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 Oct 24 till the end of the week. This column updates regularly throughout the week.

Disney Products Now Available On BuyersCircle 

Sydney, Oct 24: The BuyersCircle platform is expanding once again amid recent announcements global powerhouse brands are now available on the platform, with Australian Disney gifting brand Short Story joining the stable of international names now available to shop on the BuyersCircle app.
Short Story, a platform providing unique Disney merchandise and gifts, has uploaded its catalogue range of products to the BuyersCircle platform ahead of the Christmas season, set to bring a magical story to each of its gifts.
The brand’s selected product range will be available to shop including candles, home fragrances, jewellery and wall-art.
The news comes after recent announcements of Disney’s expansion of Disney cruises to Australia next year, as the multinational media giant increases popularity across the nation. William Du, the Co-Founder of Short Story said the company is thrilled to join the BuyersCircle platform and drive Disney gifting to new heights amid continued skyrocketing growth of the app and growing popularity of Disney merchandise. 

Australia’s E-Security Lagging Behind

Sydney, Oct 24: The fourth annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) reports that Australia ranks 43rd in the world regarding E-security, dropping seven positions since 2021.
The U.K. and New Zealand rank higher in the E-security category (28th and 34th, respectively).
Australia’s E-security score is slightly higher than the global average but lower than the average score of Oceania or Europe.
The rising number of data breaches requires sufficient data protection laws and cybersecurity practices in place, which increase the strength of Australia’s E-security.
Australia ranks 35th in the cybersecurity pillar, measuring the country’s readiness to counter cybercrimes. It is higher than the global average but still has to improve to match the level of other higher-ranking countries, such as the U.K.
The best countries based on E-security are Greece, ranking first, and Belgium, which is the runner-up in second place.
Lithuania ranks third, and Czechia and Germany are the top five in E-security of the 117 evaluated nations.
The bottom five countries are Iran, Honduras, Tajikistan, Yemen, and Congo DR.

Mambu’s New Partnership

Mambu logo. Supplied.
Mambu logo. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 25: Mambu, the leading SaaS cloud banking platform, has announced general availability across three leading cloud providers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, expanding its global market reach.
The fintech’s cloud approach allows complete flexibility for customers to meet ambitious expansion plans seamlessly, giving customers the choice to use the most secure, reliable and high-performance technology stack available.
Mambu customers have a choice of provider based on their specific business, technical and regulatory requirements, located in the same or a different geographical region, without impacting availability or service levels. 
For decades, legacy technology solutions have been slow to implement but, now, using Mambu’s cloud banking platform, products can be pushed to market in weeks and over 95 per cent of core banking transformations go live in months.
Mambu’s composable platform provides components that can be selected and assembled in various combinations to satisfy specific user requirements. This empowers financial institutions to modernise their infrastructure, meet rapidly changing customer behaviours and expectations, and drive business growth.
The development promises more customer choice, a secure foundation to meet financial security standards and high reliability for all three cloud providers.

 Lupita Nyong Picked As Ambassador 

De Beers Announces Lupita Nyong’o As First Global Ambassador. Supplied.

London, Oct 25: De Beers has announced Lupita Nyong’o as its first Global Ambassador.
The Academy Award-winning actor stars in the new brand campaign, De Beers: Where It Begins, which tells the story of the only global luxury brand that starts at the source. 
As a core element of the partnership Nyong’o will support De Beers’ Building Forever commitment, which aims to advance women and girls where its diamonds are discovered.
Renowned Australian photographer and director Lachlan Bailey follows Nyong’o from the discovery of a rough diamond to its magical transformation into magnificent jewellery.
The campaign celebrates De Beers’ unique passion for sourcing the rarest treasures of nature and revealing their exceptional beauty through remarkable craftsmanship.
As Nyong’o embarks on her journey, she discovers the power that only a De Beers natural diamond jewellery creation holds: turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, a moment into forever and herself into a magnetic woman with limitless potential.

Perfect Corp’s New Acquisition 

New York, Oct 25: Perfect Corp. (“Perfect”), a global leader in providing augmented reality (“AR”) and artificial intelligence (“AI”) Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) solutions to beauty and fashion industries, and Provident Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: PAQC; “Provident”), a special purpose acquisition company, today announced that their previously announced business combination (the “Business Combination”) was approved at an extraordinary general meeting (the “EGM”) of Provident’s shareholders today.
Complete official results of the vote will be included in a current report on Form 8-K to be filed by Provident with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) today.
The Business Combination is expected to close on October 28, 2022. Upon such closing, the listed company resulting from the Business Combination will be called Perfect Corp. and its shares and warrants are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the ticker symbols “PERF” and “PERF WS,” respectively, on Oct 31.
Perfect is a market leader in the global beauty tech sector, with over 400 beauty brands, including 17 of the world’s top global 20 beauty groups, utilising Perfect’s AR and AI SaaS solutions in 80 countries globally, as of December 31, 2021, according to Frost & Sullivan. Every year, Perfect enables over 10 billion virtual try-ons of consumer products in a wide range of merchandise categories, including cosmetics, skincare, hair colours, and fashion accessories.
Upon completion of the Business Combination, Perfect intends to focus on accelerating its global expansion, extending Perfect’s industry coverage from beauty and fashion to tangential sectors, and augmenting its innovative AR and AI SaaS solutions, including product try-on and digital consultation solutions.

Alibaba Group Kicks Off Global Shopping Festival 

Hangzhou, Oct 25:Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA; HKEX: 9988) officially kicked off the 14th edition of its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival (“11.11” or “Festival”) on  October 24, featuring more than 290,000 brands.
This year, Alibaba will equip merchants with tools  and solutions to grow their brand loyalty membership programs and unveil new products, among  other initiatives, to help them succeed during and beyond 11.11. To date, more than 40 brands on  Tmall have loyalty membership programs that surpassed ten million members and 600 brands have  loyalty membership programs with over one million members.
“11.11 this year will have the most diverse range of products in the event’s history, with 17 million  products available to more than one billion annual active consumers on our platforms in China, thanks  to the support of our brands and merchants from around the world,” Chui Xue, President of  Industry Development and Operation Center of Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba Group said.
“11.11 is the most  powerful engine for our merchants’ customer growth every year. Transforming consumer awareness  into customer loyalty is key to generating the best return on investment.
“We will introduce technology  and business innovations while enhancing supply-demand matching and loyalty membership  management, to support our brand and merchant partners. Ultimately, we aim to turn customer  assets into the most important driving force for merchants’ long-term business growth.” 

Westpac Group Joins Home Guarantee Scheme

Sydney, Oct 26: Westpac Group will be able to help more home buyers into the market from mid-next year after being appointed to the major lender panel for the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) Home Guarantee Scheme.
The Group’s participation in the Scheme will commence on July 1 starting with Westpac and RAMS, followed by St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA later in 2023.
“Home ownership is a major life and financial goal for Australians, so we’re looking forward to working alongside the Australian Government and NHFIC to help aspiring home buyers through the Home Guarantee Scheme,” Westpac Group Chief Executive, Consumer & Business Banking, Chris de Bruin said.
“The expense of saving a home loan deposit remains a top barrier to entering the property market, and the Scheme-backed loans provide a bridge for buyers with a smaller deposit to purchase their home sooner and potentially save thousands of dollars.
“In particular, eligible first home buyers, single parents, and borrowers in regional communities utilising the Scheme can benefit from improved access to finance and competitive products.
“Westpac Group helps thousands of customers into their new home each year and now we will be able to use our scale, support, and expertise across the breadth of our retail brands to assist even more Australians in 2023,” de Bruin said.

Silverlake Axis New Appointment 

Silverlake Axis Announces Appointment of Philip Law as Group CTO.

Malaysia, Oct 26: Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed Silverlake Axis Ltd has announced the appointment of Philip Law as Chief Technology Officer, Head of Product and Innovation, effective Oct 20.   
A technology evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the technology financial services sector, Law is a proven leader with an impeccable track record of delivering solutions and transformation strategies for the digital age, by drawing on his deep knowledge in trade finance, banking and cloud computing architectures. 
Law graduated from Sheffield University in the UK with a degree in Chemistry.

MR D.I.Y.’s Deepavali Webfilm A Hit 

MR D.I.Y.’s first-ever Deepavali webfilm hits all the right notes.

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 27: MR D.I.Y, Malaysia’s favourite home improvement store, recently launched its first-ever Deepavali-themed webfilm, called “Paati Veedu” or “Granny’s House”.
The film depicts a little boy, Rohan, who has to stay at his “Paati” or grandmother’s house to help her out and bond with her. However, he finds it challenging to adjust to her ways, and she finds his efforts to help her maddening. 
The result is a series of comedic mishaps, before they both find a way to communicate and celebrate the season.  
The almost four-minute web film was posted on MR D.I.Y.’s official Facebook and YouTube pages in conjunction with Deepavali. 
Despite it being the first time the homegrown retailer had developed a Deepavali-themed film, the film has already garnered more than 1.8 million views on YouTube, and 1.3 million views on Facebook, demonstrating that it has hit all the right notes with the Malaysian public. 

Data Breach Highlights Growing Problem 

Adelaide, Oct 28: The national Medibank Private data breach, now overflowing into the SA Health system, is just part of a “bigger silent issue of healthcare data manipulation and corruption that may go unnoticed for months or years,” warns Flinders University Professor of Digital Health Systems Trish Williams. 
There is currently no way to guarantee the privacy of information when information systems are becoming increasingly complex and sensitive private health and healthcare information is being stored and shared around the world, she said. 
“It is unfortunate that too often data breaches in healthcare are not detected immediately or the extent of the breach not easily identified. 
“The incidents occurring in Australia recently demonstrate that no security, however good, is 100 percent secure. 
“Whilst companies and organisations state that their systems are totally secure, you would be hard pressed to find any cybersecurity expert who would agree.

Nearly 300 Students Get Scholarships 

Putrajaya, Oct 28: As part of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s (HWUM) 10th anniversary celebrations and long history of widening access to education to all, nearly 300 scholarships  were awarded to both local and international students this month.
HWUM is committed to assisting bright and deserving talent from all segments of the community  through its various scholarship programmes. The opportunity is extended to talented young students  from all backgrounds who have completed their SPM, STPM, UEC and equivalent qualifications. These scholarships, coupled with the University’s pastoral care, are intended to give recipients the  chance to study at HWUM, one of the leading UK universities in the country and benefit from the  University’s world class academic programmes. Most importantly, through the education provided by  the University, these students will be able to discover their purpose in life, and to move their purpose  into making a positive impact in the world.  
Media reports recently quoted Higher Education Ministry Director-General Datuk Professor Husaini  Omar stating that of the 95,745 eligible applicants among students wishing to further their studies at  public universities in 2022, a total of 71,615 placements in the country’s 20 public institutions were  offered to candidates who had completed their STPM examinations or its equivalent.
In view of this, and in support of the Higher Education Ministry’s aspirations to build the country’s talent  pipeline, HWUM aims to offer scholarships to at least 10 students a year, over the next 10 years. Eligible  students will receive a full scholarship which covers tuition fees and cost of living allowances for the  entire duration of their studies. 

Alibaba’s 11.11 Starting Four Hours Earlier

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 28: Alibaba’s 14th annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival (“11.11” or “Festival”) will officially commence sales at 8pm, October 31, featuring more  than 290,000 brands.
In conjunction with the event, Taobao announced a slew of new features  and promotions to offer Malaysian consumers a more exciting and convenient shopping  experience.
This year, for the first time, all pre-sale and official sales windows of 11.11 will begin at 8pm,  four hours earlier than previous years.
The pre-sale period has started from 24 October.
The  two actual sales windows will take place from 8pm, Oct 31 to Nov 3, and from 8pm,  Nov 10 to Nov 11, respectively.
The extended sales windows allow shoppers  more time and opportunities to grab a wide array of cross-store reductions and attractive deals  to secure the best deals earlier. 

MR D.I.Y. Delivers Everyday Essentials To Children 

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 28: Children from the Rumah Anak Kesayanganku (Barokah) orphanage in Bandar Bukit Beruntung, Rawang, Selangor recently received a much-needed helping hand when home improvement retailer, MR D.I.Y. Group (M) Berhad [MR D.I.Y.] delivered a thoughtful selection of everyday essentials to help the home meet their daily needs. 
The retailer mobilised its MR.DIY Cares volunteer team who put together a selection of cleaning tools and detergents, personal care items, as well as groceries to aid the more than 120 orphans living at the home. 
The home’s caretaker, Ustaz Malik Raswan, expressed his gratitude and said the contribution was timely as public donations, which the home depended on, had slowed down considerably since the  COVID-19 pandemic began. 
He said he hoped more donors would come forward to help homes such as theirs, which depend  on public assistance. 

Potential For Sabah To Host Modern Art Symposium

Kota Kinabalu, Oct 29: Sabah should look into hosting a symposium on modern and contemporary art, said Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.
Such a conference, he said, has the potential to draw a larger crowd and will pique the interest of everyone, including tourists.
“Sabah has played host to several significant expositions and conferences, many of which have attracted participants from other countries.
“We, at the Ministry and the Sabah Tourism Board, are always on the lookout for prospective events to promote, and I believe that contemporary art has the potential to be one of such events because it complements tourism,” he said.
Bangkuai, who is also chairman of the Sabah Tourism Board, said this at the launching of Art Connects 2.0 International Art Exhibition at the University Sabah College Foundation (USCF) here, on Saturday.

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