Saturday, 15 May 2021


Chocolate is about to get more expensive

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) – The meteoric rise in palm oil prices is poised to inflate costs for everyone from restaurants to confectionery and cosmetic manufacturers, and could potentially change consumption patterns. The world’s most consumed edible oil has surged more than 120 per cent in the past year and burst through RM4,500 (S$1,453) a ton […]

World's biggest economies bet vaccine passports can save tourism

ROME (BLOOMBERG) – The world’s most powerful economies agreed to back plans for so-called vaccine passports in a bid to pull the travel and tourism industry out of a pandemic-fuelled slump. Tourism ministers from the Group of 20 threw their weight behind the new certificates, stressing that a resumption of normal activity for the sector […]

Singapore firms more upbeat on prospects with ongoing roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines: Surveys

SINGAPORE – The business expectations of Singapore firms in both the manufacturing and services sectors improved as ongoing Covid-19 vaccinations across countries raised global economic prospects. Their more upbeat sentiments were captured in the latest quarterly surveys released separately by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Friday (April 30). […]

Japan's factory activity expands at fastest pace since early 2018

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japan’s factory activity expanded in April at the fastest pace since early 2018 on a global demand recovery, a private sector survey showed on Friday (April 30), though new coronavirus curbs cast a shadow over the overall economic outlook. The activity expansion highlights the tailwind manufacturers have been getting from strong external […]

Japan's consumer prices extend falls, cellphone bill cuts to weigh ahead

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japan’s core consumer prices fell for the eighth straight month in March and analysts expect further drops ahead due to the drag from cellphone fee cuts, keeping the central bank under pressure to maintain its massive stimulus to fire up inflation. A spike in new Covid-19 infections and the government’s plan to […]

Global supply lines struggle to clear container backlog after Suez Canal chaos

LONDON (REUTERS) – A backlog of container ships carrying consumer goods has grown in some key strategic ports after a near week-long blockage in the Suez Canal, adding to ongoing disruptions to global trade, industry sources say. Dozens of container ships were stuck when the 400-metre-long Ever Given ran aground in the canal on March […]

China's market rates unlikely to rise rapidly in short term: State media

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – China’s market interest rates are unlikely to rise rapidly in the short term despite the recent sharp uptick in US bond yields, the state-run China Securities Journal said on Thursday (March 4). Chinese bonds have been “desensitised” to their US counterpart, as economic cycles in the world’s two largest economies diverged, a […]

Grasp of cultural nuances essential in overseas business ventures

SINGAPORE – Regardless of how good your product and how solid your business plan is, success when pursuing a business venture overseas depends on quickly coming to grips with the new market’s cultural nuances. Understanding how to approach local officials, developing lasting relationships with your partners and vendors, and winning the loyalty and trust of […]

Asia shares try to rally, retail crowd catches silver bug

SYDNEY (REUTERS) – Asian shares tried to rally on Monday (Feb 1) as Wall Street continued to struggle with doubts about vaccine rollouts and economic recovery, while silver surged as newly empowered retail investors turned speculative eyes to precious metals. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan recouped early losses to rise 0.7 per […]

Creating a better work environment for electronics industry to attract more workers

SINGAPORE – Initiatives are being rolled out to improve conditions in the electronics industry, with the aim of attracting more workers and boosting growth opportunities in the sector. Industrial landlord JTC Corporation unveiled plans on Wednesday (Jan 27) to spruce up wafer fabrication parks. The four wafer fab parks here – in the North Coast […]