Highlights:
  1. Sultan of Pahang new King
  2. Johor mulls new foreign investment incentive to develop northern region
  3. STMicroelectronics makes additional investment of RM7.5 bln in Johor
  4. Companies commit US$1 billion to fight plastic pollution
  5. F&N go green with F&N Go Green++ One Child, One School Bag
  6. Tesla’s China move shows future shape of electric car market
  7. US economists call for carbon tax
  8. Hg Exchange, seeks to launch the First Member-Driven Exchange in Southeast Asia for Private Investments
Sultan of Pahang new King The Sultan of Pahang, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, is the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, is the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong. This was announced by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad at Istana Negara today. The election of the new King was held following the unprecedented resignation of Sultan Muhammad V, the Sultan of Kelantan, as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on January 6. Johor mulls new foreign investment incentive to develop northern region Johore Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian said the state government is mulling the introduction of a new incentive which may be in the form of a five-year tax exemption especially for foreign investors keen on investing in northern Johor. He said the incentive would encourage foreign investment in the region which received less attention from investors compared to the southern part of the state. However, Datuk Osman said full details of the incentive has not been finalised as the government needed to take into account feedback from members of the recently established Johor Economic Council. Meanwhile, Johor has secured an additional investment of RM7.5 billion from STMicroelectronics Sdn Bhd for the expansion and development of its plant in Tanjung Agas. State International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said the Johor Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has recently approved the additional investment, which would also entail research and development (R&D) purposes. He said the French-Italian multinational electronics and semiconductor manufacturer based in Amsterdam had earlier invested RM4.28 billion, bringing the total investment in Johor to almost RM12 billion. Companies commit US$1 billion to fight plastic pollution An alliance of nearly 30 major industrial and consumer goods companies have announced a US$1 billion initiative to tackle plastic waste. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which includes chemical companies like BASF, Dow and Mitsui Chemicals, Oil majors, including ExxonMobil, Total and Shell, and was convened by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, will fund initiatives in waste management and recycling infrastructure worldwide, and will back innovative technologies that could offer solutions to the large and growing issue of plastic pollution. “I think everyone agrees that plastic waste does not belong in the ocean or the environment. This demands swift action and leadership from all of us,” David Taylor, president and CEO of Proctor & Gamble, who chairs the AEPW, said at the initiative’s launch in London. Last year, researchers at the University of California in Santa Barbara found that of the more than 8 billion tonnes of plastic that has been produced since large-scale production began in the 1950s, less than 10 per cent has been recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills or dumped into oceans and other ecosystems. The impact on those ecosystems has been severe. A 2016 report from the World Economic Forum estimated that at current rates, the total weight of marine plastic will be greater than that of the fish in the oceans. Microplastics—invisible fragments of plastic waste—have been detected in many marine species, and are now in the human food chain. The AEPW announced that it would invest in an incubator network, run by Circulate Capital, which will help to develop innovative technologies and business models to prevent plastic waste, and would support Renew Oceans, an India-based organisation that aims to divert plastic waste from rivers. As 60 per cent of ocean plastics come from just five countries in Asia, much of the alliance’s work will focus on the region. The alliance’s members said that they hope to make an economic case, as well as an environmental one. “Most people don’t know that plastic waste has value. The key is unlocking that value and bringing it back to a useful form again,” said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastic producers and the vice-chairman of the initiative, speaking at the AEPW’s launch. “By tackling plastic waste we can also impact communities in a very positive way, and people’s lives in a positive way. It can be a means of commerce in different parts of the world. But what it will take is collaboration, not only within the value chain… but also governments and other stakeholder groups.” In MALAYSIA, the National Waste Management Conference 2018 revealed that Malaysians generate an average 30,000 tonnes of waste daily. Out of this amount, only five per cent is recycled which translates to 10.4 million tonnes of waste that ends up in landfills across the country annually. Recognising the importance of proper waste disposal and how sustainable practices at the workplace starts with its employees, Fraser & Neave today launched its ‘F&N Go Green++ One Child, One School Bag’ project which is aimed at helping underprivileged children kickstart the new school year. Held from November to December 2018, the ‘F&N Go Green++ One Child, One School Bag’ project empowered employees to give back to the community at eight regions that F&NHB operates nationwide by using the funds raised form the ‘F&N Go Green++ Program’ to purchase school bags and basic school supplies for 376 underprivileged children. During the ‘F&N Go Green++ One Child, One School Bag’ project, employees selected an orphanage or underprivileged community in their respective locations for the initiative and were each given RM1,000 to purchase basic necessities for every chosen home or community, in addition to the school bags. F&N employees also had the opportunity to play a personal role in the project by adopting the school bags given to the children and fill each bag with special gifts such as toiletries and books or more school supplies worth up to RM50 per bag, at their own expense. Employees who contributed also attached a personalised note to every adopted school bag. Tesla’s China move shows future shape of electric car market US electric carmaker Tesla has broken ground on a new manufacturing facility near Shanghai, China, the company’s first facility outside of the USA. The plant, which is expected to open later this year, will produce affordable versions of the company’s Model 3 and Model Y for China. The country has emerged as the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, with its fleet growing over the last seven years from less than 20,000 to more than 1.2 million. US economists call for carbon tax Twenty-seven Nobel Laureates and four former chairs of the US Federal Reserve have put their names to an open letter to American policymakers, calling for a tax on carbon emissions. The statement from the Climate Leadership Council, whose signatories included former Fed chairs Alan Greenspan, Janet Yellen, Paul Volcker and Ben Bernanke, alongside Nobel-winning economists Amartya Sen, Daniel Kahneman and Richard Thaler, said that: “A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. By correcting a well-known market failure, a carbon tax will send a powerful price signal that harnesses the invisible hand of the marketplace to steer economic actors towards a low-carbon future.” The proceeds of such a carbon tax, which would force emitters to pay a fee per tonne of net carbon dioxide emissions, could be used to fund cash rebates to US citizens, the Climate Leadership Council said. Hg Exchange, seeks to launch the First Member-Driven Exchange in Southeast Asia for Private Investments Hg Exchange announced today that it seeks to launch Southeast Asia’s first member-driven exchange to support the issuance and trading of private company shares, including security tokens. The exchange represents a collaborative industry effort between established capital markets intermediaries and emerging innovators from the fintech sector. It has signed a memorandum of intent with Phillip Securities, PrimePartners, RHT Capital and Fundnel, which thereafter will become the first four members of the exchange. Hg Exchange has submitted a FinTech Regulatory Sandbox application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The industry-backed effort promotes transparency by sharing transaction data amongst market makers and private companies, creating efficiencies for the general market. For investors, this brings unparalleled access to invest into high-growth companies such as Airbnb, Deliveroo, Didi Chuxing, GoJek, Grab, Pinterest, SpaceX and Uber. Hg Exchange solves the perennial problem many shareholders of private companies face by presenting a single destination to help monetise their stake.