Top News this Week (30 June)


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

Singapore factory output beats forecasts with 2.9% rise in May on electronics rebound (Straits Times)

DBS Bank economist Chua Han Teng said the electronics cluster’s performance will be instrumental to Singapore’s factory recovery in 2024.

He noted: “Electronics production started to catch up in May, after being weak in the first four months of 2024, and it will be key to watch for sustained positive momentum amid the ongoing global tech cycle upturn.

“The global tech cycle will likely be underpinned by the replacement of smartphones and personal computers, as well as the broadening use of artificial intelligence (AI) applications.”

In contrast, the biomedical manufacturing industry was the worst performer in May, with production plunging 42.6 per cent year on year.

S’pore’s anti-money laundering efforts led to seizure of $6b in criminal proceeds since 2019 (Straits Times)

Anti-money laundering efforts in Singapore saw the authorities seize $6 billion linked to criminal and money laundering activities between January 2019 and June 2024.

About $416 million have been returned to victims, while $1 billion have been forfeited to the state.

A large bulk of the remaining sum is linked to ongoing investigations or court proceedings, according to details published in Singapore’s first-ever National Asset Recovery Strategy.

Singapore, Estonia are two small nations that think alike: President Tharman (Straits Times)

“We think alike. We are both small and open nations, who embrace education and innovation as the ways to give our citizens the best opportunities in life,” said Mr Tharman at a banquet hosted in his honour by his Estonian counterpart Alar Karis.

Both nations are passionate about working with other countries and making cooperative efforts to strengthen global public good, rather than being driven by immediate national interests, he added.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s case may have ‘chilling effect’ on press freedom, say observers (CNA)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange managed to regain his freedom following a years-long legal saga, but his guilty plea may have a “chilling effect” on press freedom, observers said on Wednesday (Jun 26).

The 52-year-old admitted to a single count of conspiracy to unlawfully obtain and disseminate national defence information under the United States Espionage Act, according to a US Department of Justice (DOJ) statement released on Wednesday.

The DOJ said that Assange is prohibited from returning to the US without permission.

Assange founded whistleblowing website Wikileaks in 2006. From 2010, he published hundreds of thousands of secret US documents, for which he faced 18 charges in the US under the Espionage Act. 

However, last week, he signed a deal with the US that allowed him to plead guilty to just one espionage charge.

On Wednesday, he received a court-imposed 62-month time-served sentence in Northern Mariana Islands, a Pacific US territory. The sentence reflected the time he had been detained in a high-security prison in the United Kingdom as a result of his US charges. 

4 men charged with cheating, money laundering after victims lost $1.6m in investment fraud (Straits Times)

Four men, aged 35 to 63, were charged on June 26 over their alleged involvement in cheating and money laundering offences related to $1.6 million in investment fraud.

They are Timothy Solomon Patrick, 35, Daniel Lars Stevenson, 39, Kamaraj Gopal Krishnan, 53, and Patrick Lourdasamy, 63.

nvestigations revealed that between 2018 and 2019, the three men were separately introduced to an unidentified individual in Singapore by Solomon to be part of a consultancy business, said the police.

As part of the business, the three men allegedly set up their sole proprietorships and opened bank accounts to receive and withdraw money from purported clients.

S’pore start-up k-ID secures $61m to expand tech that protects young gamers from online harms (Straits Times)

k-ID has developed software, said to be the first of its kind, that offers granular parental controls and verifications that comply with differing regulations regardless of where players are located.

Parents can configure the online experience to suit the digital maturity of their children with the ability to adjust access to features such as chats, private messages and in-app purchases. k-ID’s tech allows developers to understand when a child should not be sent advertisements for gambling, mature-rated movies or other R-rated content according to local regulations.

In some jurisdictions, game publishers can also verify the age of every user against government-issued identification, a major step in the fight against online harms.

k-ID co-founder and chief executive Kieran Donovan said game publishers have been dealing with a lot of complexity over the last 10 years in protecting young gamers, and there is an immediate recognition from the industry that this problem needs to be solved.

Mr Donovan is also driven by his own childhood trauma involving sexual abuse and his role as a father of two sons to protect young people’s online safety.

Nvidia’s half-a-trillion dollar wipeout leaves global chip stocks volatile (CNBC)

  • Global semiconductor stocks saw volatile trading on Tuesday after a slump in shares of Nvidia during the previous session.
  • Switzerland-based semiconductor firm STMicroelectronics’ shares were down 1.4%, while ASML, the Dutch chip equipment giant, reversed losses earlier in the day to close up 0.18%
  • In Asia, Taiwanese chip firm MediaTek’s shares were off by 1.8% and South Korean firm Samsung’s fell 0.3%.

E-commerce firm Shopee agreed to adjust its practices in Indonesia after watchdog says it violated competition law (CNBC)

  • “Shopee is always committed to complying with all applicable regulations and laws in the Republic of Indonesia in conducting our business operations,” said Radynal Nataprawira, head of public affairs at Shopee Indonesia.
  • Last month, KPPU revealed its preliminary investigation found that Shopee allegedly prioritized Shopee Express in every package delivery to consumers.

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