Daily Briefing: Temasek eyes slower investments amidst trade tension; Grab CEO says competition stays alive in Singapore transport

And Dairy Farm's sales slipped 3% in 2017 despite launching 309 new stores.

From Reuters:

After a record high portfolio value, Temasek is looking into tempering its investment pace amidst trade tensions.

"The cautious outlook underlines the challenges that state investment firms like Temasek face as rising protectionist policies and anti-globalization sentiments put their investment and risk management capabilities to test. China Investment Corp, earlier this week, struck a similar cautious note.

“We expect global growth to moderate and see the probability of risks increasing,” Temasek’s managing director of investment, Sulian Tay, said at a news conference on Tuesday. “These include geopolitical and trade tensions as well as monetary and financial stresses in important economies.”

Read more here.

From Yahoo! News Singapore:

Days following the findings of Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) that the Grab-Uber merger killed healthy competition in the ride-hailing sector, Grab CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan said that Grab is already operating in a market with stiff competition from taxi companies and new mobility apps.

"The “tremendous competition” in Singapore’s mobility space will spur the ride-hailing company to continue innovating for its customers, according to Tan, who was speaking at a media interview after the launch of grocery delivery service GrabFresh and GrabPlatform, an open platform that allows partners to be incorporated into Grab’s app.

“We have been barrel-tested ever since the day we started, whether it’s the taxi app wars…or throughout. We have grown and embraced competition – that is how we’ve gotten here. In fact, we love it, as it makes us innovate faster,” said Tan at Grab’s HQ in Marina One.

In response to a question about how CCCS’ findings will affect the company’s strategies in Singapore, Tan observed that the government “sees that Grab plays a key role” and said that he is “extremely confident” both sides can work out their differences."

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From The Motley Fool:

Dairy Farm's sales dipped 3% YoY in 2017 despite opening 309 stores which could be due to growing online and offline competition as well as the downward pressure in consumer behaviour across Southeast Asia. 

"Dairy Farm increased its supermarket and hypermarket store count by 309 to 1,917 stores in 2017. However, the large increase in the number of stores did not prevent sales from dropping 3% year-on-year. Operating profit plunged a staggering 30% to US$135 million. Management said that same-store sales were generally weak or negative, except for the Philippines where Dairy Farm saw growth.

Intensifying competition from both online and offline competition and changes in consumer behaviour have put downward pressure on Southeast Asian nations. In both Singapore and Malaysia, sales were down, while profit was significantly below the prior year’s. Management has reiterated that it is looking to review the supermarket operations to suit the changing needs of customers. However, only time will tell, if the company can reposition its core supermarket business to ensure it remains relevant and adapts to the changing needs of the market."

Read more here.

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