Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Oriente raises $105 million in initial funding round

Oriente raises US$105m in initial funding round

The Hong Kong- based financial services and technology company announced that it had completed a $105mn initial funding round, making it one of the biggest ones for any Asian startup

Investments came from the founders, and a group of family offices including members of the Berjaya Group, JG Summit Holdings and Sinar Mas.

It is said to be one of the largest initial funding rounds by any start-up in Asia, and also for a fintech company worldwide.

Oriente was founded in 2017 by former Skype co-founder and chief strategy officer Geoffrey Prentice; former founding chief technology offer and chief operations offer at, Hubert Tai (CEO of Oriente); and founder of BlackPine Private Equity, Lawrence Chu. The company now employs over 1,200 staff across offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Manila, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City.

Oriente stated that the financing is being used to accelerate technology and product development, scale multi-market operations, and power the growth of its digital solutions into new markets, expanding its reach in South-east Asia’s fastest-growing economies.The start-up uses AI, machine learning and data science, to build solutions that provide real-time credit scoring, digital and online to offline lending and other tailored financial services.

In the past few months, the company has rolled out two app-based ventures, Cashalo in the Philippines, and Finmas in Indonesia– aimed at delivering fast and convenient access to affordable credit for millions of underserved in the emerging middle class, and micro, small and medium enterprises, according to it.

Oriente stated that smartphone users in these markets can download these apps, apply for a loan, and receive a decision and financing within minutes.

Prentice stated that the start-up was founded on the principles of inclusion and innovation to open financial access, freedom and opportunity for underserved people and micro-entrepreneurs, and helping them build financial identities and participate in the global economy.

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