BIZ BUZZ: DragonFi’s moment of truth
As if last weekend’s announcement of an aggressive US push by Hotel101 weren’t enough, DoubleDragon Corp. of Edgar “Injap” Sia II and Tony Tan Caktiong have another big thing that’s launching today.
We’re talking about their DragonFi online stockbrokerage venture, which will go live when the stock market opens for trading this May 8—less than 18 months after the dynamic duo acquired the former Tri-State Securities and gave it a new lease on life as an all-digital service for the country’s ever-growing population of stock market investors.
The broker boasts of services like watch lists, more efficient order entries, automatic profit-taking and stop-loss trades, advanced charting and real-time monitoring, most of which are available on the web and on DragonFi’s mobile app, while some are web-only services for now.
It is easily the most advanced stock trading platform available today, and is set to give other online brokers a run for their money.
Based on early trials by select stock market investors, DragonFi promises new users an account opening experience of only 30 minutes. The firm said those who successfully complete know-your-customer procedures can fund their accounts in as short as 20 minutes. In addition, they can start trading with as little as P25,000 in their accounts.
And, given how ambitious the Sia-Tan Caktiong duo are in their goals for DoubleDragon, their target for DragonFi is equally ambitious: An eye-watering P100 billion in turnover in the first 24 months of operations. Attainable? Abangan!
— Daxim L. Lucas
PH gets its own super app
The Philippines is officially launching this week its first super app—eGov PH—and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary for e-Government David Almirol, a major force behind this innovation, could not be happier.
Almirol, who founded and grew software company Multisys Technologies Corp. before joining the Marcos administration, said having a single operating system for all government transactions would help ensure ease of doing business in the country.
The eGov PH app, now on its beta version with the first phase to be launched in June, is just one of seven priority projects of the DICT eGovernment office —the eLGU and eTravel were successfully launched last year while the eGovCloud, eGovPay, eGovReport and other eGovServices are on their way.
“eGov PH app is a positive step toward modernizing government services in the Philippines. This citizen-centric and one-stop-shop platform provides convenience to the public and facilitates effective transactions like availment and payments of permits, IDs, clearances and other government documents,” Information and Technology Secretary Ivan Uy added.
Currently, hundreds of decentralized websites and systems are being promoted by multiple government agencies, resulting in siloed, disconnected and time-consuming government transactions and services.
Through the eGov PH super app, all systems and websites can be aggregated and integrated via a Single-Sign-On (SSO) and Ease-Of-Doing-Business (EODB) API, making transactions more seamless, paperless, contactless and cashless, shared Almirol.
The launch this week is part of the “Tale of Two Cities: Philippines and Switzerland” discussion, inspired by the example of Switzerland, one of the world’s leading hubs for innovation and technology.
This event is convened by Digital Pilipinas, reputedly the largest private sector-led movement for creating an innovation and technology ecosystem in the country that is actively engaged in a global digital economy.
— Tina Arceo-Dumlao
Landbank-DBP and the agri sector
The agriculture sector may just benefit from the merger of the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), according to Monetary Board Member Bruce Tolentino.
“If the result is a stronger bank, yes,” Tolentino, who has extensive background on agriculture, told reporters in Clark, Pampanga over the weekend when asked if the merger would bode well for the sector.
For one, this could mean a great deal of available capital to them for borrowings.
He noted that even the largest banks in the country are dwarfed by the financial institutions overseas, explaining that mergers like this can be crucial.
This transaction, once completed, will create the country’s biggest bank with combined P4.18 trillion in assets, P3.59 trillion in deposits and P288 billion in capital, according to Dec. 31, 2022 figures.
The LandBank-DBP merger is expected to become a done deal by November.
— Tyrone Jasper C. Piad
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