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GM’s 2019 China sales drop for second year on weak economy

General Motors Co’s vehicle sales in China fell for a second year as overall auto sales declined amid a slowing economy and because of competition in the key mid-priced sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. Sales in 2019 fell 15% from a year earlier to 3.09 million vehicles, GM, China’s second-biggest foreign automaker, said in a…

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Singapore digital bank race heats up with 21 licence bidders

Singapore has drawn huge interest from technology firms looking to shake up the city-state’s banking landscape, attracting 21 applications for five digital bank licences on offer. Among firms that have publicly said they are bidding are Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial, a joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and Southeast Asian ride-hailer Grab, and a…

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Indonesia launches B30 biodiesel to cut costs, boost palm oil

Indonesia on Monday launched biodiesel containing 30% palm-based fuel, the highest mandatory mix in the world, in a bid to slash its fuel import bill and boost domestic palm oil consumption. President Joko Widodo said so-called “B30” biodiesel would allow Indonesia to cut its fossil fuel imports by 63 trillion rupiah ($4.5 billion) a year,…

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Vietnamese grass is greener in battle against plastic straws

A Vietnamese entrepreneur is promoting an environmentally friendly way to sip drinks by using grass stems to make reusable, biodegradable straws. Tran Minh Tien, 32, runs his company, 3T, from a village deep in the Mekong river delta, west of Ho Chi Minh city, where wild gray sedge grass grows in swampland.  In a labor-intensive…

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Asia shares rest at highs, sterling licks wounds

Asian stocks took a breather at 18-month peaks on Wednesday having climbed for five straight sessions, while the British pound was licking its wounds as revived Brexit fears came back to bite it. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was dead flat in thin early trade, just off its highest since June…

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Malaysian state open to buying Petronas stake after Mahathir comment

Malaysia’s Terengganu state said on Wednesday it was open to buying a stake in national energy giant Petronas, after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he was considering such a sale to raise funds for his heavily-indebted federal government. Petronas, the world’s third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is one of the biggest sources of revenue…

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