Wednesday, May 1st, 2019


Canada ups loans to farmers after China blocks canola

OTTAWA, May 1 — Canada increased loans to farmers today after China blocked shipments of canola — its most valuable crop — amid diplomatic tensions between Ottawa and Beijing. The government said it would more than double the amount of money…

Federal Reserve ponders conflicting data as it prepares rate decision

WASHINGTON, May 1 — The US Federal Reserve, faced with conflicting economic data that complicate its decision-making, opened the second day of policy deliberations today. The central bankers are widely expected to keep the benchmark lending rate…

Wall Street opens brightly ahead of Fed decision

LONDON, May 1 — Wall Street opened higher today ahead of an interest-rate update from the US Federal Reserve, while many of the world’s stock markets were shut for May Day. New York’s S&P 500 stocks index built on the previous day’s…

China factory activity softens despite stimulus

BEIJING, May 1 — China’s factory activity softened in April, official data showed yesterday, in the latest sign that the world’s second-largest economy remains on uneven footing despite a raft of government stimulus measures. The Purchasing…

Nations using oil as a weapon threatens Opec, says Iran oil minister

GENEVA, May 1 — Any country using oil as a weapon could cause the collapse of oil producer group Opec, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said today, according to SHANA, the news outlet of the oil ministry. Oil prices hit their highest since…

S&P 500 opens at record high as Apple powers rally

NEW YORK, May 1 — The S&P 500 index opened at an all-time high today, as gains Apple Inc’s shares after its stellar results and forecast powered a rally in technology stocks ahead of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy announcement. The…

Talks resume between SAS and pilots as more flights cancelled

COPENHAGEN, May 1 — Negotiations have resumed between Scandinavian airline SAS and its striking pilots, a mediator said today, as hundreds more flights were cancelled due to the strike action which has affected nearly 350,000 passengers. It is the…

US private-sector surges in April, says ADP

WASHINGTON, May 1 — American firms hired at a blistering pace in April, the fastest in nine months, kicking off the second quarter of the year with a bang, according to a payroll data released today. The private sector data comes on the day the…

Caring Pharmacy plans expansion into second-tier cities

PETALING JAYA: Caring Pharmacy Group Bhd will incorporate more local products in its pharmacies under the ‘Let’s Go Retail’ programme, paving the way for its expansion into second-tier cities in the country.

Managing director Chong Yeow Siang said currently 90% of its products are imported and its merchandise mix is more suitable for urban customers. Hence there is a huge potential for quality local products to be retailed in its outlets and for it to recommend to customers.

The Let’s Go Retail programme is a collaboration between Caring Pharmacy and business consulting & distribution company TriSuccess Global Sdn Bhd to help local entrepreneurs expand their business.

Under the initiative, Caring Pharmacy will commit to retailing Malaysian products that have passed its assessment, review and testing. In the initial phase, Caring will feature more than 20 products from over 120 merchants.

“With this Let’s Go Retail programme, we’re able to localise our merchandise mix and appeal to more customers,” Chong told SunBiz after signing the memorandum of agreement with TriSuccess here on Tuesday.

Some of the participating Malaysian brands are Ella, Serai Mas, Ana, Mary Jardin le fleur, Habada, Yooba Belle, Dominance, Kayman Beauty, Qaseh Bonda, Narinar, Turbo Gel and Dr Mama. All participating brands will be available from June 2019 onwards at selected Caring Pharmacy outlets by batches.

TriSuccess CEO Mohd Shahrilwan Mohd Sidek said there are many high potential “blue ocean” local brands in Malaysia and one of the objectives of the programme is to identify these brands and capitalise on the potential of these products and enable them to penetrate the retail market.

As the largest pharmacy chain in Malaysia, Caring Pharmacy has 126 outlets in Malaysia, except Perlis, Kedah, Terengganu and Sarawak.

In the East Coast region, Chong said, it only has an outlet each in Kelantan (Kota Baru) and Pahang (Kuantan); and also only one in Sabah (Kota Kinabalu) and will focus on adding more outlets in these places in the next financial year ending May 31, 2020.

Caring Pharmacy opens 12 to 15 outlets a year and Chong estimates that it will have 180 to 200 outlets in five years.

“Hopefully in five years, we’re able to be present in all the cities and second-tier towns in Malaysia to be a truly national pharmacy chain where customers can access our services and products,” said Chong.

Also present at the signing ceremony was Deputy Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Hatta Md Ramli, who said that the government is finalising details of the National Entrepreneurship Policy, which will be submitted to the National Entrepreneur Strategic Development Council (NESDC).

“We’re now at the end of our findings and yesterday we had a townhall gathering of stakeholders and interested parties.

“We’re finalising the policy for entrepreneur development for the country. That will be submitted to NESDC to be confirmed as a national policy and we’ll find a proper direction of entrepreneur development,” he told a press conference after witnessing the signing ceremony.

The National Entrepreneurship Policy is expected to be launched by the Prime Minister in July.

Mohd Hatta declined to reveal what areas the National Entrepreneurship Policy will hinge on, only saying that “all important areas” will be covered.

The Entrepreneur Development Ministry is the secretariat to the NESDC, which is chaired by the Prime Minister.

Glaxo profit soars 50pc on shingles drug sales

LONDON, May 1 — British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline announced today that net profit soared 51 per cent in the first quarter, boosted by increasing demand for its shingles vaccine Shingrix. Profit after tax leapt to £830 million (RM4.48 billion) in…