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The Philippines invites more investments from Malaysia in new growth sectors

The Philippines is inviting more Malaysian entrepreneurs and companies to invest in the country, specifically in emerging economic sectors prioritised by the government.

Commercial Attache at the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre (PTIC) in Kuala Lumpur Katrina Banzon said among the new sectors for investment opportunities that Malaysian investors can tap into include automation and digitalisation, infrastructure (cold chain facilities and ICT-related infrastructure), information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) and in the healthcare industry such as manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and vaccine manufacturing.

She said as Malaysia is an authority in the halal industry, the Philippine government also encouraged more halal-specific investments from Malaysia – from the food and beverages sector to Islamic banking – to help grow its halal market segment that is currently estimated to serve some 12 million Muslim Filipinos, as well as the non-Muslim population.

“We’d like to see and invite partners from Malaysia to invest in these sectors, especially where Malaysia has expertise,” she said in an interview with Bernama.

She said Malaysia’s current investments are mainly in the manufacturing, agribusiness, services infrastructure projects, property development and construction services and energy, while the renewable energy sector also have recently attracted high interests from Malaysian investors.

In 2020, Malaysia is ranked the 10th largest trading partner of the Philippines, registering total bilateral trade amounting to US$5.79 billion – with balance of trade in the favour of Malaysia.

In terms of investment, Malaysia is ranked at number 12 for source of approved investments, registering a growth of 43.90 per cent from previous year.

“Also, we are happy to share that despite the pandemic, many companies in Malaysia have signified interest in investing in and expanding their businesses in the Philippines,” she said.

According to the data from the Phillipines Central Bank, net foreign direct investment (FDI) from Malaysia to the Philippines in the first five months of this year totalled US$16.5 million – a 76.6 per cent growth (from the previous year) and placing Malaysia as the sixth source of FDI.

Banzon said the affirmative strategies taken by the government had put Philippine economy well on the road to recovery post-pandemic era.

In Nov last year, the government launched “Make it Happen in the Philippines”, an investment promotion programme that aims to attract inflow of investments in five priority sectors namely aerospace, automotive, electronics, copper and nickel, and IT-BPM.

With the pandemic and its economic impact, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had further refined its priorities to rebuild the Philippine economy through the industrial strategy known as ReBUILD PH! (REvitalising BUsinesses, Investments, Livelihoods and Domestic Demand), which is aimed at jumpstarting and reinvigorating the economy by revitalising consumption and enhancing production capacity.

“Philippine exports have also sustained a rebound, better than pre-pandemic levels,” Banzon said.

She pointed out that Philippine’s recorded year-on-year (YOY) exports this year reached US$6.42 billion, which is higher than the pre-pandemic value of US$6.25 billion in 2019, while for the year-to-date (YTD) values, its exports in 2021 amounted to US$42.39 billion as compared to US$40.82 billion in 2019.

As for net FDI, the year-to-date amount stood at US$3.5 billion, which is 37.8 per cent higher than the US$2.53 billion recorded for the comparable period of 2020, and even slightly higher than the pre-pandemic 2019 level of US$3.4 billion, she added.

Meanwhile, unemployment rate is at 6.9 per cent in July 2021 – the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020, she said.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the growth momentum of the Philippines, we are already seeing signs of recovery.

“This show, among other factors, the strong and stable Philippine economy and the resilient nature of the Filipinos – the main drivers of the country’s success,” she added.

Source: Bernama

The Philippines invites more investments from Malaysia in new growth sectors


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Investors from Malaysia, New Zealand and United Arab Emirates (UAE) seeking to engage with strategic business partners in Australasia, Middle East and ASEAN now have a new avenue to do so.

A joint initiative between New Zealand Malaysia Business Association (NZMBA) and the Malaysian Business Council based in UAE (MBC,UAE) provides an avenue to establish high-level strategic business ties and help strengthen people-to-people contact.

Founder and President of NZMBA Dave Ananth said the joint initiative will see both parties enhancing economic and investment activities amongst Malaysia, New Zealand and UAE markets.

“The bilateral NZMBA-MBC team serves as an influential platform for businesses in Malaysia, New Zealand and UAE to seek new opportunities and engage with strategic partners amongst the regions,” he said in a statement to Bernama.

He said a cooperative agreement was signed by him and Chairman of MBC, UAE, Fahmy Ansara to provide opportunities for both sides to jointly promote halal products, Shariah finance and infrastructure projects in New Zealand.

“We also agreed to seek greater collaboration in New Zealand’s halal certification for meat and dairy commodities for the purpose of export to Malaysia and Middle East market, besides infrastructure projects involving the government and private sector in the island nation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Fahmy said the joint initiative involves exchange of high value strategic networking, technologies, and knowledge sharing between both parties.

The cooperative agreement invites all Malaysian Business Councils (MBCs) worldwide to join and seize the opportunities available.

NZMBA and MBC, UAE discussed on deliverables and preparations for the World Expo 2021 which will be held in Dubai, UAE from October 2021- March 2022. Both parties also deliberated on plans to hold a hybrid UAE-NZ-Malaysia Business exhibition which will coincide with both the World Expo 2021 and the FieldDays Expo 2022/2023, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural event for cutting edge technology and innovation.

Source: Bernama

Joint initiative to assist investors expand into Australasia, Middle East and ASEAN


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Genetec Technology Bhd plans to expand its electric-vehicle (EV) battery production capacity, as well as to commission new factories in Europe and North America by the second half of 2021 (2H21).

CGS-CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd researchers Walter Aw and Mohd Shanaz Noor Azam stated in a recent report that Genetec plans to increase its annual battery production rate to 100 gigawatt per hour (GWh) by 2022 and three terawatt per hour (TWh) by 2030.

Genetec is aiming to reach 20 million EVs per year by 2030, but the amount would only account for one-third of the global EV demand.

The manufacturer stated that the new EV battery assembly lines will have a capacity to reach 20GWh annually per line.

“Based on this assumption, we think North American EV manufacturers may require up to five new lines by 2022 and potentially up to 150 lines to reach 3TWh by 2030,” CGS-CIMB report noted.

Global electric cars stock increased 43% year-on-year (YoY) to 10.2 million units last year, while the global car market sank 16% YoY due to the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

On the other hand, global electric car sales soared 51% YoY to 3.1 million units.

The International Energy Agency forecasts global electric car stock to reach up to 204 million units by 2030.

Genetec plans to invest in building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to meet the growing demand in EVs globally for its automation solutions.

Recently, it has managed to secure RM204.6 million worth of orders not only in EVs but also in battery, automotive, hard-disk drive and consumer electronics.

“Note that EV and battery orders made up 93% (RM189.4m) of its total secured orders (Feb 21 to date). Based on these new projects, its outstanding orderbook is 2.1 times of its total third-quarter revenue in the financial year 2021 (RM97 million). Genetec stated that the duration of these projects normally ranges from three to nine months (within 3Q22),” Aw and Mohd Shanaz wrote.

Regarding its financial performance, the manufacturing company’s revenue increased 20.9% YoY to RM97.1 million mainly supported by higher sales volume, but suffered a pre-tax loss of RM4.8 million in FY21.

The loss was caused by less profitable product mix, higher operating costs and increase in development costs for future projects, which is notwithstanding several one-off items.

“While Genetec was loss-making in FY21, it is confident the worst is over and expects stronger results going forward, backed by a strong orderbook and established relationships with global EV manufacturers. Genetec had a net cash position of RM27.5 million as at end-FY21,” the two analysts noted.

Genetec share price closed at RM8.50 yesterday, down 51 sen for the day.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

Genetec to expand EV battery production to Europe, North America


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Yinson, via its green tech division, believes in Oyika’s affordable, app-based solution and battery swap infrastructure

Yinson Holdings Bhd has invested in Singapore’s electric vehicle (EV) battery start-up Oyika Pte Ltd to accelerate electric mobility (e-mobility) adoption in South-East Asia.

Yinson, via its green technology division, believes in Oyika’s affordable, app-based solution and battery swap infrastructure to drive EV adoption in the region.

The goal is in line with the group’s net-zero carbon ambitions.

“South-East Asia is the world’s largest motorbike market, with motorbikes constituting up to 85% of vehicle population in countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, the two largest motorbike markets in the region.

“And less than 0.1% of them are electric. Each internal combustion engine motorbike on the road replaced by an e-motorbike saves about one tonne of CO2 equivalent per year.

“Thus, a significant reduction in carbon emissions can be made through the introduction of such EV solutions,” Yinson group executive VP (ventures and technology) Eirik Barclay said in a statement yesterday.

The company highlighted that Oyika works with local e-motorbike manufacturers to adopt their brand-agnostic technology for local use.

Oyika’s swappable batteries work with most e-motorbike brands and models in South-East Asia.

Subscribers to its pay-per-use, prepaid weekly or postpaid monthly plan can swap depleted batteries for fully charged ones at an Oyika swap station within a minute.

Barclay said Yinson aims to create a pathway for e-mobility to become an integrated way of life, transitioning the current fossil fuel-reliant system into a clean and sustainable one.

Yinson group chief strategy officer Daniel Bong said the investment, together with the group’s recent investment into autonomous, driverless solution company MooVita Pte Ltd, presents the first step of its roadmap towards building an integrated green logistics solution.

“Yinson is investing into green technologies to help mitigate global climate issues.

“We believe that being early movers in future-proof technologies and capitalising strategic partnerships with the public and private sectors are important to continually bring sustained value to our stakeholders,” he said.

Meanwhile, Oyika CEO Jinsi Lee said the company would leverage Yinson’s resources and global network to bring affordable EV solutions to developing countries.

“We look forward to rolling out Oyika’s subscription plans for EVs, to not only reduce the cost for riders, but more importantly, contribute towards mitigating climate change,” he said.

Oyika could further develop its technology and strengthen its market position in South-East Asia with Yinson’s support, network and experience in logistics and energy solutions.

Oyika’s core strength in technology development also synergises with Yinson’s green technology investment plans in Malaysia.

Oyika has rolled out its e-motorbikes in Cambodia and Indonesia, with plans to launch in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

Yinson invests in Singapore’s Oyika to drive EV adoption in SE Asia


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Techbond Group Bhd’s (TGB) new upstream polymerization plant in Vietnam has commenced production of base material, polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) polymer, the raw material used by TGB to manufacture industrial adhesives.

The production commencement at the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park II (VSIP II) will enable TGB to achieve cost savings through reduced transportation of raw materials from third-party suppliers.

It will also lower the company’s reliance on external suppliers and improve TGB’s profit margin from now on, coupled with the tax incentives given in Vietnam. 

The setup of TGB’s VSIP II factory complex entitles the company to a full tax exemption in Vietnam for the first two years upon having taxable income and a 50 per cent reduction of payable tax amounts in the subsequent four years.

TGB managing director Lee Seng Thye said that the capability to produce its own raw material provides the company with greater

control over the quality, properties, and characteristics of the polymer.

“Currently, we plan to meet our own polymer needs for existing industrial adhesives.

“Subsequently, the excess will be used to produce new types of adhesives to be sold to customers. Techbond’s new polymerization plant is part of our new 6,968 sq meters factory complex in VSIP II, which comprises new industrial adhesives manufacturing lines, warehouses, office, and quality control centre,” he said in a statement today.

He said TGB also took a big step toward becoming a pioneer in non-toxic palm oil-based industrial adhesives. Together with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), the company has successfully filed a patent application for the improved production process of palm-based polyol.

“We were able to significantly reduce the production process of the polyol, which is key in enabling commercialisation.

“Currently, we are undergoing testing with our customers and potential customers as well,” Lee said.

To recap, 72 per cent or RM28.7 million of the proceeds raised from TGB’s initial public offering (IPO) exercise in December 2018 has been earmarked for the VSIP II factory complex.

The new factory complex sits on a 30,000 sq meters land with a built-up size of 6,968 sq meters, and TGB existing factory in Vietnam sits on 9,037 sq meters land with 3,972 sq meters built up.

Source: NST

Techbond’s new upstream polymerisation plant in Vietnam commenced operation


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Luster Industries Bhd’s indirect unit Glovconcept Sdn Bhd has received a 50 per cent deposit payment of US$12.1 million (about RM50 million) from American Nitrile LLC for the initial six double former glove dipping lines.

This marks the start of Glovconcept’s contract to provide engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) services for the Ohio-based company’s glove manufacturing plants in the United States.

In a statement today, Luster said the deposit payment was received a month after Glovconcept, which is 60 per cent owned by Luster’s 56 per cent-owned subsidiary of Glovmaster Sdn Bhd, inked an agreement with American Nitrile to provide EPCC services as well as glove technology solutions for up to 12 glove production lines.

Luster deputy managing director Liang Wooi Gee said this was a positive development for the company as it showed the interest its clients had in escalating the start of the EPCC project.

“As indicated in our agreement, we will start to move forward with the orders for the machinery once we have received the first deposit payment. We also expect to see works for the initial six production lines to start and shipment to commence next year,” he said.

Liang said the deposit payment would help the group to mitigate the risk of its venture into North America.

“As this is our maiden foray into North America, the deposit payment is vital to safeguard some of the risks of our exposure. We are glad that we can move forward with the project now and are excited with the opportunities that it brings,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Luster’s unit to start glove manufacturing contract in US after receiving RM50m deposit


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Swiss-owned electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider, ESCATEC Sdn Bhd has fully acquired  United Kingdom-based JJS Manufacturing in a private deal.

In a statement today, ESCATEC, a  Penang-headquartered company, said the  acquisition of JJS Manufacturing would add 1.4 hectares  of electro-mechanical production facilities to its assets, together with a headcount of 500 skilled employees in the United Kingdom (UK) and the Czech Republic.

It said the acquisition, coupled with the ongoing expansion of its Malaysian operations, is expected to rapidly propel ESCATEC’s annual revenues beyond the US$300 million (US$1=RM4.13) mark from over US$200 million currently.

Chief executive officer Patrick Macdonald said that the acquisition is a direct outcome of the company’s strategic plan to become a major player in the global EMS industry and further demonstrates its commitment to serve customers’ needs.

He said JJS Manufacturing, which reported a revenue of circa US$70 million in 2020, has an exceptionally strong industry reputation in supplying complex, highly configurable, low-to-medium volume electro-mechanical assemblies which demanded high levels of skill, precision, accuracy and consistency.

“It is an excellent t between ESCATEC and JJS Manufacturing and there is a lot of synergy in the abilities and experience of both companies, facilitating tremendous opportunities for cross-selling,” he said.

Meanwhile, JJS Manufacturing managing director Stephen Greaves said the company’s acquisition by ESCATEC would bring very strong financial backing for JJS Manufacturing and long term stability for the employees.

“This is in addition to providing access to its established expertise in high complexity electronics, printer circuit board assembly and box-build manufacturing and to its international business development network,” he added.

Established in 1974, ESCATEC has an overall production space of over 4.0 hectares, with production facilities in Penang and Johor Bahru, Malaysia as well as the ESCATEC Switzerland AG in Heerbrugg.

Source: Bernama

ESCATEC acquires UK’s JJS Manufacturing


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KUALA LUMPUR: Frontken Corp Bhd’s (FCB) acquisition of property in Kaohsiung, Taiwan will enable its subsidiary double the capacity to support the rising semiconductor demand as capacity from existing facility is insufficient to support the ever-increasing demand from customers.

JF Apex Securities Bhd in a recent note said in tandem with the significant growth of industry, the acquisition will allow FCB to position itself to cater and service the next few generations of cutting-edge chips.

This as there is an anticipated strong demand as the global semiconductor industry is set to continue its robust growth well into the next decade in relation to emerging technologies such as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G.

FCB is a provider of surface metamorphosis and mechanical engineering solutions.

The company serves a wide-range of heavy industries such as semiconductors and oil and gas (O&G).

In addition, the company also specialises in engineering services that include coating, machining and grinding, manufacturing and precision cleaning.

Being optimistic on the company’s outlook for O&G division, JF Apex said FCB has experienced higher order from various contracts for provision of manpower supply and also mechanical rotating equipment services with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) in O&G division.

“We optimistic that the O&G division will perform better than financial year (FY) 2020 on the back of economic recovery and the higher crude oil price than last FY,” the research firm noted.

JF Apex also noted that FCB registered a net cash of RM310.5 million year-to-date (YTD), a 6.5 per cent higher growth from RM291.5 million in last quarter.

The company’s strong cash flow position forms a solid foundation to its future expansion.

Earnings-wise, FCB posted a record quarter result of RM103.5 million in revenue for the first quarter (Q1) FY21, up 21.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) and 2.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) mainly attributable to the

significant growth of the semiconductor business.

Meanwhile, the company recorded a lower QoQ net profit of RM24.9 million, down by 1.4 per cent mainly due to surtax on undistributed earnings by Taiwan subsidiary.

“We understand that if excluding the surtax, the net profit for Q1 FY21 will be 9 per cent

higher QoQ,” the research firm said.

JF Apex is keeping its earnings and revenue forecast for FY21 and FY22 and maintains a Buy call with an unchanged target price of RM3.86.

Source: NST

Frontken Corp will be leading semiconductor player with Taiwan property purchase, says JF Apex


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KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd may ponder on setting up its technologically-advanced “motor city” in Petaling Jaya, Selangor in other countries, its senior executives said.

The group yesterday launched its RM570 million Sime Darby Motors City (SDMC) at Ara Damansara township here, touted as the largest automotive complex in Southeast Asia.

SDMC boasts a number of the largest flagship showrooms in Malaysia and Southeast Asia in six buildings.

It houses six flagship centres featuring brands represented by Sime Darby Motors in Malaysia.  They are BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, MINI, Motorrad, Porsche and Volvo.

“We don’t specifically have plans to open up similar automotive complex in other countries we are operating. But if the opportunity arises, we may consider it. We have certain dealerships currently grouped together in certain markets,” Sime Darby Motors managing director Andrew Basham said at a press conference after the launch today.

Sime Darby has car and commercial vehicle distributorships and dealerships in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Earlier, Basham said as one of the key players in the automotive industry, Sime Darby Motors had always been committed to providing world-class services to its customers.

“The launch of Sime Darby Motors City is a testament to this steadfast commitment,” he added.

Sime Darby Motors managing director (retail and distribution) Jeffrey Gan said SDMC aimed to be an exemplary centre for everything automotive.

“SDMC is truly a one-stop hub for customers shopping for their next vehicle,” he said.

The massive investment in SDMC reflects Sime Darby’s optimism in the local automotive sector.

Gan said Sime Darby Motors had seen good sales in the past one year.

“We are pretty positive about our sales outlook for the rest of the year,” he said, adding that the company expected its sales growth this year to be in line with the Malaysian Automotive Association’s (MAA) forecast of eight per cent expansion in the overall sales of new vehicles.

On the sales tax exemption for new vehicles which will end in June, Gan said Sime Darby Motors had submitted its request for an extension through the MAA.

SDMC is Malaysia’s first automotive facility that deploys Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

At the heart of the facility’s digital infrastructure is its Vehicle Tracking Management system which utilises a camera-based parking guide and customisable signages to ensure a higher level of guidance, security and convenience for the customer.

The Volvo flagship store there features Southeast Asia’s first 3S showroom to be equipped with a Virtual Reality Studio.

Overall, SDMC spans across 8.6 acres with an overall built-up area of 1.3 million square feet over eight levels.

It also has an indoor facility capable of housing close to 100 vehicles under Sime Darby Motors’ pre-owned car business Sime Darby Auto Selection.

Integrated with the latest technologies to enrich the overall customer experience at every touchpoint, the facility boasts almost 200 service bays, 700 customer parking and electric vehicle charging bays and the capacity to display more than 180 vehicles.

Supporting the facility are about 60 Auto Bavaria technicians for BMW, MINI and Motorrad and over 110 certified technicians.

Source: NST

Sime Darby may set up “Sime Darby Motors City” in other countries


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Yinson Holdings Bhd’s indirect 80%-owned unit, Rising Sun Energy (K) Pte Ltd (RSEK), will develop a 190MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power project at the Nokh Solar Park in Rajasthan, India, for NTPC Ltd worth RM1.5 billion.

The plant will be 30km away from Yinson’s existing 140MW Bhadla projects, which are currently operated by its 95%-owned subsidiary Rising Sun Energy Pte Ltd.

Following a letter of award (LoA), Yinson stated that RSEK will enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply 25 years of solar power-generated electricity to NTPC. The estimated aggregate value of the contract based on a fixed tariff of 2.25 Indian rupee/kWh is equivalent to 27.5 billion Indian rupee (RM1.5 billion), subject to the terms and conditions of the LoA and PPA to be executed, Yinson noted in a release yesterday.

Commercial operation of the plant is scheduled to commence in April 2022.

“Any extension of the PPA period beyond 25 years shall be through mutual agreement between NTPC and RSEK. The LoA represents a formal agreement and constitutes a binding document between the parties pending the execution of the PPA. “The PPA is expected to be executed after certain process formalities have been completed between the parties,” the company added. Risks affecting the contract include project execution risk such as schedule slippage and costs overrun.

It also includes operational execution risks such as being able to carry out timely maintenance of the plant to deliver the required level of power generation to NTPC. Yinson added that regulatory risks relate to compliance of all safety and environmental rules and regulations required by NTPC and relevant authorities.

Yinson’s shares closed up 0.38% at RM5.30 yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM5.83 billion.

The group’s net profit in the third quarter ended Oct 31, 2020 (3Q21), surged 86.8% year-on-year to RM100.7 million contributed by engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) business activities and lower loss on foreign exchange of RM12.7 million.

Revenue for 3Q21 surged to RM2.3 billion from RM240.9 million posted a year ago on the back of contribution from EPCIC business activities relating to floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) Anna Nery and FPSO Abigail Joseph.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

Yinson bags RM1.5b solar PV project in India


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