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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Daily Briefing: Grab eyes raising US$1b for US$10b valuation; UOB boosts staff pay by 14% in Q1

And here's why a one-hour flight from Singapore is hailed as the world's busiest overseas route.

From Deal Street Asia:

Grab is seeking up to US$1b in its latest funding round that values the company at US$10b, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"News of the fundraising comes a little over a month after Grab bought rival Uber’s Southeast Asia operations in March. The deal included the US ride-hailing giant’s food delivery business in the region and saw Uber pick up a 27.5% stake in the combined entity.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who joined Grab’s board following the deal, said the stake was worth 'several billion dollars' in an email to employees soon after announcing the sale.

Grab was said to be valued at US$6b at the time of its last funding round in July 2017. It raised US$2.5b in a round led by Didi Chuxing and SoftBank and joined by Toyota and Hyundai. According to Crunchbase, the firm has raised US$4.1b in a mix of debt and equity financing so far."

Read more here.

From eFinancialCareers:

It was a good first quarter for UOB's bankers and workers as the bank has added 255 people to its headcount 25,288 and has raised expenses per head by 14% YoY, indicating that it spent $23,964 on its average employee.

"The expansion wasn’t just about taking on more retail banking staff. 'Talent acquisition' helped to fuel an 8% rise in expenses within Group Wholesale Banking, while staff costs boosted expenses in its Global Markets division. UOB has also been hiring in technology.

Staff costs per head – total employee expenditure (such as salaries and bonuses) divided by total headcount – rose 14% year on year. UOB spent $23,964 on its average employee in Q1 2018, up from $21,012 in Q1 2017, according to calculations made from data in its Q1 financial results. That still makes it a less generous paymaster than local rival DBS, which reported its results earlier this week, but the gap is narrowing. In the first quarter last year, DBS staff earned $10,827 more than their UOB counterparts, but the difference is now only $6,544."

Read more here.

From Bloomberg Asia:

According to a report by OAG Aviation Worldwide, planes made 30,537 trips between Singapore and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in the 12 months to February. That’s the equivalent of 84 flights a day in a country with a population of just 5.6 million.

"In a top-20 list dominated by Asia, the highest-ranking route outside the region ran between New York and Toronto. There were 16,956 flights on that leg. The trip between Dublin and London Heathrow ranked 14th and was the busiest European entry with 14,390 flights.

In terms of passenger numbers, Hong Kong-Taipei tops the list with 6.5 million people flying that route in the 12-month period, the report showed. That’s followed by Jakarta-Singapore with 4.7 million and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore with 4 million."

Read more here.

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