The Financial Services Authority (OJK) is calling for financial technology (fintech) firms and local administrations to raise funds through equity crowdfunding and municipal bonds, respectively, in an effort to increase capital market activity.The OJK earlier this year issued a regulation on equity crowdfunding that enables start-ups as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to raise funds using equity crowdfunding platforms, without having to go through initial public offerings (IPOs).So far, two equity crowdfunding platforms had registered with the OJK during a period called the regulatory sandbox, but their names could not be revealed yet, Fakhri Hilmi, OJK deputy commissioner for capital market monitoring division II, said in Jakarta recently.A regulatory sandbox is similar to an incubation process, in which fintech companies arrange their products and business models while the financial regulator actively assesses regulations that will support them.The equity crowdfunding … [Read more...] about OJK prods fintech, local administrations to seek capital market funding
Vanguard california municipal bond fund
NEW YORK: The city of Philadelphia has filed an antitrust lawsuit accusing seven major banks of conspiring to inflate interest rates for a type of bond used by cities, towns and other public entities, costing them potentially billions of dollars.In a complaint filed on Wednesday night, Philadelphia accused Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo & Co of secretly manipulating rates for tax-exempt bonds known as VRDOs, or variable-rate demand obligations.The city, which said it issued more than US$1.6 billion of the bonds, said the banks colluded to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in fees they did not earn, reducing critical funding for public services and violating federal antitrust laws.Philadelphia also said the banks' conduct is the subject of a preliminary criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division, while the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission … [Read more...] about Philadelphia sues seven big banks, alleges municipal bond collusion
By Gordon Pape Special to the Star Fri., Nov. 23, 2018 Interest rates are rising. When that happens, bond prices drop. It’s one of the basic rules of investing. But how is that playing out in today’s investment climate? You may be surprised. The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates three times this year, with another quarter-point move possible in December. You would normally expect that such aggressive action would significantly knock down bond prices. However, the FTSE Russell Canadian Universe Bond Index was down only 0.12 per cent year to date as of the Nov. 16 close. In other words, only a tad below break-even. Government bonds took the biggest hit, off 0.22 per cent as a group. Corporate bonds were actually ahead 0.16 per cent. Not big numbers either way. And what about stocks? To that point, the S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 6.5 per cent for 2018. Where would you have rather had your money? Mutual fund returns reflect a similar … [Read more...] about Rates are heading up. Time to buy bonds?
By Dawn Lim The Wall Street Journal Mon., Nov. 19, 2018 Vanguard Group is lowering the minimum amounts customers need to invest to get cheaper prices on more than three dozen of its index funds. The $5.3 trillion (U.S.) indexing giant’s move is the latest salvo in Vanguard’s push to lure investors from rivals at a time asset managers are under pressure to slash the costs of funds. Starting Monday, the firm is lowering the minimums for admiral shares—a share class that costs less than regular investor classes—to $3,000 from $10,000 for 38 index mutual funds. The funds make up the majority of Vanguard’s index funds that are available to individual investors and include some of the industry’s largest stock and bond index funds. Vanguard became the world’s second largest asset manager by launching some of the cheapest funds in the industry. That strategy has since been copied by many of its peers. Now the Malvern, Pa.,-based firm … [Read more...] about Vanguard ratchets up index-fund price battle
Elected officials in Berkeley, California, are exploring the launch of an initial coin offering to raise funding for affordable housing. Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett said the idea came from a desire to create some financial independence from the federal government. President Donald Trump has threatened to cut federal funding from sanctuary cities, and has specifically targeted Berkeley in tweets. The City of Berkeley, one of the epicenters of liberal California, is considering a turn to cryptocurrency to reduce its reliance on federal funding in the Trump administration. Berkeley would become the first city in the US to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) – a type of crowdfunding campaign that’s become popular in the past year. The city would raise funds by selling digital assets called “tokens” that are backed by municipal bonds, a type of security issued by the local … [Read more...] about A major California city is turning to cryptocurrency as a possible hedge against Trump cutting off its funding