• 01 Jul 2017 9:25 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    KUALA LUMPUR: The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Malaysia has been urged to grab opportunities to create new sales channels, capture new markets and expand their client base through the ‘Now! In Season’ (NIS) campaign.

    NIS, a global campaign by the Victorian State Government and Horticulture Innovation Australia, aims to promote various Australian fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak quality and availability.

    Commissioner to South-East Asia, Government of Victoria, Australia, Brett Stevens, said Malaysia imported A$5.3million (RM71.3 million), or 871 tonnes of Australian fruits, in 2015.

    He said between 2011 and 2015, the value and quantity of imported Australian fruits grew by approximately 30 per cent per annum respectively.

    “This is a clear demonstration of the high demand for top quality Australian produce in a very competitive market. We expect the growth to further increase due to this campaign,” he told Bernama in an email interview recently.

    Stevens said throughout the year, the Now! In Season campaign will educate consumers on the seasonality of the commodities, health and nutritional benefits of Australian produce as well as how to select and store the seasonal commodities.

    The campaign involves four seasons — summer fruits and cherries (December-March), grapes (April-June), citrus (July-September) and veggies (year-long).

    He said Malaysians can look forward to more premium quality, healthy and safe Australian produce this year as a new campaign takes off at leading retail outlets.

    “In the first year of the campaign in Malaysia, we are investing resources to really create this awareness and among participating retailers, including AEON, Isetan KL, Jaya Grocer and Village Grocer.

    “We will be expanding this list and our reach as the programme gains momentum, both on the supply side (sourcing/growers) and demand side (retail),” said Stevens.

    He said Malaysian SMEs are also able to take advantage of the NIS campaign by leveraging on the education and promotional campaigns that are being delivered within the country.

    “Malaysian consumers are sophisticated buyers, with a desire to learn more about the provenance of their food. People want to know where it is from and how it is grown.

    “Consumers are increasingly health conscious and looking for nutritious, quality and safe products to feed their families and Australian produce is able to offer this,” he said. – Bernama


  • 30 Jun 2017 9:27 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Sapura Energy Australia has successfully completed plug removal activity for Shell’s Prelude light well intervention (LWI) campaign in the offshore Browse basin, north of Broome, Western Australia.

    The campaign, awarded in June 2016, was part of the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project.

    The intervention vessel Sapura Constructor retrieved eight suspension plugs from seven wells on the Prelude field, using a riser-less LWI system and a recently upgraded subsea intervention device and intervention compensation system, was deployed for the project.

    Sapura Energy executed the work in collaboration with another of the company’s Australian subsidiaries, Total Marine Technology, which was responsible for managing the equipment used and upgrading it to comply with Shell’s specifications.

    Under the same five-year call-off agreement, Sapura Energy Australia is currently working another Shell LWI campaign that involves severance and retrieval of seven wellheads. This involves use of the AXE severance system, a high-pressure water jet cutting tool designed for environmentally friendly removal of subsea wellheads that dispenses with explosives or rig-based mechanical cutting tools. Work is expected to be completed in July.

    Earlier this month, Sapura Offshore won a subcontract from PT. Gunanusa Utama Fabricators on behalf of PTTEP International for the Zawtika field development in the Gulf of Moattama, 290 km (180 mi) west of Tavoy on the Myanmar coast, in water depths of 120-160 m (394-525 ft).

    The work scope covers EPCI of pipelines, transportation, and installation of new offshore wellhead platforms, brownfield modifications to existing platforms, and installation of a telecommunication and control system integrated to existing facilities.

    Subcontract works should be completed next March.


  • 29 Jun 2017 11:22 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) yesterday entered into an Innovation Cooperation Agreement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to further promote innovation in financial services in their respective markets. Under the agreement, SC and ASIC will work closely to share information on emerging trends and regulatory issues in digital finance. Both regulators will also facilitate referrals of innovative businesses seeking to operate in each other’s jurisdictions, as well as explore potential joint innovation projects relating to the application of new technologies.

    SC Chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh signed the agreement with the ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft on the sidelines of the Salzburg Global Seminar on Finance that was co-chaired by the SC Chairman.

    Ranjit said that the cooperation agreement is an important milestone for Malaysia’s digital finance sector and was a positive development for innovative fintech businesses seeking to expand and reach greater scale.

    “Even as we continue to enable new forms of innovation in capital markets, we must not lose sight of the need to manage digital risks, by taking a strategic approach to risk management, recruiting digital talent and improving IT architectures.

    This collaboration between SC and ASIC in the realm of digital finance will further strengthen the cooperative arrangements between Malaysia and Australia in capital market development and regulation,” said Ranjit.

    Medcraft said:” International cooperation on fintech is essential. This agreement will help local businesses grow beyond our borders, and improve our understanding of fintech in the region. We look forward to working more closely with our colleagues at the Malaysian Securities Commission”.

    As part of SC’s digital agenda, the regulator has in recent years introduced regulations and initiatives such as equity crowdfunding (ECF), peer-to-peer (P2P) financing, digital investment management (DIM) services, and launched the alliance of FINtech community (aFINity) to engage with the growing financial technology community in Malaysia.


  • 19 Jun 2017 12:32 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    After successfully consolidating its position in the Indian market over ten years, BankBazaar is steadily expanding its foothold across South East Asia. In line with this vision, last month BankBazaar announced an investment of rupees 5 crore in the Malaysian market and an additional rupees 10 crore in its Singapore business. As part of its international expansion strategy, the company also plans to begin its operations across Australia, Hong Kong, UAE and the Philippines over the next couple of years.

    With over 70% active internet users along with the Malaysian Government’s commitment to digitize the financial ecosystem has led to the adoption of advanced financial technologies to equip customers to shift towards digital transactions. Furthermore, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) recently issued licenses to emerging fintech companies with an aim to improve quality, efficiency and accessibility of financial services in Malaysia, thereby presenting a huge potential for growth and expansion in this market.

    Adhil Shetty, cofounder and CEO, said, “Buoyed by the positive business sentiment and a progressive regulator, Malaysia’s banking industry is poised towards the next phase of disruption. This complements BankBazaar’s vision to enable, simplify and improve the financial services value chain for consumers. Backed by the company’s paperless finance vision and under Vipin’s leadership, we are confident that BankBazaar International will play a pivotal role in transforming Malaysian financial services market.”

    Vipin Kalra joins from Visa where he held various senior level positions. In his previous role, Vipin was Senior Vice President of Merchant Sales and Solutions for Asia Pacific. Prior to this, Vipin was the Country Manager for Visa’s Australia business. He was instrumental in not only accelerating Visa’s revenue growth, but also making Australia a leading global marketplace for payment innovation. Under his leadership, Visa Australia successfully rolled out Visa’s contactless payment (Visa Paywave) and mobile NFC payments. He also led the proliferation of credit, debit and prepaid payment products with Visa’s clients and partners. Vipin is a seasoned global payments expert who brings over 25 years’ experience in transactional business, hardware and software industry in Asia Pacific and Australia.

    BankBazaar will deploy a team of 30 people to support its expansion in Malaysia in addition to the 40 member Singapore team. In his new role, Vipin will be responsible for growing and establishing BankBazaar’s presence in international markets starting with Malaysia and Singapore. Further, he will focus on forging strategic partnerships with financial institutions as well as product development for international markets.

    Commenting on BankBazaar’s international expansion, Vipin Kalra, CEO of BankBazaar International added, “Technological landscape across the globe is changing rapidly. I believe companies focused on innovation, clubbed with agility are sure to make an impact, irrespective of their business scale and scope. After successfully shaping India’s Fintech space through customer-focused innovations, BankBazaar is now taking this legacy across new markets. I am excited to be a part of BankBazaar and partner with them in this new journey.”


  • 19 Jun 2017 10:14 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    Kota Kinabalu: Sabahans who often travel to Australia and those planning to migrate to the country should look up an upcoming housing development called Yarra One that offers 268 units of luxury apartments in Melbourne.

    The residential property that will rise above Melbourne's most exclusive locale is being developed by Australian developer, Eco World – Salcon Y1 Pty Ltd, and will be completed by mid-2020 with its construction works commencing at the end of this year.

    Yarra One is to be developed in South Yarra, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, and home to some of Melbourne's most prestigious residential addresses.

    Potential buyers have a choice of one bedroom (56 square metres), two bedrooms (75 square metres) and three bedrooms (100 square metres) in the project.

    Its sole property agent, SGP Esteem Pte Ltd's General Manager for Marketing, Vincent Tee, said the property is now left with 80 units as 70 per cent of the units have been booked.

    "This luxury apartment is situated in a very strategic and great location in the city's most exclusive address at Claremont Street that connects Yarra Lane to Daly St to the Chapel Street. It is also near to a shopping area in Toorak Road and a shopping street known as Phrahan Market.

    "Those owner occupiers of the units would be fortunate as they could meet their home shopping needs, including for daily essentials, at Chapel Street which is a high-end shopping area with restaurants, eateries and high-end fashion. It is also minutes' walk to the South Yarra train station with two stops into the Central Business District (CBD).

    "Those who have children can also send them to Melbourne High School which is a top school in Melbourne and only children who live two kilometres within the vicinity can register at the school besides other prestigious education institutions," he said.

    Tee said this to Daily Express during its two-day property exhibition at Function Room 6, Pacific Sutera Hotel from 10am until 6pm, beginning Saturday.

    On June 20 and 21, he will be in Sandakan and Tawau, respectively, and can be contacted at 013-3336618 for appointments.

    Tee said the apartments are fully renovated and will come with quality kitchen cabinets and equipped with Miele (high-end brand name) appliances like dishwasher and induction cooker, built-in wardrobe, interior design bathroom, timber flooring to living and dining, among others.

    The apartment building, he said, would have a lobby concierge, a yoga room, gym, private kitchen/dining, a library, a wine cellar for the owners to keep their wines, public piazza/state of art podium at the ground floor and a roof top garden with BBQ area.

    "Among our target customers for the project are businessmen, investors and those who have families and wish to send their children for schooling in Australia as well as those who plan to migrate there.

    "The Australian Government allows foreigners to own property as it is a land of migration except for the aborigines.

    In fact, the net migration to Australia is about 80,000 people," he said.

    Tee said those who are interested to buy the units are encouraged to decide fast as after July 1 this year, they would be subjected to pay stamp duty that has been increased by five per cent for its contract of sales.

    Hence, he said they could enjoy huge stamp duty savings when they buy or book the units before July 1.

    Furthermore, he said those who invest in the units would generate high rental return of five to six per cent as South Yarra is the top choice of the locals there and has strong capital growth and rental demand.

    With the coming China One Belt, One Road initiative which also involves Australia and completed in 20 years' time, Tee said the commodities investment will grow in Australia and the economic spin-offs will include the property sector, including the Yarra One project.

    To a question, he said the property exhibition is being held in Sabah this month as they wish to facilitate the people in Sabah rather than them having to travel to Kuala Lumpur to browse for upcoming Australian properties to invest or to own.

    He said those interested to buy the units need to pay the booking fee and 10 per cent deposit, while the rest can be paid after the completion of the project.

    Tee said they can apply for bank loans either in Malaysia, Australia and Singapore and a mortgage consultant would be engaged for them to consult which bank loans suit their needs. - Hayati Dzulkifli


  • 16 Jun 2017 4:42 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Tien Wah Press Holdings Bhd (TWPH) will cease its remaining printing business in Australia, which is represented by 51% owned subsidiary Anzpac Services (Australia) Pty Ltd.

    In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the cigarette carton and consumer goods packaging printer said the proposed cessation would hit its consolidated earnings by RM15.75mil, which translated into an 11 sen reduction in earnings per share.

    The exercise will involve stopping all its printing business activities, disposing assets except the freehold land and office/factory building, computer equipment and furniture fittings, and settling the liabilities of Anzpac.

    TWPH said that based on preliminary review, the exercise would cost Anzpac A$9.56mil (RM31.02mil), comprising employees redundancy and related costs and asset impairment costs.

    The assets to be disposed of are valued at A$4.6mil (RM14.91mil).

    Anzpac will retain its freehold land and building in New South Wales, which had a net book value of A$13.76mil (RM44.6mil) as at March 31, in order to generate rental income. However, these may be disposed of at a later date when the price is right.

    TWPH noted that the group had begun the transfer of production volume of gravure printing since September 2014 from Anzpac to its existing wholly-owned operation in Vietnam, Alliance Print Technologies Co Ltd (APT).

    “The above was with a view to improve the group’s strategic position to service the customers and reduce the group’s operating cost over the longer term.

    “After the transfer of the production volume to APT, and despite Anzpac management’s efforts to reorganise Anzpac’s remaining lithography printing business in its non-tobacco customers, the board is of the view that Anzpac’s business is no longer viable or sustainable,” it said.

    The TWPH group’s performance is highly correlated to the tobacco industry as the key customers and majority of sales are tobacco-related printed cartons.

    Anzpac, in which TWPH acquired a stake in October 2008, incurred losses in the last two financial years. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016, Anzpac posted an after-tax loss of A$7.24mil (RM23.44mil).

    TWPH said the proposed cessation, expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year, would affect the group for the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2017, as a result of the one-off redundancy cost and impairment loss on plant and machineries to be incurred.

    “The impact to consolidated earnings, earnings per share and net assets per share are a cost of RM15.75mil, reduction of 11 sen per share and reduction of 11 sen per share respectively,” it said.



  • 16 Jun 2017 2:55 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    AUSTRALIA – Cycliq Group Ltd (ASX:CYQ) is tapping customers in Singapore and Malaysia through an agreement with Lazada, Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce website.

    The agreement allows Cycliq, the leading brand in HD camera and lighting combinations for cyclists, to sell its products to customers in the two Southeast Asian countries.

    “This will allow us to connect to cyclists in Singapore and Malaysia while maintaining fast delivery times and customer support through a trusted portal,” said Cycliq Chief Sales Officer Terence Yap.

    The agreement with Lazada builds on Cycliq’s rapidly expanding global sales network, as the company seeks to reach more customers in new territories.

    Yap said Southeast Asia is a significant market for the company.

    “There are more than 620 million people in this region and they are becoming increasingly comfortable with shopping online,” Yap said.

    READ ALSO: Chinese Investors Eye Southeast Asia As Next Destination

    Cycling has evolved to become a strategic priority for Southeast Asian Governments. The Singaporean Land and Transportation Authority has committed to developing 700 kilometers of cycling paths.

    “As recreational cycling increases in popularity, we would expect tech-savvy customers in this region will be attracted to our HD bike camera and safety light devices,” Yap added.

    A key feature of the devices is their long battery life. The Cycliq Fly12 is the only camera and light device that can record in full HD for the length of a Tour de France stage.

    “Cycliq’s device make cyclists more visible on the roads, while also functioning as a bike dash cam if something were to happen. Our device gives cyclists peace of mind,” he added.

    Cycliq is a Perth-based tech company that has sold its products to almost 50 countries around the world.


  • 08 Jun 2017 12:35 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    AFTER its maiden international project in Australia was successfully completed two years ago, TH Properties Sdn Bhd is gearing up to undertake more developments overseas.

    Besides strengthening its position and brand in Australia, the property developer was looking at opportunities in the United Kingdom and Indonesia, said chairman Datuk Azizan Abdul Rahman.

    In the UK, Azizan said TH Properties, the property development arm of Tabung Haji, was about to finalise an agreement to acquire a site in Baywater, Queensway, in London.

    “We are going to sign the agreement soon. We plan to develop an apartment project with a total of 28 units jointly with the landowner,” he said, adding that it would have a gross development value (GDV) of more than £70 million (RM387.24 million).

    “We want to try a modest type of development first. We are confident of this venture. We feel that it is a good location and are upbeat on the prospect of selling the apartment units,” said Azizan.

    The planned project is located between Queensway and Notting Hill, which is one of London’s prime areas. It is within walking distance of Kensington Palace and Hyde Park.

    In Indonesia, Azizan said there was huge potential for property development — thanks to growth in the middle-income bracket.

    There is now pent-up demand for middle-class housing.

    “We are still looking at suitable sites, locations and partners before we proceed,” he said.

    Azizan was speaking to NST Property at the recent Asia Pacific Property Awards 2017-2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, where TH Properties bagged three awards.

    The awards are for projects in Bay Pavilions, Sydney, in the “apartment” category, TH Hotel and Convention Centre Kuching (THHCC Kuching) in the “new hotel construction and design” category, and Islamic Complex Putrajaya in the “office development” category.

    THHCC Kuching has been nominated for the regional title for the International Property Award (IPA) event, to be held in London at the end of this year.

    Azizan said TH Properties made the right move to enter the Australian property market as developments there were growing rapidly.

    “The timing is very good. For the last two years, our projects in Australia have been giving us good returns. In fact, our overseas investment contributed close to 50 per cent of our group profit,” he said.

    Azizan hopes the trend will continue this year as far as profit contribution is concerned.

    The A$220 million (RM696.51 million) Bay Pavilions is TH Properties’ maiden project in Australia.

    Undertaken by its wholly-owned subsidiary, THP Bay Pavilions Corp, the project comprises 273 units and was launched in late 2013.

    Located at Burns Bay Road Lane Cove, the units were all sold out and the key handover ceremony was held last year.

    “I think we made the right decision to go into Australia. We have successfully completed one project and we are moving on to others,” said Azizan.

    Bay Pavilions, which previously won the Architecture-Residential-Constructed category for last year’s Sydney Award, is Australia’s first syariah-compliant property development.

    It was funded via a A$96 million Islamic term financing provided by Maybank Islamic Bhd.

    “This was the first syariah-compliant financing facility ever structured for a property development project in Australia and since then, many developers have approached us to partner with us. They see the advantages of Islamic financing, which provides stability as far as financing cost is concerned,” said Azizan.

    TH Properties has two other ongoing projects in Sydney. The first is Imperial in Hurstville. The project is undertaken by THP Australia Corp, also a wholly-owned unit of TH Properties, and comprises 227 apartment units and eight units of retail shops with a GDV of about A$200 million.

    The second project is One The Waterfront at Wentworth Point. This project comprises 678 units of apartment and it would be completed in 2019.

    In New South Wales, TH Properties is working on a residential development in North Strathfield (GDV of A$110.5 million), Rockdale (GDV of A$56.9 million) and Lindcombe (GDV of A$90.68 million).


  • 26 May 2017 4:25 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    Melbourne, Australia — Film and bioplastic manufacturer Secos Group Ltd. has completed the divestment of its half share in a Malaysia film coating business and is about to start marketing its bioplastic pet products in the United States.

    Melbourne-based, publicly listed Secos formed though the April 2015 merger of Melbourne-based Cardia Bioplastics Ltd. with Melbourne-based privately held Stellar Films Group Pty. Ltd.

    The merger included Stellar's 50.8 percent interest in Akronn Industries Sdn Bhd, which manufactures silicone-coated paper and film products in Nilai, Malaysia.

    Secos sold its Akronn share to Itasa Servicios Generales SL, a Spanish release liner manufacturer.

    Secos Group Managing Director Steve Walters said the sale price is confidential.

    Secos, an acronym for "sustainable eco solutions," also operates resin, film and bag production facilities in Nanjing, China; Stellar Films (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which operates a film manufacturing plant at Port Klang, near Kuala Lumpur; and and a film and bioplastic production plant in the Melbourne suburb of Deer Park.

    Walters said Secos will launch its pet product range in the United States via a new website within six months. The range includes food bowls and throwing sticks manufactured from Cardia Biohybrid, a mix of renewable thermoplastics, mainly corn starch, and traditional resins, which can include polyethylene or polypropylene. Cardia produces eight resins for varied applications.

    The range also includes pet training pads, made with Stellar films, which Walters said are very popular in Japan, and dog waste bags made from compostable plastics. A social media campaign will support the website launch.

    "The U.S. will be a mass test market," he told Plastics News. "Based on its success, we'll roll it out across the world."

    Walters said the group's remaining Malaysian plant is now achieving consistent profitability but running at about 60 percent capacity, so there is scope for growth. Secos will introduce new technologies over the next six to nine months and be "more aggressive" in seeking new markets. Walters will not detail the technologies planned. The plant predominantly manufactures release liners for the hygiene market.

    Walters said Secos's China operation is "under review" but there are no plans to close it. "We will always have a base there. We're streamlining operations to make it more efficient and looking at opportunities to automate what is currently a labor-intensive process."

    He confirmed the Chinese arm is the only business unit not returning a profit.

    The market for Secos's compostable and biohybrid resins is "not growing as fast as we would like" in Australia. Walters blames consumer confusion about oxo-biodegradability and compostable bioplastics, which he said "tarnished the image" for all bioplastics.

    Walters expects the company's sales for the fiscal year ending June 30 to be similar to 2016's A$21 million (US$15.6 million).


  • 25 May 2017 4:34 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    May 25, 2017: Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of telecommunications corporation Axiata Group Berhad, has led a $23-million Series B round in Melbourne-based mobile advertising startup Unlockd.

    The round also included follow-on investments from existing strategic and early-stage investors, and a new investor in the form of Australia-based Alium Capital Management.

    According to Internet DealBook, a database tracking company investments, Unlockd’s Series B capital raise is this year’s second highest for an Australian technology company. Data compiled by Crunchbase indicates that the tech firm’s aggregate funding now amounts to $39 million across three rounds, following a $12 million Series A round in April 2016 and a $4 million seed round in April 2015.

    Proceeds from this latest investment will fund Unlockd’s expansion into new markets and sectors and its operational growth globally.

    As part of a strategic partnership with Axiata, the tech firm will have direct access to the former’s carrier businesses and local knowledge and key talent in the region, which will be overseen by Unlockd’s most recent hire, COO Aliza Knox.

    Unlockd said in a statement that the move will accelerate its entry into Asia by leveraging Axiata’s carrier list, which has a presence across ten countries, including mobile operations in key markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, India and Singapore.

    “Axiata Digital’s strategic and financial support provides us with an expedited pathway into one of the fastest growing smartphone regions in the world. Being able to secure agreements with their operating companies to roll out in key markets sooner than previously planned also means we could raise less capital than we originally anticipated,” said Matt Berriman, CEO and co-founder of Unlockd.

    The Asia Pacific is a key growth area for Unlockd, with GSMA estimating there are currently more than 2.5 billion unique mobile subscribers, with a forecast of 3.1 billion by 2020 and a penetration rate of 74 per cent. This strong growth will be concentrated in emerging markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, China, India and Vietnam.

    The last few quarters have seen Unlockd enter markets through partners with firms such as Sprint Telecom subsidiary Boost Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Digicel Group and Etisalat, granting it exposure to the US, UK, Caribbean and the UAE.

    Unlockd’s second product vertical, Unlockd Stream, launched in 2017 with MTV and provides an ad and content funded platform for premium subscription content providers. Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO of Axiata Digital, said, “Unlockd’s technology will bolster our continued leadership position in the market across our mobile business and help lower acquisition cost, increase ARPU, and minimise customer churn.”

    “For our customers, Unlockd’s unique value exchange offer will reward them for viewing ads and content on their mobile devices. It will allow our customers to have more credit to stay in touch with friends, family, and their peers,” he added.


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