News > All

Billionaire Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov visits team at training, teaches new tricks
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russian businessman and owner of the Brooklyn Nets led a team training camp and gave the basketball players some tips on dexterity and coordination. Not all the players were able to keep up with the 50-year old billionaire’s moves, Finbuzz reports.</p> <p>He travelled to Duke to give the team a lesson in Tescao, a Tibetan martial arts.</p> <p>“I think my preference was to come personally and to say hello to the players and to the coaches. I think it’s very important for the new team to have a special team building, and, of course, the commitment of ownership as part of the team,” he said.</p> <p>The NBA team posted a video of the tall and lean Prokhorov simultaneously drilling and bouncing balls of different size and shape, and the professionals can barely keep up. The Brooklyn Nets owner has been practicing Tescao for the last five and a half years.</p> <p>His visit reassured both investors and players that he’ll be around for at least another season.</p> <p>Prokhorov, who owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets and 45 percent of the Barclays arena in Brooklyn, has an estimated net worth of $10.8 billion, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire index. It is his sixth consecutive season as the owner of the Nets. He bought the team in 2010 along with Jay-Z, who has since sold a majority of his stakes. As of this fall, he holds a one-fifteenth of a one percent of the Nets, and one-fifth of one percent of the $1 billion Barclays Center.</p> <p>Though it was reported in January of 2015 that Prokhorov was planning on selling the team and the arena, the deal never went through, and now his next move may be buying up the pieces of the team and arena he doesn’t already own.</p> <p>“I’m not planning to sell the Brooklyn Nets. The situation is that we’re in discussion with our partners at Forest City, who own 20% of the club and 55% of the arena, to buy them out,” he told TASS.</p> <p>This story originally appeared in Finbuzz.</p>
'Smart Contracts' conference unravels the many uses of blockchain
<p>Cryptocurrency experts from across the world gathered at Hong Kong's Cyberport today for the first day of Blockchain Workshops' two-day "Smart Contracts for Smart Cities" conference. </p> <p>The two-day event -- a draw for the sandal-wearing hacker as much as the smartly-dressed banker -- focuses on the seemingly limitless applications of blockchain (the decentralised technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) across industries as varied as fintech, intellectual property, infrastructure, and internet-of-things (IoT).</p> <p>The opening speech was delivered by Hennin Diedrich, a senior programmer at IBM. Titled "Towards a Democracy of Devices," the talk examined the broader impact of blockchain technology. This was followed by an opening panel -- "Blockchain and Applications" -- where Diedrich, as moderator, quizzed a  team of technical experts about the hopes, fears and complexities of blockchain technology. </p> <p>Here is some of the social media commentary:</p> <p>Hennig Diedrich from IBM gives the keynote at #blockchain workshops #smartcontracts<br /> — NexChange (@NexChanger) October 12, 2015</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The opening panel at #smartcontracts for smart cities #blockchain<br /> — NexChange (@NexChanger) October 12, 2015</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Dom Williams, Difinity: "The reason the decentralised cloud will win is because it's an open transparent system" #smartcontracts — NexChange (@NexChanger) October 12, 2015<br /> Vlad Zamfir, Ethereum: "Bitcoin is a protocol that anyone can understand and provides a great gateway to blockchain" #smartcontracts — NexChange (@NexChanger) October 12, 2015</p> <p>Peter Todd, Bitcoin Dev: "It will take a long time for computer security to get to a point when more people are comfortable." #smartcontracts — NexChange (@NexChanger) October 12, 2015</p>
Asian family offices turn cautious
Asset Management
<p>Family offices in Asia Pacific are shifting towards a more conservative investment approach, according to a recent survey. Rather than pursuing growth as their main focus, they are getting cautious, moving towards balanced and preservation strategies.</p> <p>The recently released Global Family Office Report 2015 by UBS and Campden also found that the region’s family offices are an uncomplacent lot. </p> <p>Despite posting an average dollar return of 6.7% last year, the second best among their peers in Europe, North America, and emerging markets, they were less happy with their performance than the average in the study. </p> <p>The research questioned principals and executives in over 224 family offices across 37 countries. In Asia Pacific, 35 family offices participated with average assets under management of $431 million. </p> <p>A family office manages key areas of a rich family’s assets, including real estate holdings and direct or indirect investments, tax consolidation, and estate management as well as serving as the central hub for a family’s legacy, governance, and succession communication.</p> <p>It is becoming an attractive alternative to farming out cash and decision-making to private banks. But costs are also rising as offices compete for talent. </p> <p>Oh, the best regional performer last year? Europe, because of big bets on real estate and private equity.<br /> Photo: greg<br /> &nbsp;</p>
China tech titans reveal global ambitions with fintech partnerships
<p>Two of China's biggest internet companies - Alibaba and Baidu - both revealed their global fintech ambitions this past week with two significant partnerships.</p> <p>The first was Alibaba, the company behind payments platform Alipay, which announced at tie-up with Aussie fintech startup Get Capital. The company's blog reports that the collaboration will allow Australian importers and exporters to access finance on the Alibaba platform.</p> <p>Get Capital will offer a line of credit through's e-Credit line facility. The deal represents a significant expansion of Alibaba's finance ecosystem beyond its borders. </p> <p>Baidu, meanwhile, has just had its own big overseas play by launching a Hong Kong-based international fintech accelerator with Standard Chartered Bank and co-working space operator TusPark Global. The so-called SuperCharger fintech accelerator will give Baidu direct access to start-ups both from Greater China and overseas.</p> <p>This is a big development for Baidu which has been somewhat overshadowed by the likes of Alibaba and Tencent when it comes to fintech. But now its seems that all the BATs are developing global fintech ambitions.<br /> Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center </p>
Japan government fintech drive threatens bureaucratic 'turf war'
<p>Japanese ministers are tripping over themselves to get behind fintech, so much so that government departments are now treading on each other's toes.</p> <p>This week the Japanese government  charged the  Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) with setting up a panel focusing on ways to boost the country's fintech industry. The only problem is that Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) has already launched a similar initiative, reports the Asian Nikkei Review, leaving some industry professionals confused.</p> <p>The FSA has already had two meetings attended by e-commerce giant Rakuten and a slew of startups. The agency is said to be focusing on building a framework that makes it easier for financial institutions to acquire fintech startups.</p> <p>METI meanwhile is forming a panel of 13 Japan institutions and fintech startups including NEC, Credit Saison, Mizuho Financial Group, and the Bank of Japan. Similarly the panel wants to encourage collaboration between banks and start-up. </p> <p>With similar remits,  it is very likely that METI and the FSA will find themselves competing for the same budgets. It will be interesting to see how the two departments cooperate.<br /> Photo: Tanya Impeartrice</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Earnings crunch begins: Big banks in the spotlight
Capital Markets
<p> The third-quarter earnings crunch begins this week.<br /> Many big banks are scheduled to report, but expectations are muted for them overall.<br /> Well Street expectations are low for others as well, including Dow components GE and Intel, as well as Netflix.</p> <p>The quarterly reporting crunch begins in earnest this week, and many of the big banks will be taking their turns in the earnings spotlight, including Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C), JPMorgan Chase &amp; Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Wells Fargo &amp; Co(NYSE: WFC).</p> <p>The consensus forecasts of Wall Street analysts for these are rather muted, with small declines in revenue anticipated from three of them, and modest earnings growth from two, relative to the year-ago period.</p> <p>Below is a quick look at what is expected from these and a few of the week's other most prominent reports.</p> <p>See also: JC Parets: Stay Away From Banking Stocks<br /> Bank of America<br /> This leading money center bank will post earnings of $0.37 per share for its third quarter, if Estimize's consensus forecast is accurate. That would compare to a net loss $0.04 per share in the same period of last year. Note that Estimize overestimated Bank of America earnings in ...</p> <p>Full story available on<br /> Photo: Wally Gobetz</p>
Weekend Scan: Goldman sees unemployment falling below 4.5% in 2018 even as growth slows
Capital Markets
<p>October 12</p> <p>Good evening everyone. Federal Reserve officials have been saying for some time that they believe the unemployment rate can fall more than they expected before inflation kicks in. Now Goldman Sachs has issued a report saying the jobless rate is likely to fall below 4.5% in the next couple of years, even without stellar growth. The Calculated Risk blog reports that the ageing population is behind the new normal for economic equilibrium. As baby boomers retire, the participation rate in the job force declines. Goldman expects the particpation rate to slip 0.25% annually to 61.8% by 2018 from the current 62.4%.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>Enough already, move! Central bankers at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Lima, Peru, told the Federal Reserve to raise rates, already. “'Delaying the increase would not solve the situation,' said Sukhdave Singh, deputy governor of Bank Negara Malaysia." They probably didn't read that Goldman Sachs report.  Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>Deflation, the elephant in the room. Barron's contributing editor Jim McTague writes on his blog that deflation is the thing no one wants to talk about at the Fed: "Deflation is evident in many places in our  economy. The buyout of older, high-paid employees by companies is an effort to reduce payrolls so that they can compete with startups and foreign competitors enjoying  lower human capital outlays.  Home prices in may sections of the country have not recovered from the Great Recession, owing to slack demand caused by weaker incomes.  The National Federation of Retailers this week said that their members this holiday season will have to grapple with deflation.  They will have to offer prices in 2015 lower than in 2014 to loosen consumer dollars." LinkedIn</p> <p>Turkey blaming Islamic state for bomb that killed up to 128. A pair of suicide bombers disrupted a pro-Kurdish demonstration in Ankara. The Turkish government said the attack would not delay elections slated for November. Reuters</p> <p>Iran tests new long-range missle. The surface-to-surface weapon called Emad can reach Israel and has "precise control." The test could throw a wrench into the nuclear agreement recently reached with six nations. Iran's parliament approved the general structure of the deal on Sunday. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>Hillary Clinton to claim center stage in first Democratic debate.  A total of five candidates will be squaring off. Can anyone out there name all five candidates? CNN</p> <p>Asia stock markets looking rosy. CSI 300 futures point to a 2.01% climb, Hang Seng Index contracts signal a 0.75% pop, while Straits Times Index futures hint at a 1.73% jump. Japan is close for Health and Sports day.</p> <p>China to release new yuan loans. Watch for the number at 10 a.m., local time.  Also on the docket: Malaysia’s industrial production figures at 1 p.m., and India’s industrial, manufacturing, and inflation numbers at 9 p.m.</p> <p>North Korea is “ready for war.” Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the ruling Workers' Pa</p>
Video: Jim Chanos on Tesla
Hedge Funds
<p>Is Tesla a great company? Billionaire short-seller Jim Chanos seems to think so, though he’s not quite convinced that it could take on the likes of BMW and GM yet, and apparently, that's where its stock is priced at right now.</p> <p>Photo: Fatima</p>
Video: Richard Thaler: The less attention you pay, the more money you’ll have
Asset Management
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Merryn Somerset Webb talks to author, academic and ‘father of behavioral economics’ Richard Thaler about pensions freedom, central bankers and fund management fees.</p> <p>This video first appeared in ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: Chatham House</p>
Daily Scan: Shanghai up over 3%; Yuan reaches two-month high on dovish pose at US Fed
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>October 12</p> <p>Good evening everyone. Chinese shares ended the session higher today amid speculation that Beijing will ramp up stimulus measures as the PBOC announced it would expand its relending pilot program. The Shanghai Composite surged 3.28%, while the Shenzhen Composite climbed 4.18%. Japan was closed but Singapore and Hong Kong were able to join the party:</p> <p> Hang Seng Index: +1.21%<br /> Hang Seng China Enterprises Index: +1.26%<br /> Straits Times Index: +1.04%</p> <p>Over in currencies, the yuan surged 0.42% today to hit a two-month high of 6.3187 a dollar. Emerging market currencies rallied over the past week in response to the Federal Reserve policy minutes, which revealed a very dovish attitude at the central bank. Oil prices continued their blitz  after the U.S. rig count fell for the fifth straight week. WTI gained 0.5% and Brent crude climbed 0.8%. Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>HK secondary market home sales hit 21-month low. The Hong Kong property market is feeling the heat again as home sales in the secondary market fell to a 21-month low of zero over the weekend. Sellers are reportedly willing to slash prices by as much as 5% at the moment, though buyers are still holding out for double-digit drops. SCMP (paywall)</p> <p>The prancing horse launches its IPO. After delaying its vaunted subsidiary’s offering earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that Ferrari has just launched its long-awaited IPO. The offering will see 17,175,000 of the prancing horse’s shares sold to the public, each valued between $48 and $52 per share. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles</p> <p>Kuroda: “Inflation dynamics is as we anticipated.” Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda dashed all hopes for an uptick in QE Monday. Kuroda told CNBC the bank can turn up monetary policy whenever necessary but “at this moment the inflation dynamics is as we anticipated.” The central banker also said  “unless oil prices decline further, the negative impact from oil will eventually dissipate, fade out, disappear and then 1 percent inflation is quite likely to come.” CNBC</p> <p>PBOC: market “correction” almost over. PBOC deputy governor Yi Gang, speaking at the IMF and World Bank meeting in Peru, was quoted saying that after several rounds of “corrections,” the Chinese stock market rout is “almost over.” Foreign and local investors, scrambling to take their capital elsewhere, missed the memo. Reuters</p> <p>Glencore to sell Chilean, Australian copper mines. The shares had halted trading in Hong Kong ahead of the announcement. Glencore is down 55% for the year; the mining and commodities giant is struggling to reduce $30 billio in debt. Last week, Glencore announced plans to dramatically reduce its zinc production. BBC</p> <p>China detains two more Japanese “spies.” In a move likely to strain its already troubled ties with Japan, China has detained two more Japanese nationals on susp</p>