News In Brief

Welcome to our ‘News In Brief’ column in which we digest all the news releases for you and write them in no more than five paragraphs. Below are snippets of all the media releases that we received from August 30 till Sept 5. Please check back throughout the week for more updates.

Askrindo Indonesia Selects FSS Smart Recon 

Kuala Lumpur, August 30: Askrindo, an Indonesia’s general insurance provider, has implemented the FSS’ Smart Recon solution by FSS Technologies Singapore, a provider of integrated payment products to maximise the efficiency of its business operations. 
“It was important for us to select the right technology platform on our digitalisation journey that could meet current needs whilst providing us the flexibility to add more use cases for supporting future expansion,” Askrindo Senior Vice President Division Head of IT Rachmad Hidayat (pictured above) said in a statement.
“With FSS Smart Recon we are building an agile back-office that helps us to optimise reconciliation cycles, reduce errors, and lower operational risk exposure.” 
Designed to process complex and large volumes of payments, claims and settlement data, FSS Smart Recon automates core workflows encompassing data extraction, enrichment and reconciliation, exception management and settlement. 
Established in 1971, Askrindo, a member of Holding Indonesia Financial Group or IFG, is a growing insurance services provider, catering to the insurance needs of medium and the small enterprises.

AFC President praises Japan’s historic achievement

Kuala Lumpur, August 30: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa has praised Japan’s beach soccer team for their historic second-place finish at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia, which is Asia’s best-ever performance at the global showpiece to date. Japan defeated Senegal 5-2 to reach their first-ever final on Sunday where they lost bravely to hosts the Russian Football Union (RFU) at the Luzhniki Beach Soccer Arena, eclipsing Asia’s most prolific display in 2017 when the Islamic Republic of Iran finished third in the Bahamas. Asia’s prominence was further underlined at the showpiece match in Moscow, after AFC referee Suhaimi Mat Hassan of Malaysia was selected to officiate Sunday’s final alongside Oman’s Turki Al Salehi who was appointed as the reserve assistant referee. “On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to convey my heartfelt congratulations to Japan for their breathtaking and consistent displays in Russia, culminating in a historic second-place finish,” the AFC President said in a statement. “I must also commend the Japan Football Association for their dedication to excellence in every aspect of the game and everyone who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring to life this remarkable achievement.

WorldRemit Most Downloaded App 

Kuala Lumpur, August 30: Leading payments brand WorldRemit’s app has become the most downloaded standalone international payments app for daily installs in Malaysia within days of its launch in the country.
According to App Annie data analytics, WorldRemit had become the most downloaded international payments app in Malaysia, surpassing competitors Wise, Western Union, eRemit, Moneymatch and Instarem for the number of daily installs.
“It’s great to see so many residents in Malaysia responding positively to our product so soon after the launch. We’re confident that this pace will continue as more people learn about the convenience and safety of our fast, flexible and fair service,” Ridzuan Aziz, Country Director for Malaysia at WorldRemit said in a statement.
WorldRemit officially launched its money transfer services in Malaysia earlier this month on August 13 in a star-studded event emceed by TV3 news anchor Anita Woo and attended by dignitaries from the Embassy of the Philippines in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Association of Money Services Business, Fintech Association of Malaysia, Islamic Banking & Financial Institutions of Malaysia, and others.
Within eight days of its launch, the WorldRemit mobile app has become the most downloaded when looking at daily installs from August 22 onwards.

CBD’s Net Profit Surges 

Hong Kong, Aug 30: China Development Bank (CDB) financial leasing announced its interim results ended June 30 in which its net profit grew by 46.2 per cent in the period.
In the first half of this year, CDB Leasing maintained strategic determination, strengthened responsibility, adhered to new development concepts, steadily promoted high-quality development, and achieved good results in business investment, risk prevention and control, internal management.
During the reporting period, the Company’s total revenue and other income was RMB10.4 billion, representing an increase of 8.6 per cent YOY (year-on-year), its net profit amounted to RMB1.8 billion, representing an increase of 46.2 per cent YOY, primarily due to the growth in total leased assets resulting from the increase in financing to lessees, the substantial year-on-year increase in revenue from ship operating lease business, the decline in the rate of financing cost of US Dollars, and the YOY decrease in impairment losses this year as COVID-19 pandemic was under control in China.
CDB’s Leasing strengthened the customer-centric business development model to improve the quality and efficiency of business development.
The company deepened its research and analysis system, kept abreast of internal and external changes, sorted out and conducted analysis on factors affecting business operations and development opportunities to improve the foresight and effectiveness of business decisions. 

KPMG Highlights Fintech And Digitalisation As Growth Drivers

Hong Kong, Aug 30: Capital market reforms are presenting opportunities for Mainland China’s securities industry, with companies that embrace fintech and digitalisation best positioned for long-term growth, according to KPMG analysis.
The 15th annual Mainland China Securities Survey analyses the industry based on the 2020 financial statements of 137 securities companies in mainland China. 
“Fintech and digitalisation will be the core drivers of growth for the next strategic cycle. Fintech is transforming securities companies’ business models, business architecture and operating systems,” Tony Cheung, Head of Financial Services, KPMG China said in a statement.
The report highlights the need for the securities industry to “drive transformation by creating a customer-oriented ecosystem with other players in the capital market.” 
Securities companies should focus on enhancing their wealth management capabilities by engaging in customer value mining, investment research and precision marketing.

Eisai and FUJI YAKUHIN In Licensing Agreement

Tokyo, Aug 31: Eisai Co., Ltd. and FUJI YAKUHIN have concluded a license agreement concerning dotinurad (generic name), a treatment for hyperuricemia and gout discovered by FUJI YAKUHIN, for development and distribution in five ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) being Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand. 
This agreement will lead to an expansion into Southeast Asia of an agreement regarding dotinurad in China concluded by Eisai and FUJI YAKUHIN in February 2020.
Based on this agreement, Eisai will acquire exclusive development and marketing rights for dotinurad in the said five countries from FUJI YAKUHIN.
FUJI YAKUHIN will retain responsibility for manufacturing the formulation of dotinurad, and supply to Eisai. 
Eisai will be responsible for New Drug Applications for dotinurad in the said five countries and pay FUJI YAKUHIN an upfront payment and sales milestones.

Stage set for thrilling AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar encounters

Kuala Lumpur, August 31: The final round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar begins on Thursday as the attention shifts to the leading 12 Asian countries vying to be among the world’s elite contending at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Following a gripping Preliminary Joint Qualifiers Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, Asia’s heavyweights will play for four coveted tickets to the global showpiece.
The 12 teams are divided into two groups of six, with the winners and runners-up of each group qualifying, while the third-placed teams will advance to the Asian playoff to determine the side that will advance to the intercontinental playoff
The action begins on September 2 with an exciting clash in Group A when FIFA World Cup regulars Korea Republic host Iraq in what is expected to be a thrilling duel at the Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8pm (local time).
The Islamic Republic of Iran, who are aiming for their sixth appearance in the FIFA World Cup, then face Syria, who are seeking to extend their fine form from Round 2 of the Asian Qualifiers, at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran at 8.30pm.

How Social Values And Backgrounds Can Influence Mental Health

Sydney, August 31: International students’ personality traits and cultural values are likely to impact their mental health and ability to respond to stressors when studying in Australia, a new study from the Faculty of Arts at Monash University has revealed.
However, maintaining social connections while studying away from their home country can help protect the mental health of international students, particularly through times of uncertainty and stress such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, the study found.
The study, Social Value Systems and the Mental Health of International Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic, published in the Journal of International Students revealed for the first time a link between social values and international students’ wellbeing.
The project was led by Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett from the School of Social Sciences and the paper co-authored with Dr Ashley Humphrey from Federation University Australia.
The study used survey data about mental health during 2020 from 135 students studying at various Australian universities, with students aged between 18 and 30.

Carsome Raises US$200M In Financing Round

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 1: Carsome Group, Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform has announced the closure of its US$170 million Series D2 round of funding, bringing the company’s valuation to US$1.3 billion and cementing its position as Malaysia’s largest tech unicorn. 
This is complemented by new credit facilities of US$30 million, bringing total funds raised to US$200 million.
We are geared up to achieve even greater heights while rolling out Southeast Asia’s integrated car e-commerce platform, now further solidified by various strengths within the ecosystem,” Carsome Co-founder and Group CEO Eric Cheng said in a statement. 
The Series D2 round, the largest equity investment in Carsome’s history, saw participation from one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the region and a pool of new international investors such as Catcha Group, MediaTek and Penjana Kapital, as well as strong participation from existing shareholders including Asia Partners, Gobi Partners, 500 Southeast Asia, Ondine Capital, MUFG Innovation Partners, Daiwa PI Partners and others. Rothschild & Co acted as the financial advisor to Carsome for the deal.
Carsome’s latest funding round will empower its strategic focus on the growth and expansion of its business-to-consumer (B2C) business. 

Long COVID ‘brain fog’: Neurocognitive Tests To Harmonise Global Methods

Sydney, Sept 1: An international task force created by a UNSW Science psychology researcher has recommended a set of neurocognitive and mental health questionnaires to harmonise the assessment of patients with long COVID.
The recommended tests and questionnaires, published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, can be used internationally and in a variety of cultural settings.
“Because COVID-19 is a new disease and the research deriving from it is new, we need to develop excellent research methods to address questions, such as: how many people have the problem, how long does it last, how many patients fully recover, do these neurocognitive difficulties precipitate dementia in some people?,” lead author and Research Fellow in UNSW’s School of Psychology, Dr Lucette Cysique, said.
Dr Cysique and her colleagues trialled the recommended methods in the landmark ADAPT study led by Associate Professor Gail Matthews from the Kirby Institute, who is also Head of Infectious Diseases at St Vincent’s Hospital. 
The ADAPT study is following over 150 individuals who have had COVID-19 for up to two years to understand how people recover following their infection.

iSend Partner With Ikobana

iSend Malaysia. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 1: iSend Logistics Malaysia, a logistics and warehousing specialist and a subsidiary of MAA Group Berhad, is expanding its last-mile delivery services through a partnership with Ikobana Sdn Bhd, a homegrown courier and freight forwarding services provider established in 2006, with 70 outlets across Peninsular Malaysia.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the lockdowns, has quickened the pace of digital adoption among consumers as well as businesses, with an ensuing boom in e-commerce transactions.
“Whilst online transactions are a fun – and occasionally, therapeutic – way of ‘surviving’ these gloomy times, what’s NOT so fun is waiting for that much anticipated delivery, and if you’re the sender, not knowing whether your items will be delivered safely – and in one piece – to the recipient,” Zamri Rahman, iSend Logistics General Manager said in a statement.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, for the second quarter ended June 30, e-commerce income grew by 23.3 per cent to RM267.6 billion compared to the same quarter in 2020 while compared to the first quarter ended March 31, income grew by 5.1 per cent.
For the whole of 2020, e-commerce income grew by 32.7 per cent to RM896.4 billion as the COVID-19 lockdowns boosted not only online retail transactions but also transactions among businesses particularly in the manufacturing and services sectors.

The New Libresse Limited Edition Pays Tribute to V-Zone Confidence

New range by Libresse. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 1: For Malaysia Day, Libresse, known for its bold, award-winning efforts in V-Zone education and women empowerment, unveils the brand-new Libresse V-Kebaya Limited Edition range which brings to life V-Zone confidence and femininity through a modern interpretation of the Nyonya Kebaya prints. 
The reimagined Kebaya chrysanthemum and peony designs on the packaging and pads celebrate the confidence of a Malaysian woman who embraces her V-Zone to normalise V-Zone taboos.
“At Libresse, we aim to create a world where women can live the life they want by breaking V zone taboos, and that begins with knowing and loving the V-Zone. Knowing your V is knowing that yours is perfect, the way it is,” Deenie Ong, Marketing Manager, Feminine Care, Vinda Malaysia said in a statement.
“This reimagined V-Kebaya design sends a powerful message that our V-zone is part of who we are as women, and that we should be proud and confident in our own skin.”
These limited-edition sanitary pads, priced from RM6.60-RM18.20, are available at retail stores, including pharmacies and supermarkets, nationwide.
For a limited time, get an exclusively designed V-Kebaya reusable tote bag with every purchase of Libresse V-Kebaya Unscented Pads Big Value Pack, whilst stocks last.

MR D.I.Y. recognised at Deloitte Private’s “Malaysia’s Best Managed Companies Awards”

MR D.I.Y. Group Berhad Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Ong. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 1: MR D.I.Y. Group (M) Bhd, Malaysia’s largest home improvement retailer, was named one of four recipients at the inaugural “Malaysia’s Best Managed Companies Awards”.
An initiative by Deloitte Private, the Malaysia Best Managed Companies awards programme recognises top privately-owned local companies with annual revenues exceeding USD$25 million for their organisational excellence as well as contributions in their respective industries and the economy.
“I want to thank MR D.I.Y.’s 12,000-strong workforce, who have been untiring in their efforts to keep delivering the MR DIY promise of affordable products at convenient locations,” MR D.I.Y. Group Berhad Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Ong said in a statement.
“They don’t just ensure our operations run smoothly and efficiently, but have also stepped up to support our many community outreach activities. I am very proud of their efforts, and accept this award on their behalf.”
He also noted that the company’s success was due to its customers, who had continued to support the brand.

Monash University Ranks Surges

Melbourne, Sept 2: Monash University has surged seven places to rank 57th globally and earn a place in the Australian top four to record its best-ever result in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings (WUR) 2022.
The University celebrated an increase across four of the five broad assessment categories, led by particularly strong results in the industry income criteria (rising 5.3 points), according to the rankings released today.
The other increases were in teaching (up 1.4 points overall), citations (up 1.5 points) and international outlook (up 0.7 points). The score for the broad research metric remained the same, however in the sub-category research income the University gained 2.9 points.
The University is now ranked the fourth highest in Australia, up from fifth last year.
Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC said Monash’s place in the 2022 THE World University Rankings was a clear indication of the University’s ongoing commitment to excellence, particularly during what has been a challenging period for the university sector.

NTT Expands its Data Center Footprint by 20 pc

NTT at Cyberjaya. Supplied.

Cyberjaya, Sept 2: NTT Ltd.’s Global Data Centers division, a Leader in the 2021 IDC MarketScape for Worldwide Data Centre Colocation and Interconnection Services, provides a full stack of ICT services and continues to expand its global data centre footprint by 20 per cent to build a connected future that will benefit enterprise clients and hyperscalers around the world.
NTT operates data centers across Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia, including a major presence in India. It delivers and operates global interconnected data centers with cross regional data centre networks through key markets such as London, Singapore, Tokyo, and Virginia in North America.
In addition to the expansion of NTT’s global data centre footprint, NTT is currently constructing a “MIST” large-capacity submarine cable connecting Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia, and India (Mumbai and Chennai).
The MIST cable system will have a total length of 11,000km, a distance which is further than flying from New York, across the US and the Pacific Ocean to land in Tokyo.
Construction will complete in mid-2023.

AFC agrees rights deal with Oman Sport Channel

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 2: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today confirmed Oman Sport Channel as their media partner to broadcast the final round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar in Oman from 2021 to 2022.
With Oman securing their spot among Asia’s top 12 teams, Oman Sport Channel will provide extensive coverage of the eagerly anticipated AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar beginning with Oman’s thrilling Group B opener against Japan on September 2.
“The AFC is delighted to enter into this partnership with Oman Sport Channel  to broadcast the AFC Asian Qualifiers,” AFC General Secretary Datuk Windsor John said in a statement.
“Football in Oman continues to make significant progress and the qualification for the AFC Asian Qualifiers for the third time in the Sultanate’s history further reinforces the rise of Oman as a formidable force in Asian football.”
As the first-ever specialised sports TV channel in the Sultanate of Oman, fans will be able to access exclusive, comprehensive and innovative programmes via Oman Sport Channel, available on both its terrestrial and App platforms.

FedEx Express Strengthens its Cross-Border E-commerce Capabilities

FedEx launches e-commerces shipping service. Supplied.

Hong Kong, Sept 2: FedEx Express has launched the FedEx International Connect Plus (FICP), a new FedEx Express International, day-definite, e-commerce shipping service that combines competitive speed with attractive prices, in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region.
The launch of FICP further enhances FedEx e-commerce capabilities as businesses are increasingly looking for more diversified, cost-effective solutions to meet consumers’ ever-changing needs as according to Deloitte, consumers today prioritise not just products but a holistic, end-to-end shopping experience.
Shipping costs and delivery options are two of the most significant drivers of cart abandonment – about 40 percentMal of consumers won’t complete checkout if the delivery costs are too high. Another 10 per cent will abandon their cart if a package cannot be delivered on time or flexible delivery options are not available.
With FICP, e-tailers across ten markets including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand are now empowered to provide their customers with an international shipping solution with prices that offer value-for-money, while ensuring shipments will be delivered within one to five business days within the AMEA region.

Office Workers Want More Flexibility

Hong Kong, Sept 3:  The office of the future must be an inspiring physical space that facilitates communication, cooperation and collaboration in order to encourage employees to come into the office, 
These findings were derived from the latest case study by The Executive Centre (“TEC”), the leading premium flexible workspace.
Modern technology and globalised communication systems have allowed us to become a more agile and mobile workforce, and these trends have accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The workforce culture today is increasingly championing flexible working practices as the Future of Work, leading to a shift for multinational corporations towards adopting a flexible work culture through an extensive review and analysis of their portfolio and employee needs.
To read more about the study, click here.

Australians Hit By Suicide During COVID-19

Sydney, Sept 3: One in four Australians have reported knowing someone who died by suicide during the past 12 months of the pandemic – the equivalent of five million people – with social isolation, the economy and jobs driving concerns, particularly amongst women.
It comes as two-thirds of Australians (66 per cent) back the Federal Government introducing a standalone national suicide prevention act requiring all government decisions to consider and mitigate suicide risks two years in a row.
The findings are from Suicide Prevention Australia’s second State of the Nation report, which will be officially released next week on World Suicide Prevention Day 2021 on Sept 10.
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Nieves Murray said history showed major increases in suicide were linked to major social and economic events and there was none more concerning facing Australia than right now.
Murray said legislation was the best prevention against suicide rates increasing, particularly given the major government decisions about economic, employee and welfare to support Australia’s COVID-repair and recovery.

Coway Stands as One with the Government’s Immunisation Efforts 

Coway presents air purifiers worth thousands of dollars to vaccination centres. Supplied.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3: In efforts to bolster Malaysia’s National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP), Coway Malaysia recently contributed 101 units of Coway air purifiers, worth RM312,130 in total, to four Vaccination Administration Centres (VACs) in the Klang Valley.
The four mega vaccination centres are Bangi Avenue Convention Center (BACC), Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC), Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) and National Stadium Bukit Jalil.
All of these centres are managed by the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
As The Best Life Solution Company, this Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative is in line with Coway Malaysia’s aim to provide clean and healthy air for all people in Malaysia, on top of serving customers who already have Coway air purifiers in their homes.
This initiative aims to provide better air quality and peace of mind to the public who will be going for their vaccination appointments, as well as to the frontliners and volunteers tirelessly working at the centres to ensure a smooth vaccination process.

CIMB Niaga and JCB launch JCB Contactless Credit Card in Indonesia

Jakarta, Sept 3: PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk (CIMB Niaga) and PT JCB International Indonesia (JCB), as subsidiaries of JCB International Co Ltd., launched the CIMB Niaga JCB Contactless Credit Card in Jakarta today.
This credit card with contactless technology was developed in line with the rapid growth of credit card technology and the COVID-19 pandemic situation. 
“CIMB Niaga continues to develop innovative products and services by adopting the latest technology,” CIMB Niaga Consumer Banking Director, Lani Darmawan said in a statement.
“One of them is through the CIMB Niaga JCB Contactless Credit Card.”
The Contactless Credit Card can make it easier for customers to transact as well as become an alternative faster payment solution which is supported by a dual liaison capabilities, this credit card can still be used for transactions using the dipping method.

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