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MashTalk: Are BlackBerry and Nokia really back from the dead?

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Welcome back to another week of MashTalk. On this week’s podcast, the Mashable tech team recaps the best gadgets from Mobile World Congress 2017, discuss Snap Inc’s IPO, and debate whether Apple would actually replace the iPhone’s Lightning port with USB-C.

As always, MashTalk is hosted by our Tech Editor Pete Pachal with commentary from Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff and Senior Tech Correspondent Raymond Wong. 

We also have special guests, Business Reporter Kerry Flynn and Real Time News Writer Nicole Gallucci to lend us their expertise.

Old phones are the new hotness

First up on the podcast is Mobile World Congress (2:03). The annual mobile-centric show was once again held in Barcelona and I was there (along with Mashable Senior Editor Stan Schroeder) to see all of the best and worst new phones coming out this year.

With no Galaxy S8 announcement from Samsung, the unlikeliest of phone makers got a chance shine. The BlackBerry KEYone, a new Android-powered phone with a customizable QWERTY keyboard was one of the big hits of the show (2:54).

Nokia also grabbed attention with its 3310 dumbphone remake (4:45). The phone’s pure throwback, but that’s what makes it so great — it’s cheap ($50) and it’s perfect for anyone who’s sick of all the noise on the internet. Plus, it plays Snake (5:38).  

Old phones might have stole the show,…

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Ecommerce

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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Asean

China Sustains Huge Ecommerce Development Investment Flows into ASEAN

What Asia Investment Research showed us that there were China outbound investments into several ASEAN markets, led by Singapore, and followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Collectively, these markets saw circa 30 investments n Q3, or about 15 percent of total Chinese outbound volume. 

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ASEAN Inbound Investments from China show strong trends in developing digital trade infrastructure.

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