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PREMIALAB PLATFORM LAUNCHES EUROPEAN OFFERING FOLLOWING SUCCESS IN ASIA

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PREMIALAB PLATFORM LAUNCHES EUROPEAN OFFERING FOLLOWING SUCCESS IN ASIA

New office opens in Paris

PremiaLab, the Fintech platform for Risk Premia Strategies, has today announced the formal launch of its European offering with the opening of a new European headquarters. The new office in Paris will further accelerate its growth in the European market.

The PremiaLab platform allows institutional investors and asset allocators to access data on systematic strategies from across a wide universe of providers in a quick and efficient manner. The platform is focused on reducing cost and improving access to the fast-growing market of risk premia and smart beta products.

The Hong Kong based Fintech company launched its Risk Premia platform in 2016, and its expansion into Europe follows its significant success in the Asian market. The platform has established strong partnerships with many leading investment banks including Barclays, Credit Suisse, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking, as well as global asset managers active in this sector, such as Nikko Asset Management.

Investment banks are using their financial engineering capabilities to design a large panel of quantitative strategies and algorithms which can be invested in by institutional investors globally. These liquid, transparent and cost-efficient strategies are now available on all asset classes and classified according to risk factors i.e. their main source of return. They are selected and combined by portfolio managers in different investment products, including Funds, ETFs or derivatives. Nikko AM, a leading Japanese Asset Management company has for instance recently launched a UCITS Funds offering access to these Risk Premia strategies.

The Platform is already providing information on an estimated USD $250bn of assets under management, providing a unique source of data on factor investment and risk premia. Used by asset managers, insurance companies, pensions funds and sovereign wealth funds, the platform should reach 500 institutional investors by the end of 2018. Leveraging its recent success, the firm is also planning to launch its offering into the U.S. in 2018 to expand its global presence further.

Pierre Trecourt, Co-Founder of PremiaLab commented:

“We have experienced significant success in developing strong partnerships with many of the leading global investment banks and asset managers. Our new office in Europe is a key milestone in our ambitious growth strategy and will strengthen our presence in the region allowing us to provide more effective support to our global client base. We continue to see very strong demand from institutional investors for our data, risk analytics and the efficient access to systematic investment strategies that our solution provides.”

Nicolas Aractingi, Director at Barclays, said:

“We see a growing demand for systematic indices from asset owners globally. Institutional investors are turning towards quantitative strategies to provide a diversified performance engine to their portfolio. Barclays has a long-term expertise in designing Quantitative Investment Strategies across multiple asset classes. We are delighted to work with PremiaLab to continue serving our clients with latest available technology addressing the need for data and analytics on systematic indices.”

Walter Cegarra, Global Head of QIS Structuring at Credit Suisse said:

“We have a long history in providing asset allocators with innovative alternative investment solutions, dating back to our market leading Hedge Fund indices in the late 90s. Over time, we have developed a substantial track record in providing investors with Alternative Risk Premia and Smart Beta solutions. Our platform combines long established strategies with unique content (such as HOLT), cross asset portfolio capabilities and best in class execution outsourcing through the CS Index Plus platform. We are delighted to work closely with the Premialab team to make our offering even more easily accessible to institutional investors around the world.”

FouedJaziri, Global Head of SG Index (SGI) platform at SocieteGenerale Corporate & Investment Banking, said:

“Systematic strategies are now widely used amongst asset allocators and asset managers.  At SocieteGenerale, we have developed a truly cross-asset index offering leveraging on both our quantitative expertise and our extensive execution capabilities. Using digital platforms such as PremiaLab enables us to offer investors a broader and facilitated access to our range of indices in this fast-growing market segment.”

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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