Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holding, rings a bell during the IPO ceremony on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in February 2014. Investors are preparing for one of the hottest IPOs in years--Snap's $25 billion listing in New York. They should also keep on eye on some big debuts in Hong Kong and mainland China, the world's top two IPO markets last year. Here are the three largest listings expected in 2017. An employee scans a QR code displayed on the Ant Financial Services Group's Alipay app, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (Photo credit: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg) Ant Financial is the payments arm of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant that currently holds the title of the world's largest IPO.
One of the most memorable events in investing that I remember from the mid to late 1990s was a competition organized by the Wall Street Journal newspaper in New York, which pitched the country's best analysts and investors against picks generated by random throws on a dartboard. Astonishingly, the dartboard trumped the analysts on numerous occasions and I can't help but liken it to what is happening on the Indian venture capital front. Venture investing of course is not stock market investing, but it does involve some of the same rigours and expertise -- how to read numbers and evaluate industry and competitive landscapes and then use this along with judgement, analysis, and gut feel to gauge the future business potential of companies to make current bets. In doing so, venture investors have performed abysmally in India. If there were a new equivalent to that dartboard -- say an artificial intelligence bot that actually used all of the market intelligence and disruptive potential of a business idea plugged into it, as some investors have begun to do recently -- I am quite sure that it would be a no-contest.
Three of the top five firms in Hong Kong belong to this category and almost all the top ten billionaires have major investment on real estate. However, since the financial market turmoil in 1997, real estate investment has become relatively high-risky, which reflects the uncertainties in such industry. Before 1997, government eould manipulate the supply side (anetioned lands for construction) to control the price. However, this was no longer the case due to the outflow of cash. With the advances in information technology, real estate seemed ready to move online.
Two years ago, Amylene Dingle lived with her husband and 7-year-old daughter in Payatas, an impoverished Manila neighborhood with the largest open dump site in the Philippines. Her husband worked on the security staff in a government building, earning 4,000 pesos a week, the equivalent of $80. She had always wanted to start a business, but she was unemployed, had no money saved, no credit history and couldn't get a credit card or a bank loan. Dingle's fortunes took a dramatic turn after she responded to a Facebook ad for Tala, a Santa Monica-based startup that makes small loans through a smartphone app. After granting Tala access to her phone, through which the app cleverly parses mobile data to assess a borrower's risk, she got a 30-day, $20 loan. She paid 15% interest and used the money to buy cold cuts, hamburgers and hot dogs. She marked them up 40% and sold them door-to-door, earning $4 in profit after paying back the interest and a small processing fee.
LONDON/CHICAGO – On Jan. 12, 2015, a message from a secure computer terminal at Banco del Austro (BDA) in Ecuador instructed San Francisco-based Wells Fargo to transfer money to bank accounts in Hong Kong. Over 10 days, Wells approved at least 12 transfers of BDA funds over the secure SWIFT system. The SWIFT network -- which allows banks to process billions of dollars in transfers each day -- is considered the backbone of international banking. In all, Wells Fargo transferred 12 million of BDA's money to accounts across the globe. Both banks now believe those funds were stolen by hackers, according to documents in a BDA lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo in New York this year.