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Kapital News Highlight - Dec 7

Friday, December 7, 2018

• Indonesia has now begun the initial steps in an electric-powered vehicle program. The Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT) kicked off operations at two electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) at its office Jakarta. The two charging station systems that has been set up at Jakarta for the 50 kW fast charging station and at Tangerang for the 20 kW smart charging station was part of the effort to accelerate the national electric vehicle program. Apart from operating the charging stations, the BPPT also began electric vehicles road trials in its daily operations which connect the BPPT headquarters in Central Jakarta with the BPPT's Center for Science and Technology Research (Puspitek) in South Tangerang. Therefore, BPPT has prepared three vehicles which are a motorcycle, a micro car, and a city car. (JakartaPost)

• Ronnie Faizal Tan, a "halalpreneur", plans to open 100 Hao Corp all-halal minimarkets in Singapore in 2020. Previously, Ronnie had failed in the Global Halal Hub business which was forced to close in August 2018. At present, 10 Hao Corp minimarkets has been open for business and 8 other outlets are planned to open by the end of 2018. The growing population in Singapore and the increasing number of Muslim immigrant workers in Singapore have given opportunities for Hao Corp. Moreover, non-Muslims in Singapore are also seeking to buy more halal food. Hao's vice-president of operations Jupri bin Suep also pointed to a shortage of halal meat available on the island. (SalaamGateway)

• Indonesia offered up to $60 billion in new projects to Chinese investors as an effort to take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative, despite the concerns about ties related to several loans around the world. Deputy Maritime Affairs Minister Ridwan Djamaluddin said that the government has been in "structural communication" with China since last year on possible infrastructure projects worth around $60 billion. Furthermore, Indonesia has proposed potential projects across the country, while Chinese officials and experts have toured regional governments in search of projects to fund. Ridwan added that getting the agreement has taken longer than expected as Indonesia insisted on a business-to-business (B2B) structure for all its deals. The agreement will be taken in the next round of talks in April, after China responded Indonesia's recent proposal last month. (Jakarta Globe)

• In Southeast Asia, investment in startup companies is projected to grow over $70 billion by 2024, thanks to the support of the government and the private sector. Based on the study entitled "Investing in Southeast Asia: What's the Boom" estimated that the region will get at least 10 new startups with a market valuation of $1 billion each in the next five years. Bain and Company senior advisor for Southeast Asia Suvir Varma remarked that investment in Southeast Asia over the past decade has been surprisingly low, despite the region's average annual economic growth rate of 7 percent. Moreover, Bain and Company also noted that the government's support in the region has boosted the startup ecosystem, while also creating initiatives that play a key role in supporting vibrant venture capital and startups. (Jakarta Globe)

• Grab will end 2018 with $3 billion in new funds as it seeks to fend off rivals in the region of more than 600 million people. President Ming Maa said that the Singapore-based startup has raised more than $2,7 billion so far this year and will get $3 billion just before the New Year. The new funding, which includes a $1 billion investment from Toyota in June, values Grab at over $11 billion. According to Maa, Grab wants to be a "daily lifestyle platform", as it expands into areas like health care services, and digital payments. Furthermore, Grab is also seeking to follow in the footsteps of Tencent (TCEHY), which built China's most popular WeChat app. Such apps are currently appealing in Southeast Asia as most users have low-end smartphones that do not have much space for lots of different apps. (CNN)

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