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Preemployment card program helps boost financial inclusion: Director – Business

Preemployment card program helps boost financial inclusion: Director – Business

The government’s preemployment card program has prompted 728,000 underbanked people to board e-wallet platforms and create a bank account for the first time, hence aiding financial inclusion in the country, the program director has said.

Preemployment program executive director Denni P. Purbasari said that currently, there were 5.59 million preemployment card recipients across the country, from 36.6 million online registrants.

“Before joining the preemployment program, 13 percent [of the recipients] did not have an e-wallet or access to the bank, now they do. This 13 percent amounts to around 728,000 people,” Denni said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

She added that 76 percent of the recipients chose an e-wallet as their preferred means of receiving the incentive. Recent data also show that in total, there are around 4 million preemployment card recipients who have an e-wallet account.

Recently, the government added e-wallet DANA as one of its partners in disbursing preemployment cash assistance to participants, alongside other platforms such as GoPay, OVO and LinkAja.

“With the addition of DANA, we are giving the [preemployment card] recipients more e-wallet options to use as an incentive channel,” Denni said.

With an economy contracting 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter, the government is confronted with job losses nationwide.

Around 3.7 million individuals have lost their jobs so far this year due to the pandemic, according to data from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), a number that is expected to hit around 10 million by the end of the year.

With a budget of Rp 20 trillion (US$1.3 billion), the preemployment card program is aimed at combining social assistance with upskilling for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including workers and small business owners. It offers monthly assistance of Rp 3.5 million for four months to cover training costs and

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OPEC+ Oil Boost to Leave Market in Precarious Balance, IEA Says

OPEC+ Oil Boost to Leave Market in Precarious Balance, IEA Says

(Bloomberg) — The outlook for oil “remains fragile” as the pandemic depresses demand, and OPEC’s plans to increase supply next year will leave global markets precariously balanced, the International Energy Agency said.

“There is a risk that the demand recovery is stalled by the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in many countries,” the IEA said in its monthly market report.

At the same time, markets are set to receive fresh supplies in January as OPEC and its partners relax some of the measures they’ve taken to prevent a glut. Once the taps are opened, “there is only limited headroom for the market to absorb” anything more, the Paris-based agency said.



text: A Precarious Balance


© Bloomberg
A Precarious Balance

The acceleration in virus infections is leading many in the market to question if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will increase supply from January. Producers inside the group are also having doubts, according to delegates. Still, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said on Tuesday that, for now, OPEC+ plans to proceed with the supply boost as scheduled.

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Global oil demand remains on track for an unprecedented 8% slump this year because of the economic fallout from the virus. To offset the drop, and prop up prices, the OPEC+ alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia has made vast reductions in output.

Also see: Saudi Prince and Putin Urge OPEC+ Compliance as Oil Prices Sag

Their measures have “shown some success,” depleting the world’s swollen inventories in the third quarter at a rate of 900,000 barrels a day, the IEA said. Crude futures are hovering just above $40 a barrel in London.

Inventory Drop

Yet the declines in inventories will slow markedly in the first half of next year, the report showed.

Having phased out some of

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Rakuten Mobile signs deal with STC to boost OpenRAN tech

Rakuten Mobile signs deal with STC to boost OpenRAN tech

 

Japanese operator Rakuten Mobile has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) with the aim of collaborating in the field of innovation and strategic mobile technology.

Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will explore future opportunities to collaborate in various technology domains, including, fully autonomous digital platform serving telecommunication cloud network and OpenRAN deployment options for greenfield and brownfield use cases.

Both operators said they aim to accelerate the delivery of mobile network services through the use of OpenRAN mobile access technology.

“This MoU aims to expand our global partnerships and help diversify our strategic growth. We are confident this MoU will bring tangible results in terms of developing a new advance technology strategy and accelerating the early deployment of novel and sophisticated services,” said Nasser Al Nasser, Group CEO of STC.

“We are very excited about collaborating with STC and sharing our know-how of building new-generation telecommunication infrastructure,” said Mickey Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten and CEO of Rakuten Mobile. “We believe that our open architecture and advanced OpenRAN technologies will help define a new generation of operators who are ideally positioned to place advanced customer experience and differentiated profitable services at the center of their offering.”

Last month, Rakuten Mobile inked an agreement with Spanish carrier Telefonica to research and conduct lab tests and trials to support OpenRAN architectures, including the role of the AI in the RAN Networks. Under the partnership, both companies will also jointly develop proposals for optimal 5G RAN architecture and OpenRAN models.

Rakuten Mobile launched its commercial mobile operations in April this year, becoming the fourth mobile operator in Japan.  Rakuten offers its mobile services through a cloud-native, software-centric and fully virtualized mobile network.

In September, Rakuten Mobile announced the availability of its commercial 5G

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Voya Launches New Program to Boost Retirement Savings for Minority-Owned Businesses

Voya Launches New Program to Boost Retirement Savings for Minority-Owned Businesses

Voya’s new ‘Just Right Advantage’ program seeks to increase retirement readiness for businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, and members of the disability and LGBTQ communities — as well as nonprofits that serve them

New Voya research finds 79% of Americans believe corporations should support minority-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today a first-of-its-kind program to support greater retirement planning opportunities for minority, women, veteran, disability, and LGBTQ-owned businesses — along with nonprofit organizations that serve them. The Just Right Advantage™ Program is focused on helping employers and organizations within undercapitalized, underserved and “under-saved” communities by offering a fee credit when they establish or retain their retirement plan. In helping to support the employees within these businesses to become better prepared for retirement, the new program further expands on Voya’s recent efforts to help Americans address the financial challenges of COVID-19.

“We believe that this is an important time to support the businesses and communities that have been most heavily impacted by COVID-19, including those owned by minorities and other underserved communities,” said Rodney O. Martin, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, Voya Financial. “The financial challenges brought on by the pandemic were exacerbated for many of the businesses within these communities due to forced closures and lack of access to relief funds. As part of our aspiration to be America’s Retirement Company, we commit to working together with employers and individuals to advance everyone’s opportunity for a better financial future. This is just one example of how we can do our part – and help demonstrate that Voya stands for diversity, equity and inclusion for all.”

The Just Right Advantage program comes at a time when a majority (79%) of Americans agree it is important that corporations do all they can to help minority-owned

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Walt Disney restructures entertainment businesses to boost streaming

Walt Disney restructures entertainment businesses to boost streaming

(Reuters) – Walt Disney Co DIS.N said on Monday it had restructured its media and entertainment businesses to accelerate growth of Disney+ and other streaming services as consumers increasingly gravitate to digital viewing.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Walt Disney Company is displayed above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the closing bell as the market takes a significant dip in New York, U.S., February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Under the reorganization, Disney will separate the development and production of programming from distribution to be more responsive to consumer demands.

The move came days after activist investor Daniel Loeb of hedge fund Third Point urged Disney to forgo a dividend payment and double its programming investment in streaming.

Disney shares rose nearly 5% in after-hours trading to $130.76.

The media and theme parks company launched the Disney+ streaming service in November 2019. It has exceeded its own targets by drawing more than 100 million streaming customers worldwide to Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.

Streaming pioneer Netflix Inc NFLX.O boasts 193 million, but has built that customer base over the 13 years.

Loeb had argued that Disney needed to cut its dividend to increase spending on new TV shows and movies to sign up new customers more quickly.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek, in an interview with CNBC, said the company is planning to increase investments in content but he did not say if it was prepared to cut its dividend to finance the strategy.

“Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it,” Chapek, who took the company’s top job in February, said in a separate statement.

In a statement on Monday, Loeb welcomed

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