industry: Doing good business as ever
By Leony Garcia – Business Mirror
Banks or depository institutions are places where one can keep his or her money safe. Banks offer various services such as savings accounts and checking accounts. They can also offer loans, investments, financial advice and counseling, and safe deposit boxes.


Malaysia’s new tallest building to be completed in 2018
Malaysia's Tallest Building
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s soon-to-be tallest building – The Exchange 106 – is on its way to completion as its reinforced concrete core wall is now in place.


India’s financial sector facing considerable challenges: IMF
Indian Express
After its Executive Board discussed the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) of India, the IMF in a report said India’s key banks appear resilient, but the system is subject to considerable vulnerabilities.

Bitcoin now under ED scanner– What various regulatory authorities in India have to say about the cryptocurrency
On December 13, the I-T Department conducted survey operations at major Bitcoin exchanges across the country on suspicion of alleged tax evasion.


Livingstone’s Commonwealth Culture Shock
By David Fickling – Bloomberg
There’s no better way to cap a storied business career than a stint atop one of the world’s largest banks.

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