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 July 11 till 17. Please check back throughout the week for more updates.

Fintel Identifies Most-Shorted Australian Companies

New York, July 10: 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 is the list of most-shorted Australian companies as of July 10, 2022, at 6:00 pm PT:

The 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.  For more information visit https://fintel.io/.

Household Spending Rises In May

Sydney, July 12: Household spending rose 7.9 per cent in May 2022, compared to the same time last year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Jacqui Vitas, head of macroeconomic statistics at the ABS, said household spending increased in all spending categories, with the largest increase in spending on services (10.2 per cent).
“Strength in the services categories was driven by transport (up 14.5 per cent), as air travel continued to recover, and higher petrol prices increased motor vehicle running costs.”
Strong growth was also seen in spending on miscellaneous goods and services (up 12.6 per cent), hotels cafes and restaurants (up 10.3 per cent), and recreation and culture (up 10.0 per cent).
All states and territories recorded increases in household spending in May 2022, compared to May 2021. Queensland (10.4 per cent), South Australia (10.4 per cent) and Victoria (9.1 per cent) recorded the strongest increases in spending throughout the year.
Compared to pre-pandemic January 2020 estimates, total household spending was 10.0 per cent higher in the current price, calendar-adjusted terms, reflecting a recovery in most spending categories. Transport (down 2.3 per cent) and hotels, cafes and restaurants (down 1.6 per cent) remained the only spending categories below pre-pandemic levels.

JAZRO To Co-Organize Karvinal Robotik 

JAZRO and Evo Mall Co-Organize Karvinal Robotik on 16 – 17 July. Image supplied.

Bangi, July 12: JAZRO Robotic Academy (JAZRO) has partnered with Evo Mall to organize Karnival Robotik from July 16-17.
Karnival Robotik is a STEM educational awareness program for children between the ages of 7 and 17 and its main goal is to provide them with exposure to the world of technology related to robotics.
Held inside Evo Mall Shopping Complex, the two-day program will feature a variety of activities ranging from STEM sharing sessions, games, and lucky draws to workshops teaching children to build robots. 
Entrance is free and the fee to participate in a competition is only RM5 per person.

Bitcoin To End The Year At $25,473

Sydney, July 12: Bitcoin (BTC) still has room to fall this year, according to Finder.com’s latest Bitcoin Price Predictions report.
Finder’s panel of 53 cryptocurrency and Web3 industry specialists think BTC is set to bottom out at US$13,676 on average in 2022 before ending the year at $25,473. 
Morpher CEO Martin Froehler thinks BTC will sink to $12,000 before recovering to $40,000 by the end of the year. 
“It’s reasonable to expect to see more big projects fail in the next couple of months.
The retail sentiment is at historic lows due to global economic uncertainty and inflation. Highly leveraged miners, who just had to digest the China exodus, will capitulate and increase the downside pressure even more. We will see even lower Bitcoin prices.”
Bitcoin’s downturn is reflective of the broader market, with 77 per cent of panellists saying we’re officially in a ‘crypto winter’.
The biggest driver behind the crypto crash is global interest rate hikes, according to 70 per cent of panellists.
This is followed by Terra LUNA’s collapse (68 per cent), tightening of balance sheets by central banks (47 per cent), and rising inflation (40 per cent).

ENGIE And SIT Announce Partnership 

The collaboration between ENGIE and SIT will enable applied research, authentic learning spaces  
for SIT students, co-development of curriculum content, and knowledge-sharing sessions  
aims at cultivating a district cooling ecosystem in Singapore and the broader region. Supplied.

Singapore, July 12: ENGIE, a global leader in low carbon energy and services, and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore’s first university of applied learning, have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop a district cooling centre of excellence in Singapore.  
The ENGIE-SIT District Cooling Centre of Excellence will catalyse innovation in cooling solutions across APAC.
Leveraging ENGIE’s local and global expertise in cooling, extensive experience in decarbonization, energy and climate change projects, and SIT’s applied learning and research approach, this initiative is aimed at cultivating a district cooling ecosystem in Singapore and the broader region.
To this end, the partnership will include joint development and funding of applied research, as well as knowledge exchange projects between ENGIE South East Asia, ENGIE Lab Singapore and SIT. 
It will also cover local work attachment opportunities and commercial DCS development opportunities for SIT students with these ENGIE entities, through SIT’s Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP).  

Silverlake Enters In Partnership With Finastra 

Silverlake Axis, ASEAN’s Leading Banking Solutions Provider Enters Strategic Partnership With Finastra To Offer Best-In-Class Trade Finance Solutions. Image supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, July 12: Singapore mainboard listed Silverlake Axis Ltd ASEAN’s leading core banking solutions provider, has entered into a strategic exclusivity agreement with Finastra, a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces.
Under the deal, Silverlake will be able to offer Finastra’s best-in-class trade finance solutions – including Fusion Trade Innovation and Fusion Corporate Channels – to customers in ASEAN in addition to its extensive line of universal banking offerings. 
Branded as ‘Silverlake Vision Trade Finance’, the collaboration aims to provide an end-to-end suite of solutions that can underpin the operations of corporate banks seeking to tap into the intra- and extra-ASEAN trade network.
Silverlake Vision Trade Finance is a unified trade finance platform designed to streamline and automate cross-border transactions, cash management, lending, and treasury services.
This robust operation hub is further complemented by next-gen channel capabilities that provide a frictionless interface for corporate clients across all product relationships.

Canon Supports Environmental Cause

Canon staff and families created “Garden In A Bottle,” a self-watering plant system using upcycled materials. Image supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, July 12: As part of its ongoing efforts in environmental conservation and promoting sustainability, Canon Marketing (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd adopted 35 trees in Taman Tugu, Kuala Lumpur with a total donation of RM56,000.
The adoption of the 35 trees is of special significance to Canon as the company is also celebrating its 35th anniversary of business establishment in Malaysia this year.
For the past 35 years, Canon has contributed to nation-building in Malaysia through various initiatives.
Firmly committed to being a sustainable global imaging and technology powerhouse, Canon is no stranger to spreading awareness of the need for sustainable business operations and conservation of the environment.

 Volvo Car Malaysia’s Best Perk

Volvo Car Malaysia Boost Employer Engagement Through Family Bond Policy. Image supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, July 12: One year onward from the introduction of its global Family Bond policy, Volvo Car Malaysia continues its pursuit of advocating equal parental leave entitlement, to narrow the gender gap and provide equal opportunities for career growth.
The Family Bond policy gives all employees across Volvo Car Malaysia’s offices and plants with at least one year’s service a total of 24-week parental leave, in which during this period they will be paid 80 per cent of their salary by default. 
The Policy is applicable to mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents, which can be taken at any time within their first three years of parenthood. 
Volvo Cars established its presence in Malaysia in the early 1960s before formally establishing Volvo Car Malaysia in 1999. Since then, Volvo Car Malaysia has gone from strength to strength and built a network of 14 dealers across the country. 

Ransomware Attacks On Education Institutions Rises

Kuala Lumpur, July 13: Sophos, a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, has published a new sectoral survey report, The State of Ransomware in Education 2022
The findings reveal that education institutions – both higher and lower education – are increasingly being hit with ransomware, with 60 per cent suffering attacks in 2021 compared to 44 per cent in 2020. 
Education institutions faced the highest data encryption rate (73 per cent) compared to other sectors (65 per cent), and the longest recovery time, with seven per cent taking at least three months to recover – almost double the average time for other sectors (4 per cent). 
The State of Ransomware in Education 2022 survey polled 5,600 IT professionals, including 320 lower education respondents and 410 high education respondents, in mid-sized organizations (100-5,000 employees) across 31 countries. 

SHAREit Group Announces Breakout Year  

Singapore, July 13: SHAREit Group, a next-generation global technology company, with headquarters in Singapore, has announced that it achieved 220 per cent revenue growth in FY21/22 through strategic global expansion and emerging market growth strategies.
In the same fiscal year, the revenue from SHAREit Group’s advertising platforms has tripled. SHAREit is committed to serving global customers across industries, with deep expertise in key areas such as gaming, e-commerce and fintech.
SHAREit app has witnessed an incremental year-on-year growth rate of nearly 30 per cent in its customer base.
SHAREit Group’s diversified suite of applications has been installed by over 2.4 billion users worldwide, including the flagship app, SHAREit. SHAREit is rapidly setting up offices and growing local teams in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE, and Israel amongst others.
It currently has more than 1,000 employees worldwide.

Micron’s Annual Report Highlights Continued Progress

Malaysia, July 13: Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) released an “Investing in the Future: Micron’s 2022 Sustainability Report,” underscoring the company’s continued commitment to innovation, the environment, and our people and communities.
Micron exceeded all targets associated with its credit facilities announced last year.
These metrics included securing a 40 per cent improvement in greenhouse gas intensity compared to 2018, ensuring 90 per cent of the company’s waste is recycled, reused or recovered; and achieving a Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) average facility audit score of 193.2 out of a possible 200. 
Micron also made meaningful progress in its diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) commitments.
The company achieved comprehensive global pay equity for all underrepresented groups, surpassed its goal to invest three per cent of its cash investments with diverse financial institutions and grew its annual spending with diverse suppliers to $212 million.

MR D.I.Y. Steps Up For Nature  

MR.DIY Cares volunteers at the 24-hour Gutta Percha Tree Planting programme, 
organised by Yayasan Telekom Malaysia and Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa. Image supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, July 14: MR D.I.Y, the nation’s favourite home improvement retailer, has stepped up to ensure that in the return to the new normal, Malaysians also protect and nurture its natural resources. 
The Group today mobilised its MR.DIY Cares volunteer team to support two separate environmental initiatives – a tree-planting campaign as well as an animal conservation programme. 
The retailer joined Yayasan Telekom Malaysia and Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa in Malaysia’s largest Gutta Percha Tree Planting project, planting more than 1,000 trees in Taman Botani Putrajaya, in a 24-hour period. 
The Gutta Percha project is recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records for its effort to plant 5,017 trees across 23 locations in Peninsular Malaysia. 
The project was inspired by the ‘Greening Malaysia, Our Tree, Our Life’ campaign launched by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to preserve the country’s biological diversity. 

Spritzer Rolls Out New Water Bottle

Spritzer’s new look.

Kuala Lumpur, July 14: Malaysia’s leading bottled water producer, Spritzer, has officially launched a new iconic bottle with a trendy and vibrant style made with fully recycled packaging made with recycled materials.
The bottle’s sleek and modern-looking curve is shaped like a water droplet and is designed with an ergonomic grip.
The turquoise colour scheme, a blend of blue and green, represents nature’s purity, calmness, serenity and peace while the new corporate logo is inspired by the company’s pristine 390-acre water catchment area, which is within the protected rainforest vicinity in Taiping, Perak.
The new bottles made with sustainable packaging allow consumers to recycle and to create new life to the packaging which directly helps to reduce carbon emissions.

BNB Chain Launches DappBay 

Singapore, July 14: BNB Chain, the world’s largest smart contract blockchain in terms of transaction volume and daily active users has announced the launch of DappBay, a dApp hub on the BNB Chain ecosystem.
DappBay features an easy-to-use contract risk scanning tool, Red Alarm, which identifies potential high-risk projects to help users protect their investments from potential rug pulls and scams.
Red Alarm uses BNB Chain’s advanced risk control capabilities to allow users to assess project risks by simply entering the contract address to discover if it has logical flaws or fraud risks.
The objective behind DappBay is to help the community grasp market trends with the latest project rankings and forecast project-related risks in real-time.
It also has other features that help developers to list their own dApps on DappBay and utilize the influence and comprehensive tools of the BNB Chain for marketing.
Furthermore, DappBay analyzes and compiles an exhaustive list of promising upcoming projects in advance of their launch so that users no longer have to spend a lot of time on social media to piece together fragments of information about upcoming projects. 

BrainStorm’s New Hire

Dharmesh Rowjee. Image supplied.

Melbourne, July 14: BrainStorm Software recently welcomed Dharmesh Rowjee as a full-time team member as Project and Operations Manager.
The South African-born business and IT specialist started with BrainStorm back in 2021 as a Business Consultant and is excited to bring his knowledge of the complex world of business and technology to the table. 
“In addition to my love of working with people, I’ve always been interested in technology (IT) and how it is shaping the future.
“For me, it was a natural fit between project management (working with people) and technology. From a very early age, I’ve had a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit, and have always been passionate about constantly challenging the way things are done and using technology to make a difference.
“As a result, I started my own business to help people embrace technology and I’m happy to bring my experience to BrainStorm,” he explained.

 CX Team Hercules Awarded Overall Winner 

Kuala Lumpur, July 15: CX Team Hercules, led by captain  Santhakumaran Atmalingam ACXS of CX Expert Asia, emerged as the Overall Winner of the third Customer Experience World Games.
Among the 25 active members from Asia, Australia, North America, South America, and  Africa, the Malaysians on the winning team were Muhammad Mushriff Abdullah from CX  Expert Asia, Eileen Low Siu Ping from Affin Bank Berhad; Azizean Adian from Wowshop  (Media Prima Group) and Dr Geetha Muthusamy from Universiti Teknologi MARA.
The competition, which was founded in March 2020, attracted more than 250 customer experience professionals from 50 countries.
Through three challenges, this year’s competition aimed to help non-profits create customer experience solutions that would be impactful.  
Understanding the refugee journey and developing a toolkit for volunteers for Ukraine War refugees were among the challenges, as well as creating an intern-community engagement experience for Crossroads Foundation, Hong Kong; and creating a membership experience for  SpySquad UK, an educational and interactive company that creates and produces educational products and services for children between the ages of seven and nine-years-old, with a secret agent training angle. 

 Malaysian Genomics Appoints New Chairman

Dr Chen Chaw Min. Supplied.

Petaling Jaya, July 15: Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Berhad, a leading genomics and biopharmaceutical specialist, announced today that the Company has appointed Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min as the Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The appointment is effective July 15, following the resignation of Tan Sri Ahmad bin Mohd Don’s resignation on July 12.
Chen, who was appointed to the Board on 3 August 2021, was with the Malaysian civil service from 1988 until his retirement in February 2021. 
He was the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health from July 2015 until his retirement and has also served in various capacities in the Ministry of Finance from 1990 until 2014.

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