Thai military’s plan for ‘Great Firewall’ risks Internet competition, says ex-information minister

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A proposal by Thailand‘s junta for a single Internet gateway to allow authorities to monitor content would destroy competition and was reminiscent of the most authoritarian measures to stifle free speech, a former information minister said on Thursday. The plan to create a single gateway for all Internet traffic was… Read more »

Emerging Asian affluent class optimistic of achieving financial goals: StanChart

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The emerging affluent consumers across Asia and Africa are, on the whole, confident about their market’s growth prospects, expect their incomes to rise, have clear savings and spending plans, and are confident in achieving their long-term wealth goal, an independent study commissioned by Standard Chartered has found. The study took… Read more »


Blockchain-powered marketplaces: The future of private transactions

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The advent of blockchain technologies, especially the emergence of Bitcoin as a digital commodity, in addition to the other cryptocurrencies arising from it, have led to the introduction of a number of disruptions in the financial technology (fintech) and financial services (finserv) space. According to the Blockchain Wiki, the blockchain is: “…a transaction database shared… Read more »


The R-Com-Reliance Jio deal: More questions than answers

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Shares of Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) have risen 8% in the past two trading sessions, on hopes that the company would gain from a tie-up with Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd for sharing and trading radio spectrum. R-Com’s investors have, on numerous occasions, displayed a tendency to put the cart before… Read more »


India: In KM Birla’s 20-year transformation, a mix of caution and ambition

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When the 28-year-old landed at Bombay’s international airport 20 years ago from the US with the coffin of his industrialist father, the chips were down. Aditya Vikram Birla, who headed the then $1.6 billion industrial group that traces its roots back to 1857, had passed away at a Baltimore hospital… Read more »


Commercial banks to generate $464b retail income end-2015: Asian Banker Research survey

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Commercial banks are expected to generate $464 billion in retail income by end of 2015, amid a growing shift away from thinning margins in corporate banking and volatile treasury income, a large scale survey conducted by the Asian Banker Research found. Driving this income in retail banking between 2015 and… Read more »


Tsinghua deal to connect Western Digital to powerful China tech set

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A billion-dollar Chinese plan to invest in Western Digital Corp is designed to plug the U.S. data storage firm into a network of influential China tech players carefully constructed by Tsinghua University, the alma mater of President Xi Jinping. For $3.8 billion, a unit of state-owned Tsinghua Holdings Co will… Read more »


Vietnam open to reforms to speed up SOE equitisation

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Vietnam is aggressively pushing its reforms process involving equitisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and experts feel that the time may be ripe to invest in the country’s SOEs. In fact the government is open to further amend policies to make its SOE equitisation programme more attractive to investors. Vietnam had… Read more »


Startup India: Time to change the ‘nuisance’ capital gains tax

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We, as a country, need to rethink capital gains taxes on venture capital and private equity. These ‘nuisance taxes’ are inhibiting investment and development of Indian startups, reducing foreign and domestic technology, capital inflows, job creation and hurting overall economic and government revenue growth. At the same time, India’s capital… Read more »


Co-working spaces, incubators shaping up fledgling startup ecosystem in Vietnam

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Co-working spaces — a stimulating working environment for startups and independent professionals — are fast dotting Vietnam’s business districts mirroring the country’s rising entrepreneurial activity as also investor interest in the region. Vietnam continues to see new entrants such as Toong in Hanoi and Dreamplex (slated to launch next month in… Read more »