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WeWork Announces $500m Investment in Asia

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WeWork Announces $500m Investment in Asia

By Dipo Olowookere

WeWork has announced a $500 million investment in a new entity focused on fuelling its growth and expansion in Southeast Asia and Korea.

This investment underlines the potential for WeWork in Asia and follows on the heels of WeWork’s other recent investment news from the region: a $500 million investment with SoftBank and Hony Capital dedicated to WeWork’s expansion across China, and a joint venture with SoftBank to bring WeWork’s transformational community to Japan.

WeWork, in a statement, also disclosed that it would acquire Singapore-based coworking company Spacemob, including its founder and CEO, Turochas ‘T’ Fuad, and his team. Fuad will become Managing Director of Southeast Asia for WeWork and will oversee the company’s expansion in the region.

Fuad founded Spacemob in early 2016 and quickly grew the company to multiple locations in Singapore, with spaces in Indonesia and Vietnam scheduled to open soon. Prior to founding Spacemob in early 2016, Fuad founded and sold two startups: WUF Networks and Travelmob. Fuad also held senior roles in Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific for Yahoo! and Skype, respectively.

Matt Shampine, currently Head of Marketing and Revenue for Asia, has been appointed General Manager of Korea for WeWork. Shampine originally joined WeWork in 2010 as a member and his digital agency went on to be a founding member of WeWork Labs. In 2013, he joined WeWork as an employee, initially as Director of Strategic Partnerships. More recently, Shampine has played a key role in WeWork’s entry and subsequent expansion in Asia.

Miguel McKelvey, Co-Founder and Chief Culture Officer of WeWork, said: “Today’s announcement reaffirms WeWork’s commitment to scaling our business across Asia. We are amazed and humbled by the response to WeWork so far and look forward to continuing to build our vibrant and diverse community in the rapidly evolving region.

“To be part of WeWork is to be connected to one of the most meaningful business networks in the world and we are excited to invite new members from some of the most creative and innovative cities on the globe.

“I speak for the entire WeWork team and our 130,000 members when I say I am incredibly excited to have T and the team from Spacemob join us in our mission to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.”

Christian Lee, Managing Director of WeWork Asia, said: “I’m delighted to welcome T and Matt to the Asia management team. Both are seasoned entrepreneurs with deep roots in Southeast Asia and they will be invaluable as we scale the business across the region. Matt’s WeWork experience — as both a member and an employee — will be critical as we expand our offerings in Korea. With Spacemob, T and his team will accelerate our efforts to establish WeWork in key Southeast Asia markets. The Spacemob business that T has built is a testament to him and his team’s capabilities.”

Turochas “T” Fuad, Managing Director of Southeast Asia for WeWork said: “WeWork’s purpose-driven approach to providing businesses of any size with the space, community, and services they need to thrive is without equal. I could not be more proud to lead WeWork’s expansion in Southeast Asia. The region represents close to nine percent of the world’s population, it is an exciting market full of budding entrepreneurs, enterprises and creators, and that is a massive opportunity for WeWork. I know that we will have a meaningful impact on these communities. My team and I cannot wait to get started on what promises to be an incredible journey.”

Matt Shampine, General Manager of Korea for WeWork said: “It has been exciting to launch WeWork in Asia and to see the WeWork vision and community take shape here. To see the way new members have grasped WeWork’s core values has been inspiring, educational and fun. The region has so much potential, I have no doubt that current and future WeWork members in Asia — and especially in Korea — will thrive and contribute in a positive and meaningful way to WeWork’s global community. It’s going to be exciting to be part of it and I’m ready for the challenge.”

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Economy

Employment Growth Quickens Amid Efforts to Deal With Workloads

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Manufacturing Activities PMI

The Nigerian private sector registered a slight loss of growth momentum in January, with output and new business rising further markedly, though at softer rates than at the end of 2022.

On a more positive note, firms raised employment at the fastest pace since June 2018 as part of efforts to complete work on time.

On the price front, rates of inflation of input costs and output prices softened in January but remained elevated.

Analysis by Stanbic IBTC Bank showed that the headline figure derived from the survey is the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI®).

Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions in the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration. The headline PMI dipped to 53.5 in January from 54.6 in December. Although still signalling a solid monthly strengthening of the private sector and the thirty-first in consecutive months, the rate of improvement was the softest since August 2022.

Business activity increased at a much slower pace at the start of the year, despite the rate of growth remaining marked. The latest rise was the weakest in five months. Demand continued to improve, but some firms reported a moderation in customer numbers.

Activity increased across each of the four broad sectors covered by the survey. The rate of expansion in new business also softened in January but remained sharp nonetheless, again reflecting higher demand from customers.

A desire to try and complete projects on time led companies to ramp up their hiring activities at the start of the year. Employment increased at a solid pace that was the fastest since June 2018.

Despite expanded staffing levels, backlogs of work increased for the first time in three months. Firms reported having been hindered by issues with machinery and power supply.

Higher workloads and positive expectations regarding the outlook for activity led companies to expand their purchasing activity sharply again, with the rate of growth unchanged from December. In turn, stocks of purchases also rose further. Efforts to secure inputs were helped by improving supplier performance.

Competition among vendors, quiet road conditions and prompt payments all contributed to a shortening of delivery times, one that was the most pronounced in four months. The rate of input cost inflation softened for the second month running in January, and was at a one-year low.

The slowdown in overall cost inflation largely reflected a softer rise in purchase prices, albeit one that was still substantial. Purchase costs increased on the back of rising fuel and raw material costs, exacerbated by currency weakness.

Meanwhile, staff costs rose at the fastest pace in 11 months as companies increased pay in line with higher living costs. Output price inflation also remained elevated as higher cost burdens were passed on to customers.

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Economy

NASD OTC Market Appreciates by 0.95%

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NASD Market capitalisation

By Adedapo Adesanya

The duo of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc buoyed the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.95 per cent on Thursday, February 2.

They lifted the market capitalisation of the bourse by N8.80 billion to settle at N940.51 billion compared with the previous day’s N931.71 billion. They also raised the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) by 6.70 points to wrap the session at 715.76 points compared with 709.06 points recorded in the previous session.

During the session, the price of FrieslandCampina went up by N3.23 to settle at N68.06 per unit, in contrast to the previous day’s N64.83 per unit, while CSCS Plc appreciated by 50 Kobo to sell at N13.50 per share compared with the preceding session’s N13 per share.

The volume of transacted stocks decreased by 4.3 per cent to 261,439 units from the 273,038 units traded in the preceding session. However, the value of shares traded went higher by 38.9 per cent to N15.7 million from N11.3 million, while the number of deals recorded an improvement, as it grew by 300 per cent to 20 deals from five deals on Tuesday.

Business Post reports that there was no price loser at the session.

Geo-Fluids finished the day as the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with 321.2 million units worth N317.2 million, UBN Property Plc stood in second place with 35.8 million units valued at N25.8 million, while FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc was in third place with 2.4 million units valued at N159.4 million.

Geo-Fluids Plc also maintained its summit position as the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis, with 321.2 million units sold for N317.2 million, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Group Plc was in second place with 2.4 million units valued at N159.4 million, while VFD Group Plc was in third place for trading 561,810 units for N137.0 million.

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Economy

Continuous Bargain Hunting Leaves Local Stock Exchange Higher by 0.93%

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Local Stock Exchange

By Dipo Olowookere

The local stock exchange closed higher by 0.93 per cent on Thursday amid continuous bargain hunting by investors, who are digesting a flurry of full-year corporate earnings.

It was observed that the growth reported during the session was strongly influenced by buying pressure in the energy sector, which rose by 5.17 per cent on the back of gains posted by Seplat, MRS Oil and others.

The banking and insurance counters depreciated on Thursday by 0.44 per cent and 0.39 per cent, respectively, as the consumer goods and the industrial goods sectors closed flat.

At the close of trades, the All-Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited increased by 498.44 points to 53,998.12 points from 53,499.68 points, and the market capitalisation grew by N271 billion to close at N29.411 trillion compared with the midweek session’s N29.140 trillion.

MRS Oil topped the gainers’ chart after it gained 10.00 per cent to finish at N17.60, Northern Nigerian Flour Mills appreciated by 9.88 per cent to N8.90, International Energy Insurance rose by 9.76 per cent to 90 Kobo, Seplat went up by 9.50 per cent to N1,325.00, and Cornerstone Insurance improved by 9.09 per cent to 60 Kobo.

On the flip side, Sunu Assurances topped the losers’ log after it lost 8.11 per cent to trade at 34 Kobo, Mutual Benefits fell by 7.69 per cent to 36 Kobo, Linkage Assurance dropped by 6.25 per cent to 45 Kobo, Veritas Kapital declined by 4.76 per cent to 20 Kobo, and PZ Cussons depleted by 4.65 per cent to N10.25.

Business Post reports that the market breadth was positive as there were 27 price gainers and 12 price losers, indicating a strong investor sentiment.

Investors transacted 2.9 billion shares worth N8.1 billion in 3,940 deals, in contrast to the 200.4 million shares worth N5.5 billion transacted in 3,716 deals on Wednesday, showing an increase in the trading volume, value and the number of deals by1,331.88 per cent, 47.27 per cent, and 6.03 per cent, respectively.

Universal Insurance traded 2.7 billion shares due to an off-market deal to close as the most active stock and was followed by AIICO Insurance, which sold 14.0 million stocks, GTCO transacted 13.9 million equities, Sterling Bank exchanged 10.3 million stocks, and Fidelity Bank traded 9.9 million equities.

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