Friday, April 5th, 2019


Greece secures debt relief from eurozone after delay

BUCHAREST, April 5 — Eurozone finance ministers released long-delayed debt relief to Greece today, saying the government had implemented reforms promised during the massive bailout that ended last year.  Greece exited its third and final…

Pound steadies as London seeks new Brexit delay

LONDON, April 5 — The British pound steadied today after London requested another Brexit extension in the long-running saga, while global stocks mostly rose on hopes over China-US trade talks. British Prime Minister Theresa May has asked the…

BMW, Daimler, VW broke antitrust rules, EU says in ‘preliminary view’

BRUSSELS, April 5 — The European Union warned German car giants BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen today that a preliminary inquiry has concluded they colluded not to compete on emission control technology. “As a result, European consumers may have…

French finance minister: Bank mergers key to stronger euro zone

BUCHAREST, April 5 — Mergers in Europe’s fragmented banking sector are necessary to make the sector more resilient as the euro zone seeks to protect itself from future crises, France’s finance minister told Reuters in an interview. Bruno Le…

Orion IXL to provide fintech solutions to SME Bank

PETALING JAYA: Orion IXL Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Bhd (SME Bank), to provide fintech solutions to the bank.

Under the MoU, Orion IXL will create a framework for traditional and alternative credit scores for SME Bank’s customers. The two parties will also work together and adopt a two-pronged approach by using the credit scores to assess the financial strength and credit worthiness of SMEs and match it with suitable financing from SME Bank.

Orion IXL group CEO Mohamad Shaharul Mohamad Shariff said the company will leverage on alternate data streams like SMS, email, social media and industry trends to assess SME Bank’s customer credit worthiness.

“We will also leverage on the vast historical data and artificial intelligence (AI) based credit scoring of Malaysian SME businesses which will enable us to predict the outcome of the financing payment. Orion IXL will also conduct any simulation process and other statistical tools that would help assess the risk of singular and/or cumulative tranches of financing,” he added.

SME Bank group president and CEO Aria Putera Ismail said the MoU is the first step for the bank towards achieving its digital transformation initiatives that is expected to be a game changer on how SMEs can be supported using digital technology in growing their businesses.

“In creating the right environment and framework that would enable SME Bank to translate the efforts into effective solutions for the SMEs, the bank has revised its vision to become the leader in SME ecosystem by creating value creation for beyond financial services while the new mission of SME Bank is to be the centre of excellence for SME development,” he said.

The MoU will enable both parties to identify a suitable financing processing platform by leveraging on robotic process automation (RPA) to improve performance and at the same time reducing costs.

RPA is a software robot that automates tasks that are performed by humans. RPA will assist SMEs to easily seek and obtain financing using its simple, easy and intuitive interface.

The collaboration will also look into the enhancement of a digital market place for SMEs to interact with each other and to conduct business to consumer and business to business opportunities.

Orion IXL will offer strategic consultation and advice in AI, machine learning and block chain to SME Bank.

Swedbank chairman quits over money laundering scandal

STOCKHOLM, April 5 — Swedbank Chairman Lars Idermark has quit only a week after the lender’s chief executive was ousted over her handling of a money laundering scandal, saying the controversy threatened to distract from his role as head of…

Airbus Helicopters to expand Subang facility

PETALING JAYA: Airbus Helicopters is expanding its presence in Malaysia by offering a wider range of products and services at its Subang facility, making Malaysia its regional hub for helicopter services, customer support and training.

This includes the opening of a new helicopter completion and delivery centre, the integration of all heavy maintenance and repair services for the Southeast Asian region to the facility, as well as the addition of a second flight crew training simulator.

The group said in a statement that all helicopters for its customers in the Southeast Asian region will be delivered from the new completion and delivery centre in Subang.

“The expanded facility in Subang will enable us to provide the best possible support to our customers in the fast growing Asian region, where our extensive range of helicopters have been especially successful,” its CEO Bruno Even (pix) said in a statement today.

“It’s also part of the wider commitment of Airbus to develop our presence in Malaysia as a strategic market for all areas of the business, which also includes commercial aircraft, military transport and space applications,” he added.

Airbus Helicopters has been in Malaysia for over 15 years and currently has over 100 civil and military helicopters in service in the country. The company accounts for almost half of the civil and parapublic market in Malaysia.

Its position in the country reflects its wider success across Asia and the Pacific where it has close to 2,000 helicopters currently in service. With the expanded MRO centre in Subang, the company will be able to support a wide range of civil and military rotorcraft.

Airbus Helicopters’ Malaysian facility is located 25km from Kuala Lumpur, at the Malaysia International Aerospace Centre (MIAC), Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Selangor.

Spanning more than 10,000 square metres, the facility is fully-equipped to provide a broad spectrum of services ranging from scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, aircraft modifications, logistics support for spares and power-by-the-hour services.

The facility also houses the Airbus Helicopters Simulation Centre, a joint venture with Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation. The simulation centre offers training to pilots and crew from customers in the military, parapublic and civil sectors throughout the Asia Pacific region.

In addition to Malaysia, it has received trainees from countries such as Australia, Japan, Oman, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Airbus Helicopters has a team of over 100 personnel, supporting its customers’ operations in Malaysia.

US blocks Amazon efforts to stop shareholder votes on facial recognition

SAN FRANCISCO, April 4 — US securities regulators shot down attempts by Inc to stop its investors from considering two shareholder proposals about the company’s controversial sale of a facial recognition service, a sign of growing…

Amrin is Boustead’s new managing director

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Amrin Awaluddin (pix), who is resigning from Sime Darby Property Bhd, has been appointed as managing director of Boustead Holdings Bhd.

Amrin will relinquish his position as group managing director at Sime Darby Property effective May 3, 2019 and will begin his new role at Boustead on May 6, 2019. Amrin will replace Tan Sri Che Lodin Wok Kamaruddin who left the company on Dec 31, 2018.

“We are pleased to welcome Amrin as our new managing director. We are confident that his experience and proven track record will help steer the group forward. Particularly given the increasingly competitive landscape, his vast expertise and sharp business acumen certainly augurs well for the development of the group,” said Boustead chairman Gen. Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Che Mat.

Amrin has some 30 years of experience in the corporate arena. He began his career in the financial services industry and has held several key appointments.

He also played a pivotal role in driving the success of Malaysian companies including Renong Bhd, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd, Media Prima Bhd and most recently, Sime Darby Property. He is currently a director of Taliworks Corp Bhd and CIMB Bank Bhd.

Saifuddin: Franchise industry to contribute RM35b to GDP in 2020

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — The government is confident that Malaysia’s franchise industry will be able to contribute RM35 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, based on the positive performance by the top three franchise…