Finance

Do you provide services for halal travel deserving of an Islamic Economy Award?

Halal travel is an area within the Islamic economy where many different product sectors overlap to provide the services demanded by Muslim travelers and destinations. Non-Muslim-majority destinations including Singapore and Okinawa are ensuring they provide the facilities and services to attract a growing share of the tourism market.   Excluding hajj and umrah, Muslim travel expenditures grew 7.7% in 2013 to $140 billion globally (11.6% of all tourism dollars) and is expected to accelerate, reaching $238 billion by 2019 according to the Thomson Reuters State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2014-15.

So the dollars and cents are there for destinations to take account of whether they meet expectations for the growing market of Muslim travelers. A survey conducted by Okinawa’s tourism organization found a large proportion of people who didn’t know about the opportunity that halal tourism presented (30%) while 36% said they affirmatively wanted to reach out to attract the Muslim market (96% of these did so because it tapped into a new market). This means that over one-third of tourism-related businesses want to attract halal tourism spending and another third may be open to it but need more information about the opportunity. That is a significant opportunity anda relatively special opportunity also for the economies hosting the tourists.

Why is travel and tourism a special opportunity? It provides an inflow of spending that can boost the local economy and a large share of that spending goes into SMEs including hotels, restaurants, retail shops, local transportation, and tour guides. While there are some global chains that will capture a share of the spending from Muslim tourists, there is an opportunity for SMEs to grab a rising proportion of that share. The survey in Okinawa of prospective tourists found that ‘food’ was a deciding factor, only surpassed by price.   (more…)

M&A is back, but the landscape is changing

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While talk about an M&A boom has been ongoing for the past couple of years, 2015 saw a significant uptake in M&A activity. Structural reform, regulation, governance and economic growth are all likely culprits. 

In our new whitepaperLeon Saunders Calvert, Global Head of Capital Markets & Advisory, Thomson Reuters and Keith Mullin, Editor at Large, IFR explore this changing landscape looking at closely at: (more…)

Renminbi ascending: The global rise of China’s currency

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A new report from Thomson Reuters, Standard Chartered, the Atlantic Council and the City of London explores how China’s currency impacts global markets, foreign policy and transatlantic financial regulation

Being curious people and deeply involved and enabling the intersection of currencies, commerce, regulation and development, we asked ourselves:  “What does the rise of the renminbi (RMB) really mean for financial markets and centers, regulatory development, investment inside and outside and foreign policy?”.

Others too were interested in this question and we partnered with Standard Chartered, the Atlantic Council, and the City of London to jointly research and understand these questions and gain greater insight, awareness and profile for our businesses globally

Six months later we are proud to share the final report, which was released on June 22. (more…)

Renminbi ascending: The global rise of China’s currency

Renminbi+2

A new report from Thomson Reuters, Standard Chartered, the Atlantic Council and the City of London explores how China’s currency impacts global markets, foreign policy and transatlantic financial regulation

Being curious people and deeply involved and enabling the intersection of currencies, commerce, regulation and development, we asked ourselves:  “What does the rise of the renminbi (RMB) really mean for financial markets and centers, regulatory development, investment inside and outside and foreign policy?”.

Others too were interested in this question and we partnered with Standard Chartered, the Atlantic Council, and the City of London to jointly research and understand these questions and gain greater insight, awareness and profile for our businesses globally

Six months later we are proud to share the final report, which was released on June 22. (more…)

Exchange Magazine: The Art of Data

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In the newest issue of Thomson Reuters Exchange: The Art of Data, we celebrate data, the core of our business and the lifeblood of the industry. While our focus is typically on the science of data, we know there is also an art to making data useful, powerful and insightful.

It is estimated that 90 percent of the data in the world has been created in just the last two years. Data visualization tools, infographics and the like enable analysis of data through the mind’s highest bandwidth portal, revealing the hidden beauty of data. They power faster, deeper insight by allowing one to see the familiar in new ways, track change over time, compare disparate data sets, illustrate connections or trace flows, revealing the hidden beauty of data.

Inside this issue: (more…)

Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge & Awards returns for third year

Each year the list gets longer: the biggest banks admitting guilt in LIBOR rigging, FX rigging, money laundering and other misbehavior that leads them to multi-billion settlements with regulators. It is no wonder people are looking at different models for how finance can better serve the people around the world who rely on the banks for financial intermediation, rather than just the banks and their employees.

For the third year in a row, Thomson Reuters and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank find and recognize individuals and institutions that are leading the way towards a more ethical future for the financial services industry. The EFICA award in the past two years have recognized bankers and new banking products that share risk and reward between the banks and their clients, as well as several innovative methods of microfinance.

EFICALast year, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognized Dr. Amjad Saqib who developed a unique microfinance institution, Akhuwat, based on the principle that by empowering the poor through small, interest-free loans and involving centers of community activities like the mosque in the process, the overall costs can be reduced. In addition, by giving small loans without expecting to receive interest, it can more quickly benefit the client and their business, make them self-sustaining and eventually allow them to donate to support future clients.

The EFICA Awards are looking to benefit the ethical finance and Islamic finance industry with three tracks: (more…)

Thomson Reuters Tax Talk

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The OECD’s Pascal Saint-Amans discusses global corporate tax reform, with analysis from Joe Harpaz, head of ONESOURCE

Our Tax & Accounting business is launching a series of interviews, moderated by Reuters Editor-at-Large Axel Threlfall, with key players in the world of tax, accounting, and finance.

The first installment features Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Saint-Amans is overseeing the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit-Shifting (BEPS) project to close gaps in international taxation, including a seismic shift in transfer pricing documentation and reporting.

“The common goal is to increase transparency, to level the playing field, to increase competition between players so that tax is not a black hole where you can make a lot of money and be at a competitive advantage compared to your competitors,” he says in the interview. “The second key principle is to realign the location of the profits with the location of the activities because locating all your profits in a tax haven where nothing is happening is nonsense and is not good for competition.”

The interview is available here: (more…)

Disruptive FinTech: Rocking the boat on stormy seas

There are certain FinTech trends like regulation, technology, disruption, demographics and insight that are driving opportunities in the capital markets vertical. However, there are challenges as well – it is a global and complex industry while also being heavily regulated. One way FinTech firms are dealing with the challenges is by partnering with large institutions to obtain established distribution platforms. Our market leading open platform and market data platform provide a great opportunity for FinTech partnership. A managed services approach to the delivery of the Thomson Reuters platform also ensures that the partnership obtains cost efficiency and differentiation in a competitive industry.

How law firms are helping tomorrow’s businesses in emerging economies

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Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are finding leaner, more cost-effective platforms to raise their essential finance, and a fascinating report issued this week shows law firms around the world are offering their skills voluntarily to helping social enterprises develop sustainable and successful businesses.

Economic development and microfinance projects are supported by some 40 percent of law firms which contributed to the second TrustLaw Index of ProBono. TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal program, and its index charts the amount of work law firms across the world are providing on a free, voluntary basis to charities, non-profits, social enterprises and individuals.

The report analyzed data provided by 141 firms from 77 different countries, representing over 49,000 lawyers. It found that over the last 12 months, these lawyers donated 2.08 million hours of free legal support, on average investing about one week (43 hours) of their time assisting clients on a pro bono basis.

According to the report, the unprecedented rates of economic development across Asia and the Pacific have attracted international law firms to these rapidly emerging economies, bringing with them the culture of pro bono activity. (more…)

How law firms are helping tomorrow’s businesses in emerging economies

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Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are finding leaner, more cost-effective platforms to raise their essential finance, and a fascinating report issued this week shows law firms around the world are offering their skills voluntarily to helping social enterprises develop sustainable and successful businesses.

Economic development and microfinance projects are supported by some 40 percent of law firms which contributed to the second TrustLaw Index of ProBono. TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal program, and its index charts the amount of work law firms across the world are providing on a free, voluntary basis to charities, non-profits, social enterprises and individuals.

The report analyzed data provided by 141 firms from 77 different countries, representing over 49,000 lawyers. It found that over the last 12 months, these lawyers donated 2.08 million hours of free legal support, on average investing about one week (43 hours) of their time assisting clients on a pro bono basis.

According to the report, the unprecedented rates of economic development across Asia and the Pacific have attracted international law firms to these rapidly emerging economies, bringing with them the culture of pro bono activity. (more…)