Highlights:

  1. Malaysia’s financial system resilient even under severe stress
  2. New start-up to provide more affordable outdoor advertising for small companies
  3. Digi is Top Ranked Malaysian Company in Global Diversity and Inclusion Index
  4. Singapore launches the Networked Trade Platform to digitalise and streamline end-to-end trade processes
  5. ButlerInSuits, the world’s first hospitality service for residences wins recent startup competition

Financial system resilient even under severe stress – BNM
Bank Negara Malaysia says, Malaysia’s financial system is expected to remain resilient under severe macroeconomic and financial strains, with financial institutions maintaining capital buffers in excess of regulatory minima even under adverse scenarios. It said currently, financial institutions maintained excess total capital buffers of RM135.9 billion. “We remain vigilant of domestic and external developments that could affect domestic financial stability, including further tightening in global financial conditions that could lead to higher financial market volatility,” BNM said in a statement today. Overall, the central bank said the banking system continued to be underpinned by strong capitalisation, a sound credit portfolio and prudent levels of provisioning. For the first half of 2018, the financial performance of the banking system was strong, with margins improving as banks benefited from continued efficiency gains and improved asset quality.

New start-up to provide more affordable outdoor advertising
Emphasise Communication Sdn Bhd (ECSB), a new start-up company in the local advertising scene, is set to transform the local outdoor electronic advertising market by offering affordable leading-edge advertising medium to small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. “We believe that LED billboard advertising is not just for the big boys of business, we want to help SMEs to have such an advertising medium, too,” says Sheon Soo Huan, its Chief Executive Officer. The airtime cost under ECSB’s Malaysia Celebration Package (MCP) is from RM99 a month until the end of February next year. Potential advertisers can book through e-commerce platforms like LAZADA or access www.myemphasise.com for more information. “We are now in a position to facilitate SMEs to brand and position their businesses better to meet the challenges of today’s very competitive marketplace and for them to reach out to potential customers effectively,” Sheon said. Until recently, getting digital outdoor advertising has been an expensive and complicated process but cheaper costs and improved technology have changed all this.

Digi is Top Ranked Malaysian Company in Global Diversity and Inclusion Index
Digi Telecommunications was the only Malaysian company to make the top 50 in the Thomson Reuters Global Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Index for 2018. Ranked #46 on the Index, Digi was one of the three Malaysian companies to make it to the top 100 global listing. The company was also one of the 15 Asian companies who made it to the Global D&I Index for 2018. Digi’s Chief Human Resource Officer, Haroon Bhatti, sees the recognition as an encouragement for the company to continue building an open and dynamic work culture. At Digi, adopting D&I strategy increases employee engagement, drives innovation and growth in the company. Launched in 2016, the D&I Index ratings are calculated using Thomson Reuters environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, which transparently and objectively measures the relative performance of companies against factors that define diverse and inclusive workplaces. Over 7,000 public-listed companies were ranked as measured by 24 separate metrics across four key pillars: Diversity, Inclusion, News & Controversies and People Development.

Singapore launches the Networked Trade Platform to digitalise and streamline end-to-end trade processes
Traders, logistics service providers, carriers and banks can now look forward to a new one-stop trade platform that will serve as the trade info ecosystem to help digitalise and streamline their trade processes. The Networked Trade Platform (NTP) will connect players in the trade value chain in Singapore and onward to their counterparts abroad. It aims to provide the foundation for Singapore to be a leading trade, supply chain and trade financing hub. “NTP is a transformational platform, which will take us from a traditional national single window which gives traders a one-stop interface for all trade related regulatory transactions, to a one-stop interface that will enable them to interact with all business partners, stakeholders and regulators on trade related transactions,” said Minister of Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, in his keynote speech at the Official Launch of NTP. The NTP is developed by Singapore Customs and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech), with the support of over 20 other ministries, government agencies and working groups. Singapore Customs will continue to work closely with the industry and government agencies to grow the network of partners on the NTP ecosystem, to provide further opportunities for businesses and to ensure that Singapore remains competitive in the fast-changing global economy.

ButlerInSuits, the world’s first hospitality service for residences wins recent startup competition
ButlerInSuits, the world’s first hospitality service for residences and an alumni of SIM’s Platform E entrepreneurship programme, was the winner in a recent startup competition in South Korea. It won the first prize of S$24,000 for the potential of its business model, its contribution to society as well as the expertise of the team members. The startup was pitched against 12 other contenders from eight countries in the Startup Battle, a highlight of the 2018 Asia Startup Summit (ASSUM 2018). Based on the novel concept of bringing hotel experience to customers’ homes, ButlerInSuits offers daily housekeeping, property management and concierge services. Customers pay a subscription starting from $330 a month to have ButlerInSuits take care of chores ranging from managing the renovation of the kitchen to fixing the air-conditioning, and from booking of flights to shopping for a coveted limited-edition item. Given the busy lifestyles of millennials, such services free up their time for things that are more important or which they enjoy more. ASSUM 2018 was held in Pangyo, South Korea and was participated by startups and venture capitalists from eight Asian countries including China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. The summit discussed ideas for growing the startup ecosystem in the region, explored potential for investment, and identified education and training gaps.