Business news summary for Nov 29 to Dec 5

Anthony Tan, chief executive officer of Grab Holdings Inc., addresses the audience during a bell-ringing ceremony as Grab begins trading on the Nasdaq, in Singapore, on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.

Malaysia-born Grab listed on Nasdaq

  • A former Malaysian start-up, Grab Holdings Ltd, marked its debut on the United States' Nasdaq stock exchange via a backdoor listing.
  • Grab, which started off as MyTeksi with some initial funding from the government's Cradle Fund, will be the largest listing in the United States by a South-East Asian company.
  • During the ceremony, Malaysian co-founders of Grab, Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, were joined onstage by representatives of the Grab driver-, delivery- and merchant-partner communities.

Public Bank net profit rises to RM4.28bil in 9MFY21

  • The group registered a net return-on-equity of 12.4% and a cost-to-income ratio of 31.7% for the nine months ended September 2021.
  • In the year-to-date period, the group's total loans saw an annualised growth of 3% to RM353.5bil with domestic loans growing at an annualised rate of 2.8% to RM330.5bil.
  • Over the same period, the group's total customer deposits grew at an annualised rate of 4.8% to RM378.9bil supported mainly by its low cost current and savings deposits, which grew at an annualised rate of 12.2%.

Proton delivers 100,566 cars year-to-date

  • Proton Holdings Bhd sold 100,566 units so far this year, raising expectations the auto company will be able to end the year with positive sales growth
  • In a statement, Proton said the overall sales of 14,187 units (domestic + export) in November 2021 have pushed its year-to-date number to 100,566 units.
  • Compared to November 2020 sales have increased by 24.3%, which is also reflected in the growth of YTD sales by 4.3%.

Omicron curbs from Japan to Spain wreak havoc on travel

  • Airlines, passengers and businesses had to respond to a deluge of travel restrictions announced over the weekend to slow the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
  • An initial spate of flight bans from southern Africa, where Omicron was first detected, gave way to wider-ranging measures that will make travel more expensive and less convenient - if possible at all - recalling earlier days in the pandemic.
  • Japan will ban foreign visitors until more is known about the variant, prime minister Fumio Kishida said in Tokyo.

Tengku Zafrul: Wage subsidies of RM19.45bil channelled as of Nov 19

  • The government has channelled a total of RM19.45 billion to 357,102 employers through the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) as of Nov 19, 2021, to ensure the continued employment of 2.95 million local workers.
  • Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said PSU 1.0 under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) and National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) had benefitted 322,177 employers and 2.64 million employees, with RM12.95 billion in wage subsidies approved.
  • Through PSU 2.0 under the Kita PRIHATIN package, meanwhile, RM1.40 billion had been channelled to 81,005 employers as of Nov 19 so that they could remain in operation and retain 715,449 workers, he said.

Impressive Q3 for Petronas

  • The state energy firm's latest earnings was the highest since Q4 of 2017, when it registered a net profit of RM18.2bil on the back of revenue of RM61.8bil.
  • For Q3'21, Petronas said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew 88% to RM26.3bil from RM14bil in the corresponding quarter last year, in line with higher revenue partially offset by higher product costs.
  • Moreover, the group's revenue jumped 50% to RM61.8bil from RM41.1bil in the corresponding period a year ago mainly due to favourable average realised prices for major products, which was partially offset by lower sales volume mainly from crude oil and condensates.

TRX developers ramp up construction activities

  • Construction activities at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) are now almost back at the pre-pandemic level, with both developers - TRX City Sdn Bhd and Lendlease Group - aggressively ramping up works to meet the revised completion targets.
  • TRX City - the master developer of the international financial district TRX - is developing The Exchange TRX in a 40:60 joint-venture with Sydney-based property developer Lendlease.
  • TRX City chief executive officer Datuk Azmar Talib said the overall infrastructure at the 28.3ha development has seen 80% completion, while The Exchange TRX, which consists of a retail mall and rooftop park, would likely be completed in the fourth quarter of next year.

Md Alwi appointed MDEC chairman

  • Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has appointed Datuk Seri Md Alwi Che Ahmad as its non-executive chairman for two years, effective Dec 1, 2021.
  • MDEC said Md Alwi, who is also the state assemblyman for Kok Lanas, Kelantan, has held various top positions in the government, including serving as the political secretary to the minister of youth and sports from 1990 to 1992 and to the minister of rural development from 1993 to 1999, before becoming the political secretary to the prime minister in 2007 to 2009.
  • Md Alwi has also held multiple corporate positions, including chairman to Silver Ridge Bhd from 2004 to 2008, Syarikat Permodalan Risda Bhd from 2006 to 2016, and KEMUBU Agricultural Development Authority (KADA) from 2014 to 2018.

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