India

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a Group of Seven summit he had hoped to hold next month until September or later and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One during his return to Washington from Cape Canaveral in Florida, Trump said the G7, whose members are the world's most advanced economies, was a "very outdated group of countries" in its current format.....


2020-05-31

Private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.’s board, on Saturday, said it raised at least Rs. 7,442.5 crore via issuance of 65 million shares in a qualified institutional placement (QIP). Following a board meeting, the bank said that shares have been offered to investors at Rs. 1145 apiece, which is at a discount of 6.43% to the current market price of Rs. 1,223.70......


Amid lockdown and the Covid-19 scare, digitisation has gained momentum across sectors. Will workers bear the brunt as companies adopt automation to survive the pandemic? Farewells are always difficult. For Nikunj Sanghi, this one is especially so. Sanghi is a Rajasthan-based automobile dealer of M&M and Hero MotoCorp and employs 400 people. As business comes to a standstill, he knows that to survive he has to be leaner, cut costs and reinvent the business model. He is letting go 70-odd employees…


Latest guidelines says religious places, hotels, restaurants can start activities from June 8 The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday has sent out latest guidelines in which it said all activities will be relaxed in phased manner outside containment zones. Within containment zones, the lockdown restrictions will continue till June 30, it said......


2020-05-31

The COVID-19 outbreak has dramatically impacted the way people work across the region, resulting in implications of how users occupy work spaces. Economies around the region are at various stages in containing and managing the outbreak, and remain at different stages of re-entry from lockdowns. In recent weeks, governments have begun opening or planning staged openings of their economies, and places of businesses are preparing for re-entry into what will be the “next normal.” This report exp…


2020-05-30

Sunil John, founder of regional public relations agency ASDA’A BCW and President of BCW Middle East, has been named "Best PR Professional in the Middle East" in the PRWeek Global Awards 2020. This latest individual award for John, an Indian, from the global PR industry coincides with the 20th anniversary year of ASDA’A, the agency he founded. He is credited with transforming PR from a communications function struggling under the shadow of big advertising agencies “to a thriving industry th…


2020-05-30

Interview with Hock-Chye Ong, Auditor General at the Asian Development Bank The Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s internal audit team is to its projects what a good baker is to a recipe. Just as a baker meticulously checks that all the ingredients have made it into the mixing bowl, internal auditors make sure that all the conditions set before developing a new project are met. This is crucial in fulfilling ADB’s mission to alleviate poverty in Asia and the Pacific by supporting economic and soc…


The present and future of 1.3 billion people will never be dictated by an adversity, PM Modi has said in his letter to the nation Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a letter to the nation on completion of the first year of his second term in office, said the nation took historic decisions and progressed rapidly in the past year, but he also conceded that migrant workers, labourers and others had "undergone tremendous suffering" during the coronavirus crisis.Here's the full text of PM Modi's lett…


In an open letter to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that India will set an example of economic revival to the world which is currently grappling with the menace of COVID-19 Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an open letter to the nation on Saturday termed the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package a "major step" in making India 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant). PM Modi wrote the letter marking the first anniversary of his second term in office sharing the several schemes launched…


2020-05-30

IndiGrid, a listed infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) for power transmission lines, on Friday, said it has executed share purchase agreement for the buyout of power transmission line operator Jhajjar KT Transco Pvt Ltd, for about ₹310 crore, from Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd and Techno Electric & Engineering Company Ltd.....


‘MSME schemes, including credit guarantee programme, covers traders also’ The Centre will soon decide on opening shops in the malls after taking into account the guidelines of the Health Ministry, said Piyush Goyal, Commerce & Industry Minister assuring traders......


2020-05-29

IT major Wipro today announced the appointment of top Capgemini executive Thierry Delaporte as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD). Abidali Neemuchwala will relinquish his position as CEO and MD on June 1. Rishad Premji will oversee the day to day operations of the company until July 5 and Delaporte join Wipro on July 6. "l am delighted to welcome Thierry as CEO and Managing Director of the company. Thierry has an exceptional leadership track record, strong interna…


COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding, Moody's rated Asian project and infrastructure companies are well-positioned to manage their refinancing needs through 2022, said Moody's Investors Service in a May 28 report. Upcoming bond maturities are concentrated at investment-grade companies, most of which benefit from government support or are in sectors less affected by the virus outbreak. China and South Korea account for most of the outstanding bonds in Moody's portfolio. From Asean, Indonesia account…


Uncertain times call for certain CXO protocol Several organisations are preparing succession contingencies for senior management. As companies prepare to return to office in a staggered manner, many organisations have put in place “special protocol” for key managerial people. Companies are advising the top management to exercise extra caution, from avoiding visitors and limiting their travel to putting restrictions on meetings with the CEO and reducing one-on-one discussions. Several organis…


To get a foothold in India’s telecom market, internet giant Google has initiated discussions to acquire up to 5 per cent stake in Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL). The move, if successful, would also help the American company compete with Facebook in the world’s fastest growing telecom market.....


According to the Union agriculture ministry, 21 districts in Rajasthan, 18 in Madhya Pradesh, two in Gujarat and one in Punjab have undertaken locust control measures till now After damaging crops in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, swarms of locusts entered Uttar Pradesh's Jhansi district Wednesday and could head towards Maharashtra's Ramtek city amid what is being described as the worst attack in 26 years.......


2020-05-28

Microsoft Corp. is negotiating an investment of as much as $2 billion in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms Ltd, the digital unit of India’s most valuable company, said two people aware of the discussions. “Microsoft has been in discussions with several players in the digital payments services space. With Reliance, Microsoft is interested in buying more than a 2.5% stake in Jio Platforms," one of the two people cited above said, seeking anonymity.....


The Indian subsidiary has orders for 100,000 vehicles, Suzuki said Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC) chairman Osamu Suzuki expects the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in India to be more drawn out than initially expected, said Citi, citing a post-earnings conference call he held with investors on Tuesday in Japan. Its Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) unit is the country’s largest carmaker and accounts for over half of SMC’s global sales by volume.The Indian subsidiary has orders for 100,000 vehicles, Su…


Power giant, the first PSU in the race for stake in two BSES firms NTPC Ltd wants to buy out the 51 per cent stake of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd from Delhi’s power distribution companies. In a letter to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), NTPC expressed its interest to enter the power distribution sector and acquire the distribution assets. NTPC is the first public sector undertaking to join the race to buy ADAG’s stake in BSES. Enel Group, Torrent Power and Greenko Group a…


MSMEs or business enterprises - constituted as proprietorships, partnerships, registered companies, trusts and limited liability partnerships (LLPs), as well as interested borrowers under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna - would be eligible for the scheme.......


Middle East

2020-05-30

SAR150 billion ($40 billion) were transferred from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority’s foreign exchange reserves to the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in March and April, Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said on Friday......


2020-05-30

Hana Abdullah Alomair is the director of Netflix’s first Saudi thriller original series, titled “Whispers,” which is due to begin streaming in 190 countries on June 11.  A Saudi writer, filmmaker, and movie critic, Alomair won the Silver Palm Tree Award for best script at the Saudi Film Competition in 2008.....


2020-05-30

As Saudi Arabia moved closer to Phase 2 of the gradual relaxation of coronavirus lockdown rules, the Ministry of Interior announced precautionary measures and preventive protocols for several sectors to follow. The preventive protocols, prepared by the Ministry of Health,  covers the period from 8 Shawwal to 28 Shawwal 1441 in the Hijri calendar, corresponding to May 31 to June 20, 2020 in the Gregorian calendar.....


2020-05-30

Sunil John, founder of regional public relations agency ASDA’A BCW and President of BCW Middle East, has been named "Best PR Professional in the Middle East" in the PRWeek Global Awards 2020. This latest individual award for John, an Indian, from the global PR industry coincides with the 20th anniversary year of ASDA’A, the agency he founded. He is credited with transforming PR from a communications function struggling under the shadow of big advertising agencies “to a thriving industry th…


2020-05-30

“What do people want to listen to? A story. What makes you watch a movie? A story. Why do you buy a product over another? A story. What binds people together? Surely, a story,” said Abdulrahman Abumalih, CEO of Thmanyah, which is Arabic for the word “eight.” This Saudi media company is seeking to grab the attention of the region’s expanding digital audience through documentaries and podcasts.....


2020-05-30

Lebanon’s parliament approved on Thursday a law to remove decades-old banking secrecy rules in order to better fight rampant corruption that has pushed the country to the edge of economic collapse.The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers, legislators and civil servants, state-run National News Agency reported....


2020-05-30

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, received today a phone call from President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation. During the phone conversation, they discussed the efforts being exerted to stabilize the oil markets, the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, reported. For his part, President Putin praised the Kingdom's prominent role and efforts in stabilising the global oil markets. They also discussed the relations between the…


2020-05-30

Sharjah has witnessed an increase of 16.7 percent in residential sector water consumption between January to April, 2020, a study carried out by Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, SEWA, confirmed. It has also observed a decrease in consumption in the industrial sector by 6.6 percent, in commercial sector by 4.2 percent and in the government sector by 2.7 percent, compared to the same period in the previous year. The study indicated that the quantities of water distributed in the Emirate of…


2020-05-30

  More than 2,300 students from 6 public schools and 8 private schools in UAE took part in the virtual guided tours of Etihad Museum that were organised by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority via the Dubai 360 website and a virtual meeting platform. The visits highlighted the details of the museum, drawing inspiration from the story behind the establishment of the United Arab Emirates as recounted throughout the museum. Through this initiative, which was organised by Dubai Culture in cooperatio…


2020-05-30

  Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA’s) smart adoption rate for its services has reached 95% and customers completed over 2.5 million smart transactions in Q1 of 2020. DEWA has confirmed that customers can complete all their transactions using its smart channels, which are available anytime, anywhere to save them time and effort. HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said that DEWA is one of the first government organisations in Dubai to have completed the transformati…


2020-05-30

Al Tayer:  13 Bridges to Dubai Hills Mall span 3700m in length, 11-22m in width - The new bridges capacity is 23.5k vehicles per hour - The newly opened 4-lane bridge on Umm Suqeim St. cuts the transit time from Mohammed bin Zayed Rd to Al Khail Rd from 18 to 7 mins Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the completion of all construction works in Roads and Bridges leading to Dubai Hills Mall project. The project comprises of 13 bridges extending 3700 metres in length and 11-…


2020-05-29

Dubai Culture Museums to welcome visitors from 1 June • Move in line with Government’s decision to resume business activity gradually in Dubai• Visitor numbers to be maintained at 50% of capacity• Precautionary measures and social distancing to be stringently followedIn line with the Dubai Government’s decision to resume economic activity from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm effective Wednesday 27 May, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority announced it will reopen its museums in a phased manner from 1…


2020-05-29

Facility to be operated by the Dubai Health Authority In further contributions from the UAE business community to support efforts to combat COVID-19, Emirati businessmen Saud Othman Al Humaidan and Hussain Nasser Lootah have donated a fully-equipped hotel for quarantine purposes. Located in Bur Dubai, the hotel has 91 rooms and a total capacity of 266 beds. Apart from providing quarantine facilities, the hotel can also provide accommodation for tourists stranded due to the suspension of flights…


2020-05-29

As the world of sports came to a complete halt due to COVID-19, many of its top stars chose to stay on in Dubai through the lockdown and now, as the world limps towards reopening, they have saluted the Emirate’s exemplary response to the pandemic as well as the top sports facilities available in the city. Back in March, as football across the globe came to an abrupt halt, a number of Chinese club football teams were here in Dubai for their off season training and they decided to stay on here, …


2020-05-29

Quality Assurance Section at Dubai Customs successfully audited a number of departments during the remote working period following the international standards. Auditing covered the Corporate Social Responsibility standard ISO6000, the Development and Training Standard ISO10015, and the Innovation Management European Standard TS16555. “The successful auditing during this difficult time is the result of our commitment and sustainable efforts in assuring quality in every job we do,” said Samira…


2020-05-29

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is offering 300 distinctive number plates of 4 and 5 digits at the forthcoming 60th Online Auction, the second online auction this year. Plates on offer bear (A-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U) codes.   Registration of bidders starts on Sunday, 31st May, and the bidding process will kick off at 08:00 am on Sunday, 7th June, and continue for only five days. Selling in this auction is subject to a 5% VAT. Each bidder is required to have a Traffic File op…


The Securities Investors Association Singapore (Sias) has called on Hyflux to immediately clarify key aspects of Utico's revised rescue deal, which the investor watchdog dubbed a "bombshell" for holders of Hyflux's perpetual securities and preference shares (PnPs). In a statement on Thursday, Sias chief executive David Gerald noted that Utico's latest offer to the PnPs is that their holders will receive shares comprising 5 per cent of Utico and 12.5 per cent of Hyflux as payment, but with no cas…


2020-05-28

In implementation of the decision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, regarding the resumption of the economic movement in Dubai for its activities on the fourth day of Eid Al-Fitr, the Dubai Sports Council issued a list of controls and procedures for the return of sports activity in fitness training centers and academies in the Emirate of Dubai. In accordance with the instructions and controls issued by t…


2020-05-28

Under the directives of Mohammed bin Rashid..Hamdan bin Mohammed: 50% of government employees to work from the office starting Sunday100% of government workforce will work from the office starting 14 June, 2020The elderly, employees with chronic conditions, people of determination, pregnant women and those with compromised immunity can work remotelyUnder the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Pri…


2020-05-28

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), announced the completion of more than 3,000 transactions worth approximately AED10 million in two months, from mid-March to mid-May 2020, while working remotely. In addition to the existing 395 smart services available online, through the customer service portal, DSOA launched seven new services for residents and business partners – visa quota renewal, as well as access card applications, renewal, and canc…


South East Asia

2020-05-31

When word got out that Japanese investors are looking at pulling back from China, word also got out that the Philippines was not their preferred investment destination. To be honest, I felt that can’t be right, because how can the country that led Southeast Asia in growth rate for the better part of the decade be not the favorite? We can’t be too opinionated on these things so we did a survey among Japanese executives in the Philippines. If you believe that it should have been done at the he…


  The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a $15 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Cambodia Strengthening Pre-Service Education System for Health Professionals Project to strengthen Cambodia’s pre-service education system for health professionals to improve the quality of care for better health outcomes.....


Indonesia's telecommunication companies have enjoyed a surge in data traffic during this year's Idul Fitri celebration as customers connected with family and friends online amid large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and a ban on the traditional holiday exodus to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. Publicly listed PT Indosat has reported that its data traffic rose 27 percent in the period compared to the average traffic prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its customers were using more messaging, social medi…


Cambodia has exported 356,097 tonnes of milled rice to foreign markets during the first five months of this year. The figure shows an increase by 105,925 tonnes or 42.34 percent compared to the same period in the previous year, according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon.....


2020-05-31

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is organising a dual satellite event - Level Up Spacebar and Level Up Play-One - in June, 2020. Aimed at exploring and developing the country's gaming industry, both events are designed to attract both businesses and the public alike. The Level Up Spacebar, which will run on June 16, 2020, is targeted at businesses and game publishers, while the Level Up Play-One is a gaming festival that is open to the public, and will run on June 13 and 14, 2020.…


2020-05-31

The Foundation for Consumers has demanded authorities protect the rights of customers affected by Thai Airways International (THAI)'s financial woes. Narumon Mekborisut, head of the foundation's consumer rights protection unit, said customers outside of the country also need help......


Automaker Nissan Motor Indonesia (NMI) announced the official closure of its factory in Indonesia as its Japanese parent company disclosed a restructuring plan to improve its finances. Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. stated on Thursday that the company was taking robust action to improve efficiency, which included the closure of its manufacturing facility in Indonesia. It also closed its Barcelona plant, the Spanish government confirmed......


2020-05-31

The telecommunications sector's first quarter (Q1) results performance has collectively been disappointing as Digi.Com Bhd, Maxis Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd come in below analysts' expectations. The weak performance has also led to the companies withdrawing or reviewing their financial year 2020 guidance for revenue, gross profit and capital expenditure due to the uncertain Covid-19 impact on net subscription rates. Axiata was the last of the "Big Three" to release its Q1 results, when on May 21, …


2020-05-31

Japan is considering easing entry restrictions on people from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand because of signs that novel coronavirus infections are declining in those countries, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, citing government officials. The government may relax the limits from as early as summer, the newspaper said Sunday.....


Nationwide fuel consumption during this year’s Idul Fitri period was 31.2 percent below the normal level as the government had banned the traditional mudik (exodus) to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Fuel consumption averaged 106.933 kiloliters per day in the Idul Fitri week, down from 155,377 kl per day in January and February, the months before Indonesia confirmed its first COVID-19 cases, which later prompted large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) that shut offices, factories and schools …


COVID-19 IS ONE big reason why we need to look at plant-based proteins, say climate advocates. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three out of every four new infectious diseases in people come from animals. And with CDC also reporting that 3 per cent of workers......


Just six months ago, South Korean pop darling IU belted out her hits to a packed hall at The Star Theatre over two days.   But with the coronavirus, such days of sell-out K-pop concerts are over, at least for a while, possibly rendering concert organisers dispensable. Live shows have been banned around the world to curb the Covid-19 outbreak, and many entertainers have moved to streaming their performances online......


2020-05-31

Minh Khang and Minh Anh have become the first transgender couple in Việt Nam to naturally have a baby. Their daughter, Thiên An, was born two weeks ago at a hospital in Đồng Tháp Province. Minh Khang was born a woman, and Minh Anh was born a man. Their wedding was held three years ago. Even though there are many challenges ahead, this young couple say they are ready for parenthood....


2020-05-31

Money sent home by Filipinos abroad to their loved ones in the Philippines is seen to further contract this year as more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are displaced due to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). In an online forum, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the central bank is closely monitoring latest reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and…


Hyflux’s high-profile debt restructuring seems to be hanging in the balance again after it said on Friday (May 29) that its S$400 million rescue deal with Middle Eastern suitor Utico has "ceased2 with the lapsing of the long-stop date earlier this week. The embattled water treatment firm said it remains in talks with Utico and is studying the latter’s revised offer to replace all cash considerations for creditors with stocks.....


GETTING people to care about the environment is an uphill battle that advocates around the world have been fighting for a long time. The fight is especially pertinent in Singapore, a country under direct threat from rising sea levels, and where the tropical heat is a constant reminder of how unbearable a rise in temperature of a few degrees would be. It has taken a pandemic to highlight the impact our lifestyles and business activities have on the environment. Carbon dioxide emissions and air po…


Fintech CEO careful not to rely on loans so she can dispose of assets easily Watching her dad make a hard living selling char kway teow from 5am to 10pm was part education and part inspiration for finance executive Tan Bin Ru.   Ms Tan, South-east Asia chief executive of fintech firm OneConnect, told The Sunday Times: "He had no Central Provident Fund and every dollar he earned went into (our) education......


2020-05-31

The COVID-19 outbreak has dramatically impacted the way people work across the region, resulting in implications of how users occupy work spaces. Economies around the region are at various stages in containing and managing the outbreak, and remain at different stages of re-entry from lockdowns. In recent weeks, governments have begun opening or planning staged openings of their economies, and places of businesses are preparing for re-entry into what will be the “next normal.” This report exp…


The World Bank has said that the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Cambodia’s main drivers of economic growth—tourism, manufacturing exports, and construction, which together account for more than 70 percent of the country’s growth and almost 40 percent of paid employment......


The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) yesterday asked commercial banks and microfinance institutions to send it the smallest US dollar banknotes because it considers them difficult to manage and “there is little demand for them”.......