Daily Briefing: MAS urges households to be prudent in expenses; F&B outlets seeing slow recovery
And SG’s Tazapay raises $4.29m led by Sequoia India’s Surge, Saison Capital.
Most households in Singapore remain financially resilient amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, although those that are highly leveraged or employed in badly hit sectors may be more vulnerable as economic uncertainties persist, said the country's central bank on 1 December.
In its annual financial stability review, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also urged households to exercise prudence when taking up new debt or committing to property purchases.
It noted an uncertain outlook for the Singapore economy that “could have dampening effects on income streams.”
It also expects resident unemployment to “remain elevated” next year and recovery in the labour market to be drawn out.
MAS said it recognises that some homeowners could face difficulties servicing their mortgages and has worked with the financial industry to roll out relief measures earlier this year.
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Some segments in the food and beverage (F&B) sector are still seeing slow recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, trade and industry minister Chan Chun Sing said, reiterating the need for F&B companies to transform and diversify their revenue streams.
“Recovery remains slow for some segments, including outlets in the Central Business District and tourism-focused areas, as well as catering companies,” he said in prepared remarks on 30 November after visiting the Swee Choon dim sum restaurant in Jalan Besar.
Despite this, Mr Chan highlighted that many food services companies are “on a path of steady recovery”, with revenues back to around 70% to 80% of pre-pandemic sales.
“To seize business opportunities in the new operating environment, F&B companies must embark on transformation efforts to diversify into new revenue streams,” he added.
“Companies need to accelerate their efforts in digitalisation, productivity, innovation and internationalisation to remain competitive.”
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Singapore’s Tazapay, a cloud-based trade management platform for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to safely conduct cross-border commerce, has raised $4.29m (US$3.2m), it announced in a press statement on 1 December.
The funding was led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge—a bi-annual rapid scaleup programme for startups in Southeast Asia and India—and Saison Capital, the corporate venture capital arm of Japan-based Credit Saison.
Tazapay is part of the fourth cohort of Surge.
“With the pandemic accelerating digitalisation and e-commerce, the trust gap has only widened for SMBs… hampered by travel restrictions and unable to safely identify local partners to work with. We project that the market for protected B2B payment solutions for cross-border trade will increase by 25 per cent per annum in the next five years. The current market size is estimated at $500 billion across Southeast Asia and India and we are well-positioned to bridge this gap and help businesses accelerate with ease,” said Tazapay co-founder and CEO Rahul Shinghal.
The investment raised from Surge and Saison Capital will be used for product development, the hiring of talent and expanding to new markets in Southeast Asia, Tazapay said in the statement.
Read more here.