Daily Briefing: COE prices for smaller cars plunged to nine year low at $23,568; Grab partners with Philippines' biggest company to expand GrabPay

And solar energy startup SolarHome bags US$10m from crowdfunding platforms.

From Channel News Asia:

Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums closed mostly lower in the latest bidding exercise, with prices for smaller cars plunging to a nine year low.

For Category A cars, or those 1,600cc and below with horsepower not exceeding 130bhp, premiums closed at $23,568, down from $25,000 in the last exercise. This is the lowest since 10 March 2010, when premiums were $20,802; it also beat the previous 2018 low in July.

Premiums for larger and more powerful cars in Category B fell to $31,001 from $31,101.

COEs for commercial vehicles, which include goods vehicles and buses, fell to $27,009 from $27,509 in the previous bidding exercise.

Read more here.

From Tech In Asia:

Grab is partnering with SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) which is the Philippines’ largest company in terms of market capitalisation to expand the reach of Grab’s e-wallet GrabPay.

Owned by the country’s richest man Henry Sy, SMIC is engaged in a wide range of industries, including shopping malls, retail, real estate, banking, and tourism.

The tie-up expands the reach of Grab’s mobile wallet GrabPay by allowing users to pay for goods and services like groceries, cinema tickets, clothes and shoes, and other items from SM stores. SMIC has 70 malls and more than 2,200 stores in the Philippines.

GrabPay users will also be able to top up at SM-owned banks like Banco de Oro (BDO), which is the Philippines’ top bank by assets. BDO has 1,200 branches and over 4,200 ATMs nationwide.

Read more here.

From Deal Street Asia:

Solar energy startup SolarHome has raised US$10m in debt financing from a consortium of investors including cross-border crowdfunding platforms Crowdcredit and Sweden’s Trine.

The investment follows on the $4.2 million raised via convertible notes earlier this year from Trirec, Insitor Impact Asia, Beenext, and a group of Singapore-based family offices.

The new capital will enable the startup to accelerate its expansion across Myanmar. Having already installed close to 28,000 solar home systems, the startup aims to reach 100,000 homes with its product packages by end of 2019. 

“Accessing debt finance on such a scale at this stage in our development has significantly outperformed our expectations. The new funding will enable us to accelerate our growth in 2019 and bring clean energy to hundreds of thousands of off-grid households in Myanmar,” said SolarHome co-founder and CEO Ted Martynov.

Read more here.

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