ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: Malaysia scraps high-speed rail link project; Biotech firm Lion TCR bags $20m in series A round

And here are two companies that recently delivered weaker results.

From Reuters:

Malaysia is cancelling a project to build a high-speed rail link between its capital, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore, and will talk with its southern neighbor about any compensation Malaysia has to pay, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday.

Mahathir, the 92-year-old who triumphed in a general election this month, has made it a priority to cut the national debt and pledged to review big projects agreed by his predecessor that he says are expensive and have no financial benefit.

“It is a final decision, but it will take time because we have an agreement with Singapore,” Mahathir told a news conference referring to his scrapping of the project, valued by analysts at about $17 billion.

Mahathir said Malaysia may have to pay about 500 million ringgit ($125.63 million) to Singapore to get out of the deal.

Read more here

From DealStreet Asia:

Singapore-based clinical stage biotech firm Lion TCR has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round from new investors Yashang Capital and US-based early stage investor Westlake Ventures Capital apart from undisclosed existing investors.

Lion TCR is a company focused on the development of T cell receptor (TCR)-T cell therapy against life-threatening viral infections and viral-related cancers pertinent in Asia.

It will use this fundraising to advance its ongoing clinical trials of lead candidate LioCyx, a personalized HBV specific TCR T cell therapy against Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in major hospitals in China and Singapore, it said in an announcement on Monday. 

Read more here

From The Motley Fool

As is common with every earnings season, there will be some companies posting growth, some posting mixed numbers, and some experiencing declines. Let’s take a look at two companies that delivered weaker results recently:

StarHub Ltd (SGX: CC3), Singapore’s second largest operational telco, released its 2018 first quarter earnings in early May. The telco’s revenue and profit attributable to shareholders both declined compared to a year ago. The former fell by 4.7% to S$561.0 million, while the latter came in 14.9% lower at S$61.5 million. The decline in the company’s revenue was mainly driven by weaker performances in its Mobile and Pay TV segments (revenue declines of 7.1% and 10.0%, respectively).

Bumitama Agri Ltd (SGX: P8Z) is another company that released its 2018 first quarter earnings update in early May.

For the first quarter of 2018, Bumitama Agri reported a 9.1% year-on-year decline in revenue to IDR 1,908 billion. Similarly, its profit attributable to shareholders fell by 16.8% to IDR 231.8 billion. The company’s weaker business performance was due to lower average selling prices for its products, as the table below shows.

Read more here.

Photo from Samul Said - Sambutan Kemerdekaan ke 50, CC BY 2.0

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