3 U.K. Stocks To Buy In 2019

Forbes | January 07, 2019

3 U.K. Stocks To Buy In 2019
It’s 2019 and already investing today feels very different than it did 12 months ago. This time last year the global equity markets were rising, investor confidence was high and in May 2018 we saw the FTSE 100 reaching all-time highs of 7,860. At the time of writing, the index is nearly 11% off those highs; uncertainty is elevated, markets are falling, volatility is high and investor confidence is fragile. Is this time for the valued investors to step in and pounce? As Warren Buffet says “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful “. Time and time again this philosophy has worked for the value investor. For long-term investors, I think current market conditions could be a great ‘buy the dip’ opportunity. Many stocks are trading lower than they were 12 months ago, and yet many dividend yields are higher. That’s positive for those with long term investment horizons. Let’s look at my three top UK stock picks for 2019.Given the uncertainty that investors are currently faced with; ranging from trade wars, Brexit and talks of a potential recession resulting from a slowdown in global growth, it’s understandable to understand why investors may be on edge. From my experience as a stock and FX trader, it’s a good idea to own several reliable defensive stocks within an investment portfolio.  So first on my list is Unilever (LSE:ULVR), a FTSE100 company with an incredibly vast portfolio of drink and food, personal care and homecare brands such as Dove, PG Tips, Persil and TRESemmé.  Due to the stock’s product demand and product range, its rather robust against what’s happening within the global economy and Brexit.

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PAYMENTS

Contis Partners with Mastercard as a Principal Issuing Member

Contis, Mastercard | December 08, 2020

Leading European payments fintech Contis today announced its partnership with Mastercard as a principal giving part. Through this partnership, Contis conveys an exhaustive start to finish Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform including direct access to both of the world's leading global payments organizations, accepted by a large number of merchants around the world. The addition of Mastercard speaks to another progression in Contis Group's development as a global backer and card processor. All through 2020, Contis conveyed against key achievements in its planned expansion, including making sure about full Brexit readiness by moving its whole EEA customer base to its European substance and migrating 1,000,000 clients to new cloud-native data habitats in London and Amsterdam. Contis has also added key functionality to the platform including open banking, international money change, cardless cash conveyance and solicitation to pay capabilities which, when connected to its UK and SEPA payment accounts, conveys the most complete start to finish BaaS arrangement. With Mastercard's significant presence across the EEA and collaborative approach to fintech, Contis will additionally install itself into Europe's critical financial infrastructure. This new partnership will enable Contis to carry greater decision to the market and supplement the range of items and services offered in key commercial verticals including banking, fintech, insurance and corporate remittance. Mastercard is the partner of decision for new and existing fintechs across Europe, enabling them to scale at speed. Mastercard's overarching fintech platform – Mastercard Accelerate – gives start-ups and arising brands backing and assistance for each stage of their development and transformation, from market section to global expansion. Mastercard Accelerate is involved four main programs: Fintech Express, Start Path, Engage and Developers. Peter Cox, Executive Chairman and Founder at Contis Group said: "Contis delivers Europe's most comprehensive payments BaaS platform. We see this partnership with Mastercard as an important step on our journey to becoming a leading global issuer and processor. It will enable us to augment our offering for prospects and clients by bringing more choice to the market, as we deliver secure frictionless payments to businesses and individuals across Europe and beyond." Scott Abrahams, Senior Vice President. Business Development and Fintech commented: "At Mastercard we are proud of our track record with Fintechs across Europe, helping them to rise to the next level by sharing our considerable industry expertise, technology and global standards. We are delighted to be working with Contis to bring greater choice and value to consumers and businesses by delivering frictionless experiences and ongoing innovation." About Contis Contis is transforming payments, issuing and processing. We help corporates, banks, fintechs and insurers unleash their true potential using our proven BaaS capabilities. Founded in 2008 by Peter Cox, Contis provides award winning, secure, cloud-based, real-time payment solutions. We enable our clients to deliver next-generation multi-currency accounts, cards and apps to their customers. One of the FT1000: Europe's Fastest Growing Companies in 2018, 2019 and 2020. We have offices in the UK, Lithuania and India. Contis benefits from a full licence suite, including FCA and Bank of Lithuania eMoney Licences which cover the EEA, and a full UK consumer credit licence. Contis is a Principal Visa and Mastercard member with full sponsorship and processing capability. About Mastercard Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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EPAM Team Up with Fnality to Develop Next-Generation Blockchain-Based Payment Systems

EPAM | May 28, 2020

EPAM Systems announced a partnership with Fnality International to deliver payment-on-chain to support tomorrow's wholesale banking requirements. EPAM will provide Fnality with software development services to create a series of new national peer-to-peer Fnality Payment Systems (FnPS). The Fnality Payments Systems will settle tokenized value transactions and reduce reliance on intraday unsecured credit transactions. EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE: EPAM), a leading global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services, today announced a partnership with Fnality International, a consortium of wholesale banks founded to create a network of distributed Financial Market Infrastructures (dFMIs), to deliver payment-on-chain to support tomorrow's wholesale banking requirements. EPAM will provide Fnality with software development services to create a series of new national peer-to-peer Fnality Payment Systems (FnPS) as well as facilitate its integration and interoperability within blockchain networks or legacy systems. Read More: TruClarity Management Solutions Supports TriaGen Wealth Management to Launch Independent Advisory Processing a trade transaction today involves multiple parties and locations, especially in cross-border commerce, leading to delayed or failed settlements and exposure to increased risk. With a blockchain payment system, all the contractual obligations are discharged Peer to Peer and are irrevocable and instantaneous. The Fnality Payments Systems will settle tokenized value transactions and reduce reliance on intraday unsecured credit transactions. Further, the distributed nature of FnPS will eliminate negative system impact from individual participants or nodes – resulting in faster settlements and reduced systemic, operational and credit risks. With more than 25 years of next-gen technology expertise honing collaborative, productive and secure remote working practices, EPAM is uniquely positioned to engineer and optimize Fnality's innovative payment infrastructure in an agile and distributed working environment, As banks look to reduce costs now more than ever, our partnership with Fnality will enable the wholesale banking sector to increase business agility, reduce systemic and credit risk and improve settlement efficiency through new Fnality Payment Systems. - Ben Brinkworth, Head of Financial Services in UK & Ireland, EPAM. The financial services industry is undergoing a digital revolution and with growing interest in digital assets, the need for digital cash in the form of cash on ledger is increasing exponentially. EPAM and Fnality are creating a next generation payment system infrastructure that will be the catalyst to drive true peer-to-peer financial markets and is backed by a consortium of financial institutions, including some of the world's most important banks. Due to the current environment with COVID-19, EPAM quickly shifted the project model to a distributed remote working environment by leveraging virtual workshops and agile methodologies. After demonstrating the successful operation of the first use case on the system, Fnality and EPAM will add more currencies, legal entities from shareholders, as well as additional participants and business applications in 2021. Read More: Apex Group Announces Launch of Escrow Services for North American Clients We're very pleased to have EPAM join with Fnality as strategic partners as we launch into the main technical delivery of the solution, They are an organization with great experience in the financial sector and within blockchain projects. They will be integral in delivering the Fnality Payment System to enterprise grade. - Rhomaios Ram, CEO of Fnality International. About EPAM Systems Since 1993, EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE: EPAM) has leveraged its software engineering expertise to become a leading global product development, digital platform engineering, and top digital and product design agency. Through its 'Engineering DNA' and innovative strategy, consulting, and design capabilities, EPAM works in collaboration with its customers to deliver next-gen solutions that turn complex business challenges into real business outcomes. EPAM's global teams serve customers in more than 30 countries across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. As a recognized market leader in multiple categories among top global independent research agencies, EPAM was one of only four technology companies to appear on Forbes 25 Fastest Growing Public Tech Companies list every year of publication since 2013 and was the only IT services company featured on Fortune's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list of 2019. About Fnality International Fnality International (Fnality) is the commercial realization of a four-year Research & Development project that has focused on understanding how market infrastructure needs to evolve to meet the challenge of tokenized markets. Fnality International was founded to create a network of decentralized Financial Market Infrastructures (dFMIs) to deliver a payment system for tomorrow's wholesale banking markets. Fnality is backed by 15 of the world's largest Financial Institutions including many of the Globally Systemically Important Banks (GSIBs).

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FINTECH

Zeni Launches Finance Concierge for Start-ups Backed by Artificial Intelligence

Zeni | March 15, 2021

Zeni, the book-keeping Fintech firm launched the first AI-powered finance concierge for start-ups, making it smart book keeping, accounting, CFO services ready to serve businesses across the United States. The company has also declared that it has brought up 13.5$ million funding till now, with Series A led by Saama Capital, Twin Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, Firebolt Ventures, Dragon Capital, Amit Singhal, Sierra Ventures, and SVB Financial Group involving in the funding with some more famous angel investors. since onboarding its first paid customers in January 2020, the company has experienced rapid growth and approvals. Today, managing over $200 million in funds each month across more than 100 startups, Zeni uses seamless blend of artificial intelligence and finance experts to manage book keeping and all other financial needs of its customers. What Zeni offers is speed and accuracy that gives start-up founders a real-time access to key-financial insights. The Zeni includes burn rate, operating expenses, cash/card balance, revenue by product, month-end reports, and more on its dashboard. Swapnil Shinde, Co-Founder and CEO of Zeni said “Start-up founders are flying blind each day because they don’t have access to a timely, accurate overview of their business finances,”. He also added: “We’re giving founders and start-up decision makers real-time visibility, control, and expert support with a finance solution that can evidently keep pace with their expanding business.” Zeni empowers startups by managing all finance-related activities of its startup clients for a flat monthly and yearly charges for the book keeping, accounting, and CFO services which includes: • Invoicing and Bill Pay • Expense and Receipt Management • Financial Projections, Budgeting, and FP&A Support • Payroll Administration • Zeni Dashboard Real-Time Reporting • Month-end Financial Statements • Yearly Taxes and R&D Credit Zeni has processed over 300$ million transaction in its initial year, and is on track to process over $1 Billion transactions in the next 12 months. Jenova Chen, Co-Founder and President of thatgamecompany, says “Zeni overcomes real-world pain points for startups like ours, we view the Zeni crew as an enlargement of our team. We rely on them multiple times every day to answer queries and get us our financial reports in a timely manner. For the first time, the Zeni dashboard gives me a real-time snapshot of how our firm is tracking and a constant outlook on business performance.” Co-Founders of Zeni, Swapnil Shinde and Snehal Shinde are twins and repeat entrepreneurs and technologists known for integrating human expertise and artificial intelligence. They have sold their previous start-up, the AI-powered travel assistant to Mezi to American Express. The twin brothers have now recruited a team of CPAs, accountants, tax advisors, FP&A experts and CFOs to leverage their expertise in creating the only finance management solution for start-ups. Ash Lilani, Managing Partner at Saama Capital said “Bookkeeping automation is a $10 billion market opportunity pleading for a solution that can enhance human output and meet the needs of expanding businesses,”. He also added “When Swapnil and Snehal stated they wanted to challenge the disconnected, complex bookkeeping solutions on the current market, we knew they were the team to do it. We’re excited to support Zeni in helping startups optimize their business each day.” About Zeni Zeni is a first-of-its-kind finance concierge that integrates human expertise and artificial intelligence to help start-ups make correct financial decisions and keep a tab on their expenditures. The Zeni dashboard includes daily bookkeeping, yearly taxes, bill pay, and invoicing, financial projections, budgeting, payroll administration, and more. Founded by twin brothers, Swapnil Shinde and Snehal Shinde in 2019, are serial entrepreneurs with their previous start-up acquired by American Express in 2018. Zeni has international investors including Saama Capital, Twin Ventures Sierra Ventures, Amit Singhal, SVB Financial Group, Firebolt Ventures, Dragon Capital, and Liquid 2 Ventures, plus additional prominent angel investors.

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