In this week’s wrapup, we talk about China's stock market rally, Varanium Cloud's rigged SME IPO, India and Iran's Chabahar port deal, Saudi Arabia's futuristic cities and the beginning of global AI regulations.

Here’s a recap.

How to bet on the Chinese stock market rally?

After tough COVID policies, the Chinese stock market has been rallying of late. But if you want to bet on it, you may not be able to do it directly because holding shares in Chinese companies isn't easy. The government controls pretty much everything there. Even the stock market.

Then how do you go about being a part of this rebound? Find out in Monday's newsletter.

How Varanium Cloud rigged its own SME IPO

How does a company raise capital?

Well, it can rope in investors or borrow. But it can also offer its shares to the public and list itself on the stock market. But not all companies can do that because going public involves a lot of stringent rules and processes. So it's especially difficult for smaller companies to tread that path.

That changed a decade ago with the launch of SME platforms. And these SME IPOs have been all the rage of late. But they're also becoming a breeding ground for manipulation. The latest example is Varanium Cloud, a tech company which rigged its public listing. How did it do that? Read Tuesday's newsletter to find out.

The fastest, cheapest, bestest path to Central Asia and beyond

If you’re an Indian trader seeking access to the untold riches of Central Asia, you can do it via multiple routes. You can strike a partnership with countries like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Or you could establish a trading route via China. But these options come with practical difficulties. So you may have to find a workaround.

That workaround is a route that involves an Iranian port called Bandar Abbas. But that could be a tricky route too. That's where the Chabahar port comes in. India has signed a formal 10-year contract with Iran to develop it, so that trade becomes smoother. But why 10 years? Read Wednesday's newsletter to find out.

Saudi Arabia is hell bent on building futuristic cities... Will it succeed?

Saudi Arabia wants to build futuristic cities. Ones with glass mirror walls, high speed subways and even a robot population. But this isn't Saudi's first attempt at doing that. And of late media reports have been pointing out problems with this dreamy project.

Can it rise above these hurdles? Find out in Thursday's newsletter.

The Guardians of the AI Revolution

A father drops off his son in an exam centre. He wishes him luck, bids goodbye and goes about his day. Soon, he gets a call from a certain Vinod Kumar who identifies as a police officer. He tells him that his son has been involved in a rape case and demands ₹30,000 to clear his name. He then hands over the phone to his son, who pleads his father to free him with a trembling voice.

But after hanging up, the father contacts the local police station only to find out that there is no Vinod Kumar. The real police soon send him a picture of his son from inside the exam centre. He was safe.

Who was on the line then? Well, it was an AI generated voice clone! And AI related menaces like this have been fuelling a lot of online scams, nudging many countries to step up and regulate it.

To find out how that's happening, read Friday's newsletter here.

Finshots Weekly Quiz 🧩

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That's it from us this week. Have a great weekend!

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