News In Brief

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Welcome to our ‘News In Brief’ column in which we digest all the news releases for you in no more than five paragraphs. Below are snippets of all the media releases that we received from March 7 till 13. Please check back throughout the week for more updates.

Fintel Identifies Most-Shorted Australian Companies

New York, March 7: Fintel.io, a provider of advanced research tools for data-driven investors, has developed a mathematical model that provides investors and traders with data that identifies the most-shorted stocks by ranking companies on a number of factors such as relative short interest, borrow fee rates, trading volume, and others. The Australian Short Interest Leaderboard provides a leaderboard ranking of companies with the highest short interest so traders can easily identify companies with the highest negative sentiment by institutional investors. The leaderboard is also useful for identifying potential short squeeze opportunities.Below are the list of most-shorted Australian companies as of March 6 at 8:00pm ET:

Short Squeeze Scores scoring model ranges from 0 to 100, with 100 being most likely, relative to its peers.The Australian Short Squeeze Leaderboard also compiles data like Short Interest % Float, Change in Volume, Change in Price, and Borrow Fee Rate into an easy-to-use leaderboard for investors to reference when making decisions.

Beware Of Flood Waters

Sydney, March 7: SafeWork NSW is urging people to be wary of flood waters and muddy soil that could be contaminated by an infectious zoonotic disease. 
Leptospirosis is transmitted to humans from domestic and wild animals including mice and rats, livestock, pigs, pets and wildlife. It can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, headaches, muscle aches, cough, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and conjunctivitis.  
SafeWork NSW Director of Health and Safe Design, Jim Kelly, said outbreaks are common after floods and are usually associated with flood water contaminated with the urine or tissues of infected animals.   
“People most at risk are those who have close contact with animals or who are exposed to water, mud, soil, or plants that have been contaminated,” Kelly said. 
“This could be anyone in a flood scenario as the contaminated water and mud are spread across properties and many people are involved in rescues, repairs and clean-up work. 

A Fish-Eye View Of Bondi Rockpools 

Video supplied by Australian National Maritime Museum.

Sydney, March 7: Take a look at underwater life and explore unseen worlds beneath the surface of Sydney rock pools.
Using remotely-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), the museum’s education team will bring the sea to the surface at North Bondi for students and visitors, as part of the Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival on March 11 – 13. This program, from the Australian National Maritime Museum is a first in Australia, and possibly the world.
‘We are delighted to be bringing our new ‘deep-tracker’ ROV’s to the Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival and sharing the thrill of having a ‘fish-eye view’ of our local sea life,” the Museum’s Head of Learning, Public Engagement and Research, Peter Tattersall said.
‘We would expect to see things such as small fish, crustaceans and marine plants – but it is really more about the fun of ROV operations and gaining an idea of what they can do.

Severe Weather To Continue Across NSW

Weather update from meteorologist Jonathan How.

Sydney, March 7: The Bureau of Meteorology has numerous flood warnings currently across eastern New South Wales, with warnings for severe weather, severe thunderstorms and hazardous surf also in place.
Severe thunderstorms over the northeast are expected to bring locally heavy to intense rain on Monday, and possibly damaging wind and hail.
Communities along the New South Wales coast, including Sydney, Blue Mountains, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and the South Coast regions, are likely to experience increased rainfall and wind overnight and on Tuesday as an east coast low develops near the coast.
Communities should be prepared for flood impacts and are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings on the Bureau’s website and BOM Weather app, and to follow the advice of emergency services.

New Zoho Creator Platform Launched

New Zoho Creator Platform Empowers Businesses to Easily Build Digital Solutions.

Kuala Lumpur, March 7: Zoho Corporation announced its latest version of its low-code offering, Zoho Creator Platform, an all-in-one solution that bridges the gap between business users and IT teams by providing a solution-building experience to create business applications with no need for deep technical know-how.
Low-code is a software development approach to building applications using visual interfaces employed with basic logic and drag-and-drop capabilities in a designated development platform, instead of using lines of code in programming languages.
Enterprises in Asia Pacific (APAC) are increasingly leveraging low-code platforms to quickly and securely deploy business solutions to drive their digital transformation efforts.  
Adoption of low-code platforms will allow organizations to rapidly develop applications that meet their business needs with existing talent.
WIth Zoho Creator Platform users can build, manage, integrate, and analyse, allowing for end-to-end management of business applications in one platform.

Kenanga Investors Sweeps Six Awards

Kenanga Investors Berhad swept six awards at the 2022 Best of the Best Awards by Hong Kong-based Asia Asset Management.

Kuala Lumpur, March 7: Kenanga Investors Berhad (Kenanga Investors) swept six awards at the 2022 Best of the Best Awards by Hong Kong-based Asia Asset Management.
It was recognised under the following categories: Malaysia Best Equity Manager (4th consecutive win), Malaysia Best Impact Investing Manager, Best Application of ESG (ASEAN) and Malaysia Best House for Alternatives.
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Ismitz Matthew De Alwis won Malaysia CEO of the Year for the third time while Chief Investment Officer Lee Sook Yee was named Malaysia CIO of the Year (sixth win within this category).
A first-time winner within the Malaysia Best Impact Investing Manager and Best Application of ESG (ASEAN) categories, the firm’s steady growth as an SRI-driven asset management institution within Malaysia began in 2017 when it became a signatory to the Malaysian Code for Institutional Investors (“Code”). In adhering to its obligation, it developed practices to support the Code and to internalise the principles throughout the entire investment value chain.
“We are honoured to be recognised for our efforts in supporting the Malaysian and ASEAN ESG landscape,” De Alwis said.

Driving Equality At The Workplace 

Top Glove: Driving Equality at the Workplace

Shah Alam, March 8: At Top Glove, the world’s largest manufacturer of gloves, diversity at the workplace starts at the top.
Guided by forward looking leadership, the company is committed to ensuring a space where all its employees can thrive.
“By embracing diversity and equality through our human capital policies and practices that advocate equal opportunities for gainful employment, learning and development, and career advancement, Top Glove has become an employer of choice to some 22,000 employees,” Top Glove MD Datuk Lee Kim Meow said.
“Women participation on Top Glove’s Board is at 38 per cent and the company currently also boasts a commendable 52:48 ratio of women to men in leadership positions, who are managers and above.”
The company also contributes financial and voluntary assistance to causes that help women in need within the communities it serves.
These include charitable organisations, women community events, and donations to single mothers, for which assistance rendered amounted to over RM160K to date, alongside other ongoing charitable initiatives.

AFC Women’s Football Day Celebrates  8th Edition

Kuala Lumpur, March 8: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and its Member Associations (MAs) will celebrate the 8th AFC Women’s Football Day today as football competitions and activities continue to make a return in the Continent.
Coinciding with the International Women’s Day, 39 MAs will join the annual celebrations with fun-filled football activities focused on promoting the sport across Asia in a safe and conducive environment.  
This year’s AFC Women’s Football Day will see regular MAs – Bhutan, Guam, India, Kyrgyz Republic, Northern Mariana Islands, Palestine, Singapore and Vietnam – joining the festivities for the eighth straight year while Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, DPR Korea, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Oman, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will make a return.
The rapid rise of women’s football in Asia was further underlined at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 that concluded last month with China PR winning the showpiece for an unprecedented ninth time.
More than 29,000 participants, including women’s national team players, children, parents, referees and coaches are expected to be involved in this year’s AFC Women’s Football Day, with the AFC MAs working towards ensuring the highest health and safety standards during physical events. 

 Top Glove’s Statement on Hong Kong Listing

Shah Alam, March 8: Top Glove refers to media reports of the Company’s planned Hong Kong Stock Exchange, “HKEX” listing.
Due to the changing developments in the industry and the current equity market conditions, we have decided to give ourselves more time to pursue this exercise in Hong Kong.
“We are not in a hurry. Our decision is always for the long term benefit of the company and our stakeholders. 

Iraq To Host First AFC Asian Qualifiers 

Kuala Lumpur, March 8: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed that Iraq will host their upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar Group A tie against the United Arab Emirates on March 24 at the Al-Madina International Stadium in Baghdad City.
The decision, which was confirmed by FIFA, will see Iraq play their first AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar on home soil since the start of the campaign.
Iraq have amassed five points and currently occupy fifth place in Group A after eight matches.
They will play their final Group A contest away against Syria on March 29 at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai, UAE.
Please click here for the latest news on the final two match days of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar on March 24 and 29.

Vase.Ai Raises 7-Figure Funding 

Kuala Lumpur, March 9: Vase Technologies Sdn Bhd (Vase.ai), a leading Malaysian consumer research technology company, has announced a seven-figure ringgit investment to kick-start their 2022 expansion.
This new round of funding was led by Indelible Ventures, along with their existing investors. Vase.ai is an AI-powered self-service platform that provides companies with fast and reliable insights into consumers, markets, brands, products, and more to support their marketing and product decisions.
“Our platform helps companies make better and smarter decisions when it comes to marketing and product decisions,” Vase,ai CEO and co-founder Julie Ng said.
Vase.ai was founded in 2015 with the mission of making human insights accessible to everyone instantly.
It was built as an answer to more traditional market research firms that lack the flexibility and speed necessary for fast-growth and nimble businesses. 

Drone Safety Taught In Classrooms 

Sydney, March 9: As record numbers of Australians of all ages continue to buy and fly drones for fun and recreation, children represent a growing contingent of modern-day aviators.
To develop a safe flying culture in schools, CASA has partnered with specialists in youth education to develop a suite of resources and lesson ideas aligned to the Australian Curriculum.
‘In consultation with Education Services Australia, we have designed tailored resources to build awareness, understanding and acceptance of drone safety rules and regulations among young people aged 10 to 16, teachers, parents and carers,’ CASA’s Acting Branch Manager of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Services, Sharon Marshall-Keeffe said.
‘We’ve also developed a dedicated education resources section on the campaign website – knowyourdrone.gov.au/classroom – and we strongly recommend the use of CASA-verified safety apps to find out where it’s safe to fly.
‘It’s also important to raise awareness of the incoming operator accreditation and registration requirements affecting people over 16 and the need for those under 16 to be supervised by an accredited adult unless flying at a CASA approved flying site.’

40:40 Vision A Year On

Sydney, March 9: A year after the launch of 40:40 Vision, 17 ASX200 companies representing close to 25 percent of the market capitalisation of all ASX 200 companies have signed up to the investor-led initiative to achieve gender balance in executive leadership.
The current signatory are household names with a combined value of AU$511 billion and include: ANZ, BHP, Bluescope, Domino’s, IDP Education, IGO, Mirvac, NextDC, Origin, Pendal, Ramsay Health, SkyCity, South32, Tabcorp, Viva Energy, Webjet and Westpac.
“It’s wonderful that these 17 high-profile companies are leading the way and committing to making a difference on gender equality. This illustrates a shift in thinking from some of Australia’s most influential companies and is setting new standards we hope others will follow,” HESTA CEO and 40:40 Vision Steering Committee Chair Debby Blakey said.
Public commitment to 40:40 vision provides investors a level of assurance that the signatory will pursue a gender diverse executive team, achieving a balance of 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men and 20 per cent any gender in their executive leadership by 2030.
For more information and to track progress visit www.hesta.com.au/4040Vision.

BuildTech Asia 2022 Returns

Singapore, March 9: The 11 th edition of BuildTech Asia (BTA) 2022 will return in a hybrid format  from March 15 – 17.
The leading platform for the building and construction industry in the Asia Pacific region, BTA 2022 is expected to draw more than 10,000 attendees online and in-person, with a physical  exhibition — the first to be held in two years — taking place at the Singapore EXPO.
Themed “Connecting The Future of Asia’s Built Environment”, BTA 2022 will feature more than 120 physical  and virtual exhibitors, 44 industry associations and partners from 16 participating countries.
After two  digital editions in 2020 and 2021, this year’s hybrid event is expected to attract strong participation from  representatives in key markets such as Malaysia, Australia, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and  Korea — all of which have ongoing Vaccinated Travel Lane arrangements with Singapore.
Registration for the event can be done at https://bit.ly/3d9sQ

Top Glove Releases 2nd Quarter Results

Shah Alam, March 9:  Despite a challenging business landscape Top Glove Corporation Bhd  financial performance has come up triumphant.
As the group managed to achieve a sales revenue of For 2QFY2022, the Group achieved Sales Revenue of RM1.45 billion with net profit standing at RM102 million
The softer financial performance came on the back of normalising average selling prices (ASPs) which  are moving closer to pre pandemic levels.
Notably, the Group’s 2QFY2022 results still surpass its pre pandemic financial performance.
“While our 2QFY2022 results are not as robust as we  would like them to be, this is to be expected as the pandemic recedes and it is part of the business cycle,” Top Glove MD Datuk Lee Kim Meow said.
“Having been in the glove business for 31 years, we have seen many such cycles and our experience has prepared us well to go through this one.” 

Palo Alto Helps Combat Software Supply Chain

Kuala Lumpur, March 10: With software supply chain attacks rising rapidly, Palo Alto Networks has announced Prisma Cloud Supply Chain Security to provide a complete view of where potential vulnerabilities or misconfigurations exist in the software supply chain — allowing organisations to quickly trace to the source and fix them.
If not quickly fixed or, better yet, avoided during coding, these security flaws could allow attackers to infiltrate systems, spread malicious payloads throughout an organisation’s software and access sensitive data. 
According to Gartner, “By 2025, 45 percent of organisations worldwide will have experienced attacks on their software supply chains, a three-fold increase from 2021.”
Unit 42’s Cloud Threat Report also found that access to hardcoded credentials opened the door for lateral movement and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline poisoning.
More information about Prisma Cloud is available here.

Spritzer Sends Bottled Water To Terengganu 

Company donates Spritzer Natural Mineral Water as part of efforts to aid those in need in the East Coast. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, March 10: Spritzer is aiding flood victims in Terengganu by ensuring that they have access to clean water for drinking purposes following flooding across the state after continuous rain.
Due to the continuous heavy rain in Peninsular Malaysia, it has been reported that flooding has occurred in all eight districts in Terengganu affecting more than 17,000 people at 87 relief centres.
The Company has arranged, with the help of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, to send Spritzer Natural Mineral Water to a centralised aid centre for flood victims located at the Hulu Terengganu Member of Parliament’s office, as part of efforts to alleviate their suffering.
Spritzer urges everyone to be careful of contamination from the flood waters and avoid all unknown sources of water.
Do not use discoloured water or water that has an odour and avoid contact with contaminated water on skin and eyes.

Kenanga Launches ‘Meals That Give’

From left: Chuah Sze Phing, Head of Group Marketing, Communications & Sustainability and Stevens Chan, Founder of Café Includes, Dialogue Includes All. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, March 10: Kenanga launches ‘Meals That Give’, a campaign under the charter of its community programme The HumanKIND Project.
The campaign is designed to continue rallying support for its long-standing social enterprise partner Café Includes, a café operated by a team of persons with disabilities, via online fundraising platform, Sedunia.
Doubling the impact of each pledge made, the meals will not only go towards sustaining employment opportunities of the differently abled members of Café Includes, but they will also go towards feeding communities in need, as the packed meals will be distributed to children of orphanages, as well as the homeless.
Malaysians can now pledge meals from Café Includes starting from as little as RM20 on www.sedunia.me/campaigns/kenangahumankind/.
To encourage participation, Kenanga will be amplifying pledges made by matching them 1 for 1.

Bigo Live Expands Pan-Entertainment Offerings 

Malaysians can now stream and watch their favourite shows on the Bigo Live app. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, March 10: Bigo Live, the global live  streaming platform, has announced a partnership with WeTV, Tencent Video’s  international video streaming website, to allow Bigo Live users to stream and watch television  dramas and reality series exclusively on the Bigo Live app.
The first WeTV Original in Malaysia, Villa Kristal, is also part of the exciting line-up for 2022  featured on Bigo Live.
Directed by Kabir Bhatia and Jason Chong, this drama series features  Mimi Lana, Tiz Zaqyah, Jasmine Suraya and Mawar Rashid, and is now streaming on WeTV.
The partnership with WeTV is part of Bigo Live’s ongoing efforts to innovate and push out new  features that provide users with an engaging and immersive live streaming experience.
“Bigo  Live is pleased to announce our partnership with WeTV to stream drama and reality TV series  content to Bigo Live users in Malaysia,” Bigo Live Malaysia Country Manager Vivian He.
This partnership is evident of our commitment in  providing pan-entertainment and a variety of content to all our users.”

Resintech Bhd Acquires Stake In Bionutricia

Company sees growth from use of plant and fruit extracts for food supplement and healthcare products. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, March 10: Resintech Berhad, a fully integrated provider of polyethylene products and unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) has signed of a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) for the acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in Bionutricia Holding Sdn. Bhd. from the controlling shareholders for the sum of RM8.7 million.
Bionutricia is a biotechnology firm established in 2006 specialising in the production and commercialisation of plant- and fruit-based extracts and active fractions from local herbs through advanced nano-biotechnology processes.
Bionutricia’s products include proprietary standardised herbal plants and fruits-based extracts, food supplement, baking ingredients, nutraceutical ingredients, healthcare products and functional food ingredients. Its facilities are certified GMP, HACCP, JAKIM Halal and kosher.
Resintech is acquiring the stake from the controlling shareholders, Ng Kuak Ping and Kong Siew Mee, Bionutricia’s Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, respectively.
Resintech registered revenue of RM61.6 million for the nine months ended 31 December 2021 (“9MFYE22”), an increase of 13.2 percent compared with RM54.4 million in the corresponding period of 9MFYE21.
The company recorded RM5 million in profit before tax in 9MFYE22, a decrease of 7.4 per cent compared with RM5.4 million while there was a 15.8 percent decrease in profit after tax to RM3.2 million compared with RM3.8 million in the previous corresponding period mainly due to movement restrictions and disruptions to business operations.

Grants Delivered To 11 Sports

Sydney, March 11: The Australian Government and Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) have delivered a big boost to 11 National Sporting Organisations (NSOs), awarding more than $1.15m for sporting infrastructure projects around the country.
Following a record medal haul at the Beijing Winter Olympics, Snow Australia is one of the 11 sports set to benefit from the latest round of the AIS’s $2.5 million Small NSO Infrastructure Grant program.
The grant to Snow Australia will fund new gym equipment and infrastructure at the National Snowsports Training Centre in Jindabyne.
It is among a host of projects, including a soft-land air-bag for Diving Australia in Brisbane, video equipment for Wheelchair Rugby in Melbourne, specialist training mats for Judo Australia and electronic daily training equipment for Artistic Swimming in Perth.
Sports Minister Richard Colbeck says the targeted grants program is about ensuring all Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports had the opportunity to grow.

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