Summary of top read business stories July 26 to 31

However, Malaysia University of Science and Technology or MUST professor Dr Geoffrey Williams believes Malaysia will see a long-haul recovery.

Top read stories include AstraZenecca, Pos Malaysia, AIA Malaysia and TNG Digital, Silterra, National Recovery Plan, food delivery platforms

AstraZeneca second dose doesn't raise risk of rare blood clots

  • AstraZeneca's Covid-19 shot did not increase the instances of rare blood clots with low platelets in people after the second dose, a study showed on Wednesday, potentially easing some worries over the vaccine's side-effects.

  • Data published in the Lancet medical journal found that the estimated rate of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after the second dose of the vaccine was 2.3 per million in those inoculated, comparable to the typical rate seen in those who have not been vaccinated, AstraZeneca said.

  • That rate was 8.1 after the first dose, it added.

Pos Malaysia appoints Charles Brewer as new Group CEO

  • Pos Malaysia Bhd has named Charles Brewer, the former boss at DHL eCommerce in Singapore as its new group chief executive officer effective Aug 1.

  • Immediately prior to this appointment, Brewer, 56, was the chief operating officer of Canada Post, based in Ottawa.

  • Brewer was appointed to the post following the departure of Syed Md Najib Syed Md Noor in June.

AIA Malaysia taking up minority stake in TNG Digital

  • AIA Malaysia is taking up a minority equity investment in TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, which owns Touch ‘n Go eWallet under a long-term strategic partnership.

  • The collaboration allows AIA to offer Touch 'n Go eWallet customers insurance solutions that they can purchase both directly online as well as through consultative selling provided by AIA's existing distribution channels - including its 19,000-strong agency force - who are capable of advising on more comprehensive insurance and takaful coverage.

  • Group CEO of Touch 'n Go Group, Effendy Shahul Hamid, said AIA sees building customer value propositions in the same way as the company by using technology and innovation effectively, to bring higher value, bespoke offerings to the end user.

Silterra running at full capacity

  • Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the nation’s largest chipmaker, is presently fully utilising its production capacity and is in a situation of turning away orders from customers, says Dagang Nexchange Bhd (DNeX) group managing director Tan Sri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir. Our production capacity is running full blown.

  • “There’s a shortage of chips everywhere. Our production capacity is running full blown. The outlook for the capacity utilisation will continue to be steady at least for about a year to a year-and-a-half,” said Syed Zainal during a virtual media briefing after the launch of DNeX’s digital trade and logistics platform SealNet.

  • On Monday, DNeX announced it had completed the acquisition of a 60% stake in Silterra for RM168.3mil cash from Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

DNeX completes Silterra acquisition

  • Dagang Nexchange Bhd (DNeX) has completed the acquisition of a 60% stake in SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd from Khazanah Nasional Bhd, making DNeX the majority shareholder of SilTerra.

  • Syed Mohamed Tahir said the group is confident in its ability to transform SilTerra into a competitive global semiconductor technology player able to capitalise on strong demand for semiconductor chips globally, together with its partner Beijing Integrated Circuit Advanced Manufacturing and High-End Equipment Equity Investment Fund Center (CGP Fund).

  • With the focus on adoption of the latest semiconductor manufacturing technology, DNeX expects to set in motion a positive spillover effect throughout the semiconductor value chain in Malaysia, comprising companies involved in product design, manufacturing, packaging and assembly.

PropertyGuru: More homeowners selling property for cash flow

  • Malaysia's property supply growth in the market spiked by 34.53 per cent year-on-year (YoY) and 11.94 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021), driven by more homeowners selling property for cash flow, according to PropertyGuru's latest Malaysia Property Market Index (MPMI).

  • The upward trend in property supply is observed across four key regions, namely Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor, which saw a YoY increase of 16.91 per cent, 48.95 per cent, 40.32 per cent and 17.47 per cent, respectively.

  • In three of the four key markets covered by the MPMI, positive growth was observed for asking prices in Q2 2021, indicating some form of price stabilisation for Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang.

All hopes pinned on the National Recovery Plan

  • To many quarters now, any talk of a recovery from Covid-19 would seem like fluff. For almost two years, the world and Malaysia in particular have been mired in a pandemic that seems to be neverending, with many stops and starts of movement control orders (MCOs).

  • So, it is likely that households will struggle to rebuild their lives, get a job and rebalance their finances first before spending.

  • Under the “Operation Surge Capacity” initiative, the government has embarked on an ambitious plan to vaccinate every adult aged 18 and above in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor with at least one vaccine dose by Aug 1

  • However, Malaysia University of Science and Technology or MUST professor Dr Geoffrey Williams believes Malaysia will see a long-haul recovery.

MyCC monitoring food delivery platform firms

  • The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) is monitoring food delivery platform companies following public complaints over the imposition of exorbitant commission fees and the price of food and beverages.

  • It said in a statement on Monday, it has actively engaged with the relevant stakeholders to get more information on the matter.

    Based on the series of meetings held, we have identified several concerns and challenges in the industry, in relation to not only competition, but also consumerism.

Palm oil prices extend upward momentum on output concerns

  • The crude palm oil (CPO) futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives extended yesterday's gains to close higher today on lingering concerns over lower output over the coming weeks, said palm oil trader David Ng.

  • He said however, the high prices is stifling demand especially for price sensitive importers like India and China.

  • At the close, the CPO futures contract for August 2021 and September 2021 rose RM59 each to RM4,689 and RM4,615 per tonne, respectively.

Space station mishap prompts NASA to postpone launch of Boeing Starliner

  • NASA on Thursday postponed a planned launch of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner capsule to the International Space Station after the orbiting outpost was briefly thrown out of control by jet thrusters inadvertently activated on a newly docked Russian module, NASA said.

  • NASA said the space agency and Boeing decided to push back the launch date to Aug. 3, with Aug. 4 set as an immediate backup.

  • The Atlas V rocket and Starliner capsule were being kept on the launch pad for the time being, NASA said.

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