Southeast Asian Business Roundup


Southeast Asian Business Roundup


In late May the United States government announced it had lifted its economic sanctions on 10 state-owned companies in the banking, timber and mining industries that were earlier blacklisted.

However, some sanctions remained in place with over 100 companies and individuals still listed.

‘Burma reached a historic milestone over the last year by holding competitive elections and peacefully transitioning to a democratically-elected government. Our actions today demonstrate our strong support for this political and economic progress while continuing to pressure designated persons in Burma to change their behavior,’ said Adam Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.



Singapore’s Global Assistance & Healthcare (GAH), a subsidiary of Fullerton

Health, a provider of corporate healthcare solutions, acquired Indonesia’s PT JLT GESA in late May for an undisclosed amount.

Established in 2002, JLT GESA trades under the name of Medilum and is an Indonesia-based healthcare and third-party administration provider.

In population Indonesia is the world’s fourth-largest market.



Japanese investor IMJ Investment Partners, which already is invested in one

Ho Chi Minh City-based startup, recently announced interest in looking for more business in Vietnam. At present 40 percent of its Southeast Asian portfolio is in Indonesia.

IMJ typically invests anywhere from the equivalent of US$100,000-300,000 and made 15 investments during 2015. Founded in January 2012, IMJ set up an office in Singapore in February 2013 and has since invested heavily across Southeast Asia.

IMJ is targeting 15 investments for this year and believes Vietnam remains a vibrant marketplace.

IMJ noted Vietnam has the advantage of replicating technologies from other markets to local conditions.



Malaysian state investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd opened an office in London to oversee its potential European businesses office, establishing a special arm called Khazanah Europe Investment Limited (KEIL).

KEIL will provide advice and support on investments in Europe specifically in technology-enabled sectors.

KEIL is the fifth regional office after Beijing, Mumbai, San Francisco

and Istanbul.

In a statement the sovereign fund said, ‘[Malaysia recognises] that innovation is a key driver for economic growth, and as Malaysia continues to move towards a high-value, knowledge-based economy with a strong focus on the services and manufacturing sectors, innovation will play a crucial role to raise

the overall efficiency and thus productivity of the nation.’



Singapore Airlines Ltd recently restructured its budget airline business, established a new holding company to manage its two low-fare carriers.

Budget Aviation Holdings Pte will control long-haul carrier Scoot and short-haul carrier Tiger Airways.

Singapore Air, Southeast Asia’s biggest airline by market value, took Tiger Airways private by buying out small shareholders following losses racked up by the carrier amid competition and overcapacity.