MARKET UPDATES :
- SINGAPORE shares ended higher on Thursday with the benchmark Straits Times Index down 44.51 points to close at 3,154.21. Volume was 1.36 billion shares worth S$1.34 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers 420 to 75.
- Chinese banks made 857.2 billion yuan (US$140 billion) worth of new loans in September, data showed on Thursday, beating market expectations in a sign that demand for credit may be picking up. But a drop on China’s foreign exchange reserves in the third quarter signalled speculative money outflows amid increased worries about the country’s economic slowdown. Economists polled by Reuters had expected new loans totalling 730-735 billion yuan last month, an increase from 702.5 billion yuan in August.
- A SINGAPORE-BASED mobile advertising startup has raised US$19 million in Series B, believed to be the highest such amount here this year, surpassing taxi-booking app GrabTaxi’s US$15 million in May. This also marks a record second round of financing by a company in the advertising technology (ad-tech) industry globally, AdNear’s founder and chief executive officer, Anil Mathews, told The Business Times on Wednesday. AdNear – whose location intelligence platform programmatically sends location-relevant ads to mobile audiences on behalf of retailers – snagged new investors Telstra Ventures and Global Brain in this latest round backed by existing investors Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners.
- A unit of Singapore Technologies Engineering, ST Electronics, has won new contracts worth $513 million in the third quarter.The bulk of the contract wins worth $295 million is for it to provide advanced electronics and info- comms technology solutions, where it will help to build security systems in Singapore and around the region.
- Three Malaysian banks said on Thursday that they are in merger talks, which, if successful, will create the country’s biggest lender and the fourth-largest by assets in South-east Asia. The complicated three-way marriage of CIMB Group, the country’s No. 2 bank, with smaller rivals RHB Capital and Malaysia Building Society Bhd, will also lead to the formation of an Islamic mega bank that will strengthen Malaysia’s lead in Islamic finance in Asia. The move comes as members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations work on plans to partially integrate their economies and financial systems, with member countries keen to build national banking champions.
- Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Thursday it has changed the name of its Alipay financial services affiliate to Ant Financial Services Group as it steps up its push into the financial services industry. Alibaba has been aggressively offering new financial services around Alipay, including a money market fund for consumers, a mobile payment app and even a new private bank that was approved by the Chinese government in September.
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