Top News this Week (24 Mar)


Rounding up top investing articles from around the web, including articles shared on Twitter.

Former transport minister Iswaran surrenders passport after returning to Singapore: AGC (Straits Times)

Former transport minister S. Iswaran, who is facing corruption charges, returned to Singapore following his discharge from a hospital in Melbourne.

He has surrendered his passport to the authorities, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) said on March 20 in response to queries from The Straits Times.

The 61-year-old, who was granted $800,000 bail after he was charged on Jan 18, was originally slated to be in Australia from Feb 16 to March 4.

He was given permission to leave Singapore to help his son settle in at a university in Melbourne. Several conditions were imposed, including an additional cash bail of $500,000.

US lawsuits will not affect Eat Just’s cultivated meat plans in Singapore: CEO (Straits Times)

Alternative protein company Eat Just may be facing headwinds in the United States with ongoing lawsuits faced by its cultivated meat arm, but chief executive Josh Tetrick said these developments will not affect the company’s operations in Singapore.

In fact, Eat Just’s cultivated meat subsidiary Good Meat plans to produce “at least twice as much” of its cell-based chicken here in 2024 than before, Mr Tetrick said in an interview with The Straits Times on March 7, amid the firm’s pause in production of the cultivated meat product here.

South Korean convenience store Emart24 closes all three outlets in Singapore (Straits Times)

South Korean convenience store chain Emart24, which opened its first outlet in Singapore to much fanfare in 2022, has closed all its three outlets here.

Word of the chain’s closure first broke in a March 18 Facebook post by Singapore Atrium Sale, which announced that the Emart24 outlet at Nex shopping mall had closed.

For Singapore, is Grab too big to fail? (Straits Times)

In February, investors in Grab breathed a collective sigh of relief. As the pre-eminent digital technology and ride-hailing company in South-east Asia, Grab finally posted a profit of US$11 million (S$14.8 million) in the fourth quarter of 2023, a substantial improvement from the US$391 million loss recorded in the same quarter in 2022.

Grab’s profits were driven in part by deliveries, which grew 13 per cent year on year, said chief financial officer Peter Oey. More generally, since its inception in 2012, Grab has largely prioritised growth over profitability, though of late, the company has exercised prudence with costs, given economic headwinds.

The Bank of Japan just made a historic rate pivot. Here’s what could happen next (CNBC)

  • BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda had repeatedly said these talks would be key to sustainable price increases that would inform any decision to hike rates for the first time in 17 years.
  • BOJ policymakers expect higher salaries to lead to a virtuous spiral with domestic demand fueling inflation.
  • The decision Tuesday sparked a sharp selloff in the Japanese yen, which dived to its weakest since 2008 against the euro and hit a four-month low against the dollar.

This is the happiest country in Asia, according to the World Happiness Report (CNBC)

Singapore is the happiest country in Asia for the second year in a row, according to the 2024 World Happiness Report released Wednesday.

The city-state ranked 30 out of the 143 places surveyed for the study.

Topping the list this year is Finland, followed closely by Denmark and Iceland.

The top 10 happiness rankings in Asia:

  1. Singapore
  2. Taiwan
  3. Japan
  4. South Korea
  5. Philippines
  6. Vietnam
  7. Thailand
  8. Malaysia
  9. China
  10. Mongolia

Experts also analyzed data in six key factors: GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, generosity and perception of corruption. Their research into these areas provided deeper insight and potential explanations for the subjective quality of life ratings people gave.

India says China’s claims over Arunachal Pradesh state are ‘absurd’ (CNBC)

India’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that China was making “absurd claims” over Arunachal Pradesh, adding that the northeastern state which shares a border with China will always be an “integral and inalienable part of India”.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of southern Tibet. New Delhi rejects the claim, saying Arunachal Pradesh has always been a part of India.

“Repeating baseless arguments in this regard does not lend such claims any validity,” Randhir Jaiswal, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

He was responding to last week’s comments made by Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, spokesman of China’s Ministry of National Defense, days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a road tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh on March 9.

Zhang said in a statement that India should “stop taking any moves that complicate the border issue and earnestly maintain peace and stability in the border areas”, adding that the tunnel’s inauguration “runs counter to the efforts made by both sides to ease the border situation”.

Unilever to split off its ice cream unit including Ben & Jerry’s (CNBC)

  • Consumer goods giant Unilever said Tuesday that it is separating its ice cream unit, which includes Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum, as part of a restructuring plan.
  • The restructuring will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
  • Unilever said the restructuring would help in its aims to become “a simpler, more focused company,” with four distinct business divisions.

Super Micro Computer, one of the hottest AI plays alongside Nvidia, tumbles on share offering (CNBC)

  • Super Micro Computer, a tech infrastructure company, has become one of the biggest winners of Wall Street’s appetite for AI investments.
  • The company said in a filing Tuesday morning that it plans to sell two million additional shares of common stock, pushing its total shares outstanding to more than 58 million.
  • Goldman Sachs is the underwriter for the new share offering.
  • Goldman also has an option to purchase up to 300,000 additional shares of Super Micro Computer within the next 30 days.

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  1. So many billionaire renounce their citizenships to be Singapore citizens, so something must be making them happy….


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