News Bites: 12 January 2018

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  • Top Glove Inks RM1.37 bln Deal to Acquire Aspion
  • Perlis in Talks with Ten Potential Investors to Invest in CVIA
  • A record 78 million passengers commuted through Heathrow in 2017
  • UK Falls Out of World’s Top Five Economies
  • India launched its 100th satellite
  • S Korea plans to ban cryptocurrency trading

Top Glove Inks RM1.37 bln Deal to Acquire Aspion
Rubber glove manufacturer, Top Glove Corporation Bhd., has signed a deal to acquire Aspion Sdn. Bhd., the surgical glove producing unit of Singapore’s Adventa Capital Pte. Ltd, for RM1.37 billion. In November 2017, Top Glove entered into a term sheet to negotiate definitive agreements for the proposed acquisition of Aspion. Upon completion of the proposed acquisition of Aspion, Top Glove will emerge the global leader in surgical glove manufacturing, further solidifying its status as the world’s largest manufacturer of gloves. Top Glove said in a statement, “Upon completion, the acquisition will not only provide Top Glove with an expanded product range but full access to Aspion’s technologies and innovations as well, reinforcing Top Glove’s market leadership.”

Perlis in Talks with Ten Potential Investors to Invest in CVIA
Perlis’ Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) is discussing with ten potential investors to invest in the Chuping Valley Industrial Area (CVIA) project. The project is slated for completion in 2025 and will be the state’s main industrial site. Its Chief Executive Officer, Zulkafli Ahmad, said the state expected some of the investors to confirm their interests this year. CVIA, spread over 1,214.05 hectares, comprises Perlis Inland Port, a 202.34ha logistics hub, and a 1,011.71ha industrial area that focuses on three clusters – renewable energy generation, green manufacturing and the halal industry.

A record 78 million passengers commuted through Heathrow in 2017
The passenger volume at London’s Heathrow Airport was driven up by larger and fuller aircraft, 3.1 per cent  up from last year with a record 78 million passengers commuting through it. There were 1.7 million metric tonnes travelling through the airport – equivalent to the weight of 134,000 London buses or 136 London Shards turning the Heathrow into one of the fastest growing major European hubs for cargo. Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye said 2017 was the best year for Heathrow, it helped in strengthening the British economy as the country seeks to redefine its role in the world.

UK Falls Out of World’s Top Five Economies
The UK appears to have officially lost its coveted spot on the list of the world’s five largest economies. During Wednesday’s Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond admitted that the country has slipped to sixth spot, trailing France. The other four countries that make up the leader board are the US, China, Japan and Germany. According to data from the World Bank, ranked by gross domestic product for 2016, the UK still easily outpaced France with a GDP of $2.618 trillion. But according to IMF forecasts for 2017, France has leap-frogged the UK. Separately on Wednesday, the Treasury’s official forecasting dramatically slashed its growth predictions for this year and next for the UK, delivering its worst forecast for economic expansion for the country in its history. The Office for Budget Responsibility said that it now sees the economy growing by just 1.5 per cent this year and 1.4 per cent next, down from a previous estimate of 2 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively.

India launched its 100th satellite
India launched its 100th satellite on Friday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to project the country as a global low-cost provider of services in space. A total of 31 small satellites were launched into space on Friday. More than half of the micro and nano satellites were for the Unites States, and the remainder India, Canada, Finland, France, South Korea and the United Kingdom. India’s space programme has a budget of around US$4 billion and Modi’s government hopes the latest launches will improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than US$300 billion global space industry. Modi’s government has been promoting a domestic space programme as a demonstration of low-cost technology and last February launched 104 satellites in a single mission, most of them for foreign customers.

S Korea plans to ban cryptocurrency trading
South Korea’s government said it plans to ban cryptocurrency trading, sending bitcoin prices plummeting and throwing the virtual coin market into turmoil as the nation’s police and tax authorities raided local exchanges on alleged tax evasion. The clampdown in South Korea, a crucial source of global demand for cryptocurrency, came as policymakers around the world struggled to regulate an asset whose value has skyrocketed over the last year. Justice minister Park Sang-ki said the government was preparing a bill to ban trading of the virtual currency on domestic exchanges. “There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and the justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges,” Park told a news conference, according to the ministry’s press office.

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