When Microsoft's Bill Gates said in 1994 that "banking is necessary, banks are not", financiers and analysts alike dismissed the claims as the wild musings of an over-imaginative techie.Fast forward a few decades and that vision is fast becoming reality.Grab is one of the most dominant super apps in Asia, offering rides, food delivery and now, financial services.That includes loans, insurance, payments and investments – all accessed through a mobile phone app.Launched in 2012 a
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised its growth forecast for developing Asia this year on the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the strength of global export demand, but warned that resurgent virus outbreaks threatened the recovery.China and India are expected to lead the rebound across the vast region stretching from the Cook Islands in the Pacific to Kazakhstan in Central Asia, the lender said Wednesday. The Philippines-based ADB predicted growth of 7.3 percent, compared with
China’s economy posted a record growth rate in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, when the country was in the midst of a crushing lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus.But compared with the last quarter of 2020, the growth rate slowed, official figures show, raising questions about the strength of the recovery over the rest of this year.
Singapore-headquartered super app Grab's plans to go public in the United States (US), in what is the largest blank cheque company deal ever, is testament to the growth prospects of Southeast Asia and Singapore's start-up ecosystem, analysts and industry players said.Grab, which started out as MyTeksi to address the safety concerns of taxi commuters in Kuala Lumpur, announced on Tuesday (13 April) its agreement with Altimeter Growth, a special purpose acquisition c
Foreign investors flocked to Myanmar as it began its democratic transition a decade ago, but this week's military coup is likely to accelerate a trend of Western withdrawal - and China's expansion.Myanmar's untapped potential was up for grabs in 2011, when generals in charge of a 49-year junta loosened their iron grip, paving the way for democratic reforms and economic liberalisation in the country of more than 50 million people. Investors pumped money into telecommuni
United States (US) and Chinese companies dominated the global arms market in 2019, while the Middle East made its first appearance among the 25 biggest weapons manufacturers, a report by the SIPRI research institute said Monday.The US arms industry accounted for 61 percent of sales by the world's "Top 25" manufacturers last year, ahead of China's 15.7 percent, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.Total sales by the "Top 25" rose by 8.
Investors pushed Asian markets higher Friday on continued optimism over vaccines and on signs of progress on a new United States (US) stimulus, though surging infections and deaths highlighted the painful, immediate reality of the coronavirus crisis.While the consensus is that the world can begin to get back to normal – and the economy recover –from next year as people are inoculated, observers warn lockdowns and other containment measures in place now are crippling businesses and jobs.The US
The global economy may get back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year as vaccines help propel recovery, but growth is likely to be uneven, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Tuesday.Signs that vaccines could now be weeks away from distribution have injected cautious optimism as the year limps to a close with COVID-19 having claimed some 1.4 million lives."For the first time since the pandemic began, there is now hope for a brighter future,&quo
A planned travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was scrapped a day before its launch on Saturday after the southern Chinese city announced a sudden spike in coronavirus cases.The decision is both a blow to the two cities' battered tourist industries but also for other countries who had been hoping the scheme might be a model to replicate during the pandemic.The two financial hubs have both suffered comparatively mild outbreaks with strict social distancing and border measures imp
Online shopping is not entirely a new phenomenon in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, more people are buying daily necessities, gadgets and luxury purchases online now, especially amid the pandemic.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a train that you either get on or you’ll find yourself being left far, far behind. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is aware of this. We’ve seen countries like Indonesia and Thailand take lessons from Germany’s model of a 4.0 economy.