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 May 29 till the end of the week. This column updates regularly throughout the week.

Mambu Empowers Next Capital

Singapore, May 29: Leading Thai auto leasing company Next Capital has partnered with global fintech Mambu to launch a suite of lending products on Mambu’s cloud-native core banking and lending platform.
The partnership aims to transform Next Capital into a next-generation full-service digital lender.
Next Capital’s CEO, Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa, emphasized the importance of innovation and technology in meeting customer needs and creating sustainable competitive advantages.
Chaiwit Laohawaleesan, Head of Technology at Next Capital, praised Mambu’s platform for its scalability and efficient implementation.
Next Capital was able to go live on Mambu’s platform within four months, with no need for a third-party System Integrator.
Leveraging Mambu’s API-first platform will allow Next Capital to connect with other technology vendors and offer new products and services as consumer demands evolve.
Mambu has a growing presence in Thailand and has appointed local managers to support its operations.
Sales Director SEA at Mambu, David Brady, expressed satisfaction with the partnership, highlighting the successful collaboration and the shared goal of providing accessible financial solutions for Thai consumers.

Epson Invests in Neurable

Sydney, May 30: Epson and its subsidiary Epson X Investment Corporation have invested in Neurable, Inc., a startup specializing in Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technology.
Neurable develops non-invasive BCI technology and AI-based algorithms for extracting and analyzing brainwave data.
The investment decision was based on the potential of Neurable’s technology in the well-being and healthcare markets.
Epson aims to enhance people’s health using biosensing technologies and sees promise in Neurable’s algorithms and hardware.
Together, they strive to contribute to a sustainable society through partnerships and leveraging their strengths.

Yo-Chi Creates Hundreds of Jobs

Sydney, May 30: Yo-Chi, Australia’s fast-growing frozen yogurt brand, is on a hiring spree across the country.
Despite the high unemployment rate, Yo-Chi plans to double its size and reach 30 venues by March next year.
The brand’s popularity has led to increased sales and customer visits, making it a favorite among diverse demographics.
Shopping center landlords have also taken notice, resulting in multiple in-center venues and more to come.
Yo-Chi is excited to offer over 250 job opportunities, from team members to management roles, providing above-award wages and free Yo-Chi.
Explore positions at and find updates on Instagram @iloveyochi.

CUB Redefines Exclusive Clubs

Holly Wilson.

Sydney, May 30: In a groundbreaking move, the Club of United Business (CUB) is transforming the landscape of exclusive clubs by embracing inclusivity and welcoming all.
The leading Australian members-only community for business owners and leaders is set to relocate to the prestigious Collins Street, joining renowned companies in the T&G Building, as it anticipates a year of growth and high demand from business leaders seeking connections and idea sharing.
CUB’s new location near traditional men-only clubs like The Athenaeum Club and The Melbourne Club highlights the stark contrast in approach, as the Head of CUB Melbourne, Holly Wilson, actively encourages women to join, emphasizing the business advantage of including them and highlighting the irony of her being unwelcome in traditional private clubs despite leading CUB’s diverse and thriving community.
Wilson’s perspective and expertise have played a pivotal role in cultivating CUB’s inclusive and thoughtful community, which focuses on fostering a collective passion for supporting small businesses and has seen impressive nationwide growth and an expanding member base that includes many of Australia’s future business leaders, with CUB actively seeking to engage more female business leaders.
CUB’s success can be attributed to its selective but non-exclusive approach, with over 1200 members across its Sydney and Melbourne headquarters reflecting the evolving Australian business landscape, and as CUB revolutionizes the concept of exclusive clubs, it sets an example for other clubs to follow suit and creates a more equal and vibrant business landscape for all.

Flexi Group Expands Workspace

Singapore, May 31: The Flexi Group, a leading flexible workspace provider in APAC, plans to double its locations in Singapore and Australia through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.
The group, formed in 2022 after merging three prominent brands, now operates in 11 cities and 8 countries.
In Singapore, the recent acquisition of two former Found8 coworking spaces brings the total number of Flexi Group locations to four.
Additionally, in Australia, the group has signed partnership agreements for two upcoming locations, expanding its presence in Melbourne.
The Flexi Group distinguishes itself by pursuing an asset-light approach and partnering with landlords for joint ventures.
This allows landlords to offer increased flexibility to tenants while enhancing building engagement.
The multi-brand approach of The Flexi Group enables strategic growth opportunities across different asset classes, pricing, and office preferences. CEO Chris Edwards expresses optimism for the future of flexible working and expects continued growth in the region.

Ester Bruzkus Architects Win Competition

Ester Bruzkus and Peter Greenberg, photo by Debora Mittelstaedt

Berlin, May 31: The international competition for the interior of the NOBU Hotel and Restaurant has been won by architects David Chipperfield Architects Berlin with Ester Bruzkus Architekten.
Pritzker-Prize-winning David Chipperfield is also the architect for the entire building in which the hotel will be located – the new 61-story Elbtower in Hamburg’s HafenCity district, built by the developer Signa. The team of Ester Bruzkus is currently developing the interior design as the tower is being constructed.
The Hamburg Nobu Hotel’s design, materiality, and color scheme are based on authentic representations of the local northern German natural landscape – with its harbor, sea, sand, shells, and plants.
Simple, natural materials of high quality create an atmosphere characterized by the contrast between cool concrete, natural stone, and warm wood.
The clear, reduced design language with finely crafted details approaches Japanese design principles and finds its inspiration in the simplicity of the preparation of Japanese food.

How Microsoft’s AI Helps Yondr 

How Microsoft’s AI helps Yondr to modernise the banking industry
How Microsoft’s AI helps Yondr to modernize the banking industry

Sydney, June 1: Yondr, a fast-growing payment and loyalty platform in Australia, is using AI to enhance customer service, operations, and risk management. They recently introduced a Core Banking Software as a Service Solution, enabling personalized services for banks, fintech, retailers, and non-bank providers. Founder Shane Chanel highlights the importance of AI and their use of Microsoft technologies like Azure OpenAI, Visio, Xamarin, Visual Studio, and Github.
AI plays a crucial role internally and in client interactions at Yondr. It aids in operational management, decision-making, risk management, and fraud prevention. Customer-facing AI applications help validate and develop new products quickly, improving infrastructure and user experiences. Yondr follows Microsoft’s responsible AI principles.
Yondr aims to revolutionize how customers manage their money, achieve exponential growth, and become a leading financial technology platform in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Andrew Boyd from Microsoft ANZ praises Yondr for demonstrating the diverse applications of AI in driving efficient and scalable growth.
Using the latest AI technology, Yondr seeks to be the premier digital financial conduit in the region. They have already secured agreements with companies like Fiskil, Nutrip, Mygigster, and Zalena Bank. As a member of the Microsoft Founders Startup Program, Yondr collaborates extensively across technologies to bring AI solutions to the market. Microsoft looks forward to partnering with Yondr in driving financial services innovation.

Australian Consumer Sentiment Plummets

Sydney, June 1: Research by RFI Global highlights the increasing stress among mortgage borrowers, renters, and aspiring property owners, impacting consumer sentiment in Australia across income levels, while the perception of Australia’s short-term economic prospects has led to a rise in anticipation of a worsening situation, further exacerbating the decline in sentiment.
Financial insecurity is growing, with fewer individuals feeling financially secure and a higher proportion experiencing insecurity, while a significant number of Australians anticipate challenges in meeting credit repayments, including mortgage holders, personal loan holders, and credit cardholders paying interest, potentially leading to increased reliance on credit amid diminishing savings buffers, emphasizing the need for banks to support customers with flexible and customer-centric solutions during this challenging period.

Gender Affects Recurrent Toxoplasmosis

Adelaide, June 1: Women are more prone to recurrent Toxoplasma cases, increasing the risk of vision loss, according to Flinders University research.
The study, analyzing 262 participants in Brazil, aims to develop targeted treatments by understanding the gender-specific impacts of toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasma, a parasite associated with cats, causes the infectious disease toxoplasmosis, primarily transmitted through undercooked or raw meat.
While medical outcomes are similar for both genders, symptoms vary significantly, with women more likely to have multiple lesions in their eyes.
The research highlights the potential influence of gender on toxoplasmosis, leading to improved disease understanding and future treatment pathways.

Testing Out Sabah’s Golf Courses

Kota Kinabalu, June 1: A group of Filipino golfers led by Engr. Bart Borja arrived in Kota Kinabalu for a golfing holiday, flown in on a Falcon 900 business jet operated by Asian Air Safari.
The group was welcomed by the Sabah Flying Club and the Sabah Tourism Board. Asian Air Safari is one of the oldest and most reputable aircraft charter companies in Manila, chartering both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and offering business and leisure flights in Asia Pacific, Europe and America.
Filipino pilot Captain Joy Roa of Asian Air Safari, together with Tengku Adlin and the Sabah Flying Club, organized the first Borneo World Heritage Fly-in in 2005 – a milestone they hope to repeat in the near future.
By easing travel restrictions, Captain Joy hopes to further promote Sabah as a destination with its endless beaches, ancient rainforests, and nature reserves, as well as numerous world-class golf courses.
These courses are set amidst breathtaking nature reserves, as well as numerous world-class golf courses.
These courses are set against breathtaking natural backdrops and offer interesting and challenging plays, which are available all year round. Sabah’s natural and cultural treasures can be accessed by an hour and thirty-minute flight from Manila. 

Kinabalu Geopark New Recognition

Kota Kinabalu, June 2: Sabah Chief Minister, Hajiji Noor announced to the Sabah State Assembly that the Aspiring Kinabalu Geopark is now officially declared as the KINABALU UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK by UNESCO’s Executive Board together with 18 sites making the total number of geoparks 195 in 48 countries around the world. 
The UNESCO Global Geopark label recognizes the geological heritage of international significance. Geoparks serve local communities by combining the conservation of their significant geological heritage with public outreach and a sustainable approach to development. 
This is an outstanding achievement of the Government of Sabah under the “Sabah Maju Jaya” roadmap through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment, and Sabah Parks. 
KINABALU UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK Covering an area of 4,750 km2, adds significant value to the existing eco-tourism products in Sabah. It is home to many endemic plants and animals, including 90 orchid species that exist only on Mount Kinabalu, and the crimson-headed partridge bird not found anywhere else on Earth will bring direct and indirect benefits to the socio-economic of Sabah, particularly to more than 290,000 local communities within the district of Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, and Ranau. 

Better Choices with MR D.I.Y.

“Pilihan Berbaloi, Pilihlah Jenama MR D.I.Y.” is offering Malaysians more than 25 products on offer at up to 30 percent discounts this June.

Kuala Lumpur, June 2: Malaysia’s popular home improvement retailer, MR D.I.Y. Group, is introducing the “Pilihan Berbaloi, Pilihlah Jenama MR D.I.Y.” initiative throughout the month of June. From 1st to 30th June, the initiative showcases MR D.I.Y.’s home brand products both in stores nationwide and online, providing customers with the opportunity to make cost-effective choices. With discounts of up to 30% on over 25 products, MR D.I.Y. continues to deliver on its promise of “Always Low Prices.”
MR D.I.Y. offers a wide range of home brand and private label products, featuring everyday essentials sourced directly from reputable global manufacturers. By cutting out middlemen, purchasing in bulk, and utilizing data analytics to anticipate customer demand, MR D.I.Y. maintains competitive prices while ensuring quality.
According to Alex Goh, Head of Marketing at MR D.I.Y. Group, the price-quality ratio is what keeps customers returning. As Malaysians face the challenges of rising living costs and inflation, MR D.I.Y. aims to provide access to everyday essentials without compromising on quality. The “Pilihan Berbaloi, Pilihlah Jenama MR D.I.Y.” initiative is just one way the company fulfills this vision.
The initiative includes discounted products such as sparkling black spray paint, stackable storage boxes, shuttlecocks, trailing sockets, hot glue guns, and water bottles. In addition to these home brand items, MR D.I.Y. Group subsidiary, MR. DOLLAR is offering affordable snacks, drinks, and household essentials as part of the “Pilihan Berbaloi” campaign.

AFC Launches Online Leadership Programme

Kuala Lumpur, June 2: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has introduced the AFC Certificate in Football Leadership (ACFL) program, an online initiative aimed at developing Asian football leaders.
The six-month programme includes modules on leadership principles, communication, organizational design, environmental and social governance, football development, and project management. Graduates are expected to apply their skills to overcome challenges and drive growth within their organizations.
The ACFL programme is part of the AFC’s efforts to enhance the capabilities of football leaders and advance the development of Asian football.

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