Sunday, May 12th, 2019


Trump, Xi could meet next month on trade, says White House aide

WASHINGTON, May 12 — US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping could meet next month on the sidelines of the G20 summit to hash out their differences on trade, but no new talks are scheduled, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said…

MDEC: Cyberjaya to attract more 5G investments

CYBERJAYA: Cyberjaya, home to many multinational corporations (MNC) and technology companies, is expected to rope in more investors with the upcoming roll-out of 5G technology, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) COO Datuk Ng Wan Peng.

The 5G technology test started last month in Cyberjaya and Putrajaya and will continue for the next six months, as telcos and industry players explore the capabilities of 5G. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has previously stated that the commercial roll-out of 5G network in Malaysia is expected to take place in 2021/2022.

“There will be both the infrastructure-based and solution-based (players). 5G can drive many things, such as smart cities. There is continuous engagement on this (getting investors) and we’re talking to quite a few investors. We believe that when we put Malaysia as a place to roll out 5G, there will be a lot of interested parties,” Ng said during an interview recently.

She said there were already many players showcasing their products at the 5G Malaysia showcase in Putrajaya last month and these players definitely want a place to invest in and market their products.

“We also hope that once they test the solutions in Malaysia, Malaysia can become their base for them to further develop (their products) and sell it to the global market.

“Today, there are many tech companies here (Cyberjaya). We have big numbers like the services companies, data centres, cloud service providers, animation companies and other tech companies here and there will be more, especially with the opportunities driven by 5G,” added Ng.

According to Cyberjaya’s master developer Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, there are 1,815 companies in Cyberjaya as at December 2018 consisting of 506 Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) companies, 845 non-MSC companies, 429 start-ups and 35 government/government-linked companies.

Although Cyberjaya may be “under the radar”, Ng pointed out that many things are happening in the tech hub, given that it has an active digital services sector, animation centres, data centres, and even an active drone tech community.

“There will continue to be efforts in driving more activities in Cyberjaya,” she said.

Ng said MDEC continues to advocate the digital economy and wants to ensure that the country has the right policies for investments to thrive. She opined that Malaysia is attractive enough as an investment destination and has existing incentives for companies.

“We have to continue to invest in talent development. Coupled with the right policies that make it easier for business to operate, then we will have the right ingredients to attract and retain (investors).

“We also need to be sensitive towards companies’ needs and work together to understand where they’re going. If they need talent for data, we can’t be doing nothing about it. We need to identify the global trends and invest in those.”

Citing awareness, cost and talent as reasons why businesses are unable to adopt digital technologies, Ng said it is addressing these three concerns through working with relevant agencies, while suggesting that businesses can start small and scale fast.

“We need to have a concerted effort to move forward, like to get more traditional sectors to adopt digital technology. Some are advanced, some are lagging. We want to accelerate the pace,” she added.

The services sector contributes 51% of total investments into MSC last year, the largest among various sectors.

“We believe services will continue to be a key contributor as we have the most number of MNCs in services sector,” said Ng.

She said MDEC is confident for the digital economy to contribute 20% to Malaysia’s gross domestic product by 2020, from 18.3% in 2017, with key investors working hand-in-hand with industries to drive the adoption of digital techonology.

A player in the services sector, Shell Business Operations Kuala Lumpur (SBOKL) in Cyberjaya delivers global business operations for Shell such as creative solutions, customer operations, contracting and procurement, finance operations, human resource operations, information technology and more.

SBOKL general manager Nyon Kam Yew said the company, with over 1,600 staff, it is upskilling and reskilling its talent by coming up with its Big Data Upskilling Program. This programme provides an overview of big data analytics and its real-life applications in presenting actionable insights and solutions. It is also providing certification of qualified data analysts.

“The upskilling and reskilling is not just to make the workforce better in data and digital. We’re hiring 140 new roles in global commercial business, a downstream business such as data marketing and customer operations data analytics.

“Another area we’re hiring for digital is creative solutions, production, interface with customers via digital channel … these are jobs that we’re now creating and we want to make sure Malaysia has a place to play in getting roles on data and digital,” said Nyon.

SBOKL wants to use data as an enabler and to generate new insights to the business. Over the last five years (2014-2018), SBOKL has invested RM4 billion, mainly in operating expenditure.

“Moving up the value chain means you’re going to invest more in your people, hire people with skills for the future and this is where we’re looking at increasing the level of investments.”

Analysts upbeat on Genting Singapore’s prospects in Japan

PETALING JAYA: Analysts are optimistic on Genting Singapore Ltd’s odds in securing one of three casino licences in Japan.

“We believe GENS stands a good chance in securing one of the three IRs in Japan, backed by its track record in operating a successful and large-scale integrated resort in Singapore,” said PublicInvest Research in its research note last Friday.

It said being able secure a licence would be a key catalyst for the group although the bidding process and selection of integrated resorts operators would only take place in 2020.

Hong Leong Investment Bank concurred, saying that the possible venture in Japan may act as a huge upswing factor in the near term for Genting Singapore.

Previously, the group has mentioned that the request for concept in Osaka is scheduled for submission in August and the request for proposal will be around end of this year.

For Genting Singapore’s local operations, it is dealing with a challenging VIP market. In the first quarter of this year, it posted a net profit of SG$207.8 million (RM634 million), a 13.5% year-on-year (yoy) decrease, due to lower VIP volume.

“We believe the VIP market segment will be shaken by the rising completion from Asean Casinos (Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines). We are also in the view that the weaker yoy results will persist in the subsequent quarters due to weaker VIP business,” said HLIB Research.

In addition, Genting Singapore is also affected by the higher entrance levies imposed by the government.

“The levy is seen as a social safeguard to deter casual and impulse gamblings by locals but we reckon this could affect business volume for the mass market segment from Q2 FY19 onwards,” PublicResearch said.

Genting Singapore Ltd is a principal indirect subsidiary of Genting Bhd and part of the Genting Group. It is ranked among Singapore’s largest public-listed companies.

Uber ends below $45 IPO price, washing out in market debut


Uber (UBER) officially began trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, but stumbled out of the gate as its stock settled below its $45 initial public offering price. In Uber’s first test of whether it can transition from Silicon Valley unicorn to a publicly traded company while winning over a skeptical, volatile market, the stock — which priced at $45 on Thursday — gradually drifted lower from the $46-$48 indicated range prior the open. In its first trade, Uber hit the market at $42 per share on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE),Read More

US-China standoff heralds risky shake-up of global order, say analysts

PARIS, May 12 — Flaring tensions between Washington and Beijing are raising the prospect of new global diplomatic and economic fault lines, with consequences that analysts say could pose unfamiliar challenges to world leaders. From an escalating…

Trump to China: Trade deal now or it will be ‘far worse’ after 2020

WASHINGTON, May 12 — President Donald Trump warned China yesterday that it should strike a trade deal with the United States now, otherwise an agreement would be “far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term.” Washington and…

China outlines three disagreements in US trade talks

BEIJING, May 12 — China’s top trade negotiator said more talks will be held with the United States as he revealed what Beijing considers the three main differences keeping the two sides from reaching a deal. Speaking to reporters in Washington…