Archiv: January 2006

How Internet affects social life in the US

It has often been said and repeated that e-mail or web communication might diminish "real" social intercourse rather than enriching it. On 26 January BBC News presented a survey by the US-based Pew Internet think-tank which might present a new aspect for this discussion. Here's an interesting extract of BBC's online article:

The reliance and accessibility of the web is creating a new social phenomenon according to sociologist Barry Wellman. Co-author of the report, he identifies what he terms as the rise of networked individualism - where users of modern technology are less tied to local groups and increasingly part of more geographically scattered networks. "This creates a new basis for community. Rather than relying on a single community for social support, individuals often actively seek out a variety of appropriate people and resources for different situations," he said.

read the full article:

Swiss government relinquishes its holding in telecom provider Swisscom

Last Wednesday the Swiss government opened the consultation procedure on relinquishing its holding in the telecom provider Swisscom. The Swisscom's board of directors had already announced that in principle it considered the withdrawal of the Confederation as a majority shareholder to be a positive one.

According to the Federal Department of Finance it is important for Swisscom as a publicly listed company, that the framework for the future is established as quickly as possible. This is why the government has decided to shorten the deadline for responses of the interested parties to a month only. In the event of a referendum, this procedure would enable it to be held on 11 March 2007.

read also the press release of Swisscom as of last Wednesday.

PEP-Check at Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority

Liechtenstein's Financial Market Authority (FMA) is an independent regulatory authority for participants in the financial market of the Principality of Liechtenstein. The FMA has been using Telekurs Financial's PEP-Check application since December 2005. PEP-Check lets financial institutions investigate their potential and current clients using publicly available lists known as blacklists and PEP lists. With PEP-Check, comparison tests can be done either in the form of ad-hoc queries or in batch mode to check a financial institute's entire clientele.

The use of PEP-Check at the FMA is the result of close collaboration between the regulator and the financial data provider. The FMA has been providing client information (blacklists) to Telekurs Financial since the start of 2005; these are integrated into PEP-Check and thus made available to all interested financial institutions. Now the FMA also has the ability to verify the information quickly and efficiently with its own PEP-Check application and the sophisticated search options it features.

Google: censored version in China

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports today that the Internet search giant Google has acquired the direct entry into the Chinese market. However, in doing so Google will have to apply the Chinese regulations of censorship. Google itself will have to censor in the content all key words and information which - according to Chinese officials - have a negative impact on the ruling system. This will include words and information relating to Taiwan, Tibet, the student protests of 1989 and Falung Gong.

read also the following BBC News reports
Google move 'black day' for China
Google censors itself for China

press release: new service for French fiscal prices

Telekurs (France) SAS launches a new product on the market: delivery of the French Fiscal Prices (ISF: Impôt de Solidarité sur le Fortune). The ISF Prices allow banks to produce an accurate valuation of their customers’ holdings, prior to declaration to the Tax Authorities.

Read the full text of this press release (download 28 kb).

The future department store

The Japanese departement store Mitsukoshi is currently running a pilot test in joint partnership with the electronics giant Fujitsu using RFID devices for inventory and customer relationship. This pilot test is part of the "Japanese Future Store" project which is led by the Japanese Government.

During the pilot at the Mitsukoshi Ginza Department Store, 5000 pairs of jeans will be RFID-tagged for the purpose of inventory management and improvement services and operations. Also, the store has six "intelligent fitting rooms" that are equipped with large-screen IP phones and RFID readers. In these fitting rooms, customers can, for example, easily get information about the availibility of different sizes.

Moreover, Mitsukoshi will provide an experimental mobile "concierge" service using active RFID tags and mobile phones to improve customer relationship. When customers carrying active RFID tags enter the store, their historical information (past visits to the store as well as purchase histories) is displayed on the mobile devices of sales agents. If customers want to interact with the sales agents, they can push a button on the tag to call them.

Beijing's plan to boost Shanghai and Shenzen exchanges

As I have previously reported, China's stock exchanges continue to suffer from low volumens and are left aside in the homeland's IPOs. The Swiss financial magazine "Finanz&Wirtschaft" shows in yesterday's edition, how the Chinese government is taking action.

According to Finanz&Wirtschaft the Chinese government will now take action to enhance the attractiveness and efficiency of the mainland financial market. During the months to come Chinese companies should be able to list their shares at the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. In May 2005, the Chinese government had stopped the planned trading of shares worth $200 billion because of insufficient trading environment. According to Mr Zhou Qine, the Vice-president of Shanghai's exchange, leading Chinese companies, such as Petrochina and China Construction Bank, will have a second listing at the Shanghai and Shenzen exchanges. Those companies are currently listed at the Hongkong exchange.

With the introduction of blue chip stock, China's exchanges should gain depht and coverage. So far, the mainland financial market concentrated on companies which were not among the drivers of an economy which grows at 9.8%.

Mr Zhou Qine estimates that the planned listings of Petrochina, China Construction Bank and Shenhua Engery should turn the mainland financial market into the biggest exchange of Asia after Tokyo and Hongkong until the end of the year. The government hopes that the listing of blue chip companies will also attract the institutional investors to the Shanghai and Shenzen exchanges. So far these markets had been dominated by private investors.

Bank of China's IPO - shunning the homeland

The forthcoming IPO of the Bank of China is likely to attract many investors by its size and potential. The initial public offering is valued at $6 billion to $8 billion and has a chance to be the second-biggest IPO ever out of China. However, it will also highlight the inefficiency of the local exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen. They will probably be kept out from the operation. BusinessWeek online reporter Brian Bremner explains:

The best companies in China don't even bother offering their shares in the mainland. Instead, the country's most promising financial institutions and tech companies are blowing off the local exchanges entirely and opting for overseas listings in Hong Kong, New York, or London.

read the full story:

Japanese stock market: again on up trend

Following the 5.7% dive of the Japanese Nikkei index during this week, the down trend seems to have stopped on Thursday according to the Swiss online news site NZZ Online. The plunge of the index had been caused by panic sells due to the scandal relating to the Internet portal Livedoor.

AWP International – a news service for the Swiss and Liechtenstein community

From 16 January 2006, users of the AWP service in Switzerland and Liechtenstein will enjoy the benefits of an enhanced international reporting service in German language.

The Swiss company AG für Wirtschafts-Publikationen (AWP) will be launching an expanded international premium service under the new “AWP International” brand. This service is based on the news supplied by AWP’s two international partner agencies Dow Jones Newswires and dpa-AFX.

AWP International is an international news service tailored to the needs of the Swiss and Liechtenstein financial community. The service contains newsflashes and reports, analysis and background from all areas of the global economy. The comprehensive corporate reporting feature covers Europe, the USA and Asia (primarily Japan). In addition, AWP International spotlights events on the markets and in the financial sector as a whole in western and eastern Europe, the USA, Asia and Latin America. International news on macroeconomic developments and economic policy-making are also key features of the new premium service.

The offering is completed by a host of ancillary services such as a calendar function, press reviews, summaries and synopses. A clear and transparent structure makes it easy for users to follow events during the course of the day. AWP’s schedule for regular news will give you more insight into the news offering.

AWP news are available in the display products of Telekurs Financial.

TKLink to become Finance IPNet

Finance IPNet is the new extranet solution enabling customers of Telekurs Financial to access the financial information products Telekurs iD, Valordata Feed and Market Data Feed. In December 2005, all customers from Switzerland and Liechtenstein completed the migration from the former extranet TKLink to Finance IPNet successfully and without having to devote any technical resources to it.

Finance IPNet provides IP connectivity between the customer and Telekurs Financial. By switching to Finance IPNet, all financial information products and services plus the services of the other Telekurs Group companies can be accessed via a single data connection.

Compared with the previous TKLink, Finance IPNet offers several new features for efficient data transmission:

Customers of Telekurs Financial can now choose between various connection profiles (from 64/64 kbps to 34 Mbps) for retrieving data.
The choice of provider enables the customer to retrieve data from Swisscom or sunrise via Finance IPNet or from both providers simultaneously.
Telekurs Financial has two access points for each provider; hence there is adequate redundancy.
Data transmission between the customer and Telekurs Financial is encrypted in line with state-of-the-art security standards.

In addition to technical efficiency, Finance IPNet entails economic benefits for our customers too. Finance IPNet offers better value for money with lower costs for the same bandwidth. Moreover, a single data link can be used for all Telekurs Group services (financial information, payment transactions, bank clearing SIC), thus generating even more cost savings for our customers. Telekurs Financial is confident that Finance IPNet will prove to be a modern and secure standard for transmitting financial information.

Swiss Government will revise corporate law

According to a press release of the Swiss Departement of Justice, the Swiss Federal Council has opened the consultation procedure for revising the existing corporate law. The corporate law should be modernised and adapted to current economic requirements. The revision aims to adapt the articles relating to Corporate Governance, capital structure, accounting and procedures for General Meetings.

In particular, the revision will propose new and more flexible procedures regarding the increase and decrease of share capital. Furthermore, the existing minimal face value for shares and the issuing of bearer shares should be abolished. Regarding the procedures for General Meetings, the revision will allow companies the use of electronic devices for the preparation and holding of the meetings. Furthermore, the revision stipulates the holding of a General Meeting at diffent locations and abroad.

For more information read the following press release (only available in German).

UBS research: outlook 2006

Yesterday, UBS research released its economic outlook for the global financial markets. According to UBS-analysts:

The year ahead will see a further slowdown in US growth. Neither the Asian economies nor Europe, with its depressed levels of consumption, will manage to escape this trend completely. However inflation risks will remain limited in an environment of more stable oil prices, signalling that a new interest rate plateau has been reached. Thus the risks in the financial markets should remain calculable. We expect bonds to offer slightly below-average yields. On the other hand, equity market valuations indicate that an adequate year can be expected for equities on average, with mostly single-digit returns. However, major bouts of market uncertainty and declines during the year cannot be completely ruled out.

read the UBS media release

download the full analysis (pdf, 443 kb).

Swiss exchange SWX looks back on a positive 2005

The Swiss exchange SWX and its London subsidiary virt-x have announced their key figures for 2005. Compared to the previous year 2004, the turnover of both exchanges rose by 18.4 % to 1449 billion Swiss francs.

For more information, download SWX's press release (pdf, 43 kb).

Yahoo: not on the go

Last week, Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo!, presented a package of products aimed at giving users access to Yahoo services. Yahoo Go, as it's called, includes a mobile phone with a preloaded application, as well as software that lets users tap into Yahoo services from a PC-connected TV set.

Read the full article of BusinessWeek online reporter Burt Helm:

New release of Telekurs iD mobile goes live

With the new release Telekurs iD mobile is now operational for BIS–Services (Black Berry Internet Service), thus Telekurs iD mobile will also be running on devices without Blackberry Enterprise Solution. Our mobile clients will also benefit from the following new features:

Improved Instrument Search: the search button is now replaced by an entry within the Thumbwheel Navigation menu. Search results (instruments) are now sorted by turnover and the corresponding market place.
A new News Search functionality is available within the Thumbwheel Navigation menu. The search supports topic, date and time selection.
The display for spot-und cross-rates now features NAME, TREND, BID, ASK and TIME.

You can find more information about Telekurs iD mobile on this fact sheet.

trends in the electronics industry at the CES in Las Vegas

This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will be held in Las Vegas from January 5-8. Some 2500 exhibotors and 130'000 people are expected to gather in Las Vegas in order to catch up with the latest products and software. Among the keynote speakers will be, among others, Terry Semel, CEO and Chairman of Yahoo! Inc and Larry Page, Co-founder of Google.

see also for more information.

Eurex looking for new partners in US

The international derivatives exchange Eurex confirmed on Wednesday that it is in discussions with a number of U.S. exchanges over a partnership to further develop its U.S. business. Any resulting agreement would call for the partner exchange to take a stake in Eurex US, Eurex’s exchange subsidiary in the U.S. The announcement comes after approval of this strategic direction from Eurex’s parent companies Deutsche Börse AG and SWX Swiss Exchange and a subsequent decision of the Eurex Supervisory Board.

According to a repoort of the "Neue Zürcher Zeitung" sources from Deutsche Boerse confirmed that the electronic trading platform Archipelago, which has recently merged with NYSE, and the Philadelphia Exchange are currently evaluated as possible partners.

Find more information in the official press release of Deutsche Boerse.

Credit Suisse wants to expand its presence in the Middle East

Credit Suisse filed an application for a financial services licence with the new Qatar Financial Centre in December 2005. Pending approval from the Qatar Financial Services Authority (QFCRA), Credit Suisse plans to establish a subsidiary in Doha during the first half of 2006. Through its new office Credit Suisse expects to provide high net worth individuals and institutional clients with a comprehensive range of products and services responding to the dynamic development and fast growing demand in Qatar.

Find more details in the official press release of Credit Suisse.





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