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FinTech: Global Payments Company WorldRemit Acquires Africa-Focused Sendwave

WorldRemit, a cross-border and worldwide payments processor, announced Tuesday its acquisition of Sendwave, an app-based remittance company that focuses on recipients in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and East Africa.

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FinTech: Global Payments Company WorldRemit Acquires Africa-Focused Sendwave

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The cash-and-stock deal was consummated for an undisclosed amount.

WorldRemit, a cross-border and worldwide payments processor, announced Tuesday its acquisition of Sendwave, an app-based remittance company that focuses on recipients in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and East Africa. (BusinessWire)

The companies expect to close the cash-and-stock transaction by the fourth quarter of 2020, provided they complete regulatory formalities.

The companies did not disclose the terms; however, Bloomberg said the deal was worth more than $500 million. Further, it valued the combined organization at over $1.5 billion, quoting sources who did not want to be named.

COVID-19 spurs digital payments

The digital payments and remittances markets received a boost from COVID-19. That’s because consumers shunned physical interactions and brick-and-mortar bank branches due to distancing and lockdowns.

In an interview with Bloomberg WorldRemit Chief Executive Officer Breon Corcoran said the rate of new account activations had more than doubled this year.

UK-based Paysend and Alipay, China’s largest mobile payments network, announced their partnership the same day. The UK FinTech will facilitate overseas users to send money across borders through licensed banks in China. The funds will reach bank accounts linked to the Alipay app.

The collaboration will be very useful for migrant workers around the world, especially in Asia, Paysend says.

However, these same migrant workers may face the heat from an economic slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

These conditions could spark the sharpest decline in global remittances in recent history according to a statement by the World Bank in April.

“Remittances to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) could fall by 19.7 percent to $445 billion, representing a loss of a crucial financing lifeline for many vulnerable households,” the bank warned.

Transaction volume at WorldRemit – Sendwave

In the year ended June 30, WorldRemit and Sendwave remitted US $7.5 billion in transfers, generating approximately US $280 million in revenue, and showing a year-on-year growth rate of over 50%.

“WorldRemit has one of the broadest and most accessible networks for money transfers globally,” said Corcoran in a statement. “Combining it with Sendwave, which offers instant, no/low-fee and fully digital payments from North America and Europe to Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and East Africa, addresses customer needs for fast and secure digital payments – especially given today’s travel restrictions and economic turmoil.”

Related Story:  M&A In the Fintech Space Will Heat Up

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/fintech-global-payments-company-worldremit-acquires-africa-focused-sendwave/

Private Equity

Alternative Investments/Real Estate: U.S. Home Prices Record Biggest Gain Since 2014

According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, home prices surged 7% annually in September, up from a 5.8% annual gain in August. For perspective, this gain is the largest seen since September 2014. Moreover, home prices are now ruling 23% higher than their previous peak in 2006.

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Alternative Investments/Real Estate: U.S. Home Prices Record Biggest Gain Since 2014

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In September, home prices spiked 7% year over year.

According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, home prices surged 7% annually in September, up from a 5.8% annual gain in August.

For perspective, this gain is the largest seen since September 2014. Moreover, home prices are now ruling 23% higher than their previous peak in 2006. The index represents data from the period of July to September, averaged. (CNBC)

Reasons for the price surge

Mortgage rates fell to another record low last week, for the 13th time this year, according to CNN.

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.72%, according to Freddie Mac. That plumbed the lowest level in the nearly 50 years of survey records. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.28%.

These low rates have been a primary trigger for the current boom conditions in the U.S. housing market. However, rising home prices may soon outweigh the benefits of lower rates.

Another reason is the continuing crunch in the supply of housing, which remains limited. Inventory slumped to a mere 2.5 months of supply by the end of October said the National Association of Realtors.

This has been compounded by the skyrocketing demand for second homes as a result of the virus pandemic.

“The delayed spring homebuying season fueled sales well into October and past the time when they would normally begin to slow down,” said George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com to CNBC. “Heading into winter, demand continues to be strong, driven by mortgage rates which have broken record lows 13 times this year and a growing list of companies which have extended their remote work policies well into 2021.”

Home prices may remain elevated in case of an economic recovery and an effective and easily available vaccine against the virus.

Homebuilder ETFs likely to be in focus

  • SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEARCA: XHB)
  • iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (BATS: ITB)
  • Hoya Capital Housing ETF (NYSEARCA: HOMZ)

Related Story:  Homebuilder ETFs In A Bull Grip

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/u-s-home-prices-record-biggest-gain-since-2014/

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Private Equity

L Catterton sells Cholula Hot Sauce for $800m

The seasonings company McCormick is trying to capitalise on record demand for spicy condiments

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McCormick confirmed that it has agreed to buy the maker of Cholula Hot Sauce from private equity firm L Catterton for $800m in cash.

The Wall Street Journal late Monday, 23 November, reported that the seasonings maker was near a deal to buy Cholula, which has annual sales of roughly $96m.

McCormick said it will fund the acquisition, which it expects to complete by the end of the year, with cash on hand and commercial paper.

L Catterton, a US-based, consumer-focused private equity firm, acquired Cholula in April 2019.

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

From Dow Jones Newswires

Source: https://www.penews.com/articles/l-catterton-sells-cholula-hot-sauce-for-800m-20201124

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Private Equity

FinTech: HSBC, Western Union Announce Global, Real-Time Payments

Both HSBC USA, a part of the HSBC Group (NYSE: HSBC), and Western Union (NYSE: WU) reported rapid growth in the usage of services such as mobile banking, digital transactions, and app downloads during the pandemic afflicted quarters. Encouraged, the finserve giants launched global, borderless real-time payments.

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FinTech: HSBC, Western Union Announce Global, Real-Time Payments

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HSBC, Western Union: On-the-go, anytime, nearly anywhere in the world.

Both HSBC USA, a part of the HSBC Group (NYSE: HSBC), and Western Union (NYSE: WU) reported rapid growth in the usage of services such as mobile banking, digital transactions, and app downloads during the pandemic afflicted quarters.

Encouraged, the finserve giants launched global, borderless real-time payments.

HSBC launches a Global Money Account

HSBC USA announced the launch of its Global Money Account. It has the ability to hold different HSBC currencies online, with conversion to other currencies. The fully mobile-based account manages finances in multiple currencies/geographies. The platform allows fee-free remittances to 14 million HSBC customers in 20 countries worldwide. (BusinessWire)

“Through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the usage of our Mobile Banking facilities increase by more than 150 percent,” said Matthias Dekan, Head of HSBC Global Money, HSBC Group.

“The HSBC Global Money Account further supports our customers in being able to manage their finances from the comfort and safety of their homes or when they’re on the go.”

With their Global Money Account, HSBC customers have one global account for all the financial needs. They do not need to open a new account in case they move from one market to another. “This will allow them to pay bills in multiple markets, make cross border transfers and spend like a local wherever they are,” said Carolyn Criscitiello, Head of Digital Payments, Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC USA.

Western Union expands real-time digital payout capabilities globally

Western Union made good on its 2019 promise to expand its real-time payout into bank accounts, wallets, and cards in 100 countries by 2020.

The company announced Monday that digital transactions grew 96%, including 53% for WesternUnion.com in the third quarter of 2020. Further, there was significant incremental growth from digital partnerships. The payment giant saw strong customer engagement because the average monthly active customer growth was 47% during the quarter.

In the context of the company’s expansion of real-time, cross-border payouts into billions of bank accounts in 100 countries, Jean Claude Farah, Western Union President Global Network, said the company’s strategy was purpose-built for where the world is headed.

“With rapid execution with global scale, we are powering the world’s cross-border payment momentum with a globally diverse network to serve payment solutions, anytime and anywhere.”

The real-time payout capabilities are available to bank accounts and/or wallets or cards globally through select partners or banks.

Related Story: Heavyweights Are Match-Making In Global Cards And Payments

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/hsbc-western-union-announce-global-real-time-payments/

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