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News in brief

November 18, 2021 at 1:39 a.m.

Conference to focus on bank technology

The Little Rock Venture Center announced Wednesday that it will offer a financial technology summit to foster development of innovative services for banks and other financial providers.

The inaugural VenCent Fintech Summit is scheduled for April 11-13, and will provide networking and business opportunities for financial technology companies from around the globe. The event at the Little Rock Statehouse Convention Center will offer live product demonstrations from the venture center's fintech accelerator alumni and courses from fintech and finance subject matter experts.

"Now more than ever, financial institutions are challenged to innovate quickly," said Wayne Miller, the venture center's executive director. "After amassing almost 100 fintech accelerator alumni, the venture center created VenCent to bring highly impactful fintech companies and the most forward-thinking financial institutions together for an immersive, hands-on innovation experience."

Participants will learn more about key areas such as cybersecurity, banking-as-a-service, cryptocurrency, lending automation, data analytics and financial wellness.

More information is available at

-- Andrew Moreau

Illness has pig farm killing off its stock

BERLIN -- A pig farm in northern Germany began culling all of its 4,000 animals Wednesday after a case of African swine fever was confirmed there.

The outbreak near Guestrow, about 115 miles northwest of Berlin, is the first at a large pig farm in Germany. Cases in wild boars were first reported in Germany last year.

African swine fever, usually deadly for pigs, doesn't affect humans. It has spread in several European countries, leading to large-scale culls of wild boars and farmed pigs.

German farmers had been dreading the arrival of swine fever because of the effect on the pork industry, particularly exports to Asia.

Denmark, a major pork exporter, recently stepped up measures to prevent African swine fever from entering the country from neighboring Germany.

Officials did not know how the disease entered the farm near Guestrow, where it was detected this week.

-- The Associated Press

Arkansas Index sees decline for the day

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Wednesday at 846.37, down 15.98.

"Equity markets closed down slightly with the energy sector underperforming following reports of discussions between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding the potential release of strategic oil reserves," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.


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