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Rising medical costs in Singapore drive innovation in employer-sponsored health plans: Mercer Marsh Benefits

SINGAPORE (June 10): Singapore’s medical trend rate of 10% outpaced economic inflation 10-fold in 2018, and is expected to rise by 0.1% in 2019, according to Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) 2019 Trends Around the World report.

Insurers are also predicting further increases in 2020.

As the cost of health benefit programmes continues to rise in Singapore, employers have the opportunity to contain cost through smarter plan design and employee access to quality-focused healthcare.

Business trips to Singapore now cost less than before, but barely so

SINGAPORE (April 17): A typical business trip to Singapore now costs an average of US$468 ($633) per day, down slightly from the daily average of US$479 in 2018.

Based on the latest Daily Rates research findings published by ECA International, this pushes Singapore down by a notch to fourth place this year in the Asia rankings for the region’s most expensive locations for business travel.

Private equity in Asia hits record deal, exit values; uncertainty in the region still looms

SINGAPORE (Mar 15): The private equity (PE) industry in Asia Pacific (APAC) reached new highs in 2018, after a record-breaking 2017, according to the annual Asia Pacific Private Equity Report by Bain & Company.

Now, the region represents 26% of the global PE market, a 9% increase from a decade ago, with $833 billion in total assets under management.

Deal value across the region peaked $165 billion in 2018, above the previous record high of $159 billion last year, and 48% higher than five years ago.

Singapore is Asia's most ready nation for autonomous vehicle adoption

SINGAPORE (Feb 13): Singapore continues to remain at No.1 in Asia in terms of readiness to embrace autonomous vehicles (AVs) and second in the world after the Netherlands, unchanged from a year ago.

This is according to KPMG’s 2019 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI), which was established with the intent to provide an understanding of various countries’ preparedness and openness to AV technology.

Asean IPO activity may rebound in 2019, depending on these factors

SINGAPORE (Dec 17): After a lacklustre 2018, Asean markets stand a chance of seeing higher levels of initial public offering (IPO) activity next year – but only if there is a turnaround in economic fundamentals which lead to greater geopolitical certainty, better trade relations, and an increase in liquidity.

Should fundamentals remain as they are, it may be until only 2H19 that Asia-Pacific IPO markets see a sustained improvement in activity.

Singapore M&A deals to cool as global trade concerns continue into 2019: Baker McKenzie

SINGAPORE (Dec 17): Following a strong year of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity – largely thanks to Nesta Investment Holdings’ US$11.6 billion buyout of Global Logistic Properties (GLP) – Singapore is forecast to see a modest cooling in total M&A, from US$36 billion this year to about US$26 billion in 2019.

This is according to Baker McKenzie’s new Global Transactions Forecast 2019 report, which is based on forecast macroeconomic indicators from Oxford Economics along with insights from Baker McKenzie partners in 42 markets worldwide.

SGX market turnover up 1% in Oct; total derivatives volume hits all-time high

SINGAPORE (Sept 9): SGX reported a total securities market turnover value of $24.3 billion for the month of Oct 2018, up 1% y-o-y and 25% m-o-m.

There were 23 trading days in Oct this year. Comparatively, there were 20 trading days in Sept 2018 and 21 trading days in Oct 2017.

Securities daily average value (SDAV) fell 7% y-o-y but grew 9% m-o-m to $1.06 billion.

US spares China from yuan-manipulator label amid trade war

WASHINGTON (Oct 18): The Treasury Department stopped short of declaring China a currency manipulator in its semi-annual report on foreign-exchange rates, averting an escalation of a trade war while serving notice that the US will closely watch the yuan after its recent slide.

“Of particular concern are China’s lack of currency transparency and the recent weakness in its currency,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor and review China’s currency practices, including through ongoing discussions with the People’s Bank of China.”

Why Asian family businesses continue to dominate markets

SINGAPORE (Sept 12): The financial performance of Asia’s family-owned businesses is far superior to their peers in terms of growth and profitability, finds a recent report published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI).

According to the Credit Suisse Family 1000 in 2018 report, family-owned businesses outperformed broader equity markets across every region and sector on a long-term basis, be it in terms of revenue growth or EBITDA margins, or cash flow returns and gearing.

Singapore's manufacturing talent must evolve to address new challenges: Randstad

SINGAPORE (Sept 5): A growing number of companies in Singapore’s manufacturing sector have been jumping on the digital bandwagon by exploring how manufacturing intelligence and automation can help meet their business objectives, reduce cost and improve efficiencies, according to Randstad Singapore’s observations.

In its latest Manufacturing Workforce Trends report, the recruitment firm says manufacturing employees will need to acknowledge the need to be flexible and adaptable to "inevitable changes" in their job scopes with the advent of emerging technologies.

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