Grab lays off 360 employees, cites pandemic

first_imgGrocery shopping service GrabMart and courier service GrabExpress orders rose by 22 percent and 21.5 percent year-on-year (yoy) respectively from February to March, the company previously said.Tan pledged that the layoff would be the last for this year.“I assure you that this will be the last organization-wide layoff this year, and I am confident as we execute against our refreshed plans to meet our targets that we will not have to go through this painful exercise again in the foreseeable future,” Tan added.A Grab Indonesia spokesperson told the Post that the layoffs would affect Grab globally and did not specify the proportion of the layoffs in the Indonesian office.Grab is offering laid off workers severance pay, enhanced separation payments, waivers of annual cliffs for equity vesting so employees can leave as shareholders, outplacement support and other forms of assistance.Bhima Yudhistira, a researcher from the Institute for the Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) said that while Grab had enjoyed an uptick in its delivery services, it still relied heavily on the ride-hailing business especially outside of Indonesia.“Even in Indonesia where Grab has diversified its business, their profit might not make up for the losses during the social distancing period, when some of Grab’s partner restaurants and merchants have been affected,” he said.Bhima added that the pandemic had shocked Grab’s business model of “burning money”, or the practice of putting more money into a business than the expected immediate return in order to build a customer base in an effort to earn larger profits later.“I think funding for ride-hailing companies will be more difficult to access as investors will become more skeptical,” he said. Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab announced on Tuesday that it would lay off 360 employees, just under 5 percent of its total employees in the region, as the company felt the economic pressures of COVID-19.In a note to Grab employees published on the company’s website, Grab CEO and cofounder Anthony Tan said the company had felt “the stark impact of COVID-19” since February and that it was expecting the pandemic to lead to a prolonged recession. “Please know that we did not come to this decision lightly. We tried everything possible to avoid this but had to accept that the difficult cuts we are making today are required because millions depend on us for a living in this new normal,” he said in the note on Tuesday. Grab, which has been valued at US$14 billion and operates in eight countries, including Indonesia, cut its senior executive salaries by 20 percent in March and offered no-pay leave and reduced working hours in April prior to the layoffs.The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on ride-hailing services because of social restrictions enforced to contain the COVID-19 virus.The company, backed by SoftBank Group Corp., said that in addition to the layoffs, it would also be eliminating non-core projects, consolidating functions and “right-sizing” teams. It would also redeploy its employees to cater to the growing demand for deliveries.A Grab Indonesia spokesperson told the Post in April that its package and food deliveries had seen increased business as people stayed at home during the pandemic. This coincided with a slump in demand for passenger services.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Boating Parts Manufacturer, Creation of 97 New Jobs in Berks County

first_img February 28, 2020 Jobs That Pay,  Press Release,  Workforce Development Governor Tom Wolf announced that Seakeeper, a manufacturer of gyroscopes for boats, is expanding its existing Berks County manufacturing operation and moving its Maryland headquarters to Pennsylvania. The project will create nearly 100 family-sustaining jobs in the region.“Just as boats need gyroscopes, businesses need guidance to stabilize and optimize their operations,” said Gov. Wolf. “Seakeeper’s decision to move its headquarters to Pennsylvania signals that we offer the support needed for businesses to have a competitive advantage and see a future in the commonwealth.”As part of Seakeeper’s expansion and relocation efforts, the company will renovate its existing campus in Berks County and acquire an adjacent building, increasing its operational space to seven buildings and 180,000 square feet. The expansion will create 97 new full-time jobs and retain 97 existing jobs. The company has committed to investing $11.1 million in the project.“We are extremely grateful to have found our home here in Berks County, and thankful for the support of the Governor’s Action Team,” said Seakeeper President and CEO Andrew Semprevivio. “We have incredibly passionate and hardworking employees and we’re in a town and state governed by leaders who recognize innovation and support growing local businesses. This community is our family.”Seakeeper received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for the project. The proposal includes a $400,000 Pennsylvania First grant, $291,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs, and a $66,000 workforce development grant to help the company train workers. The company was also encouraged to apply for a $2.4 million loan through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering relocating to or expanding in Pennsylvania.“Greater Reading knows the power that comes from supporting the expansion and growth of our existing businesses,” said Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Executive Vice President and COO Pamela Shupp. “Companies like Seakeeper are important economic engines for our community and garnering state support for these expansions is critically important.”Seakeeper is a global leader in marine stabilization. Their innovative technology changes the boating experience by eliminating up to 95 percent of boat roll – the rocking motion that causes seasickness, fatigue, and anxiety. Since selling its first Seakeeper unit in 2008, the company has developed a growing catalog of models for an expanding range of boat sizes. By working with several local manufacturing partners, Seakeeper is giving back to the Pennsylvania business community, helping ensure the vitality of the local economy.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Boating Parts Manufacturer, Creation of 97 New Jobs in Berks Countycenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Danish pension fund PFA extends loan for Irish wind farm

first_imgPoul Kobberup, managing director at PFA Asset Management, said: “PFA’s money is being put to work for Danish export, and, at the same time, it is a good investment.“In the future, we look forward to contributing to other attractive projects that will increase Danish exports for the benefit of Danish growth and employment.”PFA has earmarked a total of DKK10bn for financing Danish export businesses for which EKF provides a guarantee.Both parties expect the initial loans will be for long-term projects such as wind farms, with minimum amounts of DKK250m and long maturities. Danish pension fund PFA has loaned DKK240m (€32.1m) to Bord Gais Eireann, the Irish state-owned energy company, to buy wind turbines for its 24MW Lisheen II wind farm near Moyne in County Tipperary, central Ireland.The project amounts to a considerable extension to the existing wind farm.The money, which will finance the purchase of turbines from Danish manufacturer Vestas, is guaranteed by EKF, the Danish Export Credit Agency.Agent for the loan is the Royal Bank of Scotland.last_img read more

Finland’s VER backs risk premia, eyes real assets additions

first_imgVER’s allocation to risk premia involves systematic strategies across different asset classes.Viherkenttä said: “They may be in the areas of equities, fixed income, currencies, or commodities, and the strategies can be based on, for example, carry, momentum, or volatility. The strategies may also be leveraged. We are not investing in typical risk parity funds.”One of the benefits of risk premia investments was that they balanced VER’s other investments, Viherkenttä added, as their return was usually uncorrelated to the return of the broad portfolio.“Transparency and lower costs of risk premia investments compared to hedge funds also make them an attractive investment choice,” he said.VER has invested 3.5% of its portfolio in hedge funds, compared to an average allocation of 9.6% from other Finnish pension investors.Viherkenttä added that the State Pension Fund was also interested in further geographical diversification of its real assets portfolio – 3.3% of the fund – which includes property funds and infrastructure.”Our property portfolio is pretty Europe-focused meaning we can be looking at opportunities outside the continent,” Viherkenttä said.Finland’s regulatory framework means VER can only invest a maximum of 12% of its portfolio outside of listed equity and fixed income.“Thus, we need to fit in all possible other investments in this – from property to infrastructure, hedge funds and risk premium. Regulations do not leave much space for growing exposure in these investment tools,” Viherkenttä said. The Finnish State Pension Fund (VER) plans to double its exposure to risk premia investments, the €19.2bn fund’s CEO Timo Viherkenttä has said.Currently 1% of VER’s portfolio is invested in risk premia funds and strategies, some of which have been developed in-house.VER aimed to increase this exposure to 2-2.5% of its portfolio, Viherkenttä said.“We have started growing this part of our portfolio at quite a rapid pace, but overall allocation is still very small,” he added.last_img read more