Weekly Business Brief | 2019 Week 8

Wrapping up the week's business news and announcements.

SBO Singapore Weekly Business Brief
Published:   |   Updated:   |   Posted in

Finance Minister Heng announced Budget 2019

“Budget 2019 is a strategic plan to allocate resources to build a strong, united Singapore,” said Finance Minister Heng Swee Kiat.

“Budget 2019 is a strategic plan to allocate resources to build a strong, united Singapore,” said Finance Minister Heng Swee Kiat.

Besides the usual focus on business, economy, education and the underprivileged, Mr Heng’s announcement also shone the spotlight on bicentennial commemorations, climate change and trade relations.

We’ve summarised the business-related initiatives here.

Razer realigns business, lays off staff

Razer is in the midst of reviewing its business. Following the announcment of the closure of the Razer Game Store, DroidLife received an anonymous tip-off that the gaming hardware company had fired most of its mobile device and hardware engineers, along with some marketing staff.

DroidLife independently found some departures from Razer, reached out to the company and received this statement:

… the gaming hardware company had fired most of its mobile device and hardware engineers, along with some marketing staff.

Razer has made changes to realign our organization and strengthen our path to growth. We will centralize our resources to focus on key projects and improve our profitability. As part of the realignment, we shut down several projects and unfortunately had to part ways with about 30 employees (about 2% of our total workforce). Other employees of the affected projects will be moved to different parts of Razer to work on other key focus projects and initiatives which will continue to scale and hire.

After the article went live, Razer reached out to DroidLife for further clarification:

In our mobile division, there were some staff members who were let go, and others who were reassigned to other new projects. We see great opportunities in the mobile gaming space that we created with the Razer Phone and will continue to invest in this category through a combination of hardware and software initiatives. We are working on new exciting mobile projects and will share the news when we are ready. The Razer Phone 2 will continue to be on sale and we are committed to supporting it with the latest updates and features.

DroidLife pointed out the contradiction in the company’s layoffs and reassignments while claiming to continue developing the Razer Phone.

Follow this developing story on DroidLife.

Global trade slows down as WTO trade indicator hits nine-year low

Trade growth is estimated to slow to 3.7% in 2019, down from an expected 3.9% in 2018.

The latest World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) indicates that trade expansion is below trend. Trade growth is estimated to slow to 3.7% in 2019, down from an expected 3.9% in 2018.

WTO World Trade Outlook Indicator February 2019
The World Trade Outlook Indicator shows signs of global trade slowdown. Image Credits: World Trade Organisation

The current reading of 96.3, which is below the baseline value of 100 for the index,  is the weakest since March 2010. Global trade tensions seem to be driving the index’s decline. World Trade Organisation (WTO) said that “greater certainty and improvement in the policy environment could bring about a swift rebound in trade growth.”

Read more in this World Trade Organisation report.

The World Trade Outlook Indicator image from World Trade Organisation.

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