Apple Store staff greets customers who have been waiting in line to purchase Apple's new iPhone X at the Apple Store in Tokyo's Omotesando shopping district, Japan, November 3, 2017.REUTERS/Toru Hanai
  • Household debt in Malaysia expected to remain prudent
  • Malaysia’s September exports rise 15%, below the expected 20%
  • Apple launches iPhone X
  • Singapore releases Industry Transformation Map
  • Binance and QUOINE forms strategic partnership to build global liquidity in the Crypto Economy
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Household Debt in Malaysia to Remain Prudent

Malaysian households are expected to remain “prudent” with their borrowing as control measures introduced by Bank Negara Malaysia continue to take effect, said BMI Research. In its note on household debt in the region, it said there were increasing signs that countries were beginning to unwind some of the amassed borrowings as economic conditions begin to stabilise. Citing data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the research house said private debt in South Korea, Asean, Australia, and New Zealand all fell in the first quarter of the year versus the same period in 2016. “Additionally, Malaysia, which is just behind Thailand, saw its household debt as a share of GDP fall slightly to 68.9 per cent in Q117 from 70.3 per cent in Q416. “[We] expect pre-emptive macro-prudential measures that have been implemented by the authorities since 2010 to continue to limit the growth in household debt and ensure that it remains at prudent levels,” BMI Research said. Malaysian household debt is among the highest in the region.

Malaysia’s September exports rise 15%, below expectations

Malaysia’s exports rose 15% to RM78.3bil in September 2017 from a year ago, boosted by electrical and electronic (E&E) products. However, the increase was below economists’ expectations of a growth of 20%. This is the second consecutive month of slowing in pace after the strong performance in July 2017.  Compared to August 2017, exports decreased RM4bil from RM82.3bil. In seasonally adjusted terms, exports dropped 6.2%. The Department of Statistics said on a year-on-year basis, exports maintained its double digit growth of 14.8%, or RM10.1bil to RM78.3bil. On a y-o-y basis, export growth was supported by expansion in exports to China, Hong Kong, the European Union and Indonesia. Total trade in September 2017 grew 15%, or RM19.3bil to RM147.9bil from a year ago. However, it posted a decrease of RM6.7bil or 4.3% when compared to the previous month.

Apple launches iPhone X

Apple Inc’s long-awaited iPhone X made its global debut on Friday. Using an organic electroluminescent screen for the first time, the iPhone X, is equipped with a 5.8-inch OLED screen. The luxury model’s radically redesigned features include wireless charging and unlocking via facial recognition software, while the home button has been removed. In Japan, the iPhone X starts at 112,800 yen ($990). With the iPhone X, the company aims to gain momentum and challenge its Chinese and South Korean rivals, including South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., in a fierce competition to capture a saturated market. Apple said Thursday that it expects the new handset to help lift revenue in the October-December quarter 11 percent from a year earlier to $87 billion. Global shipments of the iPhone series rose 3 percent from a year earlier to 46.7 million units in the quarter ended in September, and China sales rose for the first time in seven quarters, the company said.

Singapore Releases Infocomm Media Industry Transformation Map to Give Economy the Digital Edge

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore has released the Industry Transformation Map (ITM) for the Infocomm Media sector, which outlines the strategies to prepare Singapore for the digital economy. Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said the ITM aims to grow the ICM industry’s value-add by around 6% annually (almost twice as fast as the overall economy). It is also expected to employ more than 210,000 workers (from approximately 194,000 workers in 2016), and create more than 13,000 new PMET jobs by 2020.

The ICM ITM will prepare Singapore for the digital economy through three thrusts:

  • First, by investing and building capabilities in four frontier technologies, namely Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics; Cybersecurity; Immersive Media and Internet of Things;
  • Second, by strengthening the core of the ICM sector, and preparing the next generation of ICM professionals and companies for future job roles and business opportunities;
  • Third, by guiding companies and workforce from the other sectors in adopting digital technology to improve productivity and efficiency.

 

Binance and QUOINE Announce a Strategic Partnership to Build Global Liquidity in the Crypto Economy
Fast growing pure cryptocurrency exchange Binance has entered into a strategic partnership with QUOINE, a leading global fintech firm. As a global top 10 exchange by 24-hour trading volume, Binance will be able to provide improved liquidity for QUOINE as well as access to a large selection of alt coins. QUOINECorporation, which is the first registered fiat-enabled exchange in Japan, officially received its license from the Japan Financial Services Agency and will be able to provide local currency exchange channels for Binance. Both companies are world-renowned in the blockchain industry.