South East Asia

Date

During a visit to Ria-Ria village, Humbang Hasundutan regency, North Sumatra, on Tuesday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he expected the village’s new food estate to yield results in two to three months. The estate sits on 30,000 hectares near the village and seeks to bolster national food security.This article was published in thejakartapost.com with the title "North Sumatra food estate to bear fruit in two to th…


Despite booking loan growth, publicly listed bank BTPN saw its net profits plunge during the first nine months of this year as it was forced to increase provision for rising bad loans. The privately owned bank reported that its net profits were down by 21 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 1.5 trillion (US$102.46 million) from Rp 1.95 trillion booked during the same period last year. The decline was a result of an 84 percent increase in loan-loss p…


Bank Indonesia (BI) still has the option to cut its benchmark interest rate further to aid the recovery of the pandemic-battered economy, after keeping its rate unchanged for four consecutive months, BI Governor Perry Warjiyo has stated. However, the central banker said, further cuts to the seven-day reverse repo rate (7DRRR) would depend on domestic and global economic conditions as well as other indicators, such as the rupiah and exte…


Diversified conglomerate PT Astra International has seen a significant decline in its revenue and net profit in the first nine months of the year as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19 across all business segments. Most notably, its automotive segment has seen losses subside, while its property and agribusiness segments have made gains. The company’s revenue fell 26 percent year-on-year (yoy) as of Sept. 30 to Rp 130.35 trillion, f…


The National Consumer Protection Agency (BPKN) has recommended that e-commerce platforms ramp up their user protection measures following a rise of online marketplace complaints during the health crisis. BPKN advocacy expert staff member Akmalia Hidayati said e-commerce platforms should adhere to the general data protection regulation (GDPR) and make their terms and conditions clear, so consumers could understand their rights and obligations when…


Cambodia officially launched on Wednesday a central bank-backed digital currency that draws on blockchain technology designed by a Japanese company. The e-money "Bakong", an initiative of the National Bank of Cambodia, joins a very small group of digital currencies backed by central banks that have gone fully operational....


The Central Administrative Court on Tuesday rejected a State Railway of Thailand (SRT) bid to nullify a huge compensation order in the "Hopewell Project". A contractor, Hopewell (Thailand), had been awarded a lucrative contract in connection with an 80 billion baht elevated highway and train project....


The Tokyu department store in Bangkok will shut its doors in January, forced to close by rising competition and the loss of tourism, Nikkei financial news reported on Wednesday. The Japanese media outlet said the store at the MBK Centre shopping mall will cease business in late January due to competition in the retail business and travel restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic.....


San Miguel Corp., the country’s diversified conglomerate, is now preparing the second tranche of its preferred share sale. In a disclosure yesterday, SMC said it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) an updated registration statement covering another P20 billion worth of Series “2” preferred Shares which would be issued also at P75 per share.....


Corporate regulators have greenlighted the planned fundraising activities of three property firms to pay old debts and finance their investment plans.  In a statement on Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it approved during an en banc meeting on October 27 the planned public offerings of Filinvest Land Inc., Megawide Construction Corp. and Cityland Development Corp....


San Miguel Corp. is abandoning future plans to construct coal power plants after the government enforced a moratorium on coal-powered generators. Asked if the country’s largest conglomerate would still proceed with its coal power plans, Ramon Ang, president and chief operating officer, told Philstar.com in a text message: “No problem. We always follow rules.” He did not elaborate....


THE P30-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) bridge project is now 61% complete, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) said.   The overall engineering, procurement and construction progress rate of CCLEX, one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects which is expected to ease worsening congestion in Metro Cebu, is at 61%, while construction progress alone is 48%, MPTC said in a statement......


Operations of two mining firms were disrupted by the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. On one hand, Nickel Asia Corp. disclosed to the stock exchange mining activities at Tagana-an mine in Surigao del Norte will be suspended indefinitely after the local government placed the site on lockdown “until further orders.”....


TWENTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD Marie E. Llaneta’s garment shop in Rizal province east of Manila, the capital, was one of about 6,000 stalls that had to shut down in mid-March amid a Luzon-wide lockdown meant to contain a coronavirus pandemic. Home-based sewing businesses in the province also had to close shop as a result, and the once bustling “textile avenue” in the town of Taytay with its cloth, garter, zipper and button sellers went qu…


The Philippines is set to receive a fresh loan from the World Bank to fund the decades-long upgrade of customs procedures to reduce opportunities for corruption and trim trade costs. In a statement on Wednesday, the Washington-based lender announced the approval of an $88.28 million credit line to the Philippines for the government's modernization program of the Bureau of Customs....


THE PHILIPPINES outranked other emerging markets in Asia as it moved up one spot to 8th place in the Sustainable Trade Index 2020, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit bi-annual report commissioned by Hinrich Foundation.   The country was given above average scores in both the economic and social pillars to earn an overall score of 55.9 out of a 100 scale in the report released on Tuesday. The Philippines ranked 9th in the …


THE planned air travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong may start next month, the Republic's Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung said in response to queries from The Business Times (BT). SCMP on Tuesday reported Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam as saying that the bubble is expected to launch in November....


 Beauty and wellness firm Mary Chia Holdings has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to buy an 80 per cent stake in five companies under the Monsoon Hairdressing group for about $3 million. The seller is Lee Eng Tat, or Addy Lee, a celebrity hair stylist and the founder of Monsoon, the Catalist-listed firm announced on Tuesday night (Oct 27). The target companies are primarily in the business of providing hair services and hair care p…


Despite a subpar performance in school and being a university dropout, Ian Ang, 28, went on to co-found gaming chair company Secretlab and was recently named Singapore's youngest Entrepreneur of the Year. CNA Luxury chronicles his journey.   By all appearances, Secretlab's co-founder and self-dubbed “architect” – the youngest winner in the history of Singapore's EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Consumer Products –…


Reported merger discussions between Ovo and Dana could have implications on fintech battle between Grab, Gojek IN RECENT years, Indonesian consumers have been greeted by storefronts adorned with a colourful array of posters screaming about steep e-wallet cashback offers. Unlike Singapore, where such offers are usually in the low single digits, cashback rates there can run as high as 60...


Leaders of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) here will learn how to drive change and growth in their companies as part of a new initiative. The Enterprise Leadership Transformation programme, which was announced at Budget 2020, was launched on Wednesday (Oct 28). The inaugural run will see 60 participants from 38 local SMEs undertake a one-year curriculum designed to address knowledge gaps in leadership and business fundamentals, and pro…


2020-10-28

Digital HR transformation of a local university PwC helped a world-ranking university successfully achieve digital HR transformation. A well-planned transition programme with customised change management strategies was introduced to enable the university to easily adopt enterprise cloud HR solutions. Read full article:  https://pwc.to/34bcihs


Once the first to launch 3G in Thailand, True Corporation PLC is moving forward further to a wireless future with the upcoming 5G The saying “The future is now” is not completely impossible. With all the advancements we humans have created over past decades, technologies, especially the Internet and smartphones, have unprecedentedly changed our lives for the good....


The student-led protests against the government will not seriously affect the domestic economy as foreign investors view them as a short-term event, less frightening than the pandemic, says Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit. He said people in the business world understand the political dispute and expect the government to be able to cope with the situation....


Protests sweeping across Thailand threaten to snuff out chances of a consumption-led recovery from the nation’s worst-ever economic slump. Nattananporn Hamali, a 29-year-old saleswoman at a car showroom in Bangkok, is already feeling the pinch from consumers’ thrifty behaviour. With the bulk of her earnings coming from sales commission, she’s struggling to pay her mortgage and utility bills....


A tourism project worth almost 25 trillion VND (over 1 billion USD) was started on October 26 in the northern coastal province of Thanh Hoa by Sun Group, one of Vietnam's largest real-estate developers.The 550-hectare project consists of a massive plaza, pedestrian streets, hotel and resort complexes and recreational facilities.The Sam Son project is part of the Sun Group's long-term development strategy to transform Sam Son city a…


A conference gathering together overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs was held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 27, with a view to tapping into this resource to contribute to the southern economic hub’s development.Standing Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said the conference was an occasion for local authorities to hear the opinions of domestic and overseas entrepreneurs and experts, to help with th…


Prudence in stimulus spending must be observed by Southeast Asia and neighboring advanced economies to ensure debt levels are kept in check, a recommendation from regional economists that reflects the Duterte administration’s fiscally-controlled recovery strategy.  While inevitably coronavirus spending would lead to higher deficits and debts, economists at ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) suggested that policymakers must qu…


The Duterte administration will no longer accept proposals to construct new coal power plants, a dramatic shift in energy policy that counts on declining costs of renewables to attract clean power investments. The moratorium was announced in tandem with the relaxation on foreign ownership limits in geothermal energy projects worth $50 million or more, doubling down on the slow transition to clean power seen as a long-term fix to the Philippines&r…


Ninja Van Philippines is looking to expand its headcount to meet surging demand for logistics services from people staying indoors to avoid contracting the coronavirus. While he did not mention how many people will be recruited, Martin Cu, country head, said the logistics courier would go on hiring to augment the company's current pool of around 7,000 riders.....


SINGAPORE is set to ink an agreement with Laos, Thailand and Malaysia at an Asean meeting next month to advance cooperation on cross-border power trading, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said on Monday. The memorandum of understanding for the Lao PDR-...


Singapore's factory output extended a rebound that began in August, thanks to the booming pharmaceutical and electronics sectors, according to data released on Monday (Oct 26) by the Economic Development Board (EDB). Manufacturing output surged 24.2 per cent in September, compared with the same month last year. This was the biggest year-on-year increase since December 2011, and far exceeded the 2.5 per cent increase expected by economists in a Re…


A total of S$23 million in grants has been awarded by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to three power generation companies for energy efficiency projects that will reduce their carbon emissions, said the authority on Tuesday (Oct 27). The three companies are Senoko Energy, Tuas Power Generation as well as YTL PowerSeraya......


As at mid-Oct, 223 hotels were welcoming staycationers. Others continue to be used as quarantine or SHN facilities FOR a city with just 5.6 million people and a severe cap on tourists because of the ongoing global pandemic, it may come as a surprise that some hotels in Singapore are achieving high occupancies on weekends. Starved of overseas travel, Singaporeans and other residents have been going on staycations at a steady clip. And as the y…


Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp is exploring the sale of its casinos in Las Vegas, according to people with knowledge of the matter, a move that would leave the mogul focused on Asia and mark his exit, for now, from the US gambling industry. The world’s largest casino company, Sands is working with an adviser to solicit interest for the Venetian Resort Las Vegas, the Palazzo and the Sands Expo Convention Center, which together …


These days, telco service in our country is mostly erratic, if not really bad. There are good days, yes, but the bad days are quite a lot lately, adding to our COVID-19 nightmare. One would think their ads of fast internet service were written by used-car salesmen. The promised “Mbps” is a dream in this time of pandemic, what with work-from-home setups and online schooling. President Duterte wants to call Bethlehem on Christmas Day. G…


Vietnam’s pepper exports have shown signs of recovery, coming in at 45 million USD in September, a year-on-year surge of 22.2 percent.According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agro Processing and Market Development Authority, the country shipped 18,000 tonnes of pepper abroad in the month, up 20.4 percent from the same time last year.During the January-September period, the country earned 489 million USD from se…


The development of single-detached homes and lots in areas outside Metro Manila is among the opportunities residential developers can tap, driven by the growing demand for these properties, including vacation homes, a property consultancy said. In a report, Lobien Realty Group (LRG) said the residential market would have an increased importance as work-from-home and online school have become the default social distancing solution of the governmen…


Vietnam always considers the US one of its most important partners and wishes to continue developing its comprehensive partnership with the country, especially in economic, trade, and investment cooperation, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told US officials.At a reception in Hanoi on October 26 for the CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Adam Boehler, and representatives from the US Department of Treasury (USDT)…


Two of the country’s largest banks grew their profits in the third quarter, although succeeding growth remained at risk from rising amount of unpaid loans from virus-battered borrowers. After building up defenses against loan losses, and therefore suffering losses in previous quarter, BDO Unibank Inc. hiked its net income 3.16% year-on-year to P12.3 billion. UnionBank, meanwhile, netted P4.2 billion during the same period, up 11% annually. …


The projected two percent decline in remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have minimal impact on the economy, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. BSP Governor Benjamin Diok-no said risks to OFW remittances remain on the downside due mainly to the continued large repatriation of displaced workers, the 61.8 percent drop in deployment from January to July and remaining containment measures in s…


Singapore will import electricity from Peninsular Malaysia under a two-year trial, said the Energy Market Authority (EMA) on Monday (Oct 26). The trial aims to "assess and refine the technical and regulatory frameworks" for importing electricity into Singapore, said the authority in a press release. ....


This is starting in Singapore, as conglomerates consolidate positions to become more focused COVID-19 is hastening the break-up of conglomerates in South-east Asia, as these hefty multi-industry corporations look to "slim down" their organisational structures to overcome conglomerate discounts and underperformance relative to pure-play companies. South-east Asian...


Can milk be made in a laboratory instead of from cows or humans - and can it taste just as good? Local biotech start-up TurtleTree Labs certainly thinks so, and it impressed the judges of the Entrepreneurship World Cup 2020 enough to walk away with the top cash prize of US$500,000 (S$678,000)......


Additive manufacturing - often known as 3D printing - might seem more suited to high-tech industrial factories, but it can support many other sectors, such as healthcare, a panel discussion said yesterday. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) senior principal dietitian Gladys Wong said 3D-printed food can feed the elderly and those with chewing or swallowing difficulties, such as patients with stroke, progressive dementia and those who might be too fra…


Vietnam’s tuna exports to the Middle East and Africa have seen positive signs since the beginning of the year despite declines in overall seafood exports in the face of COVID-19, First Secretary and Head of the Trade Office at the Vietnamese Embassy in Egypt Nguyen Duy Hung said on October 25.The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on Vietnam’s exports of seafood to the Middle East and Africa, he told the Vietnam News …


About 100 Vietnamese enterprises participated in an event with Central Retail Vietnam and connected online with buyers in Thailand to take advantage of opportunities to export directly to the Thai market without intermediaries.Central Retail Group in Vietnam, the owner of Big C and Go! supermarket system, organised a seminar to connect the consumption of Vietnamese products to the group’s retail chain on October 24....


The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism will call for tenders and expressions of interest for 12 digital marketing projects to promote the Myanmar tourism industry in fiscal 2020-21, said U Tin Latt, Deputy Minister for Hotels and Tourism during a virtual conference on October 19. “As it will not be feasible to adopt the usual marketing channels during COVID-19, we will be using virtual means to do so,” said U Phyo Wai Yazar, advisor to th…