Weekly Analysis and Opinion Highlights – 7 March 2022

And we’re kicking off the week with new details on banking, partnerships, funding, DeFi, SoFi, neobanks, credit unions, open banking and more. Dive into the latest fintech insights and have a great start of the week!

Could the Ukraine invasion spark a global financial crisis? (The Conversation)
The Russian assault on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities has intensified uncertainty in the world economy. To condemn Putin’s war, western leaders announced some restrictive economic measures to target Russian financial institution and individuals. The sanctions include: removing some Russian banks from the Swift messaging system for international payments; freezing the assets of Russian companies and oligarchs in western countries; and restricting the Russian central bank from using its US$630 billion (£473 billion) of foreign reserves to undermine the sanctions. Read more.

Ways For Insurers To Incorporate And Collaborate With Insurtech (Forbes)
We are living in an era where digitalization has reshaped almost every aspect of our lives, and the insurance industry is no exception. Gone are the days when people filled out manual forms and filed paperwork to buy insurance policies. Instead, buying insurance policies has become a cakewalk thanks to insurtech, a portmanteau of the words insurance and technology. Put simply, insurtech is the concept of implementing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning (ML) in the insurance industry. Read more.

5 reasons why fintech M&A is hitting new highs (American Banker)
The most active year yet for fintech mergers and acquisitions was 2021, and enthusiasm for such deals is still strong in 2022. Announced deals totaled $348.5 billion in 2021, according to FT Partners, an investment banking firm focused on financial technology. This was partially driven by a record number of exits in 2021, which left venture capitalists flush with cash that they could recycle back into fintechs, as well as record levels of funding, with U.S. fintechs raising $50 billion in 2021 — more than twice what they raised in 2020. Read more.

Whatever Happened to Peer-to-Peer Lending? (Kiplinger)
While individuals can still invest in loans to consumers, most digital credit is underwritten by larger funding sources. Even before Uber upended the taxi business and Airbnb disrupted vacation rentals, the idea of peer-to-peer lending was meant to give individuals alternatives to traditional consumer sources of credit, both as borrowers and investors. But the fintech market is continuously evolving. We’ll catch you up on what’s happened to the concept, and how (and whether) you can invest or borrow from a digital lender. Read more.

Analysts maintain ‘buy’ on Sea on better e-commerce and fintech outlook (The Edge)
DBS Group Research and Maybank Research analysts have kept their “buy” calls on Sea with lower target prices of US$256 and US$160 from US$272 and US$379 previously. In his March 3 note, Maybank’s Lai Gene Lih says while the stock price might face overhang in the near term, Maybank will continue to view Sea as a champion of economic digitisation in Southeast Asia, hence maintaining its rating. Sea’s 4Q21 revenue was ahead of Lai’s estimates at US$3.2 billion, a 106% growth y-o-y. However, Sea’s guidance for Garena’s FY22 bookings at US$2.9 billion to US$3.1 billion disappointed, says Lai. Read more.

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