NEW YORK, April 24 — Walmart Inc lost out in China by betting on the wrong horse. In India, the retailer is prepared to pay up to secure the top steed. The world’s biggest retailer is nearing a deal to buy a majority stake in India’s top…
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) signed and exchanged a memorandum of onderstanding (MoU) with Cosmetic Valley France (CVF) during a mission to Paris.
In a statement, Mida said the MoU reflects the shared ambition between both entities to develop a sustainable cosmetics and personal care industry cluster in Malaysia through the sharing of information, mutual promotional initiatives and R&D efforts particularly in the halal segment.
Ultimately, this will contribute towards providing new and innovative products to the market and enhancing economic growth for both Malaysia and France.
Created in 1994, Cosmetic Valley became a “competitiveness cluster” in 2005.
Now, as the world’s leading centre of resources in cosmetics and perfumery, it is setting the standard in the world of cosmetics.
Signing the agreement, Mida CEO Datuk Azman Mahmud said: “We are excited to work with CVF, a renowned point of reference for global cosmetics, to advance the development of this industry in Malaysia through various initiatives.
“This includes leveraging on promotional platforms such as Cosmetic 360, an international event which showcases creativity and innovation in the cosmetic industry supply chain, facilitating business matching sessions that allow local players to tap into the technical and regulatory know-how of French companies.
“This is alongside supporting research and innovation as well as training efforts among all stakeholders through projects such as Cosmetopeia.
“By making Malaysia their cluster, global cosmetic companies can benefit from the availability of the necessary ingredients and increase cost efficiency due to the close proximity.”
Meanwhile, local industry players stand to benefit from the exchange of expertise and access to international platforms and initiatives by taking advantage of France’s position as a world leader in the cosmetic industry with a 14.8% market share and home to major renowned brands.
“There is much our local players can learn from, as a lot of their success is attributed to the large investments made in R&D.
“In fact, most global cosmetic companies spend between 1.5% and 4.5% of their annual turnover (sales) on R&D and there are about 6,000 patents filed by the European cosmetics and personal care industry. We hope to see this success emulated in Malaysia,” said Azman. – Bernama
JAKARTA, April 23 — Hundreds of Indonesian motorcycle taxi drivers working for start-ups Grab and Go-Jek called today for an end to low online fares and demanded tighter regulation of ride-hailing companies. Around 1,500 drivers — wearing the…
LONDON (April 20): Trading activity on cryptocurrency exchanges has halved from its December peak, industry data shows, as retail interest in the virtual coins declines and the prices of many remain far below their recent highs. Average daily traded volumes across cryptocurrency exchanges fell to US$9.1 billion in March and to US$7.4 billion in the first half of April, compared to almost US$17 billion in December, according to data compiled by crypto analysis website CryptoCompare. Rocketing prices of digital currencies such as bitcoin fuelled a mania in the sector towardsRead More
SEPANG: Low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd sees room for expanding its domestic operations, which contribute about 40% to its revenue currently, with intercity flights within Sabah and Sarawak.
The airline’s CEO Riad Asmat (pix), who recently took over the reins of the Malaysian unit, told SunBiz in an exclusive interview that the airline has a strong foothold in Sabah and Sarawak, but there are areas where it could “still serve”.
He said its domestic market share ranges between 50% and 60% depending on the state it operates in.
According to international aviation research entity Centre of Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), AirAsia’s share in the domestic market has significantly increased “over the past six months, benefiting from capacity reductions by both of its competitors at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)”.
“AirAsia’s share of the domestic traffic at KLIA is now 66%, compared to 55% a year ago. KLIA accounts for 65% of total domestic traffic in Malaysia, which increased by 4% in 2017, to 25 million,” CAPA said.
Domestic flights account for 31% of the flight breakdown based on the number of routes and international 69%. AirAsia Malaysia’s total number of routes stands at 114.
“So we are working with authorities and state governments to see how we can get more rights to fly internally within the state … that is work in progress,” Riad, who marked his 100th day in office last week, said.
“We have also committed ourselves to aircraft that we are likely to put into Sabah and Sarawak and that is to increase our frequency, again because the current ones will serve a certain expectation … what we have learnt and what we have studied now is that there are still a lot more passengers who want our services,” he explained.
AirAsia, which has hubs in state capitals Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, its busiest routes, will look into timings, putting in the right aircraft and rescheduling flights once it obtains approvals for the routes, which Riad declined to reveal.
According to the Malaysian Aviation Commission, airports which can accommodate passenger jets in Sabah are Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sandakan Airport, Tawau Airport and Labuan Airport while in Sarawak, it is the likes of Kuching International Airport, Sibu Airport, Bintulu Airport and Miri Airport.
Statistics provided by the commission showed Kota Kinabalu-Tawau as the busiest transcity route in Sabah while Kuching-Miri was the busiest for Sarawak. The least busiest are Kota Kinabalu–Lahad Datu and Miri–Sibu respectively.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd noted that passenger traffic from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau rose to 630,864 in 2017 from 586,570 in 2016, while Tawau to Kota Kinabalu rose to 630,949 from 586,567.
As for Sarawak, Miri to Kuching increased to 546,235 from 543,295, and Kuching to Miri to 549,646 from 546,351.
The route with the highest increase in passenger traffic is Bintulu-Kuching which saw a passenger traffic growth of 50,859, to 343,081 from 292,222.
The airline has also been strategising its asset and resources utilisation, by releasing capacity from certain segments and increasing flights to routes with good pickup in terms of load factor and better earnings potential.
Terengganu is one of the routes to have seen an increase in flights, to 24 weekly flights from 21 previously.
On whether there are any untapped markets, Riad said the group is constantly on the lookout for new destinations.
HONG KONG/SINGAPORE (April 20): Insurance Australia Group is set to sell its four Southeast Asian businesses in deals that could be valued at about US$500 million, under a review of its Asian operations, three people with knowledge of the matter said. IAG, Australia’s biggest general insurer by market share, has ventures in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia in Southeast Asia, and could complete the sale process by the third quarter, the people said. Despite years of investments, Asia has proved a challenge for IAG. The insurer posted an underwriting lossRead More
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TOKYO (April 20): A two-armed robot in a Japanese factory carefully stacks rice balls in a box, which a worker carries off for shipment to convenience stores. At another food-packaging plant, a robot shakes pepper and powdered cheese over pasta that a person has just arranged in a container. In a country known for bringing large-scale industrial robots to the factory floor, such relatively dainty machines have until recently been dismissed as niche and low-margin. But as workforces age in Japan and elsewhere, collaborative robots — or “cobots” — areRead More
LONDON, April 19 — Oil prices kept rising to their highest since late 2014 as US crude inventories declined, moving closer to five-year averages, and after sources told Reuters that top exporter Saudi Arabia aims to push prices even higher….
ZURICH, April 19 — First-quarter sales growth at Nestle and Unilever was driven almost entirely by shifting more goods, in a stark illustration of how hard it is for consumer products makers to raise prices in a competitive retail environment….