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Archive for October 17th, 2016

Huawei and I-City Announced a Strategic Alliance to Implement Smart City and the IoT Next Generation Home Concept

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia /PRNewswire/ — Huawei and I-City have created a strategic alliance to accelerate the development of the next generation of IoT intelligent homes where appliances, HVAC, lights and other home safety & security devices can be monitored, tracked and managed. This development, which will in early 2017 target the heart of Kuala Lumpur in the Comverse@I-City project, has been made possible through the merger of three key technology trends in the marketplace – Cloud, Communications and IOT.

Huawei and I-City announced a Strategic Alliance to Implement Smart City and the IoT next generation Home concept in the upcoming project
Huawei and I-City announced a Strategic Alliance to Implement Smart City and the IoT next generation Home concept in the upcoming project
This collaboration brings together two thought leaders in their respective and complimentary fields — Huawei within the Communications and IT sector and I-Berhad as a property development expert. The synergy this creates will deliver innovative business models and set a new benchmark in Asia for the way intelligent homes will be implemented; from setting and creating building codes, to the delivery of intelligent energy. A home ecosystem will be created in which everything is always connected through a safe and monitored environment. At its heart, this alliance will allow I-City to deliver strategic development by expanding their property development empire through the utilization of innovative technologies supplied by Huawei, a strong global communications and IT leader.

According to Lim Chee Siong, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Southern Pacific Region, “As leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, Huawei aims to enhance and enrich peoples’ lives through technology advancement. Technology plays an integral part in our lives, touching almost every aspect, from our homes to our workplaces, and reaching out to the whole communities.” He then added, “For the past 15 years, Huawei has been focusing on improving the ICT infrastructure and development of smart cities in Malaysia.” He further stated that “Huawei wants to ensure that the Malaysian Intelligent Home Experience is a place where families truly feel safe, entertained, and economically protected. So it is befitting that as we are celebrating 15 years of continuous innovation in Malaysia to ensure the betterment of the nation, we undertake the next step in Consumer transformation.”

There are many steps on the road to deploying an Intelligent home, a major one being the creation of a ubiquitous, robust and reliable communications network layer incorporating a cloud based IoT platform. We call this layer – the Foundation. As the Intelligent Home market develops, this foundation will allow for the addition of other Smart City solutions such as smart street lighting, traffic management and smart parking to develop Malaysian cities into smarter, more livable and enjoyable environments for all.

For more information, please log on to

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Our aim is to enrich life and improve efficiency through a better connected world, acting as a responsible corporate citizen, innovative enabler for the information society, and collaborative contributor to the industry. Driven by customer-centric innovation and open partnerships, Huawei has established an end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio that gives customers competitive advantages in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing. Huawei’s 170,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world’s population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

For more information, please visit Huawei online at or follow us on:

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Source: Huawei
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October 17, 2016 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Fusionex Recognized for ‘Outstanding Excellence’ at Mrca Crown Awards 2016

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia /PRNewswire/ — Fusionex, a multi-award-winning, leading software solutions provider specializing in Big Data Analytics (BDA), the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, and Deep Learning, added another award to its growing list of accolades when it was recently declared winner of the Malaysian Retail Chain Association (MRCA)’s Award for Outstanding Excellence.

President of the Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Datuk Garry Chua (second from left) and YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia (third from left) presenting the Outstanding Excellence Award to Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh, Managing Director of Fusionex (right) during the MRCA Crown Awards 2016.
President of the Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Datuk Garry Chua (second from left) and YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia (third from left) presenting the Outstanding Excellence Award to Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh, Managing Director of Fusionex (right) during the MRCA Crown Awards 2016.
The award was conferred during the MRCA Crown Awards 2016, which also marked the Association’s 24th anniversary, held recently at the grand ballroom of the Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The Outstanding Excellence Award gives recognition to the most outstanding entrepreneurial company propelled by vision, innovation, and farsightedness.

Fusionex was granted the MRCA award for also having an extraordinary track record.

Founded more than a decade ago in Malaysia, Fusionex came from humble entrepreneurial beginnings. At the time, the young company invested heavily in research when its R&D Division was subsequently formed and in a few years, Fusionex has expanded beyond its home shores to establish its footprint in other Asian countries. Today, it continues to expand into other markets as well.

Fusionex works with a number of Fortune 500 companies to deliver innovative, breakthrough concepts and solutions.

The MRCA Crown Awards 2016 was dubbed an evening of “Opulence & Enchantment” and brought together over 600 guests from the pinnacle of the retail and franchising industry, comprising entrepreneurs, chief executive officers, and senior management.

The award ceremony was launched by MRCA to promote recognition of industry success stories.

Ivan Teh, Fusionex Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Receiving this award is indeed an honor for Fusionex and our team members who worked tirelessly to share innovative and impactful solutions with the world. We are jubilated to receive the Award for Outstanding Excellence and are glad our efforts and triumphs over the years are recognized by such an esteemed crowd of our peers. We will not rest on our laurels and as this award prioritizes vision and farsightedness, so shall we continue to improve our offerings for the future.”

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Source: Fusionex

Written by asiafreshnews

October 17, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Asia Plantation Capital Berhad Proudly Supports the 2nd International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood

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PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia /PRNewswire/ — As leaders in the field of sustainable plantation management and agarwood production, Asia Plantation Capital Berhad — the Malaysian arm of the APC Group — is proud to be one of the supporters of the second International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood, which took place last Monday.

Asia Plantation Capital has proven itself to be a pioneer and innovator in the sustainable plantation sector, and its Scientific Advisory Board, working alongside a team of researchers, has evolved technologies — many of which have been patented — to ensure that the once endangered species of Aquilaria tree is now flourishing in the wild and continuing to produce one of nature’s most precious substances.

The products made from the trees on Asia Plantation Capital’s estates have full CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) approval and certification — a testament to the fact that the company is passionate about its role in not only making sure that there are agarwood supplies around for future generations, but also that products are sourced ethically and sustainably.

The APC Group’s ‘from soil, to oil, to you’ story is a perfect example of a vertically integrated business model, in which control at each and every link of the supply chain ensures the known provenance of an extremely valuable commodity, as well as the highest product quality. All of this is achieved with an attendant respect and care for the environment.

Organised by Universiti Putra Malaysia, this two-day symposium carried the theme ‘Next Generation Agarwood — Cultivating a New Green Economy’. The theme was both appropriate and timely, as the growth of the green economy has become an issue of vital importance in the process of national development. The Malaysian government has identified the green economy – in the form of growth of agricultural and forestry products – as a significant value-added economic sector for the country.

The Honourable Chief Minister of Perak, Dato Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Bin Abdul Kadir visited Asia Plantation Capital’s stand at the 2nd International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood
The Honourable Chief Minister of Perak, Dato Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Bin Abdul Kadir visited Asia Plantation Capital’s stand at the 2nd International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood
The discussions during the symposium covered themes such as ‘Policy and Trade’, ‘Conservation and Sustainable Use’, ‘Bioactivity’, ‘Biotechnology and Genomics’, and ‘Content and Quality’. These important and contemporary issues were deliberated over by experts in the industry, such as Professor Emeritus Dr Tadashi Nobuchi (Kyoto University), Dr Kanwal Deep (Ajmal Perfume Manufacturing and Oudh Processing Industry, Dubai), and Professor Dr Ya-Fang Yin (Research Institute of Wood Industry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing), among others.

Syed Aizat, Operations Director of Asia Plantation Capital Berhad, elaborated on Asia Plantation Capital’s vertically integrated business model and its unique ‘From Soil, to Oil, to You’ story in his presentation. Syed Aizat said, “In the last seven years we have constantly been researching and improving our systems, and have identified and perfected a proprietary ‘soil to oil’ production process which is now the subject of 22, separate, intellectual property patent applications. These systems are not only being utilised by the group to widen our market share, but we are also offering them to smaller growers and farmers across Malaysia, to assist them in the cultivation and end processing of agarwood to create income. This will help boost rural economies.”

Although operating privately since 2002, Plantation Capital was officially established in 2008 in the UK, before incorporation as Asia Plantation Capital in Sri Lanka in 2009, followed by Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. With a workforce of more than 2,000 people and 126 plantations across the globe, the company has plans to expand further into other forestry products, such as bamboo and teak, in the very near future.

Notes for Editors

For further information, please contact:

Zaahira Muhammad
Senior PR & Marketing Executive
Office: +6012 203 5344

Samantha Tham
PR & Marketing Executive
Mobile: +65 9144 0933

About Asia Plantation Capital

Asia Plantation Capital Berhad in Malaysia is currently investing heavily in the Malaysian plantation sector, developing new plantations and factories for the production of agarwood (gaharu) and other associated products for international export markets. The company is further strengthening its presence in Malaysia by moving its headquarters to downtown Kuala Lumpur, a year after opening Southeast Asia’s biggest agarwood processing factory and distillery in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

The Asia Plantation Capital Group is a multi-award-winning sustainable plantation operator and management company, with projects across four continents, and a global workforce in excess of 2,000. A market leader in the industry, its Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of leading academics from various countries (China, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates), who have, between them, developed and patented industry-leading technologies and systems.

With a focus on commercial plantation projects and vertically integrated businesses that offer a combination of commercial, environmental and community benefits, Asia Plantation Capital has created a successful and dynamic ‘triple bottom line’ company.

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Source: Asia Plantation Capital
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October 17, 2016 at 5:57 pm

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Trailblazing Hong Kong Data Center Operator HKCOLO.NET Achieves Tier IV/4 Certification

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HONG KONG, Oct. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — HKCOLO.NET Limited (“HKCOLO” or “the Company”) announced that Hong Kong has a Rated 4 / Tier IV data center now. HKCOLO has achieved a certification for its advanced facility Telehouse Hong Kong CCC. It is located at Cloud Computing Complex, 2 Chun Yat Street, TKOIE, Hong Kong. It is also the first data center to have obtained this top rated data center in the financial region spanning across China, Japan, Korea and Singapore. The Certification was issued by TIA-942.

The certification signifies maximum reliability and superior quality through fault tolerance, resilience and redundancy. It also means that the facility has gone through inspections and examinations by the Telecommunications Industry Association and surpasses the Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard. There is no need for data center tenants to hire experts to study the infrastructure to ascertain the criteria for their mission critical operations. The expensive and time-consuming specialized verification work was done ahead of time by accredited third parties.

Beyond being the first data center in the region to achieve this highest certification, HKCOLO has established itself as an industry trailblazer in many areas. It is the first Neutral Data Center service provider in the region. It was the first to establish itself as a magnet in the Industrial Park in Hong Kong and quickly attracted many other service providers from near and far into the formation of a Data Center Community. The company’s expertise in fulfilling the demanding and exacting standards of the finance and enterprise industries is also evidenced by its regular audit approval by three major monetary authorities, two from major cities in the region and one from North America. Furthermore, its long track record in providing tailor-made customer solutions is regarded by many as the most advanced in the industry.

Mr. Andrew Pang, Managing Director, stated, “We are extremely pleased to have achieved the Rated 4 / Tier IV Data Center Certification. As part of this achievement I would like to commend our wonderful team who are constantly striving to scale new heights and attain new levels of service excellence. They have been diligently serving our customers. Through their hard work, Hong Kong has proven to be the world-leading hub for advanced data center service excellence. Hong Kong will serve as the gateway for overseas enterprises into China and also as the springboard for Chinese enterprises overseas. We will not be complacent in what we have achieved today. Through continual advancement and vision to the future, we strongly believe the Pearl of the East will shine forever brightly with confidence.”

Please email to or call Jessica Chan at +852-3975-0350 for more information.

About HKCOLO.NET Limited

The company was founded in 2009 by the HKCOLO group as a Neutral Data Center service provider in Hong Kong catering to financial institutions and enterprises. In 2011 the group entered into a joint venture partnership with KDDI Corporation of Japan. The data center has become a member of the Telehouse group. The two shareholders, namely HKCOLO and KDDI, each retain 50% of the issued shares of HKCOLO.NET. In less than 5 years from the commencement of the partnership, it has secured a predominant position with financial institutions and Fortune 500 enterprises.

About HKCOLO Group

The HKCOLO Group was founded by Mr. Andrew Pang in 1999. Located in Sino Favor Center, the company has become the first major telecom hotel in the region. As the decade progressed, the company diversified its client base to accommodate other emerging industry segments. A Cloud Computing Complex setup has since become the predominant choice of financial institutions, global solution providers and Cloud Service Providers. The company regularly holds cross industry “event forums”, attracting international clients from across the globe. It is now one of the region’s major Data Center Service Providers. Please visit for more information

About KDDI

KDDI is a leading Japanese mobile and fixed-line telecommunications and ICT solution provider with 106 offices in 28 countries around the world and a Global Fortune company. With more than 40 million subscribers, KDDI is Japan’s second- largest mobile operator. Furthermore, together with its subsidiaries, KDDI is the only Japanese ICT solution company that provides comprehensive services for consumers and corporate clients. With services from fixed to mobile communications and solutions, “TELEHOUSE” data centers and broadcasting, KDDI aims to be a company that creates new styles for customer’s lives and corporate activities from local communities to overseas with communication as its base. Please visit for more information.

About Telehouse

Telehouse is the pioneering neutral data center colocation provider established in 1989. It is an owner-operator of high tier data centers, connectivity and managed ICT solutions to over 3,000 corporations around the world. Telehouse is the data center subsidiary of KDDI.

About TIA

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is the leading trade association representing the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry through standards development, policy initiatives, business opportunities, market intelligence and networking events. TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.

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October 17, 2016 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Clive Owen and Paolo Sorrentino Lead (R)evolution to Film for Campari Red Diaries 2017

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MILAN/PRNewswire/ — Campari®, the iconic red Italian bittersweet aperitif, today announces Campari Red Diaries; a holistic (r)evolution to the late Campari Calendar.

Representing a step-change in the brand’s communication, Campari Red Diaries brings to life the powerful ethos that “every cocktail tells a story”, celebrating cocktails as a powerful vehicle for expression by shining a light on the influences that inspire bartenders to share their craft.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:

The 2017 Campari Red Diaries journey harnesses the richness of storytelling, using short films for the first time to guide Campari lovers on an imaginative journey through a year-long series of cocktail stories.

The founding story, a noir called Killer in Red, was written and directed by the Italian internationally-renowned award winner, Paolo Sorrentino and stars globally-acclaimed actor, Clive Owen.

While Killer in Red ignites the Campari Red Diaries journey, it is complemented by a collection of 12 cocktail stories from bartenders from all over the globe, with young and emerging Italian director, Ivan Olita, bringing the artistry and flair of each bartender to life.

While the content will be housed exclusively on Campari’s YouTube channel, the premiere of Killer in Red and the unveil of Campari Red Diaries will take place on 24th January 2017 in Rome, Italy; home to the legendary Cinecitta film studio.

On writing and directing Killer in Red, Paolo Sorrentino comments, “Campari is an Italian icon which has garnered global love and attention with its intrinsic sense of aesthetic and well-defined style – the very same qualities I pride myself on. With this year’s campaign embracing the realm of film, I really wanted to ensure I harnessed the theme of storytelling with an intriguing intensity.”

On his involvement, the Golden Globe award-winning Clive Owen adds, “I was honoured to be chosen to shoot Killer in Red, particularly since this year represents the brand’s first foray into the world of cinematography and film.”

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer of Gruppo Campari comments, “The direction taken with this year’s campaign is unique – we have used film for the first time in the brand’s history, while also celebrating the flavour complexity and versatility of Campari that inspires such imaginative recipe creation. We’re very much looking forward to unveiling the full campaign come January.”

#Campari #RedDiaries

For more information visit:

(Photo: )

Source: Gruppo Campari
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October 17, 2016 at 5:04 pm

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First Totally Private Mobile App for Calling and Texting Launches Today – and it’s Free!

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— Scrambl3 App more Private and Secure than WhatsApp and Viber and all other voice & calling mobile apps
— Scrambl3 is private, non-intrusive, and does not use your cellphone number, nor does Scrambl3 access your personal phone contacts (WhatsApp and Viber do). You can even use your iPad or Android tablet – WhatsApp and Viber can’t because they rely on your cellphone number for making and receiving calls and texts
— Scrambl3’s unique VPN (Dark Tunnel) design removes the public telephone system SS7 security flaw that allows hackers to listen to WhatsApp and Viber calls and read their texts
— Use your Scrambl3 username on as many mobile devices as you wish because Scrambl3 does not identify you by your cellphone number, just your anonymous Scrambl3 username
— For complete transparency, Scrambl3 employs only open source software components to create your Top Secret-grade VPN, encryption algorithms and Internet protocols

IRVINE, Calif /PRNewswire/ — USMobile, Inc., a private communication company, launched the free version of Scrambl3 (, a free mobile App for iOS and Android enabling you to make the world’s most private calls and messages.

Ultimate Personal Privacy: 5 second anonymous signup and Black Book contact listing

New Scrambl3 users are only asked to provide a username and password. Other free voice and messaging apps require that you verify your cellphone number, request access to your private cellphone contacts, and may also ask for your email address, all of which is a hassle and a violation of your personal privacy.

Scrambl3 users privately exchange their usernames and add them to their respective Scrambl3 Black Book contact listing. No unwanted calls or messages are possible on your private network.

What makes Scrambl3 more private and secure than WhatsApp and Viber?

“Only Scrambl3 creates a ‘Dark Internet Tunnel’ – USMobile’s Top Secret-grade Virtual Private Network (VPN), completely outside of and separate from the public telephone system. In this unique way communication is ‘Cloaked,’ or made invisible to those who wish to intercept it,” said USMobile CEO, Jon Hanour.

“By placing the encrypted communication inside a Top Secret-grade VPN, an exponential increase in security is achieved, so hackers are effectively shut out,” USMobile CTO Brad Arant said.

An independent assessment of Scrambl3, by Professor Dr. Yuliang Zheng, one of the world’s foremost cryptologists at the University of Alabama, is available at

Scrambl3 Advantages


(launched 10-5-16)


(1 Billion users)


(250 Million users)

Privacy Scrambl3 does not require your personal phone number nor access to your personal contacts




No signup required just create a Scrambl3 username and you are ready to go!




More devices can use Scrambl3 iPad and tablet compatible, including WiFi only




High security VPN (Dark Tunnel) architecture removes SS7 backdoor for hackers




Multiple mobile devices Scrambl3 users are not tied to a single mobile device




Free multi-user enterprise accounts includes a free admin panel for users




Premium features enterprise conference bridge, private servers and private email 2016Q4




About USMobile

USMobile is an Irvine, Calif.-based Company founded by Hanour and Arant who have a passion for providing its users with total privacy of their communication.

Media Contacts:

Pete Arnold at Peter Arnold Associates


Bill Blanning at Blanning Associates


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Source: Scrambl3
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Written by asiafreshnews

October 17, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Celine Dion Celebrates Milestone 1,000 Shows at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace

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LAS VEGAS /PRNewswire/ — Last night, Celine Dion shared a momentous milestone with an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd as she took the stage of The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for the 1,000th time. The milestone performance opened with an emotional video that highlighted memorable moments over the almost 14 years that Céline has performed in The Colosseum and closed with a breathtaking finale of bronze and silver confetti and balloons raining down on the stage and crowd in celebration. All 4,298 guests that attended the special, sold-out performance received a commemorate program book and lenticular credential as a gift to memorialize the milestone.

generated by system

generated by system

Celine’s first Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, A New Day… created and directed by Franco Dragone, was a groundbreaking production that played 717 performances from March 25, 2003 through Dec. 15, 2007. After a three year break from Las Vegas, Celine made a triumphant return on March 15, 2011 with a glamorous new show directed by legendary Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich aptly titled, Celine at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

“Back in 2003, when I began performing in this newly built theatre, little did we know we were going to reach such an incredible number of shows,” said Celine. “Thank you Rene who had this vision and shared the journey with me and thank you to the four million fans who made this possible by choosing music as their international language. And thank you Caesars Palace and AEG for dreaming with us, making all of this a reality.”

“We are honored to be celebrating 1,000 shows with Celine and humbled by her passion, strength and commitment to a vision that began over 14 years ago,” said John Nelson, senior vice president of AEG Live Las Vegas. “There is no one like Céline and we look forward to working with her and her incredible team on another 1,000 shows.”

“Since her premiere performance in 2003, Celine Dion’s residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace has led the transformation of Las Vegas into the home of great musical artists. She is the reigning superstar among a brilliant group of globally famous performers and sparked the groundbreaking for a term that is now commonplace in Las Vegas – residencies,” said Mark Frissora, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “We are proud to have Céline call The Colosseum at Caesars Palace home.”

Tickets for Celine at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace are on-sale now for performances Nov. 1, 2016 through Feb. 4, 2017. Due to demand, 24 more shows April 4 through June 3, 2017 will go on-sale to the public on Friday, Oct. 14 at 12 p.m. PT. All show dates are as follows:



1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 25, 26



17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 31


1, 3, 4


4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22


16, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24, 27, 28, 30, 31


2, 3

Tickets may be purchased in person at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office, by calling 866-320-9763, or online at or Orders are subject to additional service charges and fees. Ticket prices start at $55 (prices include 9% Live Entertainment Tax). For groups of 10 or more, call 866-574-3851. Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Celine at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace is a glamorous show directed by legendary Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich and presented by AEG Live and Caesars Entertainment. Designed exclusively for The Colosseum, the production features Celine’s biggest hits mixed with timeless hits by iconic artists that celebrate all generations and genres of music. The show features a full orchestra and band and is set to a visually stunning presentation designed exclusively for the 4,300-seat state-of-the-art venue. For show information visit

One of the most immediately recognized, widely respected and successful performers in pop music history, Celine Dion has sold almost 250 million albums during her over 30-year career. She has earned five Grammy Awards, two Academy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 20 Juno Awards (Canada) and an astonishing 40 Felix Award (Quebec). In 2004, Celine received the Diamond award at the World Music Awards recognizing her status as the best-selling female artist of all time. In 2007 she was honored with the Legend Award at World Music Awards in recognition of her global success and outstanding contribution to the music industry.

Source: Caesars Entertainment & AEG Live
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October 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Quarz Capital Management, Ltd. Sends Letter to Metro Holdings to Engage on the Proposals to Unlock a Total Potential Return of >40% in Metro’s Share Price through the Distribution of an Extraordinary Cash Dividend of SGD 0.21/Share (Dividend Yield of 23%) and to Provide Clearer Communication of Corporate Strategy

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GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands /PRNewswire/ — Quarz Capital Management, Ltd. (QCM), an investment manager, today issued a letter urging Metro Holdings to take decisive steps to counter the severe undervaluation of up to 43% which its share price is trading at to its intrinsic book value.

QCM proposes that Metro distributes part of its substantial net cash balance of SGD 393 million which is currently the 2nd largest among SGX-listed companies. A potential distribution of up to SGD 150 – 200 millions of its excess net cash holding will provide shareholders with an attractive dividend yield of up to 23%. The remaining net cash holding and liquid investments of up to SGD 329 million will be more than sufficient for the company to continue executing on its long-term strategy of value creation and pay its annual dividend.

The wider investment community would also appreciate Metro to clearer and more coherently communicate the strategy of its real estate division and its general dividend and share buyback policies. The investment manager also calls on the company to improve on its investor relations work (allow more frequent institutional investors access to management) and the quality and quantity of its reported financial metrics.

QCM believes that its recommendations will have the cumulative impact of enabling investors to better appreciate the intrinsic value and potential of Metro and result in its share price to trade at a higher valuation permanently.

QCM has delivered the following letter to Metro Holdings’ management team, board of directors and other stakeholders.



Quarz Capital Management, Ltd.
Clifton House 75 Fort Street
George Town I KY1-1108 I Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands

4 October 2016

To Engage on the Proposals for an Extraordinary Cash Dividend and Clearer Communication of Corporate Strategy to Unlock a Potential Total Upside of >40% in Metro’s Share Price

Dear Members of the Board,

As a long-term shareholder of Metro Holdings (the “Company”, “Firm”,” “METRO SP” or “Metro”), we congratulate the board on the appointment of Mr. Lawrence Chiang as the acting Group CEO and Executive Director of Metro. Mr. Chiang has been a key part of the team led by the visionary Mr. Jopie Ong who transformed Metro from a reputable domestic retailer to a global property player with a strong real estate portfolio in Singapore, China, and the UK. Despite being a household name in retail, Metro’s current retail operation contributes to less than 0.5%[1] and 5% of its FY16 net profit and net asset valuation respectively.

In spite of being a mid-cap stock, Metro has the 2nd largest net cash holding among listed companies in the SGX, amounting to SGD 393 million[2], more than half its current market capitalization of SGD 758 million[3]. This is in addition to the attractive dividend yield of 7.7% the company paid in FY2016. Together with the loans to its JVs of SGD 133 million[4] and listed equity investments of SGD 111 million, Metro’s net cash, loan receivables and liquid investments total SGD 637 million, amounting to more than 80% of its current market capitalization.

Metro’s property development and investment portfolio is valued in excess of SGD 600 million[5]. It’s Grade A diversified investment properties are located in the prime areas of Shanghai and Guangzhou with anchor tenants including Exxon Mobil, Swatch, Abbott Laboratories, and Roche. This portfolio provides a recurring unlevered net rental income in excess of SGD 30 million[6] per annum. Progressive profit recognition and capital return from the delivery of its Nanchang Fashion Mark (China) mixed-use development project, Sheffield Digital Campus (UK), Manchester Middlewood Locks (UK) and The Crest @ Prince Charles Crescent (Singapore) will further boost Metro’s net profit and cash flow in the next few years. Metro’s retail division which accounts for 4%[7] of Metro’s total gross asset value is right-sizing its Singapore operation to match the new retail landscape.

It is thus inconceivable that Metro’s share price continues to languish at SGD 0.915, trading at a deep discount of 43% to its intrinsic book value of SGD 1.61 per share despite the company’s strong recurring earnings profile and valuable assets. We attribute this severe undervaluation to the following key reasons:

Firstly, the firm holds an excessive net cash balance which has been largely under-utilized and low yielding. Investors are worried about the inefficient allocation and potential mismanagement of this sizeable cash balance.

This is exacerbated by Metro’s insufficient communication with investors with regards to its strategy in its key real estate division beyond the opportunistic acquisition and divestment of property assets and development projects. Lack of management access (reflected by no sell-side coverage and low institutional shareholding level) and hard to decipher financial results add to the complexity of understanding the intrinsic value and strong cash flow profile of Metro. This partly results in lower trading liquidity, reduces the investability, and increases the substantial discount to intrinsic value of Metro’s shares.

Low shareholding level and the lack of share-based compensation as part of management’s remuneration might have also resulted in the de-prioritization of Metro’s share price as a key management KPI.

We are in agreement with Metro’s board and management that the company should retain a proportion of cash to take advantage of strategic opportunities in the asset-heavy fields of property development and investment. However, it is evident that the maintenance of a net cash balance of SGD 393 million which will potentially increase to more than SGD 500 million in the next 2-3 years with minimal usage of debt is excessive.

We believe that now is the time that Metro takes the decisive step to close this substantial valuation gap by distributing SGD 150 – 200 millions of excess cash to shareholders (amounting to SGD 0.21/share or a 23% dividend yield). The remaining net cash balance and liquid investments of more than SGD 329 million will be more than sufficient for Metro to execute on its long term strategy of value creation and to pay its recurring dividend. We urge Metro to implement a clear dividend return policy and a shareholder accretive buyback programme to repurchase shares whenever the share price discount to NAV breaches >40%.

The wider investment community will also appreciate the company in providing a clear and coherent strategy of its real estate division. Deeper insights on the focus countries, type of properties and the profitability criteria which the division uses to evaluate potential investments and projects will support investors in better understanding the strategy and operations of this key division.

We recommend Metro to strengthen its investor relations work by enabling frequent institutional access to management (commonplace among high quality SGX-listed firms) and to provide better quality and quantity of reported financial metrics such as recurring rental income, lease expiry profile (for the next few years), as well as forecasted rental rate trends, development margins and profit.

We also support a transparent link between the remuneration of management with Metro’s long term profitability and share price. In this respect, we recommend their remuneration package to include a sizeable proportion of share-based compensation which will vest upon fulfillment of key KPIs.

For your convenience, we have summarized our thoughts and recommendations in a short presentation: LINK:

The foresight and execution ability of the late Mr. Jopie Ong and his team have provided a strong foundation for Metro Holdings. We are confident that the current team has the capability and pedigree to lead the company to greater heights. The return of excess capital, clear corporate strategy, and proactive investor relations can result in Metro’s share price to trade at a higher valuation permanently and provide a significant upside of more than 40% by 2017 to all Metro shareholders.

Sincerely yours,

Mr. Jan F. Moermann
Chief Investment Officer, Quarz Capital Management, Ltd.

Mr. Havard Chi, CFA
Portfolio Manager, Quarz Capital Management, Ltd.

For further information, please contact:
Havard Chi, CFA (, +65-9433-3898)

Link to the Letter:

[1] Retail operation contributes SGD 0.14m to Metro’s total Net Profit of SGD 113m in FY16
[2] Dividend payment of SGD 58m and liabilities of SGD 28m subtracted from cash holding of SGD 479m reported in Metro’s FY1Q17 Financial Statement
[3] Stock price of SGD 0.915 multiplied by outstanding shares of 828m reported in Metro’s FY1Q17 Financial Statement
[4] Reported in Metro’s FY1Q17 Financial Statement
[5] Valuation of investment portfolio based on Metro’s FY2016 Annual Report. Valuation of development properties based on Top Spring International’s 1H16 Financial Statement and QCM estimates (based on median profitability of property developers in the UK)
[6] Based on annualizing rental income reported in Metro and Top Spring’s FY1Q17 and FY1H16 Financial Statements
[7] We value Metro’s Singapore retail operation at a valuation of 0 in spite of its equity position of SGD 23m due to its loss making profile. Indonesia operations valued at P/E of 20x CY15A, at a discount to more established peers (Matahari P/E 31x CY15, Ramayana P/E 26x CY15)

About Quarz Capital Management

Quarz Capital Management, Ltd. is a value oriented and research driven investment advisory firm that seeks to earn above average, long-term returns by identifying value investments across the globe.

Important Disclosure Information


As of the publication date of this report, Quarz Capital Management Ltd. and its affiliates (collectively “Quarz”), others that contributed research to this report and others that we have shared our research with (collectively, the “Authors”) have long positions in and own options on the stock of the company covered herein (Metro Holdings) and stand to realize gains in the event that the price of the stock increases. Following publication of the report, the Authors may transact in the securities of the company covered herein. All content in this report represent the opinions of Quarz. The Authors have obtained all information herein from sources they believe to be accurate and reliable. However, such information is presented “as is”, without warranty of any kind — whether express or implied. The Authors make no representation, express or implied, as to the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of any such information or with regard to the results obtained from its use. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice, and the Authors do not undertake to update or supplement this report or any information contained herein.

This document is for informational purposes only and it is not intended as an official confirmation of any transaction. All market prices, data and other information are not warranted as to completeness or accuracy and are subject to change without notice. The information included in this document is based upon selected public market data and reflects prevailing conditions and the Authors’ views as of this date, all of which are accordingly subject to change. The Authors’ opinions and estimates constitute a best efforts judgment and should be regarded as indicative, preliminary and for illustrative purposes only.

Any investment involves substantial risks, including, but not limited to, pricing volatility, inadequate liquidity, and the potential complete loss of principal. This report’s estimated fundamental value only represents a best efforts estimate of the potential fundamental valuation of a specific security, and is not expressed as, or implied as, assessments of the quality of a security, a summary of past performance, or an actionable investment strategy for an investor.

This document does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment, security, or commodity discussed herein or of any of the affiliates of the Authors. Also, this document does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security in any jurisdiction in which such an offer would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. To the best of the Authors’ abilities and beliefs, all information contained herein is accurate and reliable. The Authors reserve the rights for their affiliates, officers, and employees to hold cash or derivative positions in any company discussed in this document at any time. As of the original publication date of this document, investors should assume that the Authors are long shares of Metro and have positions in financial derivatives that reference this security and stand to potentially realize gains in the event that the market valuation of the company’s common equity is higher than prior to the original publication date. These affiliates, officers, and individuals shall have no obligation to inform any investor about their historical, current, and future trading activities. In addition, the Authors may benefit from any change in the valuation of any other companies, securities, or commodities discussed in this document. Analysts who prepared this report are compensated based upon (among other factors) the overall profitability of the Authors’ operations and their affiliates. The compensation structure for the Authors’ analysts is generally a derivative of their effectiveness in generating and communicating new investment ideas and the performance of recommended strategies for the Authors. This could represent a potential conflict of interest in the statements and opinions in the Authors’ documents.

The information contained in this document may include, or incorporate by reference, forward- looking statements, which would include any statements that are not statements of historical fact. Any or all of the Authors’ forward-looking assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions or beliefs about future events may turn out to be wrong. These forward-looking statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, most of which are beyond the Authors’ control. Investors should conduct independent due diligence, with assistance from professional financial, legal and tax experts, on all securities, companies, and commodities discussed in this document and develop a stand-alone judgment of the relevant markets prior to making any investment decision.


Certain statements contained in this letter are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements that are predications of or indicate future events, trends, plans or objectives. Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or activities and are subject to many risks and uncertainties. Due to such risks and uncertainties, actual events or results or actual performance may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of the future tense or other forward-looking words such as “view,” “believe,” “convinced,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “should,” “may,” “will,” “objective,” “project,” “forecast,” “management believes,” “continue,” “strategy,” “promising,” “potential,” “position” or the negative of those terms or other variations of them or by comparable terminology.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations set forth in this letter include, among other things, the factors identified in the risk sections in METRO HOLDINGS LIMITED Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2016 and prospectus. Such forward-looking statements should therefore be constructed in light of such factors, and Quarz Capital Management is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Source: Quarz Capital Management, Ltd.
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Written by asiafreshnews

October 17, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Dubai’s DMCC Awarded ‘Global Free Zone of the Year 2016’ for the Second Year Running

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DUBAI, UAE /PRNewswire/ — DMCC Free Zone awarded five accolades in Financial Times fDi Magazine’s annual global Free Zone rankings:

GLOBAL – Free Zone of The Year
GLOBAL – Free Zone of The Year for SME’s
MIDDLE EAST – Free Zone of the Year
MIDDLE EAST- Free Zone of The Year for SME’s
GLOBAL – Specialism Award – Trade & Commodities
DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre), the authority on trade, enterprise and commodities in Dubai, has been named ‘Global Free Zone of the Year’ 2016 by The Financial Times fDi Magazine, for the second year running.

The annual global survey, considered the most prestigious free zone rankings in the world, is based on criteria such as outstanding performance year on year, growth and expansion plans, strong customer offering and presence of high growth industries. The DMCC Free Zone was recognised for its sustainable growth, strong customer service and its eco-system model which offer businesses everything they need to set up, whether a branch office or full operations, in one place.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC, said:

“Winning ‘Global Free Zone’ for the second year in a row is a tribute to the 12,700 companies which make up the DMCC Free Zone and contribute to our success every day, driving growth, dynamism and innovation. Perfectly positioned where East meets West and North meets South, DMCC is proud to have become a global market place, the largest and fastest growing Free Zone in the world.”

Gautam Sashittal, Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said:

“These accolades reaffirm the DMCC’s position as the number one destination for trade and enterprise. Ranked number one out of 60 Free Zones around the world is a huge achievement and demonstrates clearly, the benefits of digitalisation and a world class customer experience, as well as the benefits of creating vibrant industry clusters. Winning these awards affirms once again that the DMCC Free Zone truly provides a connected marketplace enabling the 12,700 plus companies to trade with confidence and grow their businesses.”

DMCC has grown exponentially since its formation in 2002 and today has more than 12,700 member companies with 87,500 workers and residents from over 170 countries based in its Free Zone.

With seven new companies setting up a business every working day, DMCC is home to many of the world’s best-known corporations including; Alcatel Lucent Middle East and North Africa, American Express, Carrera Y Carrera, Colgate-Palmolive, Dyson, Duracell, Eurofin, Hisense, John West Foods, Lukoil, LVMH, Nutricia Danone, Oddfjell, Rio Tinto – Dimexon and TAG Worldwide.

Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief, fDi Magazine, a Financial Times publication, said:

“The high quality of entries received for our Global Free Zones of the Year awards makes for an extremely competitive field, and choosing winners is difficult. But, DMCC once again stood out for its all-around excellence, increasing numbers of member companies, growth prospects and its well communicated offering to companies of varying sizes and sectors from all across the world. These are some of many reasons why we are pleased to name DMCC our Global Free Zone of the Year for 2016.”

fDi’s annual Global Free Zone Awards are considered the most prestigious free zone ranking in the world. A panel of judges from fDi is appointed to study each location and nominate their winning and runner-up free zones in each region.

Indispensable to the economic growth of the nation, at DMCC – we together with our members – deliver strong performance today, and sustainable growth tomorrow.
DMCC. Made for Trade. Together.

Source: DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre)

Written by asiafreshnews

October 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Merck Announces Recipients of Third Annual €1 Million ‘Grant for Oncology Innovation’ Award

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DARMSTADT, Germany /PRNewswire/ —

Not intended for UK- or UK-based media

Grant established by Merck recognizes pioneering research in personalized treatment of solid tumors
Winners selected by internationally renowned oncologists from 405 applications representing 49 countries
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2016 Grant for Oncology Innovation award winners (PRNewsFoto/Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany)

2016 Grant for Oncology Innovation award winners (PRNewsFoto/Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany)
Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the recipients of the 2016 Grant for Oncology Innovation (GOI), who will share a €1 million grant to progress their respective research initiatives. The winners were formally awarded yesterday evening at an award presentation coinciding with the 2016 annual European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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The three winning proposals, which focus on breast cancer, colorectal cancer and lung cancer, were selected from a total of 405 applications representing 49 countries, following a comprehensive review by an expert scientific steering committee made up of internationally renowned oncologists.

The 2016 GOI winners are:

Alberto Bardelli, University of Torino, Italy, for his proposal: ‘Heterogeneity and clonal evolution as a therapeutic opportunity for colorectal cancers’
Enriqueta Felip, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology, Spain, for her proposal: ‘New technologies for new treatments: liquid biopsy meets immunotherapy’
Dr Dongxu Liu, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand for his proposal: ‘How does SHON* expression in tumors determine the efficacy of endocrine therapy in breast cancer?’
“The Grant for Oncology Innovation is an example of Merck’s commitment to scientific innovation in oncology. We are proud to support pioneering work that pushes the boundaries of creativity and science in order to deliver transformative innovation with a potential to improve the lives of cancer patients in the near-term future,” said Dr Steven Hildemann, Global Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Medical and Safety at Merck´s Biopharma business. “We are honored to recognize these talented and inspiring researchers and to play a role in enabling these innovative projects to become a reality.”

These awards mark the third successful year for GOI. Every year, Merck offers grants totaling €1 million through the GOI program. More information about the GOI can be found online at:

Merck is committed to rewarding innovation and new thinking that could further advance the field of medicine. To learn more about the variety of innovation grants that Merck offers, visit:

*Secreted hominoid-specific oncogene (SHON), an estrogen-regulated gene.

For further information and press materials please visit:

All Merck Press Releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service.

About Merck

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

Contact: Heike Schmiedt, +49-6151-72-7498

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Written by asiafreshnews

October 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized