Southeast Asia’s Grab mops up $1 billion funding from financial firms

Grab, which started as a taxi-booking app, has been transforming itself into a consumer technology group. (Reuters)
Updated 02 August 2018
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Southeast Asia’s Grab mops up $1 billion funding from financial firms

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab on Thursday said it has secured new investment of $1 billion from a clutch of financial firms, including global asset manager OppenheimerFunds and China’s Ping An Capital.
The funding comes after Toyota Motor Corp. in June bought a $1 billion stake in Grab as the lead investor in a financing round launched following Grab’s acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc’s operations in Southeast Asia.
Grab said other investors in the new funding include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, Macquarie Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Six-year-old Grab, which counts Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. among its backers, was valued at just more than $10 billion after Toyota’s investment, a source familiar with the matter said at the time.
Grab, which started as a taxi-booking app, has been transforming itself into a consumer technology group, offering services such as digital payments and food delivery.
Earlier this year, Uber sold its Southeast Asian business to Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singapore-based firm, in a deal that has prompted regulatory scrutiny.
Grab said it would use the new funds to expand its online-to-offline services in Southeast Asia.
It plans to use a significant portion of the proceeds to invest in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest market where Go-Jek is the dominant player in ride-hailing.
Go-Jek counts Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., private equity firms KKR & Co., Warburg Pincus and venture capital player Sequoia Capital among its investors.


OPEC chief: Group must stay together as US sanctions Iran

Updated 33 min 44 sec ago
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OPEC chief: Group must stay together as US sanctions Iran

  • Production cut agreement now a "permanent feature"
  • Brent already near $80 per barrel

FUJAIRAH: OPEC must stick together for the good of the global economy as founding member Iran faces renewed US sanctions, the head of the group said Tuesday — though he did not address how an already-tight market will make up for the loss of Iranian supply.
Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo also said an agreement between OPEC and non-members that cut production and helped bring prices back up from lows of $30 a barrel in January 2016 was now “a permanent feature.”
Cementing that arrangement would be one of the topics of discussion as OPEC meets this Sunday in Algeria, he added.
Still, OPEC will face rising anger from Iran, which feels increasingly under pressure after President Donald Trump pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May.
Crushing US oil sanctions on Iran will resume in early November and already, American allies in Asia are cutting back on their purchases of Iranian crude.
The US moves have gotten furious reactions from Iran, especially amid talk of American officials asking Russia and Saudi Arabia to make up the difference.
“Mr. Trump’s attempt to prevent Iran from appearing on the global crude oil markets has allowed Russia and Saudi Arabia, which would not favor low prices, to pursue hostage-taking policies in the market,” Iranian OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Saturday.
Barkindo said: “Iran is not only a founding member of OPEC, it’s a very important member of this organization. We have no choice but continue to work with all parties.”
Benchmark Brent crude already is nearing $80 a barrel and analysts believe it may go even higher as production remains low. A loss of Iranian supply likely will further drive up prices.
Trump, facing midterm elections in the US, already has called for more oil production from Saudi Arabia and OPEC to bring down prices with limited effect. A gallon of regular gasoline costs on average $2.85 in the US, up from $2.62 a year ago, according to AAA.
Barkindo praised the agreement between OPEC and non-members that cut production and said the cartel would work to make it permanent.
“The declaration of cooperation has come to stay,” he said.