Toyota investing $1 billion in Asian ride-share firm Grab

Ride-share company Grab operates across Asia and has agreed earlier this year to acquire Uber’s Southeast Asian business. (AFP)
Updated 13 June 2018
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Toyota investing $1 billion in Asian ride-share firm Grab

TOKYO: Toyota said Wednesday it was investing $1 billion in Asia ride-share company Grab, as the Japanese automaker looks to expand beyond its core business into the “mobility” sector.
Grab, which is headquartered in Singapore, is a leading player in the ride-share industry in Asia, and earlier this year agreed to acquire US giant Uber’s regional operations.
In a statement, Toyota said the deal “is aimed at achieving connectivity for Grab’s rental car fleet across Southeast Asia, and at rolling out various connected services throughout the region that utilize vehicle data” stored by Toyota.
Toyota will place one of its executives on Grab’s board, and a second Toyota team member will serve as an executive officer at the company, which Toyota called the “partner of choice for ride-hailing in the region.”
The investment comes as Toyota works to adapt to what company president Akio Toyoda calls “profound change” in the industry.
Last month, Toyoda pledged to transform the auto giant to meet a “once-in-a-century challenge.”
“I have decided to transform Toyota from a car manufacturer to a mobility company,” he said, without offering much detail on what that would entail beyond providing “various services involving movement of people around the world.”
Grab operates across Asia and agreed to acquire Uber’s Southeast Asian business earlier this year.
The deal has run into trouble though, with Singapore saying in April that it would impose restrictions on the acquisition until it concludes a probe into whether the sale may have infringed competition rules.
Under the deal, Uber was to receive a 27.5 percent stake in Grab.


OECD warns of global economic slowdown

Updated 21 November 2018
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OECD warns of global economic slowdown

  • ‘We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system’
  • Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year

PARIS: The global economy has peaked and faces a slowdown driven by international trade tensions and tighter monetary conditions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Wednesday.
The OECD, which groups the top developed economies, said it had trimmed its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.5 percent from the previous 3.7 percent.
The 2018 estimate was left unchanged at 3.7 percent.
For 2020, the global economy should grow 3.5 percent, it said in its latest Economic Outlook report.
“The shakier outlook in 2019 reflects deteriorating prospects, principally in emerging markets such as Turkey, Argentina and Brazil,” it said.
“The further slowdown in 2020 is more a reflection of developments in advanced economies as slower trade and lower fiscal and monetary support take their toll.”
OECD chief Angel Gurria highlighted problems caused by trade conflicts and political uncertainty — an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s stand-off with China which has roiled the markets.
“We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system,” Gurria said in a statement.
Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year, the Economic Outlook report said.
If Washington were to hike tariffs to 25 percent on all Chinese imports — as Trump has threatened to do — world economic growth could fall to close to three percent in 2020.
Growth rates would drop by an estimated 0.8 percent in the US and by 0.6 percent in China, it added.
For the moment, the OECD puts US economic growth at 2.9 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2019, unchanged from previous estimates, but trimmed China by 0.1 percentage point each to 6.6 percent and 6.3 percent.
It warned that “a much sharper slowdown in Chinese growth would damage global growth significantly, particularly if it were to hit financial market confidence.”
Laurence Boone, OECD Chief Economist, said “There are few indications at present that the slowdown will be more severe than projected. But the risks are high enough to raise the alarm and prepare for any storms ahead.”