Duiba’s Surprising 1H2021 Turnaround Supporting Bank SaaS Operations

HONG KONG, Sep 8, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Duiba Group (Hong Kong) Ltd, the well-known platform provider of management software, and interactive advertising platform operator founded by Xiao Liang Chen in 2014 and headquartered in Hong Kong, released its interim financial report on August 27, for the First Half 2021.

According to the report, Duiba (HKG:01753) recorded total revenues of RMB720 million, representing an increase of 53.82% from a year earlier, with profit attributable to owners of RMB62.804 million, representing a significant increase from a loss of RMB47.839 million in the First Half of 2020.

Significantly, Duiba recorded revenues on Software as a Service (SaaS) user management processes of RMB68.56 million, representing a sharp increase of 142%. We could guess from the report that Duiba achieved strong First Half 2021 financial results with its existing strategies. But what of Duiba's potential future development?

Getting through tough times to turn around poor profitability

Founded in May 2014, Duiba is a SaaS user management systems provider and interactive advertising platform operator committed to providing enterprise customers with user acquisition, user activation and retention: realization covering the entire user lifetime.

With consideration to the COVID-19 situation, advances in digital technology and the influence of geopolitics have expedited the development of service companies in China, and the rapid growth of high-quality SaaS user management operators such as Duiba, and talk of an emerging SaaS unicorn:

On the one hand, for Chinese SaaS companies, the biggest pain point is the long profit-making cycle. Duiba acquired lots of customers by launching the free-of-charge SaaS user management platform in the early days, and began to offer paid services in April 2018 which led to a significant increase in its business performance.

From 2017 to 2019, Duiba recorded revenue of RMB650 million, RMB1.14 billion and RMB 1.65 billion and an adjusted net profit of RMB120 million, RMB210 million and RMB340 million, respectively, and achieved a three-year profit compound growth rate up to 69.4%.

The above data could tell that Duiba has gone through its no-profit period, and the financial data in the first half of 2021 could also tell that Duiba has come to the performance growth period. On the other hand, what many Chinese companies need from the SaaS industry are integrated solutions, instead of services for any single segment.

The user management services provided by Duiba are full-cycle management services and integrated solutions which cover user acquisition, user activation and retention, realization and other several aspects. Besides, in 2015, Duiba took the lead in conducting the interactive advertising business to reach target customers in non-first-tier cities, and achieved a win-win situation for advertisers, media providers and users through ad realization.

Support for banks with breakthrough offline strategies

The SaaS field is a big market. For SaaS service providers, whether or not they can seize market opportunities has nothing to do with their own strength, but their ability to take the best advantage when opportunity knocks. We find in a careful analysis of Duiba's source of new customers that the increase in Duiba's unit price and customer base mostly comes from offline sources, such as typical banking institutions.

For Duiba, providing SaaS services to banks is a great choice with vast potential opportunities:

First of all, banks are driven by the current trend to move their businesses online. According to a McKinsey survey, 40% of Chinese respondents expressed their preference for mobile banking, and 20% of Chinese respondents expressed their intention to use offline banking outlets less. In the context of the 5G technology and the coming era of 5G, banks will face great difficulties in acquiring new customers in the future and even lose their existing customers if they do not move their businesses online as soon as possible.

Furthermore, banks face challenges in moving their businesses online. Being accustomed to the comfortable days in the past, banks have no idea of Internet, and are too weak to confront Internet giants and fintech companies. Therefore, from the perspective of input-output ratio, banks desperately need outsiders such as SaaS service providers to help them move their businesses online.

Moreover, more and more customers prefer digital banking channels to traditional banking outlets in the context of COVID-19. According to a BCG survey, after COVID-19, the utilization rate of mobile banking is expected to further increase by 19%, and that of traditional banking outlets is expected to further decrease by 26%.

Duiba's advantages in giving professional support to banks are described as below:

On the one hand, Duiba has run online since the beginning and has unique advantages online, and therefore, it can help banks to gradually convert customers who get banking services at offline banking outlets into online customers and include them in banks' systems and to retain existing customers in face of the fierce horizontal competition.

On the other hand, Duiba focuses on user management and is familiar with "Gen Z", and therefore can help banks acquire new customers including "Gen Z".

In Duiba's experience, Gen Z is more likely to participate in discussions on online social platforms and to focus on pan-entertainment information. In terms of daily consumption habits, Gen Z prefers to share membership to watch movies, place group orders for takeaways, search "price-cutting", "coupons" and other discount information before shopping online, and the joy of "bargain hunting" in sales and shopping festivals.

Therefore, in view of Gen Z's consumption habits, Duiba has helped banks to come up with many operation modes centring on user habits, such as IP pets, interactive games and mystery boxes.

According to the feedback from Duiba's partners, with the help of Duiba, one out of four active users of bank cards can be converted on average to apply for instalment credit, with an event participation rate of 72.74% and a sharing rate of 53.8%. It can be seen that the SaaS services provided by Duiba can efficiently support banks in conducting their businesses.

In return, Duiba's professional support to banks has also laid a foundation for its steady long-term business performance. On the one hand, key customers such as banks are very resilient to risks and are less likely to lose due to insolvency, and they are financially strong and have a strong willingness to renew.

On the other hand, key customers face high replacement costs. For banks, they will not change a SaaS service provider they have selected unless in unavoidable circumstances. This is because if they change, they will not only have to pay high costs of data transfer involving several divisions and businesses but also face the risk of data loss.

Generally speaking, key customers such as banks have a positive, long-term and sustainable impact on the growth of Duiba's business performance. But in addition, Duiba has expanded its business since April 2018 to include offline companies with strong latent demand for user management solutions, a nimble strategy that led exactly to Duiba's business outperformance.

Contact:
Jing Gao, Peanutmedia
E-mail: gaojing@czgmcn.com
Website: www.Peanutmedia.com

Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

CEKD Berhad Launches Prospectus to Raise RM24.28 Million from IPO

KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 6, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – CEKD BERHAD ("CEKD" or the "Group"), a die-cutting solutions provider as well as manufacturer of die-cutting moulds and trader of related consumables, tools and accessories enroute to a listing on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (Bursa Securities), is pleased to announce the launch of the Group's prospectus for the initial public offering (IPO).




The Group aims to raise RM24.28 million from its upcoming listing. The IPO involves the public issue of 50.59 million new shares at the issue price of RM0.48 sen per share, to be made available for application in the following manner:

Public issue:
– 9.73 million new shares will be available for application to the Malaysian public;
– 9.73 million new shares will be allocated for application by eligible directors, employees and persons who have contributed to the success of the Group;
– 6.81 million new shares by way of private placement to selected investors; and
– 24.32 million shares by way of private placement to Bumiputera investors approved by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

The Utilisation of Proceeds table as below:
https://www.acnnewswire.com/topimg/Low_CEKD202109062.jpg

Managing Director of CEKD, Yap Kai Ning, said: "The forthcoming listing of CEKD Berhad marks a significant milestone in our history. This IPO will not only strengthen our presence in the industry as a leading die-cutting solutions provider and manufacturer but also raise our profile to help us in our expansion plans. We are committed to sustaining our reputation and creating value for our shareholders."

"The proceeds from the IPO will go towards acquiring laser-cutting machines and automatic steel rule processors to support business expansion and increase our production efficiency. Our production capability will be enhanced with the upgrading of our computer software and servers and this will support business growth. Besides the purchase of machinery and equipment, we are also going to acquire a factory for Hotstar located in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur."

As at 6 August 2021, the Group has a large and diverse customer base of 1,309 customers while the Group achieved an average gross profit margin of 48.3% from FYE 2018 to FYE 2020.

Managing Director of Corporate Finance, M&A Securities Sdn Bhd (M&A Securities), Datuk Bill Tan said: "As of today, we have received positive response from investors for CEKD's IPO and we are pleased to play a significant role in its goal to become a public listed company. This milestone today is the result of the hard work and dedication of the CEKD team. They are experienced and committed with operational expertise and in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing of die-cutting moulds and trading of related consumables, tools and accessories. The IPO will strengthen CEKD's foothold in the industry."

CEKD's Adviser, Sponsor, Sole Underwriter and Placement Agent in relation to the IPO is M&A Securities. Pursuant to the underwriting agreement, M&A Securities will be underwriting for shares available for application by the Malaysian public.

Please contact the below for more information:
Hakim Juraimi
Tel: +60 12-318 5410
Email: h.juraimi@swanconsultancy.biz

Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Baanx Acquires Stake in Major US Fintech Bank

LONDON, Sep 6, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Baanx, the fast-growing B2B2C "Better than a Banking Platform" specialising in fintech services & lending, becomes the third-largest shareholder in the United States regulated Maxwell State Bank in a multi-million-dollar deal to enhance cybersecurity and banking access to communities throughout America.



Maxwell State Bank is a fintech bank and VISA Principal Member established circa 1943 in Iowa. With total assets of $29,655,000 and deposits of $25,058,000 Maxwell has been FDIC certified since 1943 for insured deposits. Maxwell was acquired by serial fintech entrepreneur Ronald Ingram, founder of multi-billion dollar fintech programs and companies. He has ambitious plans to make this bank the most secure and future-proof bank in America by expanding their services. He plans to achieve this by working with fintech leaders in cybersecurity, cryptography, tokenization and private/public key infrastructure companies.

Baanx has rapidly become a market leader in secure transaction payment systems, secured lending and banking services with a focus on fast growing verticals. Offering VISA & Mastercard programs through their platform, combined with secured lending services from as little as 0% APR, they are expanding quickly through their B2B2C business model. Baanx partners with leading corporate communities, white-labelling as a leading brand, whilst completely managing the delivery and support of the service to each community they engage with.

Garth Howat, CEO of Baanx said, "We are very excited to have taken a stake in Maxwell and working with Ronald Ingram, who has a strong track record of delivering high performing secure fintech services, having been responsible for $100s of billions of fintech transactions in recent years."

Ronald Ingram, Chairman of Maxwell said, "We are very pleased to welcome Baanx as an investor in Maxwell State Bank. Maxwell Bank has been profitable and well managed for decades, Maxwell, as of 2021, is the most connected bank in North America with direct fiber and low earth laser satellite connectivity. We expect Baanx will expand upon Maxwell's commitment to futurize banking. Baanx is a money center fintech, in the historical banking center of the world, London, with specializations across cryptography, lending, cybersecurity and public/private key infrastructure. We look forward to strategic partnership opportunities such as state-of-the-art cyber security, access to digital safe-keeping of assets and general privacy that we expect to evolve out of this strategic investment."

About Baanx

Baanx "Better than a Banking Platform", offers banking services to fintechs, including secured lending against digital assets and payment authorisation integration into VISA, Mastercard & other transaction payment systems. Baanx headquarters are in London (UK) with subsidiaries in Delaware (United States), Portugal and Lithuania. Baanx manages digital assets using military grade cryptography for maximum privacy and security with digital asset insurance through their partners up to $100M. Baanx is managed by a seasoned team with over a hundred years of combined experience in banking, financial technology, cryptography, finance and digital marketing.

About Maxwell

Maxwell State Bank has been serving Americans for nearly 75 years. January 2021 it was acquired by Ronald Ingram, a serial entrepreneur in fintech, who created a roadmap to ensure the future of this well-established profitable bank for the next generations in the community, region and beyond.

Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Sixth Belt and Road Summit draws to successful close

HONG KONG, Sep 3, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – The sixth Belt and Road Summit, jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), drew to a successful close yesterday (2 September). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's summit was changed to an online event. The virtual platform helped to overcome geographical boundaries, with more than 17,000 viewers from about 80 countries and regions attending the summit.


Under the theme "Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade", the sixth Belt and Road Summit brought together more than 17,000 participants from about 80 countries and regions.

Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), spoke at a session titled "Belt and Road and RCEP: Enhancing Regional Business Connectivity".

Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Justice of the HKSAR, highlighted the "incredible opportunities" afforded to Hong Kong's legal sector by the 14th Five-Year Plan and Greater Bay Area Outline Development Plan.


Under the theme "Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade", the two-day summit featured more than 80 government and business leaders from countries and regions along the Belt and Road, along with investors from Mainland China, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as project owners and professional investment advisers. They all came together to discuss the latest developments driven by the Belt and Road Initiative.

Investment projects drive geographical connections

Holding the conference virtually presented no barrier to meaningful exchanges among participants. In addition to various breakout discussion sessions, the 2021 summit featured one-to-one business matching meetings and project pitching sessions that proved popular among both project owners and participants. The summit received over 260 investment projects from 42 countries and regions along the Belt and Road and beyond, including the Greater Bay Area, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Italy, Egypt, UAE, Djibouti and others, focusing on four major areas – (1) energy, natural resources and public utilities; (2) innovation and technology; (3) urban development; and (4) transport and logistics infrastructure.

Belt and Road and RCEP foster global growth

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has become a key milestone in regional cooperation, developing significant synergies with the Belt and Road Initiative. In a plenary session titled "Belt and Road and RCEP: Enhancing Regional Business Connectivity", Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR, remarked that Hong Kong's strategic location makes the city a gateway for trade, investment and business between Mainland China and other RCEP economies, particularly countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). "Hong Kong's trade in goods with the 15 RCEP economies last year totalled US$772 billion, accounting for about 73% of our total merchandise trade. In 2019, our trade in services with the RCEP was worth US$103 billion, accounting for nearly 60% of our services trade. China's 14th Five-Year plan supports Hong Kong's status as an international financial, transport and trade centre, and it encourages our continuing cooperation and exchanges with countries and regions around the world," Mr Chan said.

Huang Zhaohui, CEO and Chairman of the Management Committee, China International Capital Corporation (CICC), stated that the RCEP covered about one-third of the world's total population and accounted for one-third of global GDP, making it the world's largest free trade agreement. He believes the RCEP will bring great benefits to regional trade and investment. "The RCEP will deepen trade and economic connections between leading countries in the region through tariff reductions. We expect that China-Japan trade tariffs will be significantly reduced while China and Korea will further promote trade facilitation in key areas. This in turn will effectively increase the volume of trade between member countries and enhance regional economic vitality and competitiveness. At CICC we have decided to increase our overseas deployment, especially in Belt and Road countries. We are looking forward to long-term investment, leveraging our financial capabilities to assist the economic and capital market development of these countries."

Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR, added that Hong Kong has been striving to expand its economic and trade network worldwide through regional cooperation. "While we are seeing some backpedalling in certain areas of the global economy, there are sufficient incentives and also momentum to move towards to more regional cooperation. Hong Kong stands ready, as always, to be the platform and also the conduit for freer trade, not just in our part of the region, but also in the wider sense of the global economy."

Opportunities abound in Greater Bay Area

The 14th Five-Year Plan highlighted how the development of the Greater Bay Area will lead to boundless opportunities. This year's summit included the new GBA Track thematic series that featured plenary and panel discussion sessions, thematic breakout sessions and a virtual exhibition, covering a wide range of topics, including capital raising, green finance, digital technology applications and start-ups. Sun Yu, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Bank of China (Hong Kong) noted, "Infrastructure construction is the key to success of the Belt and Road Initiative, as infrastructure construction has a strong correlation with GDP growth. The tremendous demand for infrastructure investments along the Belt and Road has presented new business opportunities for commercial banks. Hong Kong commercial banks can take up the role as the project financing advisor and solutions provider. Through collaboration with policy banks, insurance companies, law firms and business consultants, they can build a financial services ecosystem, and make good use of market-oriented mechanism to provide systematic, diversified and innovative solutions, as well as financing support for suitable infrastructure projects."

Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Justice of the HKSAR, delivered a welcome speech in a session titled "Fostering Trade and Resolving Disputes in the Post-COVID Era – Hong Kong's Legal and Dispute Resolution Services". She mentioned the business opportunities and unique advantages of Hong Kong under "one country, two systems", explaining that the 14th Five-Year Plan and Greater Bay Area Outline Development Plan explicitly support Hong Kong as the centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region. "These two national policies have afforded incredible opportunities to the legal sector and therefore the businesses that utilise our legal and dispute resolution services," she said.

China International Capital Corporation Ltd serves as the Strategic Partner of the sixth Belt and Road Summit; Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd as the Regional Banking Partner; China Merchants Group as the Sapphire Sponsor; China Taiping Insurance Group as the Affiliated Insurance Partner; and China Mobile International Limited as the Platinum Sponsor.

Websites
– Belt and Road Summit website: https://www.beltandroadsummit.hk/en
– HKTDC Belt and Road Portal: http://beltandroad.hktdc.com
– Photo download: https://bit.ly/3tgRVdG

About HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn

Media enquiries:
HKTDC's Communications & Public Affairs Department
Sunny Ng, Tel: +852 2584 4357, Email: sunny.sl.ng@hktdc.org
Clayton Lauw, Tel: +852 2584 4472, Email: clayton.y.lauw@hktdc.org
Christine Kam, Tel: +852 2584 4514, Email: christine.kam@hktdc.org

Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Shougang Century Announces 2021 Interim Results

HONG KONG, Sep 2, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Shougang Concord Century Holdings Limited ("Shougang Century", together with its subsidiaries, "the Group"; stock code: 0103.HK) is pleased to announce its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2021 ("the Reporting Period").

During the Reporting Period, the Group recorded a revenue from continuing operations of approximately HK$1,283,336,000 (2020: HK$862,997,000), representing an increase of approximately 48.7% as compared with the last corresponding period, primarily attributable to the material increase in sales volume of steel cords. Gross profit from continuing operations increased by 48.5% over the same period last year to HK$226,886,000 (2020: HK$152,758,000). The Group's net profit during the Reporting Period also increased by 45.7% from same period last year to HK$52,256,000 (2020: HK$35,863,000). Net asset value of the Group was HK$1,719,423,000 at 30 June 2021, increased by 4.5% as compared to HK$1,645,571,000 at 31 December 2020. The increase in net asset value was mainly due to the net profit during the first half of 2021. Net asset value per Share was HK$0.91 at 30 June 2021, also increased by HK$0.04 as compared to HK$0.87 at 31 December 2020. During the Reporting Period, the Group also generated positive cash inflow from operations and maintained a sustained healthy financial position.

Mr. SU Fanrong, Chairman and Managing Director of Shougang Century said, "In the first half of 2021, with the pandemic outbreak generally being controlled in China, industries are gradually recovering. The PRC's gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2021 has increased by 7.9% as compared with the corresponding period last year, achieving an overall stable development. In addition, tyres witnessed a rigid demand amidst the general trend of recovery and growth in industries including transportation, significantly fueling sales of steel cords. Our results therefore showed a remarkable improvement during the Reporting Period."

The steel cord segment sold 105,947 tonnes of steel cords during the Reporting Period, increased by 27.0% as compared to the same period last year (2020: 83,405 tonnes). In respect of the sales of sawing wire products, attributable to the Group's persistent effort in exploring new customers as well as the improvement of the photovoltaic, sapphire, and magnetic material markets, sales volume increased substantially by 76.2% to 252 tonnes (2020: 143 tonnes). There was also a 3.4% increase over the corresponding period last year in sales volume of the Group's other steel wires to 4,560 tonnes (2020: 4,410 tonnes).

Located in Zhejiang Province and Shandong Province, the Group's two large production bases produce more than 200,000 tonnes of steel cords in total every year. To cope with the increasing demand for tyres in China and abroad, which fuels a robust market demand for steel cords, the Group expanded its production capacity through further optimizing its plant construction. In 2019, the Group kicked off an expansion plan in its Tengzhou factory and invested in new brass wire production facilities to add an additional 100,000 tonnes of steel cord production capacity. As the construction progress is satisfactory, the Group is building towards its goal to become an enterprise commanding an annual manufacturing capacity in excess of 300,000 tonnes of high-quality steel cords.

Mr. SU concluded, "Looking forward to the second half of 2021, the threat posed by the new virus variants and Sino-American relations remains uncertain. However, leveraging our exploration and experience in the steel cord industry over the years, we are confident in seizing the opportunities brought by the 14th Five Year Plan and are well poised to meet the increasing market demand for steel cords for domestic radial tyres. We will continue to make a dedicated exploration in other businesses in order to create greater synergy, whilst adopting a multi-pronged approach to improve our core competitiveness, in hope of achieve higher returns for our shareholders and investors."

About Shougang Concord Century Holdings Limited
The Group is primarily engaged in manufacturing of steel cords for radial tyres, sawing wires and hose wires. The Group possesses two large production bases in Zhejiang Province and Shandong Province, together producing more than 200,000 tonnes of steel cords in total annually. Having been delivering products of a consistently premium quality over the years, the Group supplies products to over 20 countries worldwide and has won wide recognition from international tyres manufacturers. Listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong since April 1992, the Group has a strong shareholder base with substantial shareholders including Shougang Group Co., Ltd. (a state-owned enterprise under the direct supervision of the Beijing State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission), a Fortune 500 company, and its controlled corporations, Bekaert Group and Li Ka Shing Foundation Limited. Through its longstanding dedication to purveying premium quality steel cords and wire products, the Group aims to become one of the top three independent manufacturers of steel cord industry in China.

For more information, please visit: http://www.shougangcentury.com.hk


Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Legend Holdings Announces 2021 Interim Results, Revenue and Net Profit Attributable to Equity Holders Recorded a Historical High

HONG KONG, Sep 2, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – According to South China Morning Post, in the first half of 2021, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 threatened the global economic recovery, while China benefited from the good control of the epidemic situation, the economy continued to recover steadily, production and market demand continued to increase, many enterprises emerged from the impact of the epidemic and announced excellent interim results. Legend Holdings Corporation (3396.HK) is one of them that has attracted market attention. Legend Holdings announced interim results of the Company and its subsidiaries on August 31, it has made an outstanding performance with both revenue and net profit attributable to equity holders recorded a historical high level. Revenue stood at RMB 228.57 billion, representing a year-on year increase of 24%; net profit attributable to equity holders of the Company amounted to RMB 4.69 billion, representing a year-on year increase of 636%. Driven by the interim results, the share price of Legend Holdings increased 14.83% to HKD 14.4 yesterday, which fully shows that investors are optimistic about its development.

The market is also concerned about the reason why Legend Holdings has achieved high growth. Mr. Li Peng, Executive Director and CEO of Legend Holdings, pointed out the answer, "Through effective management and value-added services, Legend Holdings consolidated and strengthened its business operation fundamentals, steadily developed its pillar assets, and enhanced its competitive advantages. Meanwhile, the Company adjusted its business strategy, seized the opportunity of China's high-quality economic development, and actively promoted the layout of the technology sector to achieve good performance growth, and various business optimization initiatives are steadily progressing. In addition, the Company's funds continued to perform well with the listing of many portfolio companies and the orderly implementation of various fundraising, investment, management and exiting work."

During the first half of 2021, both strategic investments and financial investments segments demonstrated thriving performance. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Company from strategic investments segment has out of red with approximately RMB3 billion climbs; net profit attributable to equity holders of the Company from financial investments segment soared 81% to approximately RMB2,558 million.

Legend Holdings further strengthened its industrial operation capability and gained profit in all business sectors of strategic investments. For the IT segment, the net profit attributable to equity holders of Legend Holdings generated by Lenovo increased 172% year-on-year. For the advanced manufacturing and professional service segment, its revenue was up by 46% year-on-year to RMB 3,894 million, and net profit attributable to the equity holders of Legend Holdings increased by 108% year-on-year. Agriculture and Food segment benefited from the improvement of fruit and animal protein businesses, contributing a year-on-year increase of 9% to RMB 9,778 million in revenue, and the net profit attributable to equity holders of Legend Holdings was RMB 240 million. The adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on innovative consumption and services has been largely offset, with the revenue rising by 103% year-on-year to RMB 533 million and net profit attributable to equity holders of Legend Holdings of RMB 67 million. Excluding the impact of the one-off loss from share dilution of Hankou Bank, and the disposal and impairment loss of Kaola Technology, the financial services segment recorded net profit attributable to the equity holders of Legend Holdings grew by 20% year-on-year.

The interim results announcement clearly shows the good profits of the above segments, and through in-depth and specific analysis, we can find the enhancement of the competitiveness of Legend Holdings' pillar assets and optimization of asset portfolio. In line with the development trend, Legend Holdings further increased investment in the field of science and technology, adheres to the development path of science and technology leading, deepening innovation-driven, and strengthening industrial synergy to promote sustainable and high-quality development of the enterprise.

Attributable to the global digital and intelligent transformation, Lenovo achieved long-term and sustainable profit growth, with revenue up 25% year-on-year to RMB 210.78 billion, and the net profit attributable to equity holders of Legend Holdings surged by 172% to RMB 1.54 billion. The personal computer business remained No.1 globally, and the non-pc business also showed strong growth. As the consensus "carbon neutrality" accelerates, Lenovo significantly exceeded its emission reduction target in 2019/20 fiscal year and strives to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Notable highlights were RMB 548 million net profit from Levima Advanced Materials, a 131% increase on the corresponding period, and its market value also saw a significant increase. Meanwhile, it energetically plans for investment and merges and acquisitions, acquiring Levima (Shandong) Chemicals to further improve the industrial layout and enhance the sustainable profitability and stability; investing in Jiangxi Keyuan Bio-Material to cultivate new growth points in the field of biodegradable materials. Furthermore, the company's main plant economic and technological indicators were further optimized, continue to maintain a leading position in the industry.

Banque Internationale a Luxembourg (BIL) displayed significant growth amid the epidemic in Europe. In the first half of 2021, its net profit increased by 18% year-on-year to approximately EUR 47 million, and the assets under management increased to EUR 45.5 billion with CET-1 ratio 13.18%. In response to the new post-epidemic environment, BIL will progressively advance its business in China by further reinforcing the connection among Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Hong Kong SAR and Beijing, China.

Joyvio Group deepened its strategic layout and focused on the core businesses. Joy Wing Mau continued to improve the layout of the whole industrial chain of fruits and achieved rapid revenue growth by reinforcing the advantages in its supply chain and the core products strategy. As prices in the international market continue to rebound, Joyvio Food's salmon business gradually recovered.

In 2020, Legend Holdings took its first strategic stake in Fullhan Microelectronics, laying out the semiconductors track, and as of June 30, 2021, Legend Holdings, as the largest shareholder, holds an aggregate of 15.91% equity in Fullhan Microelectronics through its subsidiaries. Legend Holdings will engage with the Fullhan Microelectronics management team for deeper cooperation to jointly promote the long-term development of Fullhan Microelectronics.

In addition, Legend Holdings continued to exit non-core businesses to ensure a more focused business and accelerate cash and resources flow-back, bringing ample financial resources to future development in new sectors. In the first half of 2021, Legend Holdings determined an orderly exit strategy for Kaola Technology; some equities in investee enterprises from agriculture and food segment were sold.

In the first half of 2021, low interest rates in the market provide a good opportunity for investment, and the capital market progressed strongly. Funds under Legend Holdings demonstrated outstanding results. More than 60 projects were fully or partially exited, contributing more than RMB 2 billion of cash flow.

Legend Star managed eight funds with a size exceeding RMB 3.3 billion, investing in more than 300 domestic and overseas projects accumulatively. During the first half of 2021, Legend Star's total number of investment projects was over 20, it made follow-on investments in approximately 50 projects and exited 15 projects. As of June 30, 2021, the final closing of the 4th USD fund was completed as well as the first round closing of the biotechnology fund. Legend Capital managed a total of 28 funds, with a size of more than RMB 60 billion. As of June 30, 2021, the total amount raised by the funds was RMB 6,335 million. During the first half of 2021, Legend Capital accumulatively completed 20 new project investments, fully or partially exited 33 projects, bringing sound cash returning. As of June 30, in total, 90 of Legend Capital's portfolio companies went public (not including those listed on NEEQS). Hony Capital's businesses cover PE, real estate, public offering fund management, hedge fund, and venture capital. The AUM amounted to RMB 100 billion.

It is also important to note that Legend Holdings has an in-depth understanding of the operation of the capital market, which coincides with the opportunity of a new round of capital market mechanism reform. As of June 30, 2021, 12 portfolio companies got listed, and at least 11 are promoting the IPO.

Eastern Air Logistics was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on June 9, which was the first civil aviation enterprise included in the first batch of domestic pilot enterprises under the mixed-ownership reform-making it a successful case of the "two-wheel-drive business model" of Legend Holdings. Chemclin Diagnostics Corporation, a project in the biomedical field invested by Zhengqi Holdings, was listed on April 9. Gocom Information Technology entered the capital market on June 28, becoming the first stock of industrial railway signal control and intelligent scheduling in China. In addition, Joy Wing Mau and Hankou Bank are orderly preparing IPO.

In terms of financial investment, Keymed Biosciences, invested by Legend Star, issued its IPO in Hong Kong on July 8. Ten enterprises under the management of Legend Capital went public during the first half of 2021, such as CareRay Digital Medical Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing Kawin Technology Share-Holding Co., Ltd., NexImmune, Inc., and New Horizon Health Limited and so on. Besides, Dindong Shopping, invested by Hony Capital, issued its IPO during the first half of 2021.

Legend Holdings and its three fund platforms have paid attention to and invested in the high-tech industry for a long time, accumulating considerable assets. More than 20 portfolio companies were included in the list of National "Little Giants with Specialties, Refined Products and Management, Unique Technologies, and Innovation" announced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China (MIIT), such as Fullhan Microelectronics, Gocom Information Technology, QuantumCTek, Sansure Biotech, Hanshow Technology, MNCHIP, INST Magnets, Faith Long Crystal, LEADMICRO, Zonsen Biotech, CAXA, YUNJI Technology and so on. These companies will embrace a broad development space, as they feature remarkable results, high technology, and strong market competitiveness, and suit the trend of industrial upgrading in China.

These developments are exactly in line with Mr. Ning Min's prospect and expectations for Legend Holdings in the future, Ning Min, Chairman, and Executive Director of Legend Holdings, said that, "In the first half of 2021, Legend Holdings grasped the new development pattern, and seized the historical opportunities given by the new era, made steady progress and breakthroughs, and achieved good results, which also laid a more solid foundation for the long-term development of the Company. In the meantime, the Company has always attached great importance to corporate social responsibilities from a strategic perspective, adhered to the mission of 'serving the country through industrial development', and upheld the concept of 'people orientation'. It is our first priority to develop our business in the direction adhered by the state, and to continue to promote win-win development of China's real economy, entrepreneurship and innovation through our own industrial accumulation and unique business model to create better economic and social benefits; the Company will pay constant attention to the environment and energy and support its subsidiaries to play a leading role in green energy conservation and environmental protection; and will continue to insist on social welfare investment."


Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

TEC case study with Standard Chartered on Future Workplace found 75% of employees want greater workplace flexibility

HONG KONG, Sep 2, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – The Office of the Future must be an inspiring physical space that facilitates communication, cooperation and collaboration in order to encourage employees to come into the office, according to the latest case study by The Executive Centre (TEC), the leading premium flexible workspace, and Standard Chartered Bank.



Modern technology and globalised communication systems have allowed us to become a more agile and mobile workforce, and these trends have accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The workforce culture today is increasingly championing flexible working practices as the Future of Work. Standard Chartered Bank is leading the shift for multinational corporates towards adopting a flexible work culture through an extensive review and analysis of their portfolio and employee needs.

Sheridan Perkins, Property Program Director of Future Workplace, now at Standard Chartered Bank said, "Initially, we assumed maybe 50% of our employees wanted Flex, but actually from our survey, we found that over 75% wanted it. Typically, this was 2-3 days at home and 2-3 days at the office or third space. Despite some regional nuances, this finding was reasonably consistent across all regions."

The case study reviews the learnings from Standard Chartered Bank's exercise and provides a roadmap for other organisations that realise the value of flexibility but find it challenging to create an architecture to empower change.

One of the key learnings is that for companies to successfully transition towards flexible working practices, they need to understand their business requirements and priorities first, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. They must also interview and collaborate with their employees extensively, conduct research to make informed decisions, seek external consultations from multiple industry partners, and understand where their operations need to be geographically and how the occupants will use that space.

While the company approach must be tailored, there were three factors that all companies should consider in their workplace strategy: Physical, Digital and Social.

— Physical transformation:
As people will be coming into the workplace to perform activities that they cannot do at home, office design will become one that facilitates communication, cooperation and collaboration.

— Digital transformation:
With an increasing demand to work flexibly and remotely, technology and digitalisation of workflows will play a pivotal role in enabling day to day productivity.

— Social transformation:
As the office will become a place where employees choose to work from, greater incentives will be needed to attract people into the office.

For its Greater Bay Area location, Standard Chartered Bank realised it required private office spaces and
meeting rooms in a CBD location which would allow for multiple business units to operate, and flexibility to scale up or down as their business needs changed. The Executive Centre's flexible workspace solution gave them the ability to mitigate their risks and reduce costs while remaining in the heart of Guangzhou's central business district.

"As a solution, flexible workspaces provide ready to use, fully furnished and serviced workspaces for the headcount that's needed at hand. This ability to scale up or down or move locations at relatively short notice is a highly intelligent way for companies to address their workspace requirements," said Paul Salnikow, Founder & CEO of The Executive Centre.

Shelley Boland, Head of Property Asia Pacific, Standard Chartered Bank added, "The talent of the future are expecting flex; whether that's flexible work hours or locations. Successful adopters of flex will be those that have the foresight to model and visualise how workplace changes may affect business outcomes, operations and employees, and be agile enough to constantly evolve their workspace to those needs. We see flexible office spaces playing a greater role in that strategy."

Read the full Standard Chartered / TEC case study on the 'Future of Work' at https://business-reporter.co.uk/2021/08/23/why-the-future-of-work/.

About The Executive Centre
The Executive Centre (TEC) opened its doors in Hong Kong in 1994 and today boasts over 150+ centres in 32 cities and 14 markets. It is the third-largest serviced office business in Asia with an annual turnover in excess of US$237 million.

The Executive Centre caters to ambitious professionals and industry leaders looking for more than just an office space – they are looking for a place for their organisation to thrive. TEC has cultivated an environment designed for success with a global network spanning Greater China, Southeast Asia, North Asia, India, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, and Australia, with sights to go further and grow faster. Each Executive Centre offers a prestigious address with the advanced infrastructure to pre-empt, meet, and exceed the needs of its Members. Walking with Members through every milestone and achievement, The Executive Centre empowers ambitious professionals and organisations to succeed.

Privately owned and headquartered in Hong Kong, TEC provides first-class Private and Shared Workspaces, Business Concierge Services, and Meeting & Conference facilities to suit any business' needs. For more information please visit www.executivecentre.com.

Press Enquiries:
Finsbury Glover Hering
Sheena Shah / Crystal Chow
Sheena.Shah@fgh.com / +852 3166 9855
Crystal.Chow@fgh.com / +852 3166 9838

Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

iSend Logistics Malaysia Partners IKOBANA to Expand Delivery Business Nationwide

KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 1, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – iSend Logistics Malaysia ("iSend"), a logistics and warehousing specialist and a subsidiary of MAA Group Berhad, is expanding its last-mile delivery services through a partnership with Ikobana Sdn Bhd ("IKOBANA"), a homegrown courier and freight forwarding services provider established in 2006, with 70 outlets across Peninsular Malaysia.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the lockdowns, has quickened the pace of digital adoption among consumers as well as businesses, with an ensuing boom in e-commerce transactions. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, for the second quarter ended 30 June 2021, e-commerce income grew by 23.3% to RM267.6 billion compared to the same quarter in 2020 while compared to the first quarter ended 31 March 2021, income grew by 5.1%.

For the whole of 2020, e-commerce income grew by 32.7% to RM896.4 billion as the COVID-19 lockdowns boosted not only online retail transactions but also transactions among businesses particularly in the manufacturing and services sectors.

"Set against this backdrop, an important feature in this 'chain' is the delivery provider. Whilst online transactions are a fun – and occasionally, therapeutic – way of 'surviving' these gloomy times, what's NOT so fun is waiting for that much anticipated delivery, and if you're the sender, not knowing whether your items will be delivered safely – and in one piece – to the recipient," said Zamri Rahman, iSend Logistics General Manager.

Tapping into this current landscape, iSend, a full-suite, land-based logistics provider and warehousing company, which has its main warehousing operations in the Klang Valley, Penang, Johor and soon in Kuantan and Melaka, is offering personalised, cost-efficient, fast and reliable courier delivery services, not only to its corporate clients but also to the public.

"This strategic partnership between iSend and IKOBANA will provide an opportunity for us to demonstrate our position in Malaysia's first and last mile delivery market. To keep up with the e-commerce boom in Malaysia, iSend will be focusing on partnerships, ramping up investment into technology and strengthening operations. We've identified gaps in consumer demand and will be offering exciting and newly improved products and services soon," explained Zamri.

Elaborating, he shared, "We plan in the next five years to expand across Malaysia by having at least 99 satellite stations with the support of seven hubs in each region. We currently have six distribution centres and 60 satellite stations in Malaysia." The company also has a presence and originates from the Philippines.

Customers using IKOBANA's iShop to drop and send off goods can now select iSend as their fast and reliable last-mile delivery provider and enjoy special rates. At the same time, IKOBANA will provide the best shipping comparisons from reputable courier companies online and offline, which is good value for money especially for supply-chain customers, who will also save time in the decision-making process.

Ikobana President, En Nurhazli Ghazali, said, "iSend's first/last mile operations enables point-to-point delivery service. IKOBANA outlets can now offer home pick-up for parcels using our mobile app. With the pandemic, customers are more familiar doing transactions on the internet and are happy not to go outside".

Please contact the below for more information:
Hakim Juraimi
Tel: +60 12-318 5410
Email: h.juraimi@swanconsultancy.biz

Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Sixth Belt and Road Summit opens today

HONG KONG, Sep 1, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – The sixth Belt and Road Summit, jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), opened today. The two-day event is being held online this year under the theme "Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade". The summit will explore opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) through a variety of activities, including policy dialogue and plenary sessions, thematic breakout sessions, one-to-one project matching and project pitching sessions and a virtual exhibition. More than 6,000 participants from over 80 countries and regions registered for the summit.


In his welcome remarks, Dr Peter K N Lam, Chairman of the HKTDC, said the summit will continue to provide a quality online platform to network and share insights.

The sixth Belt and Road Summit, jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the HKTDC, opened today under the theme "Driving Growth Through Fostering Regional and International Trade".

During the summit, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the HKSAR Government and the Ministry of Commerce on enhancing co-operation in promoting the development of the mainland's overseas Economic and Trade Co-operation Zones.


This morning's opening session was joined by Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR; Gao Yunlong, Vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce; Dr Peter K N Lam, Chairman of the HKTDC; Wang Wentao, Minister, Ministry of Commerce, the People's Republic of China; Hao Peng, Chairman, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), the People's Republic of China; Ning Jizhe, Vice Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, the People's Republic of China; Liu Guangyuan, Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the HKSAR; and Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

Values of multilateralism have never been more vital – Carrie Lam

Delivering the opening address, Carrie Lam said: "Today, amid the continuing spread of protectionism, the values of multilateralism have never been more vital. It's why this year's Belt and Road Summit is focused on regional and international trade, with particular attention given to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP. These two immensely promising developments are destined to work hand-in-hand with the Belt and Road Initiative to boost the manifold benefits of multilateralism."

Addressing the opening session in his keynote speech, Gao Yunlong said: "Hong Kong is an important platform for the development of the Belt and Road. Over the years, Hong Kong has made full use of its advantages in international finance, trade and professional services to play an important role as a super-connector for developing the Belt and Road. The 14th Five-Year Plan and the Long-Range Objectives through the Year 2035 support Hong Kong to build a functional platform for developing the Belt and Road. This fully reflects the Central Government's trust and support for Hong Kong. We believe that as an important facilitator of the 'dual circulation', Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, will become even more brilliant in the future."

Leveraging Hong Kong's advantages to maximise potential – Dr Peter K N Lam

In his welcome remarks, Dr Peter K N Lam said: "The theme of this year's summit is 'Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade'. Leading experts and leaders are sharing insights on how businesses can leverage developments such as the RCEP and Greater Bay Area to capture new opportunities along the Belt and Road and beyond. Participants can also catch up on the latest developments in Hong Kong which can help them to maximise this potential. The summit continues to provide a powerful online platform to make connections and share ideas."

Giving the perspective of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab mentioned that as the world faces the pandemic and its economic fallout, and we experience the transformative impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is a greater need for more regional and global cooperation, mainly in four areas: digital trade and governance, tackling the COVID pandemic, investment in green infrastructure and global supply chains.

Policy Dialogue session explores impact of economic policies

Following the opening session, the Policy Dialogue session helped businesses to understand the policies of different countries and regions to give them a head start in capturing Belt and Road opportunities. Moderated by Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR, the session explored the development trends resulting from various economic policies, featuring officials from countries and regions along the Belt and Road. Speakers included Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Brunei Darussalam; Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, the Kingdom of Cambodia; Jerry Sambuaga, Vice Minister of Trade, Indonesia; Ramon Lopez, Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines; Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Republic of Singapore; Sansern Samalapa, Vice Minister of Commerce, Thailand; and Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, United Arab Emirates.

Plenary session examines how Belt and Road and RCEP can foster global growth

One of the plenary sessions held this morning ran under the title "Belt and Road and RCEP: Enhancing Regional Business Connectivity". Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR, delivered the welcome remarks. The session featured industry leaders from Hong Kong, Mainland China and the RCEP market, including Victor Chu, Chairman & CEO, First Eastern Investment Group; Sean Chiao, Asia Chairman and Global Business Line Chief Executive, Buildings and Places, AECOM; Huang Zhaohui, CEO and Chairman of Management Committee, China International Capital Corporation Limited; Wang Cuijun, Director, China Merchants Group Limited; Suroj Lamsam, CEO & President, LOXLEY Public Company Limited in Thailand; and Michael Tan, President & Chief Operating Officer, LT Group in the Philippines. The speakers provided insights and analysis on how the RCEP, signed last November, and the Belt and Road Initiative can contribute to growth, cooperation and development as the global economy begins to show signs of recovery following the pandemic.

Breakout sessions explore hot-button issues on first day of summit

Five thematic breakout sessions were held this afternoon covering topics including "RCEP: Fostering Post-pandemic International Infrastructure Cooperation along the Belt and Road", "Fostering Trade and Resolving Disputes in the Post-COVID Era – Hong Kong's Legal and Dispute Resolution Services", "'Greener' Bay Area: through the Sustainable Finance Lens", "Belt and Road Opportunities for SMEs", and "Supporting the National Strategy of Dual Circulation through Captives and Reinsurance". Project owners are also invited to attend project pitching sessions to explore potential investment projects in the areas of energy, natural resources and public utilities. More thematic breakout sessions and project pitching sessions will be held tomorrow – details of the programme, speakers and partner organisations can be found at https://www.beltandroadsummit.hk/tc/programme/programme.

GBA Track series focuses on opportunities in Greater Bay Area

The 14th Five-Year Plan highlighted how the development of the Greater Bay Area will lead to boundless opportunities. This year's summit features the new GBA Track thematic series that features plenary and panel discussion sessions, thematic breakout sessions and a virtual exhibition. One of the highlights will be a plenary session held tomorrow under the theme "Connecting the Belt and Road & Greater Bay Area through Hong Kong". Moderated by Victor Fung, Group Chairman, Fung Group, the session will feature speakers including Dato' Seri Cheah Cheng Hye, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Value Partners Group Limited; Jack So, Chairman, Airport Authority Hong Kong; Sun Yu, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited; and Wang Shi, Honorary Chairman & Founder, Vanke Co., Ltd and Chairman, Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation. Panel discussion sessions and thematic breakout sessions being held under GBA Track will cover a wide range of topics, including capital raising, green finance, digital technology applications and start-ups, all of which are of interest to enterprises interested in exploring the Greater Bay Area market.

One-to-one project matching and project pitching sessions

In addition to the plenary sessions, the HKTDC continues to arrange one-to-one project matching sessions and project pitching sessions as part of the summit to promote concrete cooperation and exchange. Continuing the success at previous summits, this year's one-to-one project matching sessions will promote direct dialogue between project owners, investors and service providers to discuss cooperation plans according to their specific business and investment needs. The project pitching sessions are focusing on four key areas: (1) energy, natural resources and public utilities, (2) innovation and technology, (3) urban development, and (4) transport and logistics infrastructure.

Another key feature of the summit is the virtual exhibition, which has doubled in scale from the previous event to showcase more than 60 exhibitors. The Global Investment Zone and Hong Kong Zone will once again feature Hong Kong's world-class professional services that are valuable for success along the Belt and Road, as well as numerous investment projects and other opportunities worldwide. The new GBA Tech Zone will showcase the latest technology and related opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.

MOUs promote multilateral cooperation

Two important memoranda of cooperation are being signed at the summit, both of which will help to promote development related to the Belt and Road. During the summit today, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the HKSAR Government and the Ministry of Commerce on enhancing co-operation in promoting the development of the mainland's overseas Economic and Trade Co-operation Zones. A Hong Kong enterprise signed another MOU related to cooperation on advanced medical equipment and research with its Kazakhstani counterpart. The MOU was signed online by Edmond Yau, Founder and CEO of Hong Kong firm Koln 3D Technology (Medical) Limited, and Dilyara Kaidarova, Board Chairperson of the Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology (KazIOR).

China International Capital Corporation Ltd serves as the Strategic Partner of the sixth Belt and Road Summit; Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd as the Regional Banking Partner; China Merchants Group as the Sapphire Sponsor; China Taiping Insurance Group as the Affiliated Insurance Partner; and China Mobile International Limited as the Platinum Sponsor.

The Sixth Belt and Road Summit
Date: 1-2 September 2021 (Wednesday and Thursday)
Details
– Belt and Road Summit programme:
https://www.beltandroadsummit.hk/en/programme/programme
– Belt and Road Summit speaker list:
https://www.beltandroadsummit.hk/en/speaker/speakers
Venue: Virtual platform

Websites
– Belt and Road Summit: https://www.beltandroadsummit.hk
– HKTDC Belt and Road Portal: http://www.beltandroad.hk
– Photo download: https://bit.ly/3DyDtCl

About HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus.

Media enquiries
HKTDC's Communications & Public Affairs Department
Christine Kam, Tel: +852 2584 4514, Email: christine.kam@hktdc.org
Clayton Lauw, Tel: +852 2584 4472, Email: clayton.y.lauw@hktdc.org
Sunny Ng, Tel: +852 2584 4357, Email: sunny.sl.ng@hktdc.org

Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Xfers & SEBA Bank Named Finalists for Global CBDC Challenge organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore

SINGAPORE, Sep 1, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Xfers, a Southeast Asia based payments leader holding a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license for e-money issuance, together with its partner, SEBA Bank, a FINMA licensed Swiss Bank providing a seamless, secure, and easy-to-use bridge between digital and traditional assets, today announced that they have been named among the 15 finalists for the Global Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Challenge organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Global CBDC Challenge calls for FinTech companies, financial institutions and solution providers around the world to submit innovative retail CBDC solutions to enhance payment efficiencies and promote financial inclusion.

The joint proposal submitted by Xfers and SEBA Bank was shortlisted from over 300 applications representing over 50 countries and will be presented to the public and a panel of judges at the Singapore Fintech Festival on November 8th, 2021.

Launched in October 2020, StraitsX by Xfers is the first stablecoin initiative focusing on Southeast Asia and issues the StraitsX Singapore dollar, XSGD, a digital token available on the Ethereum and Zilliqa blockchain that is backed one-for-one with the Singapore dollar.

Aymeric Salley, Head of StraitsX, said, "We are delighted to be named finalists for the CBDC challenge by the MAS. We look forward to continuing leveraging our experience as Singapore's first stablecoin issuer, and working closely with our partner, SEBA Bank, which comes with a wealth of expertise and practical experience in developing CBDCs, having just completed a CBDC experiment with Banque de France in June this year."

Founded in 2018, SEBA Bank is a fully licensed FINMA banking and securities dealer. In June this year, SEBA Bank completed a successful CBDC experiment with the Banque de France, which demonstrated the capacity of distributed ledger technologies to communicate with the Eurosystem's settlement platform TARGET2-Securities for the settlement of listed securities. This testing is an important contribution towards the development of an EU wide CBDC.

Matthew Alexander, Head of Digital Corporate Finance & Asset Tokenisation SEBA Bank, commented, "We are thrilled to have been selected by the MAS for this CBDC challenge amongst such a prestigious group of institutions. We look forward to working with our partner Xfers and contributing both our Digital Asset capabilities and recent experience working with the Banque de France CBDC to support the MAS and the Singapore financial centre. At SEBA Bank, we are constantly striving for innovation in the development of digital currencies and digital asset infrastructure. This selection, alongside our partners Xfers, by MAS as a finalist in the CBDC challenge, is a significant validation of our innovation in the development of digital currencies, and builds on our work supporting the Banque de France in CBDC testing. The shortlisting by MAS is testament to SEBA Bank's extensive network and operations in APAC, with the recent appointment of Sam Lin as APAC CEO, and headcount growth in our Singapore and Hong Kong hubs, further solidifying our presence in the region."

About StraitsX by Xfers

StraitsX is the pioneering payments infrastructure for the digital assets space in Southeast Asia developed by Singapore-based FinTech Xfers, which is a Major Payment Institution licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for e-money issuance. StraitsX offers personal and business accounts to deposit, hold and withdraw funds as well as to connect their accounts to digital asset platforms. Business accounts can also access B2B API-enabled payments rails for digital asset platforms and issues the Singapore Dollar-backed stablecoin, XSGD.

About SEBA Bank – The Future of Digital Banking, Investing & Financing

Founded in April 2018 and headquartered in Zug, SEBA Bank is a pioneer in the financial industry and the only global smart bank providing a fully universal suite of regulated banking services in the emerging digital economy. In August 2019, SEBA Bank received a Swiss banking and securities dealer licence – the first time a reputed, regulatory authority such as FINMA has granted a licence to a financial services provider with a core capability in digital assets. The broad, vertically integrated spectrum of services combined with the highest security standards, make SEBA Bank's value proposition unique – this is why Banque de France selected SEBA Bank to test the integration of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). CVVC Global Report and CB Insights named SEBA Bank as Top 50 Companies within the blockchain ecosystem. Aite Group awarded SEBA Bank with their 2021 Digital Wealth Management Impact Innovation Award in the category "Digital Startup of the Year". For more information please visit seba.swiss.

For media queries
PRecious Communications for Xfers
xfers@preciouscomms.com

Copyright 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com