Taxi operator ComfortDelGro upgraded to 'buy' even as ride-hailing market thrives amid ‘healthy competition’

SINGAPORE (Oct 2): The entry of new players into the ride-hailing market, which broke a ‘monopoly’ following the Grab-Uber merger in 2018, has seen 55% of drivers report increased earnings even as average daily ride-hailing fares have fallen by 11% for commuters.

According to a study published Wednesday by the Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (GCIO) at National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, this underscores the importance of healthy competition in the ride-hailing market.

Malaysia's transport minister Loke has made significant changes a year on, but more difficult tasks lie ahead

(May 20): Malaysia’s Transport Minister -Anthony Loke Siew Fook offers us a firm handshake as he gets off the escalator at the swanky hotel in downtown Kuala Lumpur where we are meeting him for an interview. He looks unassuming, serious, quiet even, for want of a better word, and moves with a purposeful stride.

Clad in slacks and a plain shirt, he is accompanied by just two young aides. No suit and tie, entourage or bodyguards.

There is a passion about Loke, 42, when he speaks of the transport sector.


Grab's bonfire of the vanities is just blowing smoke, says Bloomberg Opinion's Tim Culpan

(April 9): One sentence from Grab Holdings Inc. co-founder Anthony Tan sums up the outlook for the dumpster fire that is Southeast Asia’s increasingly toxic taxi wars.

“I met Masayoshi-san last week where he gave his unlimited support to power our growth.”

In a giddy press release Grab announced that it’s super-sizing its current funding round to US$6.5 billion ($8.8 billion). Series H has already raised US$4.5 billion, including US$1.46 billion from Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Vision Fund, and it plans to collect another US$2 billion before the year is out.

OCBC wary of residential sector's near-term outlook in spite of encouraging data

SINGAPORE (Mar 18): OCBC Investment Research is maintaining “neutral” on Singapore’s residential sector despite the recent recovery in Singapore developers’ stock prices and the announcement of a new Cross Island MRT line, which helped to boost Feb m-o-m private home sales volumes by 4.4%.

The research house’s preferred sector picks remain UOL Group and CapitaLand, which are both rated “buy” with fair value estimates of $8.45 and $3.98, respectively.

ST Eng, SIA named OCBC's top sector picks for resilience and low valuations

SINGAPORE (Nov 30): OCBC Investment Research is maintaining “neutral” on the Singapore industrials sector, indicating a preference for ST Engineering and Singapore Airlines (SIA) due to their earnings resilience and low valuations, respectively.

Both stocks have been rated “buy” with fair value estimates of $3.95 for ST Engineering and $10.71 for SIA, which was upgraded in mid-Oct on valuations after it closed at $9.15 to imply a price-to-book value of 0.8 times, which is near 2008 crisis levels.

MTI foresees slower 2H for Singapore's economy; maintains 2018 GDP growth forecast at 2.5-3.5%

SINGAPORE (Aug 13): The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) expects Singapore’s economic pace of expansion to moderate in 2H18 against an external backdrop of a weakening global growth outlook, as well as increased uncertainties and risks in the global economy.

This comes even as MTI maintains its GDP growth forecast for 2018 at 2.5-3.5%, highlighting the “strong performance” of the Singapore economy in the first half of the year.

What are the consequences of the HSR project's derailment?

SINGAPORE (June 1): When Dr Mahathir Mohamad took on the office of prime minister of Malaysia for the second time last month, he was widely expected to review the many mega projects that his predecessor Najib Razak had agreed to.

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR), a 350km rail link between the two cities, was one of them.

Dr M vows to abort high-speed rail project with Singapore

SINGAPORE (May 28): Malaysia’s newly-reinstated Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has vowed to scrap the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (KL-SG HSR) project to curb unnecessary government spending, says an article published today by the Financial Times.

This comes less than two weeks after his return to parliament after ousting his predecessor Najib Razak, who succeeded Mahathir post his first stint as PM from 1981-2003.

Will Go-Jek's expansion into new markets bring back ride-hailing competition?

SINGAPORE (May 24): Go-Jek, the Indonesian-based ride hailing firm, will be investing $500 million in its international expansion strategy, entering four new markets – Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines – within the next few months.

The expansion plan pits Go-Jek directly against larger rival Grab, including in the latter’s home market of Singapore. In March, Uber Technologies Inc. agreed to swap its Southeast Asian business for a 27.5% stake in Grab, thereby withdrawing from a hotly contested region of more than 600 million people.

Grab vanquishes Uber with local strategy, billions from SoftBank

SINGAPORE (Mar 27): As Uber Technologies Inc. looked to conquer ride-sharing around the world, Grab was focused on serving the 620 million people that share its home in Southeast Asia.

Helped by the deep pockets of SoftBank Group Corp., Grab emerged the winner on Monday when Uber agreed to swap its business in the region for a 27.5% stake. The deal is a vindication for co-founder Anthony Tan’s strategy of tailoring services to local needs and working with incumbent taxi operators instead of against them.

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