1. Business Optimism in Malaysia Climbs in Q2
  2. Players hail RUC bird’s nests direct export to China
  3. Singapore, China sign MOU to promote greater collaboration in Belt and Road markets
  4. Facebook Live broadcasts hit 3.5 billion, 150 billion reactions
  5. FundedByMe expands to Poland
KUALA LUMPUR 22 JUNE 2016.
Orang ramai mulai sesak membeli belah di Pusat Beli Belah Sogo, Kuala Lumpur menjelang musim perayaan Hari Raya Aidilfitiri yang bakal tiba. NSTP/GHAZALI KORI

Malaysia’s BOI climbs to 12.58 percentage points in Q2
Business sentiment among Malaysian firms continued on an uptrend in the second quarter of 2018, with the Business Optimism Index (BOI) climbing overall to +12.58 percentage points from +3.07 percentage points in the same quarter of last year. According to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), the six business indicators under the quarterly BOI study include volume of sales, net profits, selling price, inventory level, employees and new orders. Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Chia said the positive indicators were reflective of broad-based growth across a range of diversified sectors, with manufacturing and wholesale having in particular, benefited from sustained global demand for semiconductors and stronger export growth. “Sentiment within the construction sector has however remained muted due to the latent problems plaguing the sector, including foreign labour shortages, rising minimum wages and late payments.” “We expect sentiment to remain positive in the near term, which is well-supported by budget sweeteners, including investments in schools, hospitals and rural infrastructure, ahead of the 2018 general election and the relative ease of conducting cross-border trades,” she said in a statement.

Players hail RUC bird’s nests direct export to China
Malaysia’s swiftlet nest industry players have lauded the government’s negotiation efforts in getting the approval for raw and uncleaned (RUC) edible bird’s nests to enter China, which is now reportedly entering the final stage. The price of the commodity is expected to be more stable and at a fairer level, compared with sales through middlemen which caused local bird’s nests to be sold at a lower price than the actual market price. Based on information gathered at the Malaysia Bird’s Nest Festival 2018 held in Nanning, China, recently, Malaysia is now in the final stage of negotiations with China to lift the ban on the export of raw bird’s nest to the republic and a positive outcome from the negotiations is expected in a few months.

Singapore and China sign MOU to promote greater collaboration in third-party markets along the Belt and Road
Singapore and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Third-party Market Cooperation to promote greater collaboration between Singapore and Chinese companies in third-party markets along the Belt & Road. Under the MOU, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), NDRC and Enterprise Singapore will form a working group to identify sectors and markets of mutual interest, and organise business matching activities and forums to facilitate third-party market cooperation between Singapore and Chinese companies along the Belt & Road. Singapore and China will also work with commercial and policy banks, insurers and financial institutions to support the financing and project structuring needs of third-party market ventures by companies from both sides. Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Lim Hng Kiang said, “This MOU will pave the way for closer partnerships between our companies in third party markets, one of the key cooperation pillars that Singapore and China have identified under the Belt & Road Initiative. Singapore’s strength as a key infrastructure, financial and legal hub in the region will add value to Chinese companies expanding along the Belt and Road.” Singapore and China enjoy strong economic ties. In 2017, Singapore was China’s top foreign investor and largest overseas investment destination among countries along the Belt & Road. In the same year, China was also Singapore’s largest trading partner and top source of visitor arrivals.

Facebook Live broadcasts hit 3.5 billion, 150 billion reactions
Since 2016, the average number of daily Facebook Live broadcasts has doubled year over year, reaching 3.5 billion broadcasts and 150 billion reactions. Facebook Inc. vice president of Product, Fidji Simo said hundreds of millions of people had already gone live on Facebook, sharing moments with friends and family around the world. Publishers’ use of Live also continues to grow, with daily average broadcasts from verified publisher pages increasing 1.5 times over the past year, while nearly two billion people have watched a Live broadcast. The online social media and social networking service company is in the midst of testing new experiences inspired by Live, including “Watch Parties”, and plans to bring the interactivity of Live to other video experience on Facebook.

FundedByMe expands to Poland
FundedByMe, the fastest growing equity crowdfunding platform in Scandinavia, with a network of 110,000 investors, is expanding into Poland. The new office in Poland is the fifth international market location beyond Sweden where the platform is headquartered. “The aim of our platform is to connect individual investors and entrepreneurs. In Poland, we are looking for the most innovative startups that are targeting international markets and seeking to raise €100,000 to €900,000 in Sweden and other countries. We are going to help Polish companies reach the Nordic market, as well as build the community of individual investors in Poland and connect them with the Scandinavian ones.” says CEO FundedByMe Poland Maciej Gajewski. FundedByMe is one of the only full-service crowdfunding platforms offering capital through equity crowdfunding. In the past years, some 470 companies from 25 different countries have been successfully funded with more than €50 million. The platform has strategically grown into attractive markets in Europe and Asia. Furthermore, it grabbed the top spot in the Alternative Finance category in the First Round of the European Fintech Awards 2017. The public and a panel of judges have chosen FundedByMe as one of most promising European FinTech companies.