First Global Announces Q3 2017 Financial Results

/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES./

TORONTONov. 30, 2017 /CNW/ – First Global Data (“First Global” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has released its Q3, 2017 financial statements.

First Global Data Limited (CNW Group/First Global Data Limited)

Please note that financial statements are prepared in US dollars, while the Company’s stock price and market cap as presented on the TSX Venture Exchange are reflected in Canadian dollars.

Revenues:
The Company continued to realize and increase in revenues. The three month ending September 30, 2017 revenues were $4,504,979 as compared to the three-month ending September 30, 2016 of $1,112,116.

Net Income:
Net income for Q3 showed a loss of $35,053 as compared to Q3, 2016 net income loss of 4,363. Among other things, the company continues to focus on increasing licenses in the USA which adds additional costs.

Profitability and Capital Position:
As at September 30, 2017, the Company maintained an overall positive net income and the capital position of the Company continues to be strong.

“We are generally pleased with our financial results for Q3, 2017. The Company is focused on implementing business deals that have been announced and we believe that as they are deployed they will have a material positive impact to our transactional revenues,” said Andre Itwaru, Chairman and CEO of First Global.


About First Global: (www.firstglobaldata.com)

First Global is an international financial services technology (“FINTECH”) company. The Company’s two main lines of business are mobile payments and cross border payments. First Global’s proprietary leading edge technology enables the convergence of compliant domestic and cross border payments, shopping, Peer to Peer (“P2P”), Business to Consumer (“B2C”), and Business to Business (“B2B”) payments. First Global enables its strategic partners and clients around the world with our leading edge financial services technology platform.

 

Caution:
Neither TSX Venture Exchange Inc. (“TSXV”) nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

The securities offered have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities offered in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

Forward Looking Information:
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Although First Global believes in light of the experience of its officers and directors, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors that have been considered appropriate, that the expectations reflected in this forward-looking information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because First Global can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Actual results and developments may differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. The statements in this press release are made as of the date of this release. First Global undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third-parties in respect of First Global, its securities, or financial or operating results (as applicable). First Global disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE First Global Data Limited

Peter Lacey Joins First Global Data Board

First Global Announces Corporate Changes to Directors and Officers

Canada NewsWire

/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES./

TSX Venture Exchange: FGD
Frankfurt Stock Exchange: 1G5

TORONTONov. 27, 2017 /CNW/ – First Global Data (“First Global” or the “Company”) would like to announce the following corporate changes.

First Global Data Limited (CNW Group/First Global Data Limited)

CFO Appointment
The Company would like to announce that its previous CFO, Nayeem Alli has agreed to take on the appointment as CFO for an interim period until the end of April 2018. The Company’s CFO position was made available in October 2017 when Mr. Alli decided to step down for personal health reasons. Mr. Alli will continue to be supported by the existing finance team and the Company will be actively sourcing a full time qualified candidate.

Director Changes:
The Company would like to announce that Nayeem Alli has resigned as a Director and that it has appointed Mr. Peter Lacey to its Board of Directors. Mr. Lacey is the founder and Chairman of Cervus Equipment Corporation (TSX:CERV) a Canadian public company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. Annual sales exceeded $1.1 billion for Cervus in 2016. Mr. Lacey received his ICD.D designation from the Rotman School of Business and the Institute of Corporate Directors and serves as Chair of the Audit Committee for another public company. Mr. Lacey also serves as Director of multiple TSX listed companies and other private companies.

“The CFO position at First Global is an important role. We are happy that Nayeem has agreed to take on the role on a temporary interim basis. This will allow us the time necessary to source a qualified candidate who is able to meet the obligations of the job on a full-time basis as we move to the next stage of our evolution. We are very pleased that Mr. Lacey has accepted our offer to join our Board of Directors. Peter has tremendous experience and will add a level of discipline, professionalism and expertise that the company needs in our Audit and Corporate Governance committees, and to the company overall. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Peter over the past few months and am very confident that he will contribute in a significant way as we embark on the next phase of our evolution”, said Andre Itwaru, Chairman and CEO of the Company.

About First Global

First Global is an international financial services technology (“FINTECH”) company. The Company’s two main lines of business are mobile payments and cross border payments. First Global’s proprietary leading edge technology enables the convergence of compliant domestic and cross border payments, shopping, Peer to Peer (“P2P”), Business to Consumer (“B2C”), and Business to Business (“B2B”) payments. First Global enables its strategic partners and clients around the world with our leading edge financial services technology platform.

Caution:
Neither TSX Venture Exchange Inc. (“TSXV”) nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

The securities offered have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities offered in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

Forward Looking Information:
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Although First Global believes in light of the experience of its officers and directors, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors that have been considered appropriate, that the expectations reflected in this forward-looking information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because First Global can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Actual results and developments may differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. The statements in this press release are made as of the date of this release. First Global undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third-parties in respect of First Global, its securities, or financial or operating results (as applicable). First Global disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE First Global Data Limited

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Senior Therapist (ABA) Position

ABA Academy Inc. is an accredited service provider with certified therapy professionals servicing children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disorders. Providing services at our Don Mills Clinic, as well as in home-based and community-based across the Greater Toronto area, we deliver individualized ABA therapeutic programs and services to our clients.

The Senior Therapist position is part-time position with opportunities to a full-time position.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Aids in activities related to clinicial supervision and training.
  • Evaluates, develops, implements, and monitors client specific intervention programming for young children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder or any related developmental disabilities.
  • Assesses the client using ABLLS, VB-MAPP and AFLS
  • Designs and develops individualized programming
  • Supervises IBI/ABA programs in home-based, community-based and centre-based settings.
  • Provides clinical training and supervision to a team of Instructor Therapists who implement Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI)/ ABA Programs in both one to one and group settings
  • Meets and trains parents/caregivers/teachers as well as other service providers when necessary
  • Writes clinical reports such as the Individual Service Plan.
  • Monitors the quality and consistent delivery of the program.
  • Work collaboratively with a a clinical team of staff
  • Follows standard, policy and procedures set within the company.
  • Reports to Clinical Director and Operations Manager

Qualifications:

  • Must have Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) or related field
  • Must be Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
  • 2 to 5 years of experience working as an Instructor Therapist with children
  • Experience in clinical and program supervision, assessment and direct service.
  • Excellent management, problem solving, communication, interpersonal skills and organizational abilities.
  • Good standing with the Ministry of Child and Youth Services – Surrey Place Centre and Kinark Child and Family Services
  • Valid licensed to drive in Ontario, access to a vehicle and willing to travel across the GTA.
  • Available to work during the days, weekends and evenings on an as needed basis.
  • Recent Police Check (no more than 6 months ago)
  • First Aid/CPR training is an asset.

Email resume’ and cover letter to info@metroactive.org with ‘Senior Therapist ABA’ in subject line.

First Global Achieves More Than 1 Million Users and Provides Corporate Update

/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES./

TSX Venture Exchange: FGD
Frankfurt Stock Exchange: 1G5

TORONTONov. 23, 2017 /CNW/ – First Global Data (“First Global” or the “Company”) is very pleased to announce that it has exceeded 1 million users, and would like to provide the following corporate update.

Annual General Meeting:

On October 26, 2017 the Company conducted its Annual General Meeting (“AGM”). The meeting was well attended with a record number of shareholders in attendance. The Company’s Chairman and CEO, Mr. Andre Itwaru presented the Company’s corporate overview, lines of business, corporate strategy, objectives and direction.

Mr. Itwaru shared that the Company’s corporate strategy includes a three-phased approach. Firstly, the Company partners with large strategic organizations which have an embedded customer base. Secondly, it works with its strategic partners to penetrate that embedded customer base by encouraging them to download the mobile app/register. Thirdly, the Company works with its partners to encourage those customers to use one or many of the services offered to drive revenues.

The Company’s current objectives include:

  1. Customer Acquisiton: by leveraging partners’ base of existing users
  2. Penetrating: 1 Million Active Users
  3. Monetizing: Drive annual revenue per user (“ARPU”) to $280
  4. Continue to increase profitability
  5. Increase customer penetration beyond 1 Million
  6. Duplicate model in each corridor and every deploy

Mr. Ken Zheng, Chief Operating Officer of one of the Company’s China based strategic partners, Lianlian Pay presented Lianlian and shared that Lianlian:

  1. Is the 4th largest mobile payment service provider in China
  2. Has a customer base of 150 million registered users
  3. Has 10,000+ online merchants
  4. Has processed in excess of US$ 80 Billion in transactions to date in 2017

Mr. Zheng demonstrated the world’s first social messaging based cross border remittance service which has been launched in partnership between Lianlian Pay and First Global on the WeChat messaging platform. Mr. Zheng also shared his views on the growth and potential of the partnership with First Global. The presentations were quite interactive and there was significant interest by shareholders with many questions and answers. Presentations are available for view at: www.firstglobaldata.com/agm

India Progress and User Base:

First Global is pleased to advise that in India, through its partnership with Vijaya Bank and the VPayqwik mobile wallet offering, the Company has achieved 972,364 users. The company is pleased with this penetration given the short timeframe services have been available in the Indian market. The Company is working with Vijaya Bank to continue increasing the number of users and to drive incremental transactions and revenues per user.

Remittances User Base, Lianlian Pay, and US Licenses:

First Global is pleased to announce that its user base for remittances services in the USA and Canada which includes the Happy Transfer service launched in cooperation with Lianlian Pay has achieved 322,024 users.

Happy Transfer is a service available in the USA on the WeChat social messaging platform. It allows a person in the USAto send money from their mobile phones to a user in China in approximately 9 seconds. The service is the first of its kind in the world. Launch of services occurs on a state-by-state basis. The Company has launched this service in 24 states, continues its launch program into the other 10 states and has been working with Lianlian Pay toward launch in Canada.

In 2017, the Company has increased its US state money transmitter licenses by 13 and continues to work toward achieving all 50 licenses. The full complement of state licenses will enable the Company to offer all of its services country wide in the USA.

AnalytixInsight:

On July 5, 2017 the Company announced that it had entered into a Letter of Intent with Analytixinsight to expand First Global’s mobile payments services across Europe and elsewhere in a revenue sharing model. AnalytixInsight will leverage its partnerships with organizations such as Samsung and Intesa Sanpaolo, to expand First Global’s mobile payments services across Europe and elsewhere as determined by the Parties in a revenue sharing model. Intesa Sanpaolo – one of Italy’s largest banks with a market cap of over €45 billion – has shared ownership in AnalytixInsight’s subsidiary Marketwall. Under the partnership, Intesa Sanpaolo will migrate approximately 8 million mobile banking users in 8,000 retail branches to Marketwall’s mobile platform across five European countries, to provide a range of mobile payment services.

The Company would like to advise that it is actively working with Analytixinsight to conclude the definitive agreement and to engage project teams toward service deployment anticipated to occur in Q1, 2018.

China Smartpay:

On September 25, 2017 First Global announced that it has entered into a Binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with China Smartpay to deliver cross border payment solutions for Chinese vacation travelers and students studying overseas. The Company would like to advise that it is actively working with China Smartpay toward conclusion of the definitive agreement and service launch in time for Chinese New Year on or prior to February 16, 2018.

In the September 25, 2017 announcement, Mr. Xiong, the President of China Smartpay Group Holding advised that, “Chinese outbound tourism will continue to experience consistent rapid growth. In 2016 Chinese outbound tourists spent 216 billion US dollars, of which the United States accounted for 120 billion US dollars. This shows that the North American market is one of most important destinations for Chinese tourists…China Smartpay Group…is partnering with First Global Data for its leading technology, licenses, and wide payment network and capabilities in North America to carry out the North American market mobile payment business.”

“The AGM was a great success. I sincerely appreciated meeting our shareholders, sharing our vision and progress, answering their questions and listening to their perspectives and advice. I am also very pleased with the progress we have made toward increasing our customer base. We are focused on having all of our deployments around the world contribute toward achieving 1 million active users generating $280 of revenue per user per year. We are very pleased with the progress we have made with our China based partners as we deploy innovative solutions for the very large overseas Chinese demographic and shoppers. We also continue to improve our technological capabilities which includes enhancing our existing mobile wallet to encompass the acceptance of crypto currencies in a compliant and regulatory manner, and this solution will be available on a white label basis to our strategic partners. We believe that the impact of the progress we have made will be better understood toward the end of 2017 and into 2018″, said Andre Itwaru, Chairman and CEO of the Company.

About First Global

First Global is an international financial services technology (“FINTECH”) company. The Company’s two main lines of business are mobile payments and cross border payments. First Global’s proprietary leading edge technology enables the convergence of compliant domestic and cross border payments, shopping, Peer to Peer (“P2P”), Business to Consumer (“B2C”), and Business to Business (“B2B”) payments. First Global enables its strategic partners and clients around the world with our leading edge financial services technology platform.

Caution:
Neither TSX Venture Exchange Inc. (“TSXV”) nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

The securities offered have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities offered in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

Forward Looking Information:
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Although First Global believes in light of the experience of its officers and directors, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors that have been considered appropriate, that the expectations reflected in this forward-looking information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because First Global can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Actual results and developments may differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. The statements in this press release are made as of the date of this release. First Global undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third-parties in respect of First Global, its securities, or financial or operating results (as applicable). First Global disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE First Global Data Limited

For further information: Andre Itwaru, Chief Executive Officer, t: (416) 504-3813, e: ir@firstglobaldata.com

Related Links

www.firstglobaldata.com

Cautious tone sweeps markets

Global financial markets saw sentiment shift distinctly more negative this week. A variety of concerns pushed virtually all major equity indices into the red (save for the NASDAQ, which climbed to another record high). Signs of opposition to the details of U.S. tax reform efforts began surfacing while a political scandal in Alabama threatened to reduce the Republicans’ senate majority. A slew of weaker economic data in China, especially a sharp pullback in lending, raised fears of an imminent slowdown in activity and put pressure on industrial commodities. Oil prices declined sharply after industry data showed U.S. stockpiles unexpectedly rising and as Russia was seen to be wavering on the need to extend output cuts.

Stronger U.S. inflation numbers boosted expectations of a steady pace of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. But, even as short term rates rose, a decline in long term yields (‘flattening the yield curve’) suggested investors are increasingly concerned that the pace of rate hikes may crimp economic growth.

The heavily weighted energy sector took the biggest toll on the Canadian benchmark S&P/TSX Composite, which slumped from its record high reached last week. The drop in crude prices also weighed on the Canadian dollar, seemingly reasserting the tight link between oil and the Loonie that dominated the currency’s moves for a number of years until Canadian and U.S. relative interest rates took over more recently. The beginning of the fifth round of NAFTA negotiations, with an overhanging threat of the treaty’s nullification by President Donald Trump, added to the worries of Canadian investors. The health care sector also declined sharply, as big drops were registered by both Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp., which together comprise over 60% of the sector’s index weight. Telecom services, technology, and consumer discretionary were among the sectors with the best gains.

In the U.S., consumer stocks generally gained ground after a report that September retail sales increased more than expected, signalling resilient demand heading into the holiday shopping season. Telecommunication services and financials were also among advancing sectors. Regional banks, in particular, got a boost from a senate deal to lift the Systemically Important Financial Institution (SIFI) designation for banks with less than $250 billion of assets. But the S&P 500 retreated slightly overall, with the index unable to overcome the big drop in energy stocks.

Major European indices all fell, taking their cue from global growth concerns, and ignoring continued strength in economic data out of the Euro area itself. An acceleration in German gross domestic product (GDP) anchored a solid GDP report for the region. In the United Kingdom, investors continue to worry about increasingly negative Brexit headlines, inflation stuck at a five-year high, and the fragility of Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership. In Asia, bond yields and equity prices both reacted with concern over tightening credit conditions in China. And in Japan, stocks retreated from recent 25 year highs as third quarter GDP reportedly decelerated sharply from the previous quarter.

What’s ahead next week:

Canada

  • Retail and wholesale sales (September)

U.S.

  • Leading index (October)
  • Existing home sales (October)
  • Durable goods, capital goods orders (October – Prelim.)
  • University of Michigan sentiment survey (November – Final)
  • Markit purchasing managers indices (November – Prelim.)

Canadian stocks climb to record highs as Middle East tensions lift oil

Growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran – combined with a Saudi crackdown on corruption – lifted oil prices to a two-year high and briefly pushed stock indices in both Canada and the United States to record highs this week. As U.S. President Donald Trump marked the anniversary of his election win – touring Asia with important stops in Japan and China – bond yields eased and tax reform questions grew, taking more wind out of the so-called “Trump trade.” And in New York, the unexpected early retirement announcement of Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley added more uncertainty back to the future course of the U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy – all this just one week after Jerome Powell’s appointment as next Fed Chairman seemed to quiet that source of market anxiety.

Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite stretched to another record high early in the week, boosted by strength in energy stocks as crude prices climbed, as well as by a jump in precious metals prices that buoyed the materials sector. “Bond proxy” groups – real estate, staples – that tend to benefit from falling interest rates, were also generally higher, holding onto their gains even though rates turned higher late in the week. The lesser-weighted health care sector saw the most impressive gain, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. surged after better than expected financial results, and an announced deal to sell its female sexual dysfunction drug back to the company’s former owners in exchange for a royalty on sales. The financials sector – the flip side of the “Trump trade”, whose profitability improves with higher rates – was among the decliners, as was the consumer discretionary sector, led by weakness in Magna International Inc. The technology sector fell as shares of Open Text Corp. continued the slide that began after last week’s earnings report, and as Shopify Inc. remained under pressure due to concerns raised by a prominent short seller.

Once again, all major U.S. stock indices touched new highs, but later retreated as tax reform worries grew. Performance in the S&P 500 clearly reflected the easing of global bond yields early in the week, especially after dovish comments from Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. Sector leadership lay squarely with the bond proxies (real estate, staples) while the financials sector led decliners. Department of Justice concerns with the proposed AT&T/Time Warner merger continued to pressure the telecommunications services sector.

European equity indices mostly lost ground, even as the European Commission (EC) lifted its forecast for euro-area growth. But the EC also warned that the United Kingdom was headed for a prolonged slowdown. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is coming under mounting pressure over scandals and cabinet resignations, just as European Union negotiators seem to be losing patience with her government in ongoing Brexit negotiations.

Japan and China ranked among the best performing markets globally this week, despite President Trump’s tough talk on trade with both countries as he toured the region. As the yen fell Monday to a nearly eight month low against the U.S. dollar, the Nikkei index surged to its highest level in more than 25 years.

What’s ahead next week:

Canada

  • Teranet/National Bank home price index (October)
  • Existing home sales (October)
  • Manufacturing sales (September)
  • Consumer price index (October)

U.S.

  • NFIB small business optimism index (October)
  • Producer and consumer price indices (October)
  • Empire manufacturing survey (November)
  • Retail sales (October)
  • Import and export price indices (October)
  • Industrial production and capacity utilization (October)
  • Housing starts and building permits (October)

Fintech Select To Launch Physical Bitcoins

TORONTO, Nov. 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fintech Select Ltd. (“Fintech Select” or the “Company”) (TSX-V:FTEC) is pleased to announce that it will be launching a test pilot project around it’s physical Bitcoin product line to accompany the closed loop Selectcoin card at participating retail locations.

We have been working on the physical Bitcoin project in stealth mode over the last quarter and are pleased to announce that the first shipment of coins will be ready to be deployed alongside the Selectcoin card.

The Company believes that the physical state of these coins embed with fractional amounts of Bitcoin and interconnected to a wallet will have a larger mass appeal to consumers who might have had an interest in buying Bitcoin but might not want to go through the traditional online process.  Furthermore, the physical state of Bitcoin storage on a physical coin format may also provide a novel way for cold storage safekeeping of this ever evolving new asset class.

“We believe that the creation of easy-to-acquire Bitcoin assets will allow the masses to readily participate in this emerging wealth creation, while also educating the masses regarding Cryptocurrencies,” states Mohammad Abuleil, CEO and President.

About Fintech Select Ltd.

Fintech Select is a provider of robust and disruptive Pre-Paid Card programs, mobile banking solutions and Cryptocurrency technologies. ?Fintech Select has enabled these core assets which operate through separate divisions to work together harmoniously to create a new and ubiquitous environment for consumers and businesses alike. Fintech select also operates an international call centre that provides fulfillment and customer service support to customers across all three platforms mentioned. ?Our mission is to provide customers with choice, convenience and cost-effective ways to facilitate traditional and crypto financial transactions.

Follow us on:
https://www.facebook.com/FintechSelect
https://twitter.com/fintech_select
https://www.instagram.com/fintechselect
https://www.linkedin.com/company/25080093/admin/updates

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

David Vinokurov
Investor Relations
dvinokurov@fintechselect.com
416-716-9281

Toronto stocks finally join the record-setting party

Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite index crossed the 16,000 level for the first time this week, setting its first new record high since February. During the intervening eight months, virtually all other major equity market indices globally posted new highs relentlessly without Canada joining suit. The broad advance in recent weeks came as strong economic data around the world pushed oil and commodity prices higher. But in Canada itself, the run of amazing economic data came to a screeching halt as August gross domestic product (GDP) declined. A solid employment report for October did little to lift investors’ moods and the S&P/TSX managed only a small gain for the week.

It was another busy week on the central banking front. The Bank of Japan kept its policy on hold and the Bank of England raised rates, both as expected. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting was also a non-event, indicating there was still a consensus towards gradual rate hikes, with the next coming as early as December. Arguably the biggest central banking news was President Trump’s appointment of Jerome Powell as the next Federal Reserve Chair, to replace Janet Yellen when her term expires in the new year. Powell is seen as possibly the smoothest transition from Yellen because they are closely aligned in policy preferences. After a few weeks of anxiety over the possibility of the job going to the more hawkish John Taylor, Powell’s appointment put downward pressure on North American and European bond yields.

The jump in the heavily-weighted energy sector provided the greatest lift to the S&P/TSX, but the smaller health care sector saw the sharpest advance. Medical marijuana producer Canopy Growth Corporation, which saw a big drop just two weeks ago, surged as Constellation Brands acquired a major stake in the company. Technology and industrials led the declining sectors in Toronto.

In New York, the release of tax reform proposals had little impact on markets, but all major equity indices again notched new record highs. The S&P closed out October with a solid gain, so that it has seen a positive total return for all 10 months so far this year. It hasn’t managed a streak like that in almost 100 years. As in Canada, energy was near the top of the sector leader board, along with real estate, which tends to do well as interest rates decline, and technology which got a big boost from Apple after its earnings report. Telecommunications services was the poorest performing sector, coming under pressure as media reports pointed to the termination of merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile, and to possible Justice Department opposition to the AT&T/Time Warner merger.

European stocks were broadly higher on strong economic data. Spanish stocks were particularly strong as political risk deflated. Catalan leader Puigdemont fled to Belgium after the central government seized control over the region, leaving the independence movement aimless. In Japan’s holiday-shortened trading week, the Nikkei climbed to yet another 20-year high after the Bank of Japan’s meeting led to a weaker yen.

What’s ahead next week:

Canada

  • Ivey purchasing managers survey (October)
  • Housing starts (October)
  • Building permits (September)
  • New housing price index (September)

U.S.

  • JOLTS job openings survey (September)
  • Wholesale inventories and sales (September)
  • University of Michigan consumer sentiment (November)

Central Banks in the spotlight

The European Central Bank held its most-watched meeting of the year, setting out a roadmap for the withdrawal of quantitative easing (QE) that investors interpreted as moderately dovish. The Bank of Canada also took a more dovish than expected tone in the comments that accompanied its decision to leave its overnight rate unchanged. In Japan, Shinzo Abe’s landslide win in last weekend’s election shored up investor confidence in the continuation of stimulative monetary policy there. In stark contrast, increasing speculation that John Taylor might be the next Chair of the Federal Reserve pushed U.S. treasury yields up, with 10-year treasuries breaking solidly above 2.40%, the highest they have been since last March. The resulting U.S. dollar strength, and weakness in virtually every other currency, including the Canadian dollar and the Japanese yen, was the primary mover of most markets this week.

As the Bank of Canada sounded caution on Wednesday, citing household indebtedness and NAFTA uncertainty (among other things), the Canadian dollar dropped sharply. But strong corporate earnings helped the S&P/TSX Composite index shake off the Bank’s wariness and finish the week at a record high. The staples, industrials, telecommunication services, and technology sectors all posted strong gains, while the materials and health care sectors led decliners.

The S&P 500 managed a small gain (to another record high), but was held back by concerns that a “Taylor Fed” would raise interest rates too far, too fast, and choke economic growth. Also in Washington, comments from retiring Senators Corker and Flake increased fears of political resistance derailing tax reform efforts. Meanwhile actual economic readings and most corporate earnings reports continue to come in strong. New home sales blew away expectations, purchasing managers indices suggested accelerating growth, and third quarter GDP was solid despite the effect of hurricanes. Technology was the leading sector as mega-cap names such as Amazon.com and Alphabet (Google) surged on earnings reports. The telecommunication services and health care sectors saw big declines, driven by subscriber losses at AT&T, and earnings misses at Biogen Inc. and Celgene Corporation.

European equities were mostly higher as investors welcomed the dovish bias to the ECB statements, while keeping a cautious eye on Catalonia as Madrid took control of the region. Meanwhile economic news was also generally supportive. Eurozone PMIs pointed to ongoing expansion, GDP in the United Kingdom was stronger than expected, and the German business confidence index rose to its highest level in history. The yen sell off in Japan helped the Nikkei rally to its highest level since July 1996. The equity index’s step up on Tuesday capped a record 16-day winning streak, during which it gained about 7%. Stocks in Shanghai moved solidly higher as the Communist Party’s congress came to an end, elevating President Xi Jinping’s stature and power. However, Hong Kong equities didn’t get as enthused.

What’s ahead next week:

Canada

  • Gross domestic product (August)
  • Industrial and raw materials prices (September)
  • Markit purchasing managers index (October)
  • Employment report (October)

U.S.

  • Federal Reserve interest decision
  • Personal income and spending (September)
  • Employment cost index (3rd quarter)
  • Conference Board consumer confidence (October)
  • Markit and ISM purchasing managers indices (October)
  • Vehicle sales (October)
  • Construction spending (September)
  • Employment reports (October)
  • Factory and durable goods orders (September final)