Highlights:

  1. Belgium envoy moots specific mission to tackle palm oil issues with EU
  2. Financial markets face continued non-resident outflows in June
  3. First Co-Working Space to Offer Premium Baby Wellbeing Products to Working Moms
  4. SMEs to benefit from shared food facility in Singapore
  5. Reuters puts utility at heart of latest news app

Establish specific mission in EU to counter attacks on palm oil – Belgium envoy
Belgian Ambassador to Malaysia, Daniel Dargent has suggested the setting up of specific mission to the European Union to solve the challenges facing Malaysia’s palm oil industry. He said the need to have a dedicated embassy at the political and economic union of 28 member states (EU) – located primarily in Europe – was envisaged as playing a vital role for both Belgium and Malaysia. “I think it would be a good point for this country to open up an embassy that is specifically in charge for the EU, like the one EU has in Malaysia, currently. “EU is an official body and there are many embassies credited to EU. Therefore, it is best to establish one in order to facilitate more direct links and contacts with EU counterparts (not just amongst foreign ministries) for exchanges and enhancing progress,” he told Bernama. Moreover, with the new Malaysian Government, he said more positive outcomes and discussions could be made possible to obtain more consensus on related palm oil issues.

Financial markets face continued non-resident outflows in June
Bank Negara Malaysia said the domestic financial markets in June continued to experience non-resident outflows amid renewed trade war concerns and expectations of a faster pace of US monetary policy normalisation. In a statement today, the central bank said the FBM KLCI declined by 2.8 per cent and the ringgit depreciated by 0.5 per cent against the US dollar. “The domestic bond market, however, was supported by strong demand by domestic institutional investors. “During the month, MGS yields declined by between 0.4 to 8.8 basis points,” it said. Meanwhile, in June 2018, the level of net impaired loans ratio and total provisions to total loans ratio remained unchanged at one per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively.

First Co-Working Space to Offer Premium Baby Wellbeing Products to Working Moms
In an empowering drive to bring mothers back to work with a peaceful state of mind, lavish co-working space, Colony and locally grown baby wellbeing brand, Applecrumby & Fish (A&F) is coming together to prioritise these admirable everyday heroines. “We are very excited to be working with Applecrumby & Fish, this partnership will be beneficial not just for us as a business, but to our customers as well,” said Timothy Tiah, Co-Founder of Colony. With immediate effect, all Colony spaces with lactation room facility will carry A&F’s very own in-house brand products, known as Applecrumby™.

Shared facility for small batch food production to open in Singapore next year
Food manufacturers will soon be able to test whether their new products will be successful, without having to face high opportunity costs or purchasing their own equipment. Enterprise Singapore, JTC Corp and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) have signed an agreement to set up a shared facility for small batch production to support innovation in the food industry. The facility, expected to open by end-2019, aims to help companies overcome challenges in the development and manufacturing of new food products. Located at JTC Food Hub @ Senoko and operated by SIT, the 1,130 sqm facility will have eight production rooms, which will be rented out to companies for small batch production. Food processing equipment such as spray dryers and extruders, as well as advanced equipment that could cost more than S$1 million, will also be available to companies on a pay-per-use basis. According to SIT, more than 15 companies have already expressed their interest in the shared facility for small batch food production. Speaking at the official opening ceremony of JTC Food Hub on Tuesday, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat said SMEs in particular may find it difficult to do small batch production to test their new ideas, as the equipment is expensive and outsourcing to a contract manufacturer requires a larger minimum order size than what they need. In 2017, the food industry added S$4.3 billion to Singapore’s gross domestic product, a 14 per cent increase from the previous year.

Reuters puts utility at heart of latest news app
Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news provider, today unveiled a personalized news app designed to help business professionals make better decisions. The new Reuters news app – available today on iOS devices – has been built to provide users with an indispensable ‘news utility.’ The design puts an emphasis on topic-based feeds, providing fast, accurate and relevant information that will quickly inform business professionals’ judgement across industries, interests, markets and countries. Users of the app can discover thousands of topic feeds from Reuters vast global news resource and curate these into a highly-customized news service. Additionally, the app offers a range of personalization features, including customized alerts, ‘market watchlists’ and bespoke analysis of stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities.