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PayPal aims to be a full-service financial product for small businesses

PayPal’s Here mobile payments products represent a direct assault on Square, and the company adds in a few features that would take some effort for Square to replicate.

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PayPal’s Here mobile payments products represent a direct assault on Square, and the company adds in a few features that would take some effort for Square to replicate. The new product also provides some invoicing and tracking functionality that could be good enough for some businesses that were considering Intuit’s Quickbooks software.

Among the significant features from the Here launch: Immediate funds availability for credit card and PayPal transactions. Once a business has processed a transaction, the money can be spent using PayPal’s debit card or withdrawn from an ATM. For cash-strapped businesses, this could be important. Square isn’t exactly a slouch at making money available — money from a transaction I processed on a Saturday night was available at my bank the following Monday — but it’s not immediate. Ability to accept checks. Businesses can take a picture of a check and deposit it into their PayPal account. (This money is not immediately available.) This has an added benefit in that businesses may choose to use PayPal in place of a bank account.

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How PayPal Here aims to be a full-service financial product for small businesses

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This is what global tax reforms could mean for Asia’s tech giants

A new set of agreed global tax reforms will change where tech giants and other global giants pay taxes, explain experts from the IMF. Investment hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong SAR could lose up to 0.15% of GDP as a result.

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Asia’s advanced and emerging market economies have several locally headquartered tech giants and host foreign companies.

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?
PAKORN PEETATHAWATCHAI:

PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point. 

As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.

In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?

PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.
 

 

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