The top 5 banking news stories in emerging markets this week.
1 -Alibaba wins licence for private bank in China
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group has won approval from China’s bank regulator to launch a private commercial bank in its home city of Hangzhou. >>
2 – New challengers, and challenges, force banks to reinvent in the new age of the customer
News that Apple is upping its game in mobile payments serves as another reminder that traditional banks are increasingly under siege. Aside from managing a growing mountain of regulatory requirements and escalating margin pressures, financial institutions face the emergence of formidable competitors, often from companies in the retail and communications sectors that haven’t traditionally operated in this space. >>
3 – Kenya’s economy joins Africa’s top 10
Nairobi – Kenya’s gross domestic product was estimated to be 25 percent bigger after the authorities changed the base calculation year to 2009 from 2001, sending the east African nation into the continent’s top 10 economies. >>
4 – Philippine Telecom launches free mobile internet service for its subscribers
Smart, a mobile telecommunication carrier in the Philippines, has in an almost unprecedented move announced that all their prepaid subscribers can now access the internet for free. The announcement was made at a large press conference by Manny V. Pangilinan, the chairman of Smart and its parent company PLDT. >>
5 – How many billionaires are there in asia?
According to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014, the world’s billionaire population has reached a record high of 2,325, up 7 percent from a year ago. With a staggering combined wealth of $7.3 trillion, up 12 percent from 2013, the ultra-wealthy group would rank third as a country in terms of gross domestic product, behind only the United States and China. >>