1. CIMB Group Eyes 6.0 Per Cent Loan Growth In FY18
  2. Average remuneration of non-executive directors increased to RM162,000 per annum
  3. Singtel and Ericsson roll out Singapore’s first commercially available NB-IoT network
  4. Championing the Year of Climate Action
  5. JEC Group Makes Paris the World’s Composites Capital
  6. Alibaba Cloud sets sights on US as it expands services in Europe

CIMB Group Eyes 6.0 Per Cent Loan Growth In FY18
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd is targeting a six per cent loan growth for the financial year 2018 (FY18), mainly driven by Malaysia’s economic growth. Group Chief Executive Officer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said the group expected the loan growth to be stronger, increasing about eight per cent this year compared with 6.5 per cent in FY17, which was also higher than the industry’s growth of 5.0-5.2 per cent. The remaining contribution would come from the group’s other markets, including Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, he said. “For FY17 the group has targeted a seven per cent growth but achieved about 0.2 per cent, or 3.1 per cent, excluding foreign exchange effect, dragged by the performance of other countries besides Malaysia.

KPMG report: Average remuneration of non-executive directors increased to RM162,000 per annum
According to a report by KPMG in Malaysia, the average remuneration for each non-executive director (“NED”) is RM162,000 per annum for the top 300 largest listed issuers on Bursa Malaysia, by market capitalisation. This represents an increase of 33% from the 2013 results of RM122,000 per annum, which itself is a 37% increase over the first Report published in 2009 (RM89,000 per annum). The Report titled ‘KPMG Report on Non-Executive Directors’ Remuneration 2017’ revealed that government-linked companies (GLCs) and companies in the financial sector lead the way on NEDs’ remuneration. The Report suggested that the remuneration pay-out in GLCs and companies in the financial sector are ahead of the curve on grounds of their highly regulated operating environment and the public interest imperative inherent in them. It also shows that fees remain the preferred form of remuneration (78%) followed by allowances (19%) and benefits-in-kind (3%). Datuk Johan Idris, Managing Partner of KPMG in Malaysia, noted a number of factors influencing the steady rise in NED remuneration. “The rising expectations, responsibilities and commitment assumed by an NED have increased their remuneration and these are further accelerated against the intensifying demands of globalisation, emergence of novel technologies and the relentless pressure on companies to innovate,” he said. In light of the shrinking pool of NEDs with specialised skills, Datuk Johan opined that the possession of niche skill sets commonly result in NEDs commanding a premium in terms of their remuneration package.

Singtel and Ericsson roll out Singapore’s first commercially available NB-IoT network
Singtel in partnership with Ericsson has become the first operator in Singapore to make a nationwide cellular Internet of Things (IoT) network commercially available. The advanced mobile network technology will help accelerate the proliferation of IoT devices by offering the best coverage, power efficient and cost-effective solutions to enterprises. Supporting CAT-M1 and NB-IoT devices, Singtel’s IoT network allows businesses to benefit from applications with low-power consumption that help prolong the devices’ battery life and provide deeper wireless coverage and multiple connections.

Championing the Year of Climate Action
Employees are set to play a key role as Henkel Singapore embarks on wide-ranging initiatives to support the 2018 Year of Climate Action. Henkel Singapore is the first company to have all employees make their pledge for climate action in addition to training their staff to be Sustainability Ambassadors. Henkel expects to save around 104 tons of CO2 emissions by using recycled paper and solar energy for all its electrical sources. Meanwhile, the implementation of the ‘Bring Your Own Cup’ initiative aims to eliminate the use of 18,000 paper cups and 5,000 plastic water bottles. The use of centralized waste bins already helps save 13,000 trash bags every year. Notably, the liberalization of the electricity market will allow Henkel Singapore to be an early adopter of renewable energy within the Henkel Group, whose goal is to get 100 percent of its electricity consumption from renewable resources by 2030. To drive its sustainability ambitions, Henkel Singapore relies on the skills and knowledge of its more than 120 employees who are trained Sustainability Ambassadors as well as collaborates actively with partners. Henkel Singapore has also launched a campaign to encourage employees to set up a recycling corner at home. As an incentive, employees who share pictures of their home recycling corners will each receive a $20 CapitaLand voucher.

JEC Group Makes Paris the World’s Composites Capital
On March 6-8, 2018, Paris will host the largest international trade show for advanced materials: JEC World, which is organized by JEC Group. For three days, more than 43,000 professional visits from some 100+ countries will gather at the world’s most innovative platform for the materials and products that are revolutionizing our century. “One field where France is a global leader is the field of composites!” says JEC Group President and CEO Frédérique MUTEL. The share of composites in the global economy is growing. The market for these products is worth 83 billion euros, for a volume of 11.23 million metric tons of volume. Analysts are predicting a steady 5% growth by 2021. From the industrial viewpoint, composites are developing rapidly, with new automated processes for high-volume production. To present the latest trends and innovations, the 2018 JEC World has even more surface area, with 68,000 square meters. The 1,350 exhibitors (from carbon fiber producer to auto builder, from designer to decorator, from research fellow to aircraft manufacturer) will display their latest advances. JEC World received more than 40,000 professional visits last year, and is expecting 43,000 this year!

Alibaba Cloud sets sights on US as it expands services in Europe
Alibaba Group is changing its strategy to speed up global expansion in cloud computing by designing its services for overseas markets, instead of just exporting its China product. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Alibaba Cloud introduced eight products previously available only in China for European companies, covering big data, artificial intelligence to infrastructure and security, according to the Hangzhou-based company. “The new products are particularly designed and developed for overseas markets, which is unlike from the previous strategy of internationalising our China products,” said Derek Wang, chief architect of Alibaba Cloud International. “We adopt the new strategy when we see rapid growth of our international business and MWC offers an good opportunity to test our new strategy.” Alibaba Cloud, established in 2009, currently has 42 availability zones across 18 economic centres globally and is the biggest provider of public cloud computing services in China with almost half the market share. With more than 1 million paying customers, its revenue doubled from a year ago in the last quarter after introducing almost 400 new products and features.