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 Dec 5 till the end of the week. This column updates regularly throughout the week.

Hospitality 360 Expands Hotel Management Portfolio

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 5: Hospitality 360 Sdn Bhd (“H360”), a Malaysian hotel management and consulting company has announced the signing of a strategic partnership with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts (“Wyndham”) to expand their portfolio of hotels, resorts, and serviced apartments across Malaysia.
As H360 and Wyndham memorialise their common objective to continue their commercial dealings and deepen their business relations, we are witnessing the beginning of a new chapter in their illustrious partnership. Under the terms of their partnership agreement, H360 will deliver at least 15 hotels signed as franchises under various Wyndham-owned brands over the course of the next six years.
To mark this illustrious partnership, there were several Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and agreements for H360 to manage, under various Wyndham brands, four hotels and luxury serviced apartments in Sabah.
The MoUs were signed between Wyndham and the developers of the hotel properties, namely, Jesselton Newcity Development Sdn. Bhd; and Sumbangan Aru KK Sdn Bhd, for the properties that will in turn be managed as Wyndham Grand, Dolce by Wyndham, and Ramada by Wyndham brands. Construction of these hotels, totalling more than 2000 rooms, will commence in phases starting in 2023 and is expected to complete by 2027.
In addition to the pipeline of current signings, H360 through the newly announced strategic partnership with Wyndham also has other hotel properties in the pipeline.
They are namely for their future flagship property, the Wyndham Grand TRX KL with more than 190 rooms, developed by Core Precious Development Sdn Bhd in which the construction is underway and due to complete by Q4 2023; and the newly built Ramada by Wyndham The Straits Johor Bahru with more than 190 rooms which will be operational by Q1 2023.

Evenesis Completes Acquisition Of Txtsy

SY Chan, Founder of Txtsy (left) and Ts. Yusno Yunos, CEO and Founder of Evenesis.

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 5: This November, top regional events technology company Evenesis announced the completion of the company’s acquisition of Malaysian tech start-up Txtsy Sdn Bhd, that specialises in fully integrated online and offline events. Since the company started 2 years ago, Txsty has served some of the biggest exhibitions and industry leaders in the region such as the Malaysian International Furniture Fair. The acquisition springs from a goal to offer enhanced business solutions for companies in the region, ranging from internal conferences to large-scale trade shows.
The acquisition of Txtsy allows Evenesis to expand in the region and serve event organisers better through a combination of experience in the exhibition and conference industry that both companies bring to the table. Evenesis now offers a total of 12 digital products and services in event tech, establishing itself as a one-stop centre for event stakeholders through providing a complete end-to-end event management system.

Ericsson And DNB Achieve New World Record

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 6: Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) recently achieved a world record distance for Gigabit speeds over Malaysia’s 5G network that will pave the way for high-quality, affordable and high-speed connectivity. 
The test, conducted over the 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) frequency, achieved a peak throughput of 1Gbps at a record distance of 11.18km from a radio antenna in Butterworth, Penang to a point off the island. 
The new distance record is a showcase of the ability of mmWave with the support of Ericsson’s extended-range software to quickly deliver cost-effective, high quality Internet connectivity solutions via Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in areas where wired connections are not always economically feasible. 
This paves the way for local mobile network operators (MNOs) to provide better and wider connectivity to reach more consumers and enterprises as it will allow for the delivery of high quality, wireless broadband connectivity that is cost effective using Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) solutions within the existing 5G coverage area. 

Finn-ovations Set To Revolutionize Plastic Lifecycle

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 6: Finland is set to be one of the first countries to develop a fully circular plastics economy by 2030. Led by the country’s 2022 Plastic Reduction Roadmap, its ecosystem of plastic processing companies is set to revolutionize the global plastic waste problem through innovative R&D and technologies.
Only 16 per cent of plastics globally are recycled making a fully circular plastics economy an urgent need. Plastics are estimated to make up one-fifth of all oil consumption by 2050 and black carbon, a by-product of burning plastic waste, has a global warming potential up to 5,000 times that of carbon dioxide.
To reverse the scale of the plastic problem, Finland has developed a systemic plastic processing industry made up of players in multiple sectors, from recycling to process. Its innovative businesses are now offering international governments and businesses the solutions needed to support the global need to reduce plastic pollution on a vast scale. 
There is as much as 199 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans. The amount of plastic waste in the Caribbean Sea has also been shown to increase the intensity of hurricanes. Two Finnish companies are helping international governments to clean global waters of plastic pollution. Working in South East Asia and Africa, RiverRecycle provides governments with the entire plastic removal value chain. It gathers plastic waste from rivers, recycling high value plastics or converting low quality items into mechanically recycled products or alternative energy forms through pyrolysis. The profits from which are then shared with the system to keep the circular process running. The aim is to establish 500 collection overall points.
In addition, Block Solutions has developed circularly made building blocks composed of between 50 and 100 percent recycled marine plastic to bring affordable, durable and sustainable housing in Rwanda, Uganda and Morocco so far.

Epiphone Announce Long Awaited Collection

Nashville, Dec 6: Epiphone has announced the long-awaited Adam Jones and Epiphone partnership has now arrived with the release of the Epiphone Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection.
This unprecedented, limited-edition collection blends Adam’s love of fine art and music, resulting in seven, iconic Silverburst Les Paul Custom masterpieces which feature the artwork of five distinguished visual artists curated by Adam Jones of TOOL.
The first model to debut in the Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection is Mark Ryden’s “The Veil of Bees.”
This guitar displays acclaimed artist Mark Ryden’s piece “The Veil of Bees” on the back of the guitar, in addition artwork on the rear headstock is designed by world-renowned artist Korin Faught.
Blending themes of pop culture with the techniques of the old masters, Mark Ryden blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art in a new genre of “Pop Surrealism.” Ryden’s “The Veil of Bees” originally premiered at Art Basel – Hong Kong in 2018.  

MAS Resumes Services Between KK And Taipei

Kota Kinabalu, Dec 6: Malaysia Airlines today resumed its direct services on the Taipei-Kota Kinabalu route effective 5 December 2022. This move comes after Taipei recently reopened its borders to international travellers and lifted its mandatory COVID-19 quarantine restrictions for arrivals.
Flight MH069 which arrived at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) at 8.00pm local time was commemorated with a welcome ceremony including a water salute to celebrate the passengers. The senior management from Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAHB) were also present.
With the reinstatement of Taipei, the total international direct air connectivity to Sabah has increased to six (6) cities around Asia after Incheon (South Korea), Singapore, Manila (the Philippines), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) and Bangkok (Thailand). Pre-Covid, Sabah was connected to 20 cities in the Asia Pacific region from countries like China, Brunei, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan through scheduled direct flights.

Sophos Launches Industry-First MDR Service

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 7: Sophos, a global leader in innovation and delivering cybersecurity as a service, announced the general availability of Sophos Managed Detection and Response (MDR) with new industry-first threat detection and response capabilities. Sophos is the first endpoint security provider to integrate vendor agnostic telemetry from third-party security technologies into its MDR offering, providing unprecedented visibility and detection across diverse operating environments.
Sophos also introduced the Sophos Marketplace and $1 million Sophos Breach Protection Warranty.
The need for MDR services and specialized defenders has never been greater, as shown in today’s new research, “ LockBit 3.0 ‘Black’ Attacks and Leaks Reveal Wormable Capabilities and Tooling ,” from Sophos X-Ops, the company’s cross-domain threat intelligence unit. The research analyzes tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) used by LockBit, one of today’s most prolific ransomware gangs, that are similar to BlackMatter, and explains how the latest version of the ransomware, LockBit 3.0, adds wormable capabilities and uses legitimate pentesting tools to evade detection.

VTEX Customers Experience Growth 

Singapore, Dec 7:  VTEX (NYSE: VTEX), the global enterprise digital commerce platform for premier brands and retailers, discloses a strong performance during the start of the holiday shopping season.
Total Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of US$1.75 billion, representing an increase of 33 per cent in USD over November 2021 and 27 per cent on an FX Neutral basis. With the opening of the holiday shopping season, VTEX recorded in November a 30 per cent increase of orders year-over-year, demonstrating the long-term trend of consumers going online through multiple channels to buy products from their preferred brands. 
This November, VTEX witnessed a significant GMV increase in verticals such as electronics (+47 per cent YoY), grocery (+45 per cent YoY) and apparel & accessories (+40 per cent YoY) in the more than 38 countries where it currently operates.
This is a result of the increase in penetration of e-commerce as well as the influence of FIFA’s World Cup — which led to an even higher growth in categories such as sports & fitness (+55 per cent YoY) and food & beverage (+45 per cent YoY).
VTEX demonstrated the resiliency of its business model by outpacing the market, despite a challenging macroeconomic environment that resulted in a Black Friday performance below the company’s expectations.

New ‘Capsules’ Aim To Deliver More Effectively  

New ‘capsules’ aim to deliver more effective targeted cancer drug therapies.

Adelaide, Dec 8: Australian and New Zealand researchers have developed tiny metal ‘containing capsules’ for targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs only to cancer cells.  
The study, published in the Dalton Transactions journal, explains how the scientists made two kinds of heterometallic (mixed metal) supramolecular capsules (or ‘cages’) using palladium and platinum. 
These materials were chosen for their altered stability in the blood stream and potential to control guest drug release by partially disassembling the capsule once in the targeted cells.   
The Flinders University, University of Otago, University of Auckland and Australian National University chemistry scientists performed experiments to see how various drug molecules would bind to the cavities or holes inside the special cages. 
Further research into improving the biological compatibility of these cages and strengthening host-guest interactions are being investigated. 
The article, ‘Hydrazone- and imine-containing [PdPtL4]4+ cages: a comparative study of the stability and host–guest chemistry’ 2022 by Lynn S Lisboa, Mie Riisom, Henry J Dunne, Dan Preston, Stephen MF Jamieson,  L James Wright, Christian G Hartinger and  James D Crowley has been published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Dalton Transactions.+

Propel Global Acquires Stake In Engineering Firm

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 8: Propel Global Berhad, provider of oil and gas supporting services such as well services , engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (“EPCC”) services, maintenance of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (“HVAC) systems as well as downstream specialty chemicals to the oil and gas (“O&G”) industry, today announced that the Company has entered into a conditional share sale agreement to buy a 51 per cent stake in Best Wide Engineering (M) Sdn. Bhd. (“BWE”) for RM7.82 million.
BWE provides engineering and technical works for the O&G industry through engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (“EPCC”) of new plants and plant modification works; design and supply of skidded process systems and engineered equipment for onshore plants and offshore platforms and, project management and engineering consultancy services. Its shareholders and directors are Azizi Alias (“Azizi”) with 45.8 per cent equity interest, Jasniazrin Shah Bin Mohd Hata (“Jasniazrin”) with 44.2 per cent equity interest and Tan Siew Lee (“Siew Lee”) with 10 per cent equity interest.
Propel Global is acquiring the 51 per cent stake from Azizi, who is selling his entire equity interest, and Siew Lee, who is selling 5.2 per cent of his holdings.
As part of the share sale agreement, Propel Global has also entered into a put and call option agreement with Jasniazrin and Siew Lee that requires the Company to purchase up to 49 per cent of the remaining equity interest in BWE from them and, Jasniazrin and Siew Lee will grant Propel Global the right during the call option period that requires them to sell up to 34 per cent equity interest in BWE to the Company.
BWE, which has 15 ongoing contracts with total unbilled contract value of RM21.8 million expected to be realised over the next three years, is guaranteeing a profit of RM2.4 million and RM2.6 million in profit after tax (“PAT”) for the financial year ended 30 November (“FYE”) 2022 and FYE 2023 respectively. BWE reported revenue of RM18.6 million and PAT of RM178,000 for FYE 2019, RM19.0 million revenue and RM395,000 PAT for FYE2020 and RM38.5 million revenue and RM2.3 million PAT for FYE2021. Currently, BWE has a tender book of RM41.3 million.

SCIB Concludes Its AGM

Kuching, Dec 8: Civil engineering specialist Sarawak Consolidated Industries Berhad (“SCIB” or the “Company”) held the Company’s 46th AGM virtually today in which shareholders voted to reappoint NEXIA SSY PLT as the auditor and authorised the directors to fix its remuneration. 
Shareholders also passed a resolution authorising the issuance and allotment of shares pursuant to Sections 75 and 76 of the Companies Act 2016 while waiving their pre-emptive rights. 
The resolutions to re-elect Dato’ Dr. Ir. Ts. Mohd Abdul Karim bin Abdullah (“Dato’ Dr. Ir. Ts. Mohd Abdul Karim”) and Datu Haji Abdul Hadi bin Datuk Abdul Kadir (“Datu Haji Abdul Hadi”) to the board of directors were not tabled as they retired effective 8 December 2022. Other resolutions passed included the reappointments of eligible directors up for re-election.
Among the measures the Company took is a kitchen-sinking exercise pertaining to the recent cancellation of four projects as well as the settlement agreement over six projects in Qatar and Oman.
These measures were taken to safeguard the Company’s interests. In respect of the cancellation of the five projects, the decision was taken after reviewing and updating the Company’s order book records to reflect the current situation while, in respect of the projects in Qatar and Oman, there is no financial impact to the trade receivables.

The New Services Expected In Malaysia Next Year 

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 8: SaaS cloud banking platform Mambu has launched its annual Partner Predictions report, which highlights the top financial trends expected to influence the industry in 2023, as businesses attempt to survive and thrive in a volatile macroeconomic environment.
The report includes insightful commentary from industry leaders from across the fintech and financial services sectors, including executives from AWS, Backbase, Deloitte, Google Cloud and many more, with participants sharing their insights on the key issues that are likely to shape the financial services sector in the year ahead.
The impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt for many years to come and has been a key driver of the accelerated adoption of digital banking across Malaysia and the wider Asia Pacific region.
The adoption of public cloud technology in financial services has also been accelerated by the pandemic, with the rapid growth of digital banking services across the region a direct result.

Sunway Commemorates A Significant Milestone 

From left: Dr Seow Vei Ken, SMC Chief Executive Officer and Helen Ng Hoy Loon, SMC General Manager of MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) Services and Robotic Surgery, 
Dato’ Lau Beng Long, Sunway Healthcare Group President and Dr Khoo Chow Huat, Sunway Healthcare Group Managing Director (Hospital and Healthcare Operations).

Sunway City, Dec 8: Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway City has once again highlighted their commitment to innovative patient care with an event commemorating the administration of robot-assisted surgeries.
This milestone achievement comes as another step in the hospital’s diligent investment into the latest smart hospital technology to improve patient care and precision medicine.
Sunway Medical Centre procured the highly advanced da Vinci Si Surgical System in 2016 and their latest addition, the da Vinci Xi 4th Generation Surgical System was the first of its kind in the country when it was launched in January this year.
With its advanced surgical technology,the da Vinci Xi makes complex surgeries simpler and enhances surgical performance, allowingSunway Medical Centre’s surgeons to have an extended range of motion and substantially improved vision while operating.Sunway Medical Centre continues to be at the forefront technology with the acquisition of additional cutting-edge robotic surgery systems and made history by carrying out Malaysia’s first ever robot-assisted joint replacement surgery in 2021. 

Maybank Islamic & MERCY Malaysia Collaborate 

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 9: Maybank Islamic Berhad announced the launch of the Add Good to Cart campaign, a social initiative that aims to raise awareness and inspire the public to donate to a community emergency fund.
In collaboration with the Bank’s implementing partner, MERCY Malaysia, this social initiative aims to raise RM100,000 by May 2023.
The funds collected under this project will act as social funding for emergency responses, recovery, mitigation and preparedness in times of disaster for humanitarian and health-related development.
From Dec 12 onwards, Malaysians can go to MERCY Malaysia’s homepage and select the Add Good to Cart campaign icon to donate to this emergency fund.
Maybank Islamic CEO Dato’ Mohamed Rafique Merican said as a leading institution shaping the future of Islamic Finance, Maybank Islamic is committed to play its role in the country by using its reach and resources to invest in the common good.

Talbotiq & Leaderonomics Host Networking Dinner

Talbotiq Technologies CEO and Founder Akhil Gupta (third from right) with some of the Leaderonomics team members and HR leaders at the inaugural Talbotiq & Leaderonomics HR Networking Dinner at Namaste India Bangsar. The event was a successful evening of networking and sharing that provided guests with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the digital HR revolution taking place today.

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 9: Talbotiq Technologies (Talbotiq), a Recruitment Automation Technology provider, hosted the inaugural Talbotiq & Leaderonomics HR Networking Dinner at Namaste India Bangsar on Wednesday, Nov 30.
A group of 20 HR leaders from various industries attended the event and discussed the latest trends and developments in the HR space that have been brought about by the pandemic and technological advancements.
It was a successful evening of networking and sharing that provided the guests with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the digital HR revolution taking place today.
Organisational culture is undergoing rapid changes in the digital age, post-pandemic.
As a result, organisations are increasingly reassessing traditional business practices and adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape because of digital technology.
Towards this, the networking event explored how digitalisation is reshaping organisational culture, from the adoption of innovative technologies to how it impacts relationships and decision-making processes.

Samaiden Shareholders Pass All Resolutions At AGM

Petaling Jaya, Dec 9: Samaiden Group Berhad (“Samaiden”), a renewable energy (“RE”) specialist principally involved in engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (“EPCC”) of solar photovoltaic (“PV”) systems and power plants, reported that shareholders have passed all resolutions at the 3rd AGM held today. 
Among the resolutions passed were the re-election of Lim Poh Seong and Fong Yeng Foon as directors pursuant to the Constitution of the Company as well as the re-appointment of TGS TW PLT as auditors of the Company. Shareholders also passed the resolution empowering the board of directors to issue and allot up to 10 per cent of the total number of issued shares of the Company for the time being pursuant to Sections 75 and 76 of the Companies Act 2016.
Samaiden has an outstanding orderbook of RM325.40 million as at 30 September 2022 with earnings visibility over the next three years.

Sabah Targets High-Spending, Long-Stay Vacationers

Kota Kinabalu, Dec 11: All rural tourism operators are told to boost their commitment to transforming their tourist sites into destinations that can draw long-stay and high-spending visitors.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said that their efforts and involvement need to be in line with the Sabah Tourism Board’s and the Federation of Rural Tourism Association Sabah’s strategic plan of making Sabah a world-class rural tourism destination by 2030.”In some countries like China, tourists are willing to fork out more money to discover and experience off-the-beaten areas, where nature is at its most breathtaking. We have to emulate this.
“The Sabah Maju Jaya development plan places a strong emphasis on tourism, thus we must position ourselves as a renowned rural tourism destination with first-rate facilities that are prepared to host curious visitors and entice them to stay longer,” he said.
Bangkuai, who is also chairman of the Sabah Tourism Board, said rural tourism players have a responsibility to improve the appeal of their communities and make extra efforts to meet the 2030 strategic plan’s objectives.

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