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Myanmar junta chief says committed to restoring peace, democracy

(Reuters) - Myanmar's junta leader on Monday defended his military government's actions in a regional peace plan and said it was seeking to restore order, but that its opponents were committing violence, which ASEAN should take notice of.

In a televised address, coup leader Min Aung Hlaing reiterated the junta's five-step process toward restoring democracy, and said some of the things demanded by a special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were non-negotiable.

It was Min Aung Hlaing's first remarks since ASEAN agreed to sideline him from an upcoming leaders' summit over lack of progress in a peace roadmap.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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Moody’s upbeat on IOI outlook, riding on earnings’ growth, higher CPO prices

KUALA LUMPUR: Moody’s Investors Service expects IOI Corporation Bhd’s leverage to decline to by earnings growth amid high crude palm oil (CPO) prices and debt reduction.

In its report on Monday, it expects IOI's adjusted leverage -- as measured by adjusted debt/earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) -- to decline to around 2.5 times over the next 12-18 months from 3.3 times for the fiscal year ended June 2021.

“This improvement will be driven by earnings growth amid high CPO prices and debt reduction of around RM400mil to RM500mil with cash on hand,” it said.

The rating agency said demand for IOI's palm oil products has remained solid despite thepandemic, and the company's operations have not been significantly disrupted by periodic movement control restrictions in Malaysia.

In addition

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Singapore billionaire and Ronaldo try to marry football and tech

ZujuGP is an upcoming digital community built around football, helmed by the son of secretive Singaporean investor Peter Lim and fronted by global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese footballer has peppered his social media with posts tagged #WritingTheFutureOfFootball and linking to ZujuGP’s website. One of them features the player as an umbrella-wielding warrior and another sees him clasping hands with Lim, whose company Mint Media Sports owns and administers Ronaldo’s image rights.

The startup aims to drive communication and commerce in the worldwide community of four billion fans, allowing them to watch live games virtually, buy merchandise, engage with players and bet. It also aims to make it easier for club owners, agents and scouts to dis

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Gamuda unit acquires Binh Duong land for development project

KUALA LUMPUR: Gamuda Bhd's Vietnam sub-subsidiary Gamuda Land HCMC Joint Stock Company has acquired residential land in Binh Duong New City for US$53.88mil (RM228.5mil) as the site for a mixed-development project.

It said in a statement that the plot of land measures 13.8 acres (5.6ha) and is a part of a 2,600-acre integrated township set to be the administrative centre of Vietnam's affluent Binh Duong province.

The acquisition of the land is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2022.

According to Gamuda, the project development on the land will be market-drive

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Taiwan’s Foxconn shows off three electric vehicle prototypes

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan tech giant Foxconn unveiled its first three electric vehicle prototypes on Monday, underscoring ambitious plans to diversify away from its role of building consumer electronics for Apple Inc and other tech firms.

The vehicles - an SUV, a sedan and a bus - were made by Foxtron, a joint venture between Foxconn and Taiwanese car maker Yulon Motor Co Ltd.

Foxtron Vice Chairman Tso Chi-sen told reporters that electric vehicles would be worth a trillion Taiwan dollars to Foxconn in five years time - a figure equivalent to around $35 billion.

Foxconn, formally called Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, aims become a major player in the global EV market and has clinched deals with U.S. startup Fisker Inc and Thailand's energy group PT

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Foreign funds net buyers on Bursa at nearly RM925m in week ended Oct 15

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign funds continued to be net buyers on Bursa Malaysia in the week ended Oct 15 at RM924.70mil, which was the second week of net buying, MIDF Research said.

In its fund flow report on Monday, MIDF said foreign investors were net buyers for every day of the week.

“Largest foreign inflow was recorded on Friday with the smallest inflow on Thursday to the tune of RM303.22mil and RM79.99mil respectively,” it said.

MIDF Research said as for the retailers, over the week, they were net sellers at -RM78.64mil.

Local institutions recorded cumulative weekly net selling to the tune of -RM846.14mil.

Local institutions were net sellers for everyday of the week with largest net selling on Wednesday to the tune of -RM245.86mil,

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Energy-stricken South Africa weighs need to save climate and keep lights on

When you fly into Johannesburg, solar panels seem to gleam everywhere, from the roofs of mansions and small township homes alike.

But those glittering 21st-century panels mask South Africa's dependence on a dirty 19th-century energy source: coal.

Like many developing countries, South Africa is struggling to meet growing energy needs yet avoid deepening Earth's carbon crisis – one of the many dilemmas besetting the UN climate talks, which resume in Glasgow on Oct 31.

South Africa's continuing addiction to coal has to be seen in the context of rolling blackouts that have been a part of life since 2007.

Schedules for power cuts are shared on apps and in news reports, along with quotidian news like weather and traffic jams.

"As a young

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China’s GDP growth hits 1-year low as power crunch, bottlenecks choke output

BEIJING: China's economy grew at the slowest pace in a year in the third quarter, hurt by power shortages, supply bottlenecks and sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks and raising heat on policymakers amid rising jitters over the property sector.

Data released on Monday showed gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.9% in July-September from a earlier, the weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter.

That marked a further deceleration from the 18.3% expansion in the first quarter, when the year-on-year growth rate was heavily flattered by the very low comparison seen during the COVID-induced slump of early 2020.

"The domestic economic recovery is still unstable and uneven," said National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) spokesp

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Stellantis, LG Energy to form battery-production JV

(Reuters) - Automaker Stellantis NV and LG Energy Solution said on Monday they have entered an agreement to form a joint venture to produce battery cells and modules for North America.

The plant is targeted to start by the first quarter of 2024 and aims to have an annual production capacity of 40 gigawatt hours, the companies said.

(Reporting by Shivam Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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New Zealand PM Ardern extends COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that the country's biggest city Auckland will remain in lockdown for another two weeks as it looks to control the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

There will be no changes in the social restrictions that have already been in place for over two months in Auckland under alert level 3, Ardern said at a news conference.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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