Joinvest Co Ltd (湊伙) yesterday said it would launch a financial technology service next week that enables retail investors to buy foreign bonds via group buying with an entry threshold of just US$10, making investing in bonds accessible to those with limited budgets.
Joinvest’s new service was approved by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) last month as a regulatory sandbox experiment lasting one year, with total investment limited to NT$200 million (US$7.02 million), company founder Lin Wei (林蔚) told a news conference in Taipei.
“Investment in foreign corporate bonds has many advantages, as it generates decent returns, and is safer than investing in stocks or funds. But it has a high threshold, as investors typically must order a minimum of US$10,000,” Lin said.
As the US$10,000 threshold has made it difficult for small investors to tap the market, Joinvest decided to provide a fintech service that helps investors connect with each other so that they can buy foreign bonds via collective buying, he said.
Joinvest has selected secondary market bonds issued by Warner Media LLC, Air Lease Co, National Australia Bank Ltd and Walt Disney Co, which have yields of 1.3 to 3.7 percent and mature in 2027 to 2032, Lin said.
They are all investment-grade bonds, with ratings of “A-minus,” as Joinvest aims to provide safe targets for retail investors, Lin said, adding that only 0.1 percent of bonds with ratings of A-minus have defaulted over the past 20 years.
The platform would allow people to choose which bonds to invest in and the amount to invest, and when enough investors chose a bond, Joinvest would finish the deal via foreign brokerages, using a trust account that it has set up at First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), Lin said.
To provide investors with liquidity, Joinvest would allow investors to sell their position to other investors on the platform before the bonds mature, he said.
“Investing in foreign bonds could be a better alternative than fixed deposits, as the interest rates of fixed deposits at local banks are too low,” Lin said.
The service would be the world’s first legitimate service that allows investors to buy a financial target via group buying, he said.
Joinvest would also look for qualified local bonds, but given low local interest rates, few corporate bonds have good yield rates, Lin said.
Each investor can invest a maximum of NT$250,000 on the platform, as Joinvest is required by the FSC to register at least 500 investors and finish three bond deals within one year, Lin said.
Joinvest is a Taipei-based start-up that began operation in May 2018, with paid-in capital of NT$4 million, but, to comply with an FSC request, the firm plans to raise money so that it can boost its paid-in capital to NT$14 million by the end of this year, he said.
From India to China to the US, automakers cannot make vehicles — not that no one wants any, but because a more than US$450 billion industry for semiconductors got blindsided. How did both sides end up here? Over the past two weeks, automakers across the world have bemoaned the shortage of chips. Germany’s Audi, owned by Volkswagen AG, would delay making some of its high-end vehicles because of what chief executive officer Markus Duesmann called a “massive” shortfall in an interview with the Financial Times. The firm has furloughed more than 10,000 workers and reined in production. That is a further blow
Answering to a reported request by Germany to help address a chip shortage in its auto industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that it was in talks with domestic chip suppliers. Foreign media over the weekend reported that German Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier had sent a request to Taipei to ask Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to cooperate more closely with German automakers to provide microchips and sensors, to bridge a shortage that has emerged over the past few months. The MOEA said that it had not yet received the request and could therefore not elaborate
FOCUS ON FOUNDRIES: An analyst said that some investors would be disappointed because they were expecting a larger announcement of a partnership with TSMC Intel Corp’s incoming chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger on Thursday pledged to regain the company’s lead in chip manufacturing, countering growing calls from some investors to shed that part of its business. “I am confident that the majority of our 2023 products will be manufactured internally,” Gelsinger said. “At the same time, given the breadth of our portfolio, it’s likely that we will expand our use of external foundries for certain technologies and products.” He plans to provide more details after officially taking over the CEO role on Feb. 15, but Gelsinger was clear that Intel is sticking with its once mighty
AWARENESS NEEDED: The central bank urged lenders to know their customers before undertaking business for them and to seek funding in conventional ways The central bank yesterday said that it would take action against four foreign lenders for their involvement in helping companies trade in the deliverable forward market in contravention of foreign-exchange regulations. Some grain merchants newly based in Taiwan have since July 2019 been practicing questionable currency-trading activity, with the help of branches and subsidiaries of six foreign banks, the monetary policymaker told an unscheduled news conference. Affiliated firms as of July last year completed currency-related deals they referred to as trading that totaled US$11 billion, which was not in sync with their real business needs, the central bank said after wrapping up