Monday 25th March 2019
Mobile operator EE has said it will activate the UK’s first live 5G trial network in London’s Tech City in October –The UK government says organisations that are aiming to establish themselves or expand as Public Service Mutuals can now apply for a share of £1 million in funding -- India’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2014 to curb rising price pressures and calm financial markets as policy tightening in the US rattles emerging markets – A new report from South Africa's Reserve Bank (SARB) contains exception results for a trial of its blockchain-based system for interbank clearance and settlement. According to a release yesterday SARB says it has completed a 14-week "realistic" proof-of-concept that managed to settle the country's typical 70,000 daily payment transactions within two hours, taking an average of 1–2 seconds for each transaction while preserving full anonymity. Absa, Capitec, Discovery Bank, FirstRand, Investec, Nedbank and Standard Bank are among a slew of banks that participated in the exercise. Even so, despite the success claims, SARB says its proof-of-concept doesn't mean it plans to replace the existing real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system with a live blockchain implementation, yet – According to Mickhail Shlemov, VTB’s Capital’s head of research today, “With the demerger of Bank of Georgia Group’s investment business to Georgia Capital PLC, we have revised our forecasts for Bank of Georgia Group so that they now include only the banking business. We expect the bank to benefit from this demerger amid an acceleration in corporate loan growth (although retail lending is likely to decelerate), with the total loan book expanding at a CAGR of 11% in 2017-21F. However, NIM performance headwinds are likely to stay intact. Management has reiterated its strategic targets, and we also expect the bank to show ROE of more than 20% in the next three years, with a 40% dividend payout ratio. As a result, our new 12-month Target Price is GBp 2,300/share. This implies an ETR of only 14% (the stock is up 10% since demerger day).” On May 29th, Bank of Georgia Group (BOGG) announced the completion of the demerger of the Group’s investment business to Georgia Capital PLC. As a part of the process, the bank has issued 9.8mn shares (up to 19.9% of the total share count) to Georgia Capital. Yet the capital will also be diminished by a special dividend payment of some GEL 120mn (GEL 3.10/share), similar to the proposed BGEO Group payment – Reuters reports that European parliament member Danuta Huebner says that London’s call for EU access after Brexit under mutual recognition will not work. Equivalence would let the EU set the rules – Scott Eaton, the former chief operating chief for Europe at MarketAxess has been appointed CEO of Algomi following the departure of co-founder Stu Taylor earlier this year. Eaton has taken over the role with immediate effect and will focus on developing Algomi’s fixed income services, including data aggregation and the Algomi ALFA market surveillance tool – The FCPA Blog notes today that banking giant Credit Suisse Group has agreed to pay a $47m penalty to the US Justice Department to end an FCPA investigation into hiring practices in Asia -- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted Tuesday to approve a proposal to modify the Volcker rule, the last of the five agencies responsible for the rule to do so. The proposal is now open to a 60-day public comment period. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the move "an important first step" and noted Treasury's support for "better tailoring the application of the rule, preserving liquidity during periods of stress, decreasing unintended compliance burdens and encouraging capital formation." --

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Polaris invests in IT consultancy ProData Consult

Wednesday, 20 June 2018
Polaris invests in IT consultancy ProData Consult Polaris will acquire a majority shareholding in ProData Consult, Denmark’s leading independent IT consultancy focused on business and IT consultants.  http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Polaris will acquire a majority shareholding in ProData Consult, Denmark’s leading independent IT consultancy focused on business and IT consultants. 

The market for IT services in the countries currently served by ProData Consult totals around DKK100bn with underlying annual growth rates of 3%-5%. The group operates within the areas of freelance consultancy services and ‘nearshoring’, which are currently seeing progress and furthermore contribute to reducing the company’s sensitivity to economic cycles. 

”We have been keeping an eye on ProData Consult’s  development and their approach to the market during a longer period, convincing us that the company has a large development potential. We will do our part to support the growth and generate an even stronger business by leveraging our experiences and strategic knowhow from other growth companies, focusing on systematizing sales and strengthening processes and systems,” says Jan Johan Kühl, managing partner at Polaris.

The acquisition follows fast growth for ProData Consult. Business grew 30% in 2017, with revenues of DKK910m based on the company’s core business of providing high-end business and IT consultants to a series of acknowledged clients, in particular within financial services. ProData Consult’s Polish ‘nearshoring-as-a-service’ solution (‘NaaS’), which provides Scandinavian clients access to Polish IT consultants with specialist competencies, grew 40% last year. 

”We have more than doubled revenue in ProData Consult over the course of the last three years, and we have simultaneously been able to expand our business and improve client satisfaction. We see great opportunities ahead in our markets. We also see great prospects. We have had a good and thorough dialogue with Polaris and are looking forward to drawing on their extensive experience from similar growth companies in a partnership aiming to further professionalize the company and fully releasing the potential in the coming years,” says Søren Rode, CEO of ProData Consult.

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