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Finastra’s FusionFabric.cloud platform changes the way software is developed, deployed and consumed in the financial world

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Finastra’s FusionFabric.cloud platform changes the way software is developed, deployed and consumed in the financial world

New platform components accelerate innovation for 9,000 banks and give Fintechs access to a global marketplace

Today, at Money 20/20 Europe, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Finastra announced the availability of the three core components within its FusionFabric.cloud platform for open innovation. Combined, the components accelerate innovation for 9,000 banks and financial institutions and give Fintechs access to a global marketplace:

  • FusionCreator – A rapid development environment for financial applications with low-code capabilities and integrated API management tools
  • FusionOperate – A management system to deploy and operate applications in a secure cloud infrastructure
  • FusionStore – An online marketplace for banks to search, try and buy applications

Simon Paris, CEO at Finastra, said, “We firmly believe that collaboration is the new way of innovating and FusionFabric.cloud makes this possible.

The move to bank as a platform or banking as a service will redefine the future of financial services and we are at the forefront, bringing banks and Fintechs together to allow faster innovation at much lower costs. We are changing the way that financial services software is developed, deployed and consumed, like no one else – building the foundations of a completely new financial services ecosystem and marketplace, and thereby unlocking the potential of people and businesses alike. Our vision is to be the number one open platform for innovation in the world of financial services, and FusionFabric.cloud is already blazing a trail.”

FusionFabric.cloud already has over 60 Fintechs and providers signed up:

  • Among the major financial technology solution providers embracing the FusionFabric.cloud early adopter program:

o    Accenture built a commercial lending solution that automates the lengthy deal onboarding process of credit agreements in Fusion Loan IQ by eliminating the need for manual data entry, reducing the process from two to three days down to minutes, while also reducing operational risk.

o    Thomson Reuters is embedding its instrument reference data into FusionFabric.cloud.

  • Among the high growth Fintech start-ups using FusionFabric.cloud to start developing apps:

o    BankBI, Conpend, Conversation.one, Infotrie, ft consult in cooperation with SmartDataHub, HedgeSPA and Tradle.

The early adopter program has seen Fintechs reduce application development time from months to weeks. Users can bring innovation to market faster in the low-code, cloud environment, and sell applications without needing to build a global sales team or worrying about a scalable infrastructure. Pre-integrated developer tools and an API catalogue also speed application creation. Finastra’s initial API focus is on payments and retail banking to serve the immediate demand of PSD2 and open banking coming into force. Other APIs will be added in due course to cover the whole Finastra product and solution line.

As the model for bank innovation changes, FusionFabric.cloud makes it easier for financial institutions to transform their businesses, extend product capabilities and access innovation. Banks can now use FusionFabric.cloud to leverage their own development capabilities  to create and deploy applications on top of their core systems, and/or they can collaborate with Fintechs to build and access new capabilities they need quickly through Open APIs. This double catalyst for innovation, in conjunction with the breadth and depth of Finastra’s portfolio, adds significant value and provides unparalleled flexibility.

Recent research by Celent* reports that flexibility is where platformification could play a major role because it could give banks the vital tools they need to innovate. Gareth Lodge, Senior Analyst at Celent, said, “Of the financial institutions surveyed, nearly 40% of banks are using or actively investigating platforms. Furthermore, they saw the same benefits as we did, with 60% ranking the benefits of accessing new technologies and being able to build and test in an agile way either first or second priorities. […] Our conclusion then is that the industry is close to much wider use of platforms.”

The research also explores security and privacy as perceived barriers by banks, but notes that a tipping point is being reached, as only 12% of respondents said they were unlikely to consider platforms. FusionFabric.cloud is underpinned by Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s enterprise-ready trusted cloud platform. Spending over a billion dollars on security investments annually, Microsoft leads the industry in establishing clear security and privacy requirements and then consistently meeting these requirements.

Finastra is now welcoming banks, Fintechs and ISVs, universities, system integrators and individual developers to register interest and lead the next wave of financial services innovation with us.

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Exclusive: Portugal sees green hydrogen output by end-2022, $12 billion in investment lined up

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Exclusive: Portugal sees green hydrogen output by end-2022, $12 billion in investment lined up 1

By Sergio Goncalves

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal will start producing green hydrogen by the end of 2022 and already has private investment worth around 10 billion euros ($12 billion) lined up for eight projects that are expected to move forward, Environment Minister Joao Matos Fernandes said.

He told Reuters in a telephone interview there were also several “pre-contracts for the purchase and assembly of electrolysers” to produce the zero-carbon fuel made by electrolysis out of water using renewable wind and solar energy.

Such hydrogen is more expensive to extract than the heavily polluting conventional method of using heat and chemical reactions to release hydrogen from coal or natural gas, known as brown and grey hydrogen respectively.

Hydrogen is now mostly used in the oil refining industry and to produce ammonia fertilisers, but sectors such as steelmaking, transportation and chemicals are beginning to develop large-scale hydrogen applications to gradually replace fossil fuels as countries try to reduce pollution.

The European Commission has mapped out a plan to scale up green hydrogen projects across polluting sectors to meet a net zero emissions goal by 2050 and become a leader in a market analysts expect to be worth $1.2 trillion by that date.

“By the end of 2022, there will certainly be green hydrogen production in Portugal,” Matos Fernandes said. “Green hydrogen will, over time, allow Portugal to completely change its paradigm and become an energy exporting country.”

He said seven groups had submitted applications under Europe’s IPCEI scheme for common-interest projects to make part of a planned export-oriented “hydrogen cluster” near the port of Sines, from where hydrogen could be shipped to Rotterdam. Total investment there is estimated at some 7 billion euros.

A consortium including Portugal’s main utility EDP, oil company Galp, world’s largest wind turbine maker Vestas, among others, is behind one of the projects.

In Estarreja in north Portugal, local firm Bondalti Chemicals aims to invest 2.4 billion euros in a hydrogen plant.

Altogether, these envisage an installed capacity of over 1,000 megawatts (MW).

Matos Fernandes said Portugal was also negotiating with Spain the construction of a pipeline for renewable gases, including hydrogen, from Sines to France, crossing Spain.

LITHIUM PLANS

Spain and Portugal also want to develop an ambitious cross-border lithium project taking advantage of the geographical proximity of their lithium deposits and aiming to cover the entire value chain from mining to refining, cell and battery manufacturing to battery recycling, he said.

Portugal is already a large producer of low-grade lithium mainly for the ceramics industry, but is preparing to make higher-grade metal used in electric car batteries.

A much-awaited licensing tender for lithium-bearing areas that has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic should take place by the year-end, Matos Fernandes said.

He promised the tender would address environmental concerns by local communities and there would be no lithium mining “at any cost”.

The minister also said Portugal would use its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union to finalise a landmark law that would make the bloc’s climate targets irreversible and speed up emissions cuts this decade, expecting it to be approved in the first half of 2021.

(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Andrei Khalip and David Evans)

 

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Under fire in EU, AstraZeneca CEO says ‘hopefully’ will meet vaccine supply goals

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Under fire in EU, AstraZeneca CEO says 'hopefully' will meet vaccine supply goals 2

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot said on Thursday he hoped to meet the European Union’s expectations on the number of COVID-19 vaccines the company can deliver to the bloc in the second quarter, after big cuts in the first three months of the year.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has been under fire in the EU for its delayed supplies of shots to the 27-nation bloc, which ordered 300 million doses by the end of June.

“We are working 24/7 to improve delivery and hopefully catch up to the expectations for Q2,” Soriot told EU lawmakers in a public hearing.

Under its contract with the EU, the company has committed to delivering 180 million doses in the second quarter.

Soriot did not mention the 180 million target, but said he was confident the company will be able to increase production in the second quarter using factories outside the EU that had no production problems, including in the United States.

He confirmed the company was trying to get 40 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the EU by the end of March, which is less than half the amount it promised for the quarter in its contract.

The EU, which has fallen far behind the United States and former member Britain in vaccinating its public, has repeatedly urged the firm to deliver more.

Lower-than-expected yields – the amount of vaccine that can be produced from base ingredients – at its factories hurt output in the first three months.

Asked about supplies to Britain, which relies on the same factories used by the EU, Soriot said the former EU member with a population of around 66 million was smaller, and noted that most doses produced in the EU were used to serve the EU which has a population of about 450 million.

Executives from rival drugmakers that have developed or are testing COVID-19 vaccines, including Moderna Inc and CureVac NV were also part of the panel.

But most questions were directed at Soriot amid anger that the company has failed to deliver promised vaccine quantities to the bloc on schedule.

Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said the company has experienced fluctuations as the U.S. biotech group ramps up output of its COVID-19 vaccine.

He said usually a company would stockpile product ahead of a launch, but it is shipping every dose it makes, leaving it without any spare inventory.

His comments came a day after the company increased its output target for this year and 2022 as it invests in additional manufacturing capacity.

(Reporting by Josephine Mason in London and Francesco Guarascio in Brussels; Editing by Susan Fenton, Bill Berkrot and Keith Weir)

 

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Shift to sun, ski and suburbs gives Airbnb advantage over hotels

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Shift to sun, ski and suburbs gives Airbnb advantage over hotels 3

By Ankit Ajmera

(Reuters) – Airbnb’s quarterly results are likely to show the pandemic may have helped the home rental company lure leisure travelers away from big hotels during the global travel collapse of 2020.

Weary of being locked up in their homes for months, travelers hit the road and booked homes and cottages on Airbnb, while avoiding flights and downtown hotels, analysts said.

Airbnb accounted for 18% of the total U.S. lodging revenue in 2020, up from 11.5% in 2019, data from hotel analytics provider STR and vacation rental data company AirDNA showed.

It outperformed the hotel industry and online travel agents such as Expedia and Booking.com thanks to its greater offer of ‘sun, ski, and suburban’ rental homes, Cowen & Co analysts said.

Shift to sun, ski and suburbs gives Airbnb advantage over hotels 4

(Graphic: Airbnb grabs bigger share of U.S. lodging market in pandemic: https://graphics.reuters.com/AIRBNB-RESULTS/yxmpjxqdopr/chart.png)

For an interactive graphic, click here: https://tmsnrt.rs/3pPbQwH

THE CONTEXT

In 2019, about 90% of Airbnb’s bookings came from leisure travels compared with about 20%-30% for large hotels chains, including Marriott and Hilton, that rely on business travel to grow their profits.

“Unfortunately, the hotel operators do not have as much supply in locations where people are willing to travel,” said Jamie Lane, vice president of research at AirDNA.

Lane said with mass vaccinations later in the year, the share of alternative accommodations including Airbnb will drop before continuing to grow at 2%-3% per year once normal travel patterns return.

Shift to sun, ski and suburbs gives Airbnb advantage over hotels 5

(Graphic: Airbnb U.S. sales against top hotels: https://graphics.reuters.com/AIRBNB-RESULTS/gjnpwzkdbvw/chart.png)

For an interactive graphic, click here: https://tmsnrt.rs/3dPKvsd

THE FUNDAMENTALS

* The San Francisco-based company is expected to report gross bookings of $23.10 billion in 2020, down from about $38 billion a year earlier, according to the mean estimate of 12 analysts according to Refinitiv; gross bookings are seen rising by 50% in 2021.

* Analysts’ mean estimate for Airbnb’s full-year net loss is $3.52 billion, bigger than a loss of $674.3 million a year earlier. Full-year revenue is expected to drop 32% to $3.27 billion.

WALL STREET SENTIMENT

* Of 34 brokerages, 20 rate Airbnb’s stock “hold”, 12 “buy” or higher and two “sell” or lower

* Wall Street’s median 12-month price target for Airbnb is $156​, about 22% below its last closing price of $200.20.

* The company’s stock has nearly tripled since listing in December

Shift to sun, ski and suburbs gives Airbnb advantage over hotels 6

(Graphic: Airbnb’s stock has nearly tripled since debut: https://graphics.reuters.com/AIRBNB-RESULTS/jznpnoqrlvl/chart.png)

For an interactive graphic, click here: https://tmsnrt.rs/3dG2lOd

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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