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 we received from Feb 20 till the end of the week. This column updates regularly throughout the week.

Okta Appoints Neville Vincent as Vice President, Asia

Okta Appoints Neville Vincent as Vice President, Asia

Singapore, Feb 20: Okta, the leading independent identity provider, today announced that it has appointed information technology industry veteran and senior business executive Neville Vincent as Vice President for Asia.
Vincent will oversee Okta’s business operations, deepen partner links, and lead the company’s expansion in this region.
Vincent has over two decades of experience in the technology industry, leading and providing strategic direction to drive business growth and capture emerging opportunities throughout Asia Pacific.
He recently served as Vice President, Enterprise, Asia Pacific and Japan for Nutanix and has held senior sales leadership roles at Oracle, Hitachi Vantara, and Adduce Technologies.

DOC2US Teams Up With PAPUH 

DOC2US teams up with PAPUH, Providing pilgrims with virtual healthcare services during Umrah and Haj.

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 20: Umrah and Haj Travel Agency Association (PAPUH), the largest umrah  and haj association in Malaysia and DOC2US, Malaysia’s first and largest e-prescriptions and digital health  provider, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The signing ceremony took place during  PAPUH’s annual general meeting held last Friday at the Grand Barakah Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. 
DOC2US’ collaboration with PAPUH incorporates digital healthcare services into travel packages of more  than 1000 registered agencies under PAPUH, aiming to include comprehensive end-to-end virtual  healthcare services for Malaysian pilgrims in their travels to Mecca and Medina for Umrah and Haj.
DOC2US wants to be present for Malaysian pilgrims who are on their long journey to a foreign land, and  let them know that their health is cared for during their journey, with our value-added virtual healthcare  services in their travel plans. 

Southern Score Builders Posts RM59M In Revenue

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 20: Southern Score Builders Bhd, a provider of construction management services mainly for high-rise residential buildings, has announced today that the Group registered revenue of RM59.35 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31.
The Group recorded a loss before tax of RM0.43 million in 2Q FY2023.
The LBT recorded was mainly due to a one-off reverse acquisition expense amounting to RM14.63 million incurred as part of the regularisation plan which was completed on 9 November 2022.
If not for the reverse acquisition expense, the Group would have recorded a profit before tax of RM14.2 million in second quarter FY2023.
The Group remains in a solid financial position to pursue its growth and expansion plans, with cash and cash equivalents balance at the end of 1H FY2023 amounting to RM 108.22 million. 

CARSOME Enters After Sales Market

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 20: Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform CARSOME has ventured into the after-sales car service market with the launch of CARSOME Service Center.
The company has commenced operations of two CARSOME Service Centres at strategic locations in Petaling Jaya and Ampang respectively. Car owners can book an appointment for an initial inspection through CARSOME’s website
Besides catering to its pre-owned car buyers, CARSOME Service Centre can also serve anyone looking for worry-free car maintenance, and those looking for a trusted car maintenance partner upon expiry of their principal warranty period. According to CARSOME data, 80 per cent of CARSOME cars go past their authorised warranty period of five years, which implies a higher likelihood for car owners needing to service their cars in conventional workshops compared to authorised service centres.
The CARSOME Service Center business was launched by Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation YB Chang Lih Kang earlier today in Petaling Jaya.
Also in attendance was Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya YB Lee Chean Chung.

Romance Trumps Recession Fears

Sydney, Feb  21: Fresh data from leading buy now, pay later provider Zip demonstrates Aussies prioritised romance this Valentine’s Day, with overall spend up 20 per cent on last year, despite talks of an impending recession.
Following the steep increase in spending on flowers from the week of Feb 6, spending skyrocketed by 422 per cent on Feb 13 and 14, compared to the two days prior.
Zip users spent $105,000 on flowers on those two days alone.
Spending on jewellery, watches and silverware increased by an average of 59 per cent on Feb 13 and 14 compared to the week prior, with Zip users spending with merchants such as Michael Hill and Gregory Jewellers.  
The company’s data shows spending on lingerie and adult entertainment also increased for the special occasion. 
Lingerie purchases increased by 82 per cent on Valentine’s Day compared to the day prior, while average spending on adult entertainment (such as adult stores) on Feb 13 to 14 increased by 44 per cent compared to the week prior.

Aussies Prefer Pumpkin On Pancakes

Aussies prefer pumpkin over strawberries on their pancakes, according to new data

Sydney, Feb 21: Flour, eggs and milk is all you need to make a great pancake. It’s hard to believe that something this good can be so easy to make!  
Not only that but the recipe lends itself to so much creativity that no two pancakes have to be the same.  
As we celebrate Pancake Day today, a recent study from HelloFresh has revealed Australia’s favourite things to top the fluffy delights with. 
Banana pancakes are the most popular, according to the data analysis of average monthly searches for each topping, moving them into first place with over 12,000 searches.
Blueberry and mango are in a tie for second place with a total of 1,600 searches each. 
Other popular contenders included in the list are chocolate, strawberries, coconut and cinnamon. 
Interestingly, the data highlighted Australia’s growing interest in savoury pancakes as toppings bacon, pumpkin and spinach are among the top 10. 

Iceotope Technologies Announce Nathan Blom As CCO

 Singapore investment fund-backed company makes strategic hire, Nathan Blom as CCO.

Singapore, Feb 21: Iceotope Technologies Limited (“Iceotope”), the global leader in precision liquid cooling technology, has announced the appointment of Nathan Blom as Chief Commercial Officer to lead the company’s strategy for sales growth, expansion of its go-to-market strategy with channel partners, ongoing transformation of marketing functions, and increase in the value of strategic partnerships within the IT and Data Center Infrastructure markets.
“I’m excited to join Iceotope because this company’s liquid cooling technology can radically transform the industry by saving 30 – 40 per cent of the wasted electricity normally used for air or water cooling,” Blom said.
Blom began his career in IT when he joined HP in 2009.
He managed teams serving the US SMB market and OEM communities across the Americas including Latin America and Canada.
Iceotope closed an important £30m funding round in 2022 from a global investment syndicate led by Singapore impact private equity firm ABC Impact.

Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund Launches JUMPSTARTER 

Calling for participation of Malaysian start-ups to win attractive prizes including newly added HK$1 million cash prize and a total investment of up to US$5 million.

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 21: Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund announced the JUMPSTARTER 2023 Global Pitch Competition is  now open for applications.
AEF is inviting entries from start-ups worldwide to bring more like minded organisations together to bolster the growth of innovation and technology globally.
JUMPSTARTER 2023 is open for applications from now until May 14.
The top 100  entrants will be selected by the judging panel and enter the pitching phase in late June.
The  top 30 will be announced in September and participate in the finals in November in Hong Kong.
In response to the strong calibre of start-ups that have participated in the competition in past  years, the top 30 start-ups of JUMPSTARTER 2023 will all be eligible and considered for  investment of up to US$5 million (around RM22 million).
In addition, JUMPSTARTER 2023  will offer an HK$1 million cash prize to the first prize winner and other awardees.

Samaiden Posts 36pc Gain in Revenue

Petaling Jaya, Feb 21: Samaiden Group Berhad, a renewable energy specialist principally involved in engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning of solar photovoltaic systems and power plants registered a 36.28 per cent rise in revenue to RM40.23 million for the second quarter ended 31 December 2022 (“2Q FY2023”) compared with RM29.52 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.
Samaiden recorded a 10.48 per gain in profit before tax (“PBT”) to RM3.48 million in 2Q FY2023 compared with RM3.15 million for 2Q FY2022 while profit after tax (“PAT”) increased 14.60 per cent to RM2.59 million compared with RM2.26 million. 
For the first-half of the financial year 2023 (1H FY2023), revenue increased 52.14 per cent to RM81.00 million compared with RM53.24 million in 1H FY2022 while PBT gained 14.77 per cent to RM6.76 million compared with RM5.89 million. Samaiden’s PAT increased 16.67 per cent to RM5.04 million compared with RM4.32 million in the same period.
For the quarter under review, EPCC services contributed to approximately 99.45 per cent of Samaiden’s revenue.
The remaining revenue came from energy asset investment, environmental consultancy and operation and maintenance. 

Immersve Australia and New Zealand Partners With Mastercard  

Sydney, Feb 22: Web3 tech innovator, Immersve has partnered with Mastercard to give consumers the ability to use cryptocurrency directly from their web3 wallet to make digital, physical or even metaverse purchases, wherever Mastercard is accepted.
In a world first, Immersve’s solution does not require a user’s digital assets to be held as collateral by a third party, which means users will remain in complete control of their digital currency.
Immersve uses decentralised protocols, such as smart contracts, to bridge web3 and web2 applications. This means users will retain control over their funds until they wish to purchase goods or services, as well as the convenience of being able to use their digital cash at any merchant that accepts Mastercard online.
Immersve will partner with a third-party settlement provider and their customers will use USDC for all purchases. USDC will then be converted to fiat currency and settled on Mastercard’s network.
Users simply click on the Immersve button from any popular web3 digital wallet to access the functionality and have the ability to spend by signing the transaction with their private key to approve it.

World’s First DNA-Driven Fertility Test

Petaling Jaya, Feb 22: Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Berhad, a leading genomics and biopharmaceutical specialist, today announced that the Group has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Divine Genes Sdn Bhd (“Divine Genes”) to collaborate on business opportunities in relation to the improvement and international distribution of genetic tests for reproductive health.
Divine Genes is an investment holding company with businesses in pharmaceutical product distribution, financial consultancy services as well as general merchandise and trading.
Under the strategic collaboration, Divine Genes’ genetic test for reproductive health will be added to Malaysian Genomics’ genetic test portfolio, which will market and distribute these tests in Malaysia and overseas. Both parties will also cooperate in improving the product.

MR D.I.Y. Steps Up To Help Families 

MR D.I.Y. steps up to help families navigate new school year expenses.

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 22: Families across the country are gearing up for  the start of the new school year in March, and nowhere is the challenge being felt more  than in the area of expenses. 
With costs rising, families are grappling with the need to ensure their children are fully equipped with the essentials they need for school while still meeting other family  necessities like food, rent and transport. 
Recognising this, homegrown retailer MR D.I.Y. is stepping up to help families navigate  these expenses by offering a wide range of schools and learning essentials at their renowned  promise of “Always Low Prices”.
In addition to these items, MR. DOLLAR stores also carry  school snacks at affordable prices.
The initiative runs from Feb 20 through to March 19, perfect for the new school  year, which begins March 20.  

KL Wellness City Welcomes New Hospital

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 22: KL Wellness City hosted a media announcement today on the support of the Malaysian Government, particularly the Malaysian Investment  Development Authority (MIDA), towards the KL International Hospital (KLIH) project, a new  private hospital to be built within the mixed development of KL Wellness City in Kuala  Lumpur with proposed investment of RM860 million.
The 624-beds hospital, with potential  expansion to 1,000 beds, will offer a fully comprehensive and integrated ecosystem of  healthcare services including wellness and fitness facilities.
The project, set to be in  operation in the first quarter of 2026, will create over 3,000 job opportunities. 

Propel Global Posts Revenue of RM24.5M

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 22: Propel Global as well as services as well as downstream specialty chemicals to the O&G industry, today announced that the Group recorded a 3.81 percent gain in revenue to RM24.5 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31 compared with RM23.6 million for the corresponding quarter in 2Q FY2022 from continuing operations.
For the quarter under review, the Group registered RM2.59 million in profit before tax compared with PBT of RM0.6 million from continuing operations.
For the first-half period ended 31 December 2022 (“1H FY2023”), the Group registered 15.45 per cent increase in revenue to RM42.6 million compared with RM36.9 million in 1H FY2022 while PBT increased to RM5.9 million compared with RM0.7 million.
The increased sales for the O&G segment are mainly attributable to higher offvtake of production chemicals and fulfilment of work orders for well services. 

Alibaba Group Announces December Quarter 2022 Results

Alibaba Group Announces December Quarter 2022 Results 

China, Feb 23: Alibaba Group Holding Limited recently announced its financial results for the  quarter ended December 31, 2022.
“We delivered a solid quarter despite softer demand, supply chain and logistics disruptions  due to impact of changes in COVID-19 measures,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and Chief  Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “Looking ahead, we expect continued recovery in  consumer sentiment and economic activity. We are focused on driving growth for our  customers amid the competitive landscape, and creating sustainable, long-term value for our  shareholders.”
“During the past quarter, we continued to improve operating efficiency and cost optimization  that resulted in robust profit growth,” Toby Xu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group said.  “Our net cash position remains strong and we continue to generate healthy cash flow.
“During  the quarter ended Dec 31, 2022, we repurchased 45.4 million ADSs for approximately US$3.3 billion under our share repurchase program as part of our ongoing commitment to  improve our shareholder return.” 

Skyports Strengthens Presence in Korea

Skyports Drone Services strengthens presence in Korea through Joint Venture with Korean drone company, Marine Drone Tech Inc.

Busan, Feb 24: Skyports, the leading Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) infrastructure developer and drone services provider announced the formation of a joint venture (JV) entity between its drone services business and Korean drone technology company, Marine Drone Tech (MDT).
Named Skyports Drone Services Korea, the JV Co will be dedicated to delivering tailored drone solutions that address connectivity, productivity, and safety.
With a growing demand for innovative technologies in the country, Skyports Drone Services Korea is poised to meet the needs of the market and bring its expertise to the forefront of the drone industry.
In line with Skyports’ calibrated expansion plans, local branch offices have also been set up in Busan and Yeosu to better serve its on-ground partners and customers in both AAM infrastructure and drone services segments.

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