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Microsoft launches search-based social network with hint of Pinterest

With all of the social media attention focused on Facebook’s IPO, Zuckerberg’s wedding and Pakistan briefly blocking Twitter this weekend, Microsoft has quietly launched its own attempt at a social networkThe So.Cl website, which has been in private Beta since December last year, is a social search service, which encourages members to share web-links.The service, like Pinterest, lets users have a board, which they can populate with links from Bing searches. The design, however, is much more like Google+.Users can share “rich posts,” that contains images and links, presented visually, and can also host “video parties” where they watch YouTube videos together.Social studiesThe idea was for So.Cl to provide assistance with academic research, allowing students to easily share relevant links with followers. It was initially trialed with college students in Washington, Syracuse and New York but is now open to all. You can sign up today using your Facebook or Windows Live logins.Somewhat strangely, it also posts what you search for to a news feed, so it’s not really advisable to be indulging in any dubious activities while using the service unless you want a ‘so and so just searched for porn’ on your page.Related StoriesGame of Thrones tops torrent charts in 2012Now you’ll have to ask TalkTalk to turn your porn on

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With all of the social media attention focused on Facebook’s IPO, Zuckerberg’s wedding and Pakistan briefly blocking Twitter this weekend, Microsoft has quietly launched its own attempt at a social networkThe So.Cl website, which has been in private Beta since December last year, is a social search service, which encourages members to share web-links.

d2d7Microsoft20logo2016x9 470 75The service, like Pinterest, lets users have a board, which they can populate with links from Bing searches. The design, however, is much more like Google+.Users can share “rich posts,” that contains images and links, presented visually, and can also host “video parties” where they watch YouTube videos together.Social studiesThe idea was for So.Cl to provide assistance with academic research, allowing students to easily share relevant links with followers. It was initially trialed with college students in Washington, Syracuse and New York but is now open to all. You can sign up today using your Facebook or Windows Live logins.

Microsoft launches So.Cl, search-based social network with hint of Pinterest

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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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