News Stocks 

The Fate of Bank Stocks Amid Quantitative Tightening

“Given the extrapolated performance of bank stocks, deregulation, quantitative tightening (interest-rate hikes), and a booming US economy do not seem to be having the desired effect on bank stocks” writes Finance Magnates Staff for financemagnates.com. Based on current trends, interest rates are set to rise modestly in 2019, which should propel bank stocks in the process.According to SelectUSA.gov, the financial services industry in the US comprised 7.5% of US GDP (gross domestic product) in 2017.Consider that in 2017, US financial services and insurance exports amounted to $114.5 billion.It is largely…

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Danske Bank pulls out of Russia, Baltics after money-laundering backlash

“He said that he was “not convinced that such activities would not continue in Danske”, telling journalists that the Danish regulator had handled the bank with “silk gloves”” reports businessinsider.com. The Danske case, which focuses on money moved between 2007 and 2015, has raised questions about supervision of the Danish bank, prompting the EU’s executive European Commission to ask the European Banking Authority (EBA) to investigate. Source: businessinsider.com

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Markets News Regulators 

Fed Chairman Concerned Over Shrinking Bank Market

“Reports said Powell noted that looser community bank regulations may help keep branches open” reports pymnts.com. That may be good news for banks, but some policymakers are concerned that industry consolidation is reducing access to financial services in rural areas.He pointed to the Community Reinvestment Act, which encourages banks to loan to small businesses.Bank mergers aren’t the only factor behind closing bank branches, however.As concerns are raised about how industry consolidation might impact competition, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is warning that it could hinder small businesses’ access to capital…

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Revolut: could allegations of Russian involvement sidetrack a fintech revolution?

“With its Lithuanian-issued EU banking licence, Revolut will start accepting deposits and offering retail and business lending in 2019, making it an even bigger rival for traditional banks” writes Arturo Bris for theconversation.com. But amid the prospects of a hard Brexit, and the opportunities provided by a larger EU banking market, Revolut started looking for a eurozone-based banking license.Soon after Revolut got its banking licence, however, Lithuanian politics started muddying the waters.The investigation could ultimately result in Revolut’s banking licence being revoked. Source: theconversation.com

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Markets News Stocks 

European markets struggle as investors respond to HSBC and BHP earnings

“European stocks were down on Tuesday, as investors responded poorly to earnings from HSBC and BHP Group while trade negotiations between the U.S. and China continue in Washington” writes Emily Horton for marketwatch.com. The markets mainly reacted to the latest set of company earnings from heavyweights HSBC Holdings PLC HSBC, +1.01% HSBA, -3.98% HSBA, -3.98% and the world’s largest listed miner by market value BHP Group BHP, -1.03% HSBC Holdings PLC HSBC, +1.01% HSBA, -3.98% reported lower than expected fourth-quarter profits, leading to a 3% drop in the share price.Results…

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Major Omani Bank Joins RippleNet Cross-Border Payment Network

“RippleNet is a global blockchain-based payment network of institutional payment providers, that was developed by technology company Ripple” writes Ana Alexandre for cointelegraph.com. Oman’s second largest bank by market value, BankDhofar, has begun using RippleNet technology for cross-border payments to India.Earlier this month, Finablr, a global payment platform and foreign exchange operator based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), joined the RippleNet network to complete real-time transactions to Thailand.Last December, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) also launched a cross-border remittance product based on RippleNet’s blockchain technology. Source: cointelegraph.com

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UK’s Newest Challenger Bank Diaspora Eyes Trade Finance

“In January, another challenger bank, Countingup, launched operations in the U.K. with a focus on freelancers, sole traders and independent contractors” reports pymnts.com. The U.K.’s challenger banking market continues to grow, as more FinTechs pursue licenses in the small business banking space.Last week, two challenger banks secured fresh funding from investors: Starling Bank, which raised nearly $77 million, and OakNorth, which secured $440 million.Reports in FinTech Futures on Friday (Feb. 15) said that it will target small- and medium-sized businesses with an array of trade finance products, including factoring.Earlier this…

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Citi to double Brazil commercial bank unit’s assets by 2020

“The bank’s commercial unit has roughly 5 billion reais ($1.34 billion) in assets, out of 75 billion reais for Citi’s Brazilian operation as a whole, most of it dedicated to larger corporations” reports businessinsider.com. This move underscores a shift in Citi’s strategy in Brazil toward wholesale activities after selling its retail assets there to Itaú Unibanco Holding SA for 710 million reais.Rubens said those assets jumped by 27 percent in 2018 as an economic recovery increased demand. Source: businessinsider.com

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