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150 Financial Institutions Select Access Softek’s Open Financial Exchange (OFX) Server

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Access Softek, Inc., an omnichannel digital banking platform provider, signed its 150th financial institution customer to its Open Financial Exchange (OFX) Server. OFX makes it possible for small and medium size financial institutions to connect directly with their small and medium business (SMB) customers and members who use Intuits QuickBooks.

According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, applications for new businesses are rising at the fastest rate since 2007. The report credits the U.S. Census Bureau in stating, applications for the employer identification numbers that entrepreneurs need to start a business have passed 3.2 million so far this year, compared with 2.7 million at the same point in 2019.

Access Softeks OFX server enables financial institutions to offer secure, seamless information exchange with the millions of banking clients using Intuit Quicken„¢ and Quickbooks„¢. By supporting this data exchange, the financial institution encourages its commercial customers to perform more of their financial management activities within its user environment.

Commercial banking represents an opportunity for growth and, by providing a connection to their accounting software, the bank or credit union gains a competitive edge to attract and grow new commercial banking relationships, said Chris Doner, founder and CEO of Access Softek. The direct connection between SMBs, QuickBooks and their financial institution saves time, improves accuracy of the accounting department and deepens the relationship between businesses and their financial institutions. Financial institutions looking a commercial banking as a growth area cannot afford to bypass this service.

The key to attracting these small businesses lies in creating a seamless experience for small business banking between accounting and the financial institution. With millions of users, QuickBooks remains the primary accounting platform for small businesses today, making this connection of utmost importance for SMBs.

A connection to Quicken and QuickBooks is an important part of the services we offer to consumers and small-to-medium businesses, said Willis Chang, Enterprise Systems Architect at Kinecta Federal Credit Union. Small and medium businesses are valued members of our credit union and the communities it serves. For over 10 years, Access Softek has been a valued technology partner and we are pleased with the reliability of the service and the support they provide our IT resources and members.

In addition to this accounting software connection, Access Softek also provides additional solutions that help banks and credit unions target SMBs such as the Access Commercial, a full-featured business banking and business account opening platform.

About Access Softek, Inc.

Access Softek sets the standard for the omnichannel digital banking landscape, having developed the first downloadable apps for mobile banking. Since that time, Access Softek has extended its track record of innovation to online banking, biometric authentication, real-time fraud prevention, and automated investing integrated directly into a financial institutions digital banking platform, among many other innovative products. Since 2004, Access Softek has delivered industry firsts to over 400 bank and credit union customers from its Berkeley, California headquarters. Learn more at¯AccessSoftek.com

Media Contact:

Gracie Shefelton

William Mills Agency

[email protected]

678-781-7221



Access Softek Contact:

Sharon Carnaghi

VP of Marketing 

[email protected]

331-223-2709 

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Chen Zhi and Prince Group Bring the Art of Swiss Watchmaking to Cambodia

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BEIJING, CHINA – Media
OutReach
 – 20 January 2021 – The global pandemic has changed the
working lives of many people across the world, including in Cambodia. Chairman
Neak Oknha Chen Zhi (
公爵) and Prince Group,
being a responsible corporate citizen, have opened the Prince
Horology Vocational Training Center, Cambodia’s first independent
watch school. The training center gives Cambodians the
opportunity to learn a new artisanal skill — watchmaking — and gain the
necessary experience to help them in job markets in Cambodia and abroad. The
training center follows the strict regulations for watchmaking outlined by
regulatory bodies in Switzerland.

As a country steeped in history, Cambodia has long preserved
artisanal skills for generations, with the Kingdom well-known for its ancient
handwoven silk and traditional handicraft industries that boast a heritage
dating back to the time of the Khmer Empire, a significance that Chen Zhi and
Prince Group have always understood and appreciated.

New artisanal skills, however, need to be introduced to improve job
opportunities for Cambodians, especially as the textile and garment industry, much
like other sectors, has suffered greatly due to the COVID-19 pandemic with
media reports indicating that more than 55,000 workers have been stranded
without an income.[1]


Many Cambodians have returned to agriculture and setup small
businesses in a bid to restore balance to their lives. To that end, Chen Zhi and
Prince Group have launched the Prince Horology Vocational Training
Center in Phenom Penh, Cambodia to help introduce opportunities to learn new
skills.

The state-of-the-art center offers a full-time, two-year course
modelled on the certificate fédéral de capacité (CFC), standards
for vocational training defined by the Swiss government that are widely
considered the industry norm for basic watchmaking education.

As a component of Chen Zhi and Prince
Group’s environment, social and governance (ESG) endeavours in Cambodia, the
center also offers scholarships to local students and those requiring
financial assistance, ranging from a 50% subsidy of the school fees to a fully
paid scholarship that includes accommodation. The first group of students have
started their watchmaking journey.

Prince Group has hired world-leading watchmakers, including Maarten
Pieters, a former director of Switzerland’s leading watchmaking school, the
Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program (WOSTEP).

Furthermore, Anthony McGonigle, the center’s chief instructor and one
of the brothers from Ireland’s most famous watchmaking family, compiled the
syllabus, which encompasses lessons on the history and culture of watchmaking,
as well as benchwork, including machining, micro-mechanics, and production of
components like the winding stem and balance staff etc. The center also focuses
on traditional artisanal skills like decoration and turning.

“I
am honoured to announce the launch of the Prince Horology Vocational Training Center,
Cambodia’s first independent watch school. All the center’s modern
machinery and equipment have been imported from Switzerland, Germany and other
countries,” said Chairman Neak Oknha Chen Zhi of Prince Group. “We have also
put together a world-class team to teach Cambodian and international students
new skills that will make them competitive in job markets in Cambodia and
abroad.”

Last year, Prince Group lived up to its
ESG responsibilities in other fields. It made several large-scale donations to
help in the fight against the pandemic and assisted flood victims in Cambodia. Till
date, Prince Charitable Foundation Organization has organized more than 240
charitable events and donated funds and other materials worth more than US$11
million, benefitting more than 320,000 people. In early December, Chen Zhi and
Prince Group donated US$3,000,000 to Prime Minister Hun Sen to help Cambodia
purchase 1 million COVID-19 vaccines as well.

The Prince Horology Vocational Training Center is accepting
applications for the next school year that will begin on June 2, 2021. The
center accepts eight students — at least five of whom will be Cambodians — each
year. For more details, please visit https://princehorology.com/.
 



[1] Cambodia’s
uncertain economic rebound in 2021, East Asia Forum feature series on 2020 in
review (link)

About Neak Oknha Chen Zhi

Neak Oknha Chen Zhi of Cambodia is the chairman of Prince Group, short for Prince Holding Group. As chairman, Chen Zhi has turned Prince Group into a leading conglomerate in Cambodia that adheres to international standards, invests in the future of the Kingdom and is committed to sustainable business practices.

In Cambodia, Chen Zhi has expanded Prince Group’s business operations to encompass various sectors, such as real estate development, banking, finance and tourism. Aside from his business activities, Chen Zhi actively engages in helping Cambodian communities with his philanthropy work.

About Prince Holding Group

Prince Holding Group, better known as Prince Group, is one of the largest corporate conglomerates in Cambodia, with businesses spanning across multiple industries, including real estate development, banking, finance, aviation, tourism, logistics, technology, food and beverages, and lifestyle sectors. Prince Group adheres to its mission of “Building a Better Life” and the Group’s philosophy espouses the values of “Commitment, Responsibility, Respect, Generosity and Innovation”.


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DHL Express recognized as Global Express Provider of the Year

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DHL Express Asia Pacific wins industry award for the fifth time at Payload Asia Awards 2020

 

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 25 January
2021 – DHL Express, the world’s leading international express service
provider, has been awarded the Global Express Provider of the Year at the 7th
Payload Asia Awards. This is the fifth time that DHL Express has won the award,
which recognizes excellence among air cargo companies and the positive impact
it has made on the logistics industry.

[View Image]

DHL Express recognized as Global Express Provider of the Year for the fifth time at Payload Asia Awards 2020.

“The
award speaks volumes about the trust and quality that DHL Express has built
with our customers over the decades. Despite the challenging period, we are
proud to have been able to help keep our customers’ businesses running, and to
play an important role in the delivery of vaccines throughout the globe,” said
Ken Lee, CEO of DHL Express Asia Pacific. “We have bolstered our network and
infrastructure in the region to support our customers’ growing business needs
in global trade and the ever-growing demands from e-commerce. DHL Express’
global e-commerce volume grew by more than 40 percent in Q4 2020, and our
ongoing investments will continue to enhance our extensive operational network
and underscore our commitment to providing high quality service to customers.”

In
November, DHL Express announced that it is investing circa EUR
690 million
between 2020 and 2022 to build or expand its facilities in key
growth markets of Australia, Japan, Hong Kong S.A.R. and South Korea. Equally,
it intends to spend close to EUR 60 million to bolster its Asia Pacific air
network such as introducing direct, new (e.g. Vientiane, Yangon), and frequent flight
routes (e.g. within Oceania).
The expanded infrastructure and new flight routes across Asia Pacific will help
the company tackle the unprecedented growth in shipment volume and address the
ever-growing demand for time-definite express deliveries.

Last
week, DHL Express also announced that it has placed an order for eight
additional new Boeing 777 freighters
. The investment marks a further step in
DHL Express’ expansion of its intercontinental air network to meet customer
demand in fast growing international express shipping markets. First deliveries
of the new aircraft are scheduled for 2022.

Now
in its seventh year, the Payload Asia Awards recognizes the best companies in
the air cargo market, notably, putting the spotlight on services that benefit
the rising e-commerce market. This year’s awards comprises 15 categories judged
by an esteemed panel of judges, and winners are selected based on a set of
criteria evaluating the strength of customer service, business growth,
operational performance, development strategy as well as customer and product
innovation.

DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With about 380,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global sustainable trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, engineering, manufacturing & energy, auto-mobility and retail, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”.


DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 63 billion euros in 2019. With sustainable business practices and a commitment to society and the environment, the Group makes a positive contribution to the world. Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve zero-emissions logistics by 2050.

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FTLife survey shows Hongkongers far less confident about retirement due to pandemic, while younger generation lacks wealth management knowledge

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FTLife launches Prosperous Deferred Annuity Plan 2 for customers’ retirement need with tax deduction

 

  • In survey, 70% said
    they lack confidence in retirement due to pandemic, four times that pre-Covid
    level. Top three retirement worries are rising medical expenses (53%), lack of
    stable income (52%) and managing expenses (50%);
  • High market
    volatility arouses risk-adverse sentiment among Hongkongers. 37% of the
    respondents prefer to hold cash savings, especially for young people aged
    between 20 and 29 (62%). Around a quarter are more interested in capital
    guaranteed or low risk investment. Many people are re-examining their
    retirement needs, with 62% of the respondents expressing interest in
    subscribing to a qualifying deferred annuity plan in the coming year.
  • FTLife is launching
    Prosperous Deferred Annuity Plan 2, which is open to customers who are 20 years
    old or above. The guaranteed breakeven
    period is as short as eight years [1]and the range of total internal rate of return at maturity between 3.28%
    to 4.32% [2] ,
    so as to encourage different customers, especially the younger generation, to
    start their retirement planning early for a better future.

 

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 25 January 2021 –
FTLife Insurance Company Limited (“FTLife”) commissioned a market research
company to conduct “Retirement Planning and Confidence Survey” in December 2020.
The survey interviewed 405 working adults aged 20 or above to understand how
the pandemic affects Hongkongers’ retirement planning, wealth
management preference
and behaviours.

[View Image]

FTLife launches Prosperous
Deferred Annuity Plan 2 (Prosperous 2) today. From now until 31 March 2021,
customers who successfully subscribe to Prosperous 2 as well as one of the designated
Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme plans or insurance plans (basic plan/rider)
can enjoy up to 15% of first-year premium refund. The minimum issue age of
Prosperous 2 is 20 years old and the range of total Internal Rate of Return at
maturity can be up to 3.28% to 4.32%, helping customers achieve a stable and
independent retirement life.

COVID-19 pandemic has deeply
impacted the global economy. The survey revealed increased pessimistic about
retirement among respondents since the start of the pandemic. Before the outbreak,
around 16% said that they lacked confidence in retirement. During the pandemic,
the number quadrupled to around 70%, illustrating how the pandemic has
intensified Hongkongers’ worries about retirement. The top three worries cited are
rising retirement medical expenses (53%), a lack of stable income post-retirement
(52%) and greater difficulty coping with retirement expenses (50%).

 

Younger generation fall short
on mid- to long-term financial planning

 

About a quarter (24%) of the
respondents said their investment awareness has improved due to the uncertain
economy. However, two fifths (41%) are concerned about not making good investment
decisions in the current volatile market owing to a lack of market and
investment knowledge.

 

This is especially true among the
younger generation. Half (52%) of the younger respondents (aged 20 to 29) said
they lacked knowledge on investment products and nearly three fifths of them (59%)
said they did not know how to do mid- to long-term financial planning. Almost
three quarters (73%) said they have no regular saving habits.

 

Only 17% of those respondents aged
30 and over said they have no regular saving habits, with 40% saying they did
not know how to do such financial planning. That said, about one-third (35%) of
this group said that they didn’t have enough knowledge about investment products.

 

Hongkongers increasingly risk-averse

 

Due to the volatile market and the
pandemic, Hongkongers have become more risk-adverse leading to the adoption of more
conservative investment strategies. Nearly two fifths (37%) of those surveyed
prefer to hold cash savings, especially those aged
between 20 and 29
(62%). A quarter (25%) of the respondents are more
interested in capital guaranteed or low risk investment.

 

As the pandemic continues and dents
Hongkongers’ confidence in retirement, more respondents expressed their desire
for a stable income in retirement (55%) and acknowledged that qualifying deferred
annuity plan is a suitable first step of retirement planning (41%).

 

FTLife Chief Commercial
Officer and Chief Product Officer Christine Yeung
said:
“Our latest survey found that Hongkongers’ confidence in retirement dropped during
the pandemic and many young people did not have regular saving habits. This may
result in missing the best timing to save for retirement and to achieve the rolling
effect of compound interest. Regardless of any economic cycle, it is best to
plan retirement early. For Hongkongers with limited amount of capital and little
investment experience, they can consider subscribing to a qualifying deferred annuity plan to start saving
early. They can enjoy tax deductions while taking the first step to plan for
retirement.”

 

With regard to the public’s retirement needs
under the pandemic, FTLife further investigated the public’s acceptance rate of
a qualifying deferred annuity plan in the
survey. The pandemic has prompted people to review their retirement protection
needs. More than three fifths (62%) of the respondents are interested in subscribing
to a qualifying deferred annuity plan in the
coming year. The most attractive features of such a plan include: stable income
in retirement (82%), regulatory supervision (53%), payment in installments involving
smaller amounts (47%), tax deductions (45%), higher guaranteed cash value and
lower investment risk (30%).

 

Minimum issue age of 20 for
FTLife’s Prosperous 2 helps customers plan ahead

 

In response to increasing public demand of worry-free retirement, FTLife
is launching the Prosperous Deferred Annuity Plan 2 ( Prosperous 2) and setting
the minimum issue age at 20 years old. This will allow customers to start their
retirement planning at an early age and enjoy tax deductions at the same time.

 

Prosperous 2 is certified by the Insurance Authority as a
tax-deductible qualifying deferred annuity policy, with options for Premium
Payment Period and Accumulation Period. Customers can accelerate potential
wealth growth through guaranteed cash value and non-guaranteed terminal
dividend [3] . The guaranteed breakeven period can be as short as eight years1
and the range of total internal rate of return at maturity is between 3.28% to
4.32% 2 . During the annuity period, Prosperous 2 provides two extra protection
that are exclusive [4] in
the market: Travel Accidental Benefit and Terminal Illness Benefit.

 

Ms. Yeung added: “Prosperous Deferred Annuity
Plan has been welcomed by customers since its launch. The enhanced version is being
launched during this special period to meet market demand and provide
Hongkongers with a simple but reassuring retirement plan. This is to encourage
more people to plan their retirement ahead, benefit from compound interest
return for a longer period, and utilise the best time to save for retirement.
With the diversified Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme that FTLife offers, we
are confident to provide customers of different ages an ideal retirement
planning package, helping customers achieve a stable and independent retirement
life while protecting capital and against health risks.”

 

From now until 31 March 2021, customers who
successfully subscribe to Prosperous 2 as well as one of the designated Voluntary
Health Insurance Scheme plans or insurance plans [5] (basic plan/rider) can enjoy up to 15% of first-year premium refund [6] .

Important notes:

  • The
    information contained in this press release is intended as a general summary of
    information for reference only. For details, please refer to relevant product
    brochures and client incentive leaflet. Please refer to the policy provision
    for full terms and conditions about FTLife “Prosperous Deferred Annuity Plan
    2”.
  • This
    press release does not contain the full provisions of Prosperous Deferred Annuity
    Plan 2 and the above-mentioned designated insurance plans, and the full terms
    can be found in the Policy documents.
  • Prosperous
    Deferred Annuity Plan 2 and the above-mentioned designated insurance plans may
    be purchased as   a standalone plan
    without bundling with other type(s) of insurance product.
  • Prosperous
    Deferred Annuity Plan 2 is a qualifying deferred annuity policy, but this does
    not mean that the qualifying deferred annuity premiums paid by the policyholder
    and relevant persons are eligible for tax deduction. The nature of qualifying
    deferred annuity policy for this product depends on the product characteristics
    and the certification issued by the Insurance Authority, and not on the
    individual circumstances of the policyholder and related persons. Policyholders
    and the relevant persons should meet all eligibility requirements under the
    Inland Revenue Ordinance of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Inland
    Revenue Department before claiming tax deductions. For
    details on tax deductions, please visit Inland Revenue Department of HKSAR
    website www.ird.gov.hk and
    consult your tax and accounting advisors for tax advice.
  • FTLife does not provide any tax, legal or
    accounting advice or consultation. If you have any questions, please seek
    professional advice from your independent tax, legal and accounting advisors.
    The information in this press
    release does
    not constitute any tax advice.
  • For
    further details, please contact FTLife’s Customer Service Hotline on +852 2866
    8898.
  • This
    document is for distribution in Hong Kong only. It is not an offer to sell or
    solicitation to buy or provision of any insurance product outside Hong Kong.
    FTLife does not offer or sell any insurance product in any jurisdiction outside
    Hong Kong, in which such offering or sales of the insurance product is illegal
    under the laws of such jurisdictions.



[1] Calculated based on
the 5-year premium payment period and annual premium payment mode. Guaranteed
break even period refers to the policy year that the guaranteed cash value is
equal to or greater than the premium paid for the first time (refers to the
total amount of premium(s) due and paid for the basic plan. If customer partially
surrenders this Policy, the total premiums paid will be proportionately
reduced.).

[2] Calculation of total
internal Rate of Return at maturity includes Guaranteed Monthly Annuity Payment
and Non-guaranteed Monthly Annuity Payment, and assumes that the Annuitant
receives annuity payment on a monthly basis. Assuming the Annuitant is a 45
years old non-smoker male at application, 3.28% of total Internal Rate of
Return at maturity is calculated based on 9-year premium payment period with
monthly premium payment mode and 10 years of accumulation period. While 4.32%
of total Internal Rate of Return at maturity is calculated based on 5-year
premium payment period with annual premium payment mode and 30 years of
accumulation period. This is calculated on a best estimate basis which is based
on the current dividend scale and assume no cash withdrawal or policy loan
during the entire policy and all premiums have been paid in full within the
premium payment period. The current dividend scale does not reflect future
performance and is non-guaranteed. Please refer to the policy provisions for
details.

[3] Terminal Dividend is
non-guaranteed and will be paid upon policy termination (except maturity) and
partial surrender. Please refer to the policy provisions for details of
Terminal Dividend.   

[4] The
“Market Exclusive” item is the result comparing similar Qualifying Deferred
Annuity Plan policies of major life insurance companies in Hong Kong, until 25
January 2021. During Annuity Period, under the protection of (A) Travel Accidental
Benefit, disability of the Annuitant resulted from oversea accidents will be
compensated and (B) Terminal
Illness Benefit, the Annuitant is diagnosed with Terminal Illness will receive up to 12
months of additional installment payments, are both exclusive in the market .

[5] Voluntary Health Insurance
Scheme Series: “TopCare” Medical Insurance Plan and “BetterCare” Medical
Insurance Plan; other designated insurance plans include Regent Insurance Plan
2 Series, Regent Prime Insurance Plan (Premier), Regent Elite Insurance Plan
(Premier), “HealthCare 168 Plus” Critical Illness Protector, MediGold Plus Insurance Plan and “On Your Mind”
Insurance Plan.

[6] Subject to terms and
conditions, please refer to the promotional brochure for details.

About FTLife Insurance Company Limited

FTLife Insurance Company Limited (“FTLife”) is one of the most well-established life insurance companies in Hong Kong and a wholly-owned subsidiary of NWS Holdings Limited. Building on a history of more than 30 years in the territory, FTLife provides individual and institutional clients with a diverse range of insurance and wealth management products and services, including life, health, accident, savings and investment insurance. As a member of New World Group, FTLife works with diversified businesses within the Group to create synergies and provides customers with best-in-class life-planning solutions, from wealth management and succession to health, wellbeing and quality of life enhancement.

 

About “Retirement Planning and Confidence Survey”

FTLife Insurance Company Limited (“FTLife”) commissioned a market research company to conduct “Retirement Planning and Confidence Survey” to understand how the pandemic affects Hong Kong people retirement planning, investment preference and behaviours. The survey was conducted in December 2020 to collect data from 405 working people aged 20 or above through street interviews. The survey mainly targets people with personal monthly income above HK$20,000.

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