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Archive for September 11th, 2015

Markel to Acquire Assets of CATCo Investment Management Ltd.

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RICHMOND, Va., LONDON and HAMILTON, Bermuda /PRNewswire/ — Markel Corporation (“Markel”) (NYSE: MKL) and CATCo Investment Management Ltd. (“CATCo”) jointly announced today that they have entered into an agreement whereby Markel will acquire substantially all of the assets of CATCo. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. Additional terms were not disclosed.

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Upon completion of the acquisition, the business will operate as Markel CATCo Investment Management Ltd. (“Markel CATCo”). The existing CATCo management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Tony Belisle, will transition into commensurate roles at Markel CATCo and will operate the business from its Hamilton, Bermuda, headquarters under Markel’s ownership.

Richard R. Whitt, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Markel, commented, “We are very pleased for Tony Belisle and the entire CATCo team to join Markel. The addition of CATCo’s insurance linked investment management capabilities alongside Markel’s traditional reinsurance capabilities makes for a powerful combination. While Markel has a long and successful track record in the insurance linked securities space, the addition of the CATCo team takes our capabilities to an entirely new level. The current challenges in the reinsurance and retrocessional markets are well documented. Despite these short-term challenges, we believe that with innovative products and services the long-term future is bright.”

Tony Belisle, Chief Executive Officer of CATCo Investment Management Ltd., said, “We are excited to join forces with Markel, a leading global specialty insurer and reinsurer which operates with a strong commitment to its core values and distinguished corporate culture. We felt this partnership offered a rare opportunity for CATCo to combine with a culturally similar organization which shares our results-oriented commitment to success and market leadership. We are confident that uniting the strength of the Markel brand and its global reach with CATCo’s differentiated product innovation capabilities will serve to improve our value proposition for investors and cedants. CATCo has grown significantly since its launch in 2010, and the agreement with Markel will allow the same management team to maintain its commitment to both client service and continual product innovation.”

Willis Capital Markets & Advisory served as exclusive financial advisor and Hogan Lovells International LLP served as legal advisor to CATCo. Sidley Austin LLP served as legal advisor to Markel.

About Markel Corporation

Markel Corporation is a diverse financial holding company serving a variety of niche markets. The Company’s principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. In each of the Company’s businesses, it seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting and operating profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value. Visit Markel Corporation on the web at

About CATCo Investment Management Ltd.

CATCo Investment Management Ltd. is a specialist investment management business. From its headquarters inHamilton, Bermuda, CATCo manages approximately $2.7 billion of retrocession and traditional reinsurance portfolios for clients around the world, including financial institutions, charities, pension funds, family offices, and investment funds. CATCo Investment Management Ltd. is authorized and regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. Visit CATCo Investment Management Ltd. on the web at


Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Markel’s and CATCo’s beliefs, plans or expectations, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on Markel’s and CATCo’s current plans, estimates, and expectations. There are risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by such statements. Neither Markel nor CATCo assumes any obligation to update this release (including any forward-looking statements herein) as a result of new information, developments, or otherwise. This release speaks only as of the date issued.

Source: Markel Corporation

Related stocks: NYSE:MKL

Written by asiafreshnews

September 11, 2015 at 6:18 pm

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TOEFL® Young Students Series GO English! Project Back for a Second Time

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-On the heels of a successful first year, global project promotes English-language skills among young learners

PRINCETON, N.J. /PRNewswire/ — Starting in September, students from around the world will begin using their English-language skills as part of the 2015 TOEFL® Young Students Series GO English! project. The program, designed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the TOEFL program, inspires students to practice and improve their English-language skills in the classroom under the guidance of their English-language teachers.

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The 2015 campaign — “Your Culture. In Your Words.” — is designed for students to share the celebrations, legends, landmarks or traditions unique to their culture. Working together as a class over the course of a few months, students will be using their English-language skills to create a video, radio, poster or newspaper announcement. Creativity is encouraged and students will showcase their knowledge of the English language to effectively communicate their messages.

“Thousands of students representing more than 20 countries submitted creative advertisements about their hometowns in the 2014 campaign,” said David Payne, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Global Education at ETS. “With the increasing role of the English language globally, we are committed to providing opportunities for young learners to develop their English skills in the classroom.”

All classrooms are welcome to submit projects for the 2015 campaign by March 31, 2016. Participating classes will receive promotional items, educational materials, certificates and a plaque, and will have the opportunity to be featured on the TOEFL Young Students Series GO English! website. For more information on the project and to view submissions from 2014, visit

About the TOEFL Young Students Series
Designed to set the foundation for the successful development of English-language skills, the TOEFL Young Students Series features age-appropriate assessments, products and services — including the TOEFL Junior® andTOEFL® Primary™ tests — to help guide younger students to the next steps of learning.

About ETS
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including theTOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

Source: Educational Testing Service
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September 11, 2015 at 5:32 pm

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Pathway Genomics Launches First Liquid Biopsy Test To Detect Cancer-Associated Mutations In High-Risk Patients

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-Non-Invasive, Low-Cost Test Provides Early Detection – and Ongoing Monitoring of Previously Diagnosed Patients – Offering New Hope in the Fight Against Cancer

SAN DIEGO /PRNewswire/ — Pathway Genomics, a global precision medical diagnostics company, announced the launch of CancerIntercept™, its first liquid biopsy, a non-invasive screening test designed for early cancer detection and monitoring, for as low as $299.

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The test detects mutations that are commonly associated with lung, breast, ovarian, colorectal cancers and melanoma, as well as mutations that occur less frequently in other cancer types (such as pancreatic, head and neck, thyroid, gastric and prostate cancers). View an animation of how CancerIntercept works here.

The test is offered for two general populations: CancerIntercept™ Detect is the first liquid biopsy designed to detect tumor DNA in high-risk but otherwise healthy patients; CancerIntercept™ Monitor monitors patients with active or previously diagnosed cancer. Both programs use advanced DNA analysis to identify small DNA fragments that are shed from cancer cells and released into the bloodstream. The tests analyze the presence of 96 frequently occurring DNA mutations in nine cancer genes.

“Early detection is the single most important factor in ensuring successful treatments and improved survival rates,” said Jim Plante, CEO and founder of Pathway Genomics. “Cancer patients and those at risk for the disease can take proactive steps to safeguard their health and fight back against some of the most virulent forms of the disease.”

In addition, with CancerIntercept Monitor, physicians are able to supplement more invasive tissue biopsies and scans with liquid biopsies to monitor cancer treatment efficacy, disease progression and recurrence. CancerIntercept Monitor can also be ordered with personalized Clinical Trial Matching for later stage cancer patients.

“Rising levels of tumor DNA may indicate progression of the cancer before there is clinical or imaging evidence of tumor growth” said Dr. Glenn Braunstein, MD and Chief Medical Officer of Pathway Genomics. “Our liquid biopsy tests may also detect new mutations that occur over time and signal that the patient is becoming resistant to current therapy.”

Testing can be initiated through the patient’s treating physician or through Pathway’s online physician referral network. For patients and physicians requesting repeat testing on a scheduled basis, a deeply discounted subscription service is available.

CancerIntercept Detect and CancerIntercept Monitor are offered through Pathway’s integrated system, which streamlines the entire testing process from initial order to delivery of test reports. Key components of the system include physicians who will review online requisitions and order the tests; mobile phlebotomists to draw blood samples at the patient’s home or office; and Pathway’s medical oncology support team, who will discuss results with the patient’s treating physician upon a positive result. All positive results are released via the patient’s treating physician. Results are delivered approximately two to three weeks after testing.

About Pathway Genomics
Since its founding in 2008, Pathway Genomics has rapidly become a leader in the commercial healthcare industry. Pathway Genomics’ success lies in its commitment to deliver innovative healthcare solutions. The company’s program with IBM Watson is the first of its kind. The program is a smartphone app that merges artificial intelligence and deep learning with personal genetic information. The app provides users with personalized health and wellness information based on the individual’s health history.

Based in San Diego, the company’s CLIA and CAP accredited clinical laboratory provides physicians and their patients in more than 40 different countries with actionable and accurate precision healthcare information to improve, or maintain, health and wellness. Pathway Genomics’ testing services cover a variety of conditions including cancer risk, cardiac health, inherited diseases, nutrition and exercise response, as well as drug response for specific medications including those used in pain management and mental health. For more about Pathway Genomics, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Stephanie Preston

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Source: Pathway Genomics
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Written by asiafreshnews

September 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm

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Results Announced for 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Review

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— RobecoSAM’s annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) determines which companies receive a coveted spot in world’s first global sustainability indices
— Assessment provides insights into business practices of world’s largest companies
— Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry improved the most, while Life Sciences Tools & Services saw biggest performance decline in terms of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors
— World’s largest companies perform best in Code of Conduct / Compliance criteria and struggle most with Operational Eco-Efficiency

NEW YORK and ZURICH /PRNewswire/ — S&P Dow Jones Indices, one of the world’s leading providers of financial market indices, and RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, today announced the results of the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (“DJSI”)review. The three largest additions and deletions (by free-float market capitalization) to the DJSI World this year include:

Additions: Bank of America Corp, Telefonica SA, BHP Billiton Ltd
Deletions: Cisco Systems Inc, PepsiCo Inc, Royal Bank of Canada

The components list for the DJSI will be published on the Sustainability Indices website on Monday, September 14, 2015. All changes are effective on Monday, September 21, 2015.

Launched in 1999, the DJSI World is the first global index to track the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide based on RobecoSAM’s analysis of financially material Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors. RobecoSAM invited the world’s largest 3,400 companies from developed and emerging markets to take part in its annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). This year, RobecoSAM assessed 85% of the invited universe’s free float market capitalization, for the DJSI review.

Guido Giese, Head of Indices, RobecoSAM: “Over the years the DJSI index family has not only come to be the gold standard for corporate sustainability but has also become a competitive platform where companies receive recognition for their sustainability practices. The CSA is a state of the art, in-depth sustainability performance assessment methodology. Thanks to its broad reach, the results of the CSA are one of the leading sources of information on how listed companies around the globe are exercising financially material ESG practices. The entire DJSI index family benefits from that.”

David Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices: “More and more investors look at companies’ environmental policies and track records in making their investment decisions. The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices are comprehensive benchmarks that allow investors to gauge the collective performance of those companies that meet the RobecoSAM standard for corporate sustainability and to formulate global allocations consistent with sustainable investment standards and practices.”

The Corporate Sustainability Leaders
RobecoSAM identifies the top scoring company in each of the 24 industry groups (according to GICS). The 2015-2016 Industry Group Leader profiles can be found on the Sustainability Indices website.

Observations from this year’s DJSI Review
The CSA consists of over 100 financially material criteria. An analysis of this year’s review provides insight into the business practices of the world’s largest companies. Listed below are some of the most notable observations from the 2015 Review:

Industry Movers and Shakers
Top three most improved industries relative to last year:

  1. Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components (+23.45%)
  2. Transportation and Transportation Infrastructure (+18.16%)
  3. Homebuilding (+15.3%)

Top three least improved industries relative to last year:

  1. Life Sciences Tools & Services (-7.71%)
  2. Personal Products (-6.73%)
  3. Oil & Gas (-5.95%)

Companies Successfully Implement Codes of Conduct but Struggle with Operational Eco-Efficiency
CSA criteria where companies earned the highest scores:

  1. Codes of Conduct / Compliance / Corruption & Bribery
  2. Corporate Governance
  3. Environmental Policy / Management System

CSA criteria where companies earned the lowest scores:

  1. Operational Eco-Efficiency
  2. Human Capital Development
  3. Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy

Social Reporting Criterion on a High, Risk and Crisis Management Hit a Low
Most improved CSA criteria relative to last year:

  1. Social Reporting
  2. Environmental reporting
  3. Human Capital Development

Least improved CSA criteria relative to last year:

  1. Risk and Crisis Management
  2. Talent Attraction & Retention
  3. Corporate Governance

For additional information on the DJSI and the change in its components numbers, please visit: and

Additional CSA methodology information:

About S&P Dow Jones Indices
S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a part of McGraw Hill Financial, is the world’s largest, global resource for index-based concepts, data and research. Home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC has over 115 years of experience constructing innovative and transparent solutions that fulfill the needs of investors. More assets are invested in products based upon our indices than any other provider in the world. With over 1,000,000 indices covering a wide range of asset classes across the globe, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC defines the way investors measure and trade the markets. To learn more about our company, please visit

About RobecoSAM
Founded in 1995, RobecoSAM is an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing. It offers asset management, indices, engagement, voting, impact analysis, sustainability assessments, and benchmarking services. Asset management capabilities cater to institutional asset owners and financial intermediaries and cover a range of ESG-integrated investments (in public and private equity), featuring a strong track record in resource efficiency theme strategies. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). Based on its Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), an annual ESG analysis of 2,900 listed companies, RobecoSAM has compiled one of the world’s most comprehensive databases of financially material sustainability information. The data of the CSA is also included in USD 89.8 billion of assets under management by Robeco.

RobecoSAM is a member of the global pure-play asset manager Robeco, which was established in 1929 and is the center of expertise for asset management within the ORIX Corporation. As a reflection of its own commitment to advocating sustainable investment practices, RobecoSAM is a signatory of the UNPRI and a member of Eurosif, ASrIA and Ceres. Approximately 130 professionals work for RobecoSAM, which is headquartered in Zurich. As ofMarch 31, 2015, RobecoSAM had assets under management, advice and/or license in listed and private equity* of approximately USD 10 billion. Additionally, RobecoSAM’s Governance & Active Ownership team** had USD 82 billion of assets under engagement and USD 50 billion of assets under voting.

Important legal information:
Standard & Poor’s®  and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”), a subsidiary of McGraw Hill Financial, Inc. Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”). RobecoSAM is a registered trademark of Robeco Groep N.V. These trademarks have been licensed to S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (“S&P DJI” . The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) was developed by, and is the exclusive property and a trademark of, S&P and MSCI Inc.

It is not possible to invest directly in an index. S&P DJI, Dow Jones, S&P and their respective affiliates do not sponsor, endorse, sell or promote any investment fund or other investment product that is offered by third parties and that seeks to provide an investment return based on the performance of any index. S&P DJI does not make investment recommendations, and inclusion of a security within an index, and CSA results, are not recommendations by S&P DJI for the purchase or sale of any security or other asset or to pursue any investment strategy. This document does not constitute an offer of services in jurisdictions where S&P DJI does not have the necessary licenses. S&P DJI receives compensation for licensing its indices to third parties.

The details given on these pages do not constitute an offer. They are given for information purposes only. No liability is assumed for the correctness and accuracy of the details given. The securities identified and described may or may not be purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients. It should not be assumed that an investment in these securities was or will be profitable. *RobecoSAM Private Equity is the marketing name of the combined private equity divisions of Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (‘Robeco’) and its fully owned subsidiary, RobecoSAM AG (‘RobecoSAM’). Any funds or services offered by RobecoSAM Private Equity are managed and offered by Robeco, who may have delegated certain investment advisory functions to RobecoSAM. ** RobecoSAM’s Governance & Active Ownership team is a brand name of Robeco. RobecoSAM USA is an investment adviser registered in the US. Copyright © 2015 RobecoSAM – all rights reserved.

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices

Related stocks: NYSE:MHFI

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Written by asiafreshnews

September 11, 2015 at 5:24 pm

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Rihanna’s First Creative Campaign and Fall Sock Collection for Stance is Released

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SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — Today Stance released Rihanna’s first seasonal sock collection and unveiled the campaign Rihanna directed for her fall 2015 styles as the brand’s Contributing Creative Director. Stance also released behind-the-scenes footage of Rihanna overseeing and directing the fall campaign photo shoot, which was shot earlier this summer in Los Angeles.

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Rihanna’s fall collection for Stance is comprised of 15 styles in a pastel color palette that range from crew to thigh high socks in a ‘Baby Goth Punk’ theme. The vision for the creative was born out of a desire to let the socks speak as standalone fashion pieces, with symmetrical styling of the models who are wearing identical wigs that cover their eyes.

“This collection and campaign give people a peek into all sides of her personality, from the novelty of the toe socks to the hard edge of the punk prints. I think the creative really showcases what fashion is to her. It’s meant to be bold, it’s meant to be fun, and it’s meant to be expressive,” said Candy Harris, SVP of the Women’s Division at Stance.

Six of the 15 styles play off the same theme of Rihanna’s limited edition Murder Rih Wrote style that was released in July with newspaper typography as the primary design focus. The remainder of the fall line includes styles that pay homage to punk patches, goth through a feminine lens, and playful toe socks with knuckle tats that spell out different phrases.

The Rihanna collection for Stance is now available at and at retailers globally, including specialty retailers like Opening Ceremony and Colette in Paris. A selection of styles can also be found at nationwide department stores like Nordstrom.

Click here to watch the behind-the-scenes footage of Rihanna’s campaign photo shoot.

To get exclusive updates on Rihanna’s creative contributions and line releases for Stance, follow @stancemuse on Instagram and Twitter, and Stance Muse on Facebook.

Embracing “The Uncommon Thread” as its mantra, Stance turned socks into one of the world’s most exciting categories in less than five years. Stance’s founders saw a category that had been ignored, taken for granted, and dismissed. By breathing life into something that had been overlooked, Stance ignited a movement of art and self-expression that has drawn athletes, performers and iconic cultural influencers to the brand – a group they call the Punks & Poets. And by underpinning its creative roots with a relentless focus on technical innovation, Stance is now found in over 40 countries on the feet of those who dare to be different. Stance was named the official sock of the NBA starting in the 2015-2016 season, and will be launching its first underwear line later this year.

Source: Stance

Written by asiafreshnews

September 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

New PERC Efficiency Record Set Using Heraeus Metallization Paste

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— Cell efficiency of 21.7% achieved using Heraeus’ front-side silver paste

HANAU, Germany/PRNewswire/ — Once again, Heraeus has contributed in setting a world record in solar cell efficiency.  Heraeus’ front-side metallization paste has been successfully put to use to achieve a record PERC (“passivated emitter and rear cell”) efficiency of 21.7%. The record cells were processed at the solar cell R&D line at SolarWorld in Freiberg.

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Dr. Weiming Zhang, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Head of Global Innovation for the Heraeus Photovoltaics Global Business Unit, says:  “We are proud of our efforts to supply our metallization pastes and research and development expertise in achieving this record performance.  Heraeus has several paste formulations that are ideal for PERC applications.  We also have the capability to modify our formulations for special cell design characteristics.   We feel that our ability to work closely with our partners allowed us to provide a front-side paste that reduced recombination losses at the surface and minimized shading after the metallization process.”

Heraeus has a long history of working with leading academic and industrial researchers to increase the performance and efficiency of advanced cell technologies.

To learn more information regarding Heraeus and our recommendations for specific metallization pastes for your PERC applications, meet the Heraeus Photovoltaics Global Business Unit team at this year’s EU PVSEC at the Congress Center Hamburg, in Hamburg, Germany from September 15th – 17th 2015. Exhibiting in Hall H, Booth F4. For additional information regarding the world record PERC cell processed at SolarWorld, see:

About the Heraeus Photovoltaics Global Business Unit

The Heraeus Photovoltaics Business Unit is an industry leading developer and manufacturer of silver metallization pastes for the photovoltaic industry. For over 40 years, Heraeus has built a reputation of innovation, extensive research and new product development in thick film technologies for some of the most prominent companies within a variety of industries. In the field of photovoltaics, the Heraeus Photovoltaics Business Unit applies this history and its innovative technology to offer metallization pastes for solar cell applications. The Heraeus SOL Series of silver pastes is specially formulated to provide higher efficiencies and wider processing windows, resulting in better yields and higher output for cell manufacturers.

Heraeus, the technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is a leading international family-owned company formed in 1851. With expertise, a focus on innovations, operational excellence and an entrepreneurial leadership, we strive to continuously improve our business performance.

We create high-quality solutions for our clients and strengthen their competitiveness in the long term by combining material expertise with technological know-how. Our ideas are focused on themes such as the environment, energy, health, mobility and industrial applications. Our portfolio ranges from components to coordinated material systems which are used in a wide variety of industries, including the steel, electronics, chemical, automotive and telecommunications industries.

In the 2014 financial year, Heraeus generated product revenues of €3.4 bn and precious metal revenues of €12.2bn euros. With around 12,600 employees worldwide in more than 100 subsidiaries in 38 countries, Heraeus holds a leading position in its global markets.

Source: Heraeus
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September 11, 2015 at 4:57 pm

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Standard Chartered and Manulife Form 15-year Pension Distribution Partnership

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HONG KONG and TORONTO /PRNewswire/ — Standard Chartered and Manulife are pleased to announce that they have entered into a 15-year distribution partnership providing Manulife the exclusive right to offer its Mandatory Provident Fund (“MPF”) product to Standard Chartered’s customers in Hong Kong. As part of the arrangement, Manulife will acquire Standard Chartered’s existing MPF and Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (“ORSO”) businesses, and the related investment management entity.

The partnership further enhances Standard Chartered’s wealth offering and the bank’s position as a leading distributor of wealth management products in Hong Kong. It will provide Standard Chartered’s individual and business customers in Hong Kong with greater investment choice, access to market leading technology platforms and high-quality customer service. This arrangement significantly expands Manulife’s pension business in Hong Kong, and strengthens its position as the #2 MPF provider as measured by assets under management and the #1 MPF provider as measured by net cash flows.1

Judy Hsu, Group Head, Wealth Management, Standard Chartered, said: “We are delighted to partner with Manulife, a leading provider of retirement funds in Hong Kong. The partnership demonstrates our commitment to provide our clients with a holistic proposition, including retirement services, to meet their financial goals. It is a further step in executing on our global wealth strategy, to leverage our strong franchise and distribution network to deliver quality wealth solutions to our clients.”

Roy Gori, President and CEO, Manulife Asia, said: “This partnership between two of Hong Kong’s top financial services companies will enable us to increase value to customers and deliver the benefits of economies of scale. The MPF industry in Hong Kong is experiencing continued consolidation, and Manulife is seen as a partner of choice. Manulife is a major player in the pension business in Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, and Indonesia. This deal complements Manulife’s recent acquisitions in Canada and the United States and accelerates our strategy to grow our Asia and wealth management businesses.”

May Tan, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, said: “Standard Chartered has been an active participant in the retirement services market in Hong Kong since the inception of the MPF scheme. This partnership will strengthen our proposition in retirement services which remains a core product of the bank. We look forward to working with Manulife to deliver the benefits of the partnership to our customers.”

Michael Huddart, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Greater China, Manulife, said: “We look forward to serving the retirement needs of Hong Kong customers in partnership with Standard Chartered, one of Hong Kong’s oldest and largest banks. This arrangement demonstrates our commitment to Hong Kong, where we have served customers for more than a century.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016, subject to the receipt of relevant regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

1 Based on The Gadbury Group MPF Market Shares Report as of June 2015.

About Standard Chartered
We are a leading international banking group, with more than 86,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where we earn around 90 per cent of our income and profits. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

The history of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong dates back to 1859. It is currently one of the Hong Kong SAR’s three note-issuing banks. Standard Chartered incorporated its Hong Kong business on 1 July 2004, and now operates as a licensed bank in Hong Kong under the name of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC.

For more information please visit Explore our insights and comment on our blog, BeyondBorders. Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Manulife
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2014, we had 28,000 employees, 58,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers. At the end of June 2015, we had C$883 billion (HK$5,487 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than C$22 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United Stateswhere we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong. Follow Manulife on Twitter @ManulifeNews or visit or

For further information:

Gabriel Kwan/ Cathy Kwong
Corporate Affairs, Hong Kong
Standard Chartered
Tel: +85228203036 / 28203083 /

Investor Relations:
Edwin Hui
Standard Chartered
Tel: +85228203050

Helena Lee / Jacqueline Kam
Manulife Hong Kong
Tel: +85222021050 / 22021284 /

Sean B. Pasternak

Investor Relations:
Robert Veloso

Eileen Tam
Manulife Asia

Source: Manulife Financial Corporation

Written by asiafreshnews

September 11, 2015 at 4:49 pm

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Tata Motors and Total Lubrifiants Sign a Global Partnership Agreement

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PARIS /PRNewswire/ — Tata Motors and Total Lubrifiants, signed an after-market partnership agreement to supply high performance Total branded lubricants, across the Tata Motors sales & service points in the International Markets. Total Lubrifiants with its global presence, operating in 150 countries, will support the Tata Motors service network and its customers to provide latest generation lubricants to enhance performance of Tata Motors Commercial vehicles.


Mr. Sanjeev Garg, Global Head – Customer Care, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors, said, “Through our partnership with Total Lubrifiants, we at Tata Motors are committed to provide our customers with superior quality branded lubricants, developed specially for Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles. This will enable our customers to enhance the performance and lower the overall costs of operating the vehicles. We at Tata Motors are committed to offering our customers with world-class product and services.”

Mr Phillipe Charleux, Vice President Total Lubrifiants, France, explained that, “this Agreement is the demonstration of the excellent relationships established between both companies. It also illustrates our commitment to sustainable growth in the global market place and in developing world class products and services to best satisfy our customer’s expectations.”

Through this partnership, Total Lubrifiants will also involve in enhancing the skill of the Tata Motors network and jointly support in the modernisation of Tata Motors workshops across globe.

About Total and Total Lubrifiants:

Total is one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in the world, with activities in more than 150 countries.

Total Lubrifiants markets lubricants in 150 countries and employs close to 5,000 people. It operates 45 production plants with annual sales of almost 2 million tons in 2014.

About Tata Motors :

Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs. 1,88,818 crores ($ 34.7 billion) in 2012-13.

Source: Tata Motors and Total Lubrifiants

Written by asiafreshnews

September 11, 2015 at 4:39 pm

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Lionel Messi Signs With Funtastic

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-Funtastic and Football superstar set to kick goals.

LONDON /PRNewswire/ — Funtastic, is a global innovation house with offices in the US, Australia,Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Leo Messi in action using FootBubbles from Funtastic.
Leo Messi in action using FootBubbles from Funtastic.

Funtastic Ltd and Leo Messi Management S.L.U. have signed a landmark deal to develop an exclusive toy from his own Messi branded range of products, which will put a smile on the faces of millions of children around the globe.

Messi, the undisputed champion of international football, the winner of 4 FIFA Ballon d’Or (Golden Balls) and the world’s number one player will become the face of this innovative product line, Leo Messi FootBubbles by Funtastic.

Funtastic’s revolutionary product turns the regular bubble into a bubble that can be juggled with your feet. The secret is the winning combination of FootBubbles Super Solution and Messi socks.

Funtastic CEO Nir Pizmony said “Signing Messi is the culmination of months of planning and negotiation, it’s an exciting chapter for Funtastic and we have now set a high benchmark for the global Toy industry. Having the most talented football player in the world in our corner gives Funtastic tremendous fire power, and we can’t wait to go to market with the Messi branded products. This is a very exciting time.”

Leo Messi and his management team are also very excited to launch Leo Messi FootBubbles. They commented “It’s an honor that a company with such long experience in the toy industry, of more than 20 years, wanted to form a joint venture with us to develop a new range of toys. Our association with Funtastic has only just begun, and we look forward to building this relationship.”

Key retailers within the Funtastic global distribution footprint have been ecstatic about the news, and support for the products has been overwhelming. Messi branded toys land in Australia mid-September 2015, with other countries to follow immediately.

For more information visit

About Funtastic

FUNTASTIC (ASX: FUN) is an innovative product manufacturing and distribution company based in Australia with offices in the US, Hong Kong and Mainland China.

About Leo Messi Management SLU

LMM is the unique and exclusive sports & marketing company that manages and represents the worldwide image rights of football player Lionel Messi.

Funtastic Pty Ltd – Australia

Ryan Gracie

Marketing Director

PH: +61 3 8531 0000  

Level 2, Office Tower 2

Chadstone Shopping Centre

Chadstone, Victoria, Australia 3148

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Source: Funtastic Ltd

Related stocks: Australia:FUN

Written by asiafreshnews

September 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

International Slow Movement Fest Month Ahead of Opening

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NAMYANGJU, South Korea /PRNewswire/ — An international festival promoting healthy eating and an environment-friendly lifestyle is ready for its kick-off slated for next month, its organizer said Thursday.

Under the theme “Good Food, Good Life,” the Namyangju Slow Life International Festival will be held for 10 days starting Oct. 8 in the city located about 30 kilometers east of Seoul, bring together participants from around 40 countries.

The organizer said the slow lifestyle aims at improving the quality of life by adopting traditional methods of eating and living, which will eventually lead to the three spirits of the event — health, environment and empathy.

Organizers said the three core spirits are based on a philosophy proposed by Jeong Yak-yong, a scholar from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

His philosophy aimed at improving the environment, economic value, and the social status of agricultural regions.

In cooperation with local firms, the organizer will also hold various charity events throughout the festival.

An example is “the path of angels,” which will be made with KB Kookmin Card Co. The credit card firm will donate1,004 won (US$0.84) for every visitor who walks 1.4 kilometers from a nearby subway station to the venue.

The cash raised from the event will be spent on people in the low-income bracket, the organizer said, adding that this will be an opportunity to be healthy and share at the same time.

Other events include a food exhibition where visitors can sample various dishes and drinks from around the globe.

Artifacts, made with various materials from earth to glass, are also available for display and sale during the festival.

Lim Seok Kyung

Source: Namyangju Slow Life International Festival Organizing Committee

Written by asiafreshnews

September 11, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized