Confidence In Malaysia’s Future Output Remains Positive
Confidence over Malaysia’s future output remained in positive territory in July 2017, despite the deterioration of operating conditions that were lower than the average for the first half of the year, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey data. The survey, conducted by Nikkei and IHS Markit, said Malaysia’s manufacturing sector continued to under-perform during July, registering further contractions in both output and new orders, amid reports of weak market activity and demand. “However, manufacturers added to their workforce, partly in anticipation of an increase in production for the coming year. The Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing PMI is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in over 450 industrial companies.

Fave Partnering Alibaba Group
Southeast Asia’s online-to-offline mobile platform Fave is partnering with Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Alibaba Group, to provide customers in Southeast Asia (SEA) a seamless cross-border payment experience with Alipay, starting with Singapore. Alipay is one of the world’s largest online and mobile payment platforms, with 520 million users worldwide. With over 3 million Chinese tourists expected to visit Singapore this year, the ability to accept Alipay will greatly benefit restaurants and retailers in Singapore and SEA as a whole, helping them provide a better service to tourists from China as well as to Alipay users from around the world. Regionally, Fave has more than 10,000 restaurants and offline retailers and has over 1 million active users. Fave users are able to enjoy rewards through a seamless mobile-first experience for a wide variety of services in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Fave is the leading F&B platform in the iOS App Store and Google Play. According to the preliminary estimates by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), more than 2.8 million Chinese travellers visited Singapore in 2016, when they were the largest source of tourism receipts, spending more than S$3 billion to end-September alone.

AirAsia Eyes Flying 1.5 mln Malaysian Passengers to Indonesia by Year-end
Low-cost airline, AirAsia Bhd, is optimistic of achieving the target of flying 1.5 million Malaysian passengers to Indonesia by year-end, in conjunction with Indonesia Tourism’s ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ campaign. Its Chief Executive Officer, Aireen Omar, said the target was achievable and new passenger load’s aim would be renewed on year-to-year basis with Indonesia Tourism. “In 2016, we flew over four million guests between both countries to contribute significantly to the tourist arrivals last year and this is only a fraction of the great potential we can achieve,” Aireen said.

Personal Services Industry Generates RM8.1 bln Gross Output In 2015
Personal services and other activities such as computer repairs and maintenance of personal and household goods generated RM8.1 billion in gross output in 2015. The Department of Statistics said the amount was equivalent to a RM3.4 billion or 11.1 per cent increase per year. It said the report was based on the information compiled by the Economic Census in 2016 on activities in 2015. The department said, under the personal services and other relevant activities category, the number of establishments providing the services recorded an annual growth rate of 4.3 per cent, from 36,729 in 2010 to 45,384 in 2015. The number of persons engaged in personal services and other relevant activities also increased to 113,624 in 2015, compared to 95,490 in 2010, registering an annual growth rate of 3.5 per cent.

RHB’s Hackathon Attracts over 230 Digital Enthusiasts
RHB Banking Group (“RHB”) and Startupbootcamp (“SBC”) FinTech held the second edition of its Fintech Hackathon in Kuala Lumpur today and attracted more than 230 digital enthusiasts to collaborate and co-create solutions that can deliver superior customer experience in Digital Banking. Themed ‘Hacking Customer Engagement in Digital Banking’, this year’s Hackathon focuses on the use of technology to seamlessly integrate customers’ banking needs with their digital social lives. The hackathon brought together digital and technology-savvy individuals from the financial services sector and non-financial backgrounds to synergise on new ideas and solutions towards improving how financial institutions enhance interaction with their customers using technology.

Cashback users in Malaysia to reach on million by year-end
ShopBack, the top Cashback platform in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, forecasts the number of online Cashback users in the country to reach one million by year-end, tailing closely after its counterpart in Indonesia and same time maintaining ahead of Singapore. Alvin Gill, Country General Manager of ShopBack Malaysia said that compared to one year ago, there’s a 260% increase in local user base (over 280,000 users in July 2016 versus over 750,000 users in July 2017), and shared that one million Malaysian users will be achieved soon given the rise of demand, convenient services brought by new online merchants, as well as supporting moves by government such as legalising ride-hailing services in Malaysia.