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The end of September was full of companies making big business moves and piloting new programmes to improve the future of its consumers. Find out more in our weekly business news round-up

September is fast coming to an end and this week has been eventful especially with the announcement that Twitter will be allowing users to pay content creators in Bitcoin and that food delivery platforms are becoming more inclusive towards hawkers. 

Panasonic also announced that it would be laying off 700 local staff and that the Certificate of Entitlements (COE) for small and big cars went up. 

From Nanofilm to Singapore’s core inflation, Tatler rounds up all the biggest business news from this week that you need to read. 

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Panasonic to retrench 700 workers and stop manufacturing refrigeration compressors in Singapore

Panasonic announced this week that it will be laying off 700 workers in Singapore as it moves towards shutting down its refrigeration compressor manufacturing operations in the city. 

This decision comes due to the “challenging global business outlook” and Panasonic’s “long-term business strategic review of the refrigeration compressor business portfolio,” said Panasonic in a media release on September 23. 

Operations of the units affected will end by September next year. 

Nanofilm’s founder sells stake to Temasek for $27 million

Nanofilm Technologies’ executive chairman and acting chief executive, Shi Xu, has officially sold a one per cent stake of his company’s total issued shares to Venezio Investments.

Venezio Investments is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. This is also the first time Dr Shi has decided to sell shares in Nanofilm since taking the company public in October 2020. 

See also: The Business Digest: Nanofilm Shares Plunge, Mindfi Raises $1 Million From Investors

Food delivery platforms will pilot a model that does not charge hawkers commission fees

Food delivery platforms are attempting to have greater access to more hawker stalls under a new pilot model that will not charge hawkers commission or onboarding fees.

In a joint media release, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced on September 23 that Deliveroo, FoodPanda, Grab and WhyQ will be participating in this pilot. 

It will involve 400 stalls across 14 hawker centres such as ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre, Adam Food Centre, Amoy Street Food Centre, Golden Mile Food Court and Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre.

With the model, WhyQ will be onboarding hawker stalls onto Deliveroo, FoodPanda and Grab by uploading its menus onto the different online platforms, according to Varun Saraf, the chief executive officer and co-founder of WhyQ. 

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Twitter introduces bitcoin tipping and new safety features

This week, Twitter announced that it will begin to allow people to tip their favourite content creators using bitcoin. It also said that it will be launching a fund so that it can pay certain Twitter users who make use of its Spaces feature to host audio chat rooms. 

Additionally, the company said that it will begin testing out ways for users to have safer experiences on the app.

Some of the features that are being tested are things such as warnings when people are entering a heated conversation or letting them leave Twitter threads as and when they wish. 

See also: The Business Digest: Binance to Stop Payment Services, Secretlab to Hire 100 Employees

COE prices close mixed

COE premiums closed mixed in the latest bidding exercise on September 22.

The premiums for small cars went up by 2.13 per cent to $48,000 while large car premiums went up from $62,600 in the previous bidding exercise to $68,310.

That said, the COE prices for goods vehicles and buses ended up going down by 2.5 per cent to $39,000. 

Singapore’s core inflation continues to rise

Consumer prices in Singapore rose in August again and this was likely driven by higher food inflation as well as a decline in the cost of retail and other goods, according to official data which was released on September 23. 

Singapore’s core inflation has remained positive for seven consecutive months so far excluding accommodation and private transport costs.

See also: Capitaland Investment Share 9CI Debuts on SGX

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