The Week in Numbers: Grab-Uber Merger

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a secretive four-day trip through China, his first foreign trip since assuming power more than six years ago in 2011. Chinese officials had previously refused for two days to confirm reports of Kim’s motorcade and train movements.

The Beijing meeting between Kim and Xi Jinping comes before The North Korean leader’s potential summit with Trump. Kim is also due to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae on 27 April.

Back home, Singapore-based ride-hailing app, Grab has confirmed on Monday that it will be taking over the Southeast Asia operations of its competitor, Uber. Grab will take over Uber’s operations and assets in eight Southeast Asian countries. In exchange, Uber will take a 27.5% stake in Grab. This marks Uber’s second retreat in an Asian market, following its China operations merger with local competitor Didi Chuxing. Analysts believe that Uber has been trying to streamline its operations ahead of its potential initial public offering in 2019.

Economists expect Singapore’s central bank to tighten monetary policy for the first time in six years. Nine of the 15 analysts polled expect the Monetary Authority of Singapore to increase the appreciation rate of the Singapore dollar from its current policy band of zero percent. MAS manages monetary policy via changes to the exchange rate, rather than the interest rate.

Singapore factory output grew 8.9% in February from the previous year, beating analyst estimate of 4.2%. This follows January’s stellar growth of 16.9%. Electronics output was the main driver, increasing 17.4% from the same time last year. The semiconductor segment was the primary driver of electronic output as it surged 26.7%. Biomedical manufacturing cluster expanded 8.4%, while transport engineering grew 5.4% year-on-year. General manufacturing performed the worst, as output declined 6.3% year on year.

And finally, the Singapore property auction market grew this quarter to $19.97 million, 31.2% higher than the $15.23 million a year ago. This reflects the positive market sentiment in the Singapore property market. Lender sales were the most popular among bidders, with eight units sold for a total of S$13.42 million. Owner’s sales and a public trustee’s sale contributed S$4.32million and S$2.23 million respectively.

Meanwhile, there are 28 surprising and important things we think every Singaporean investor should know--and we've laid them all out in The Motley Fool Singapore's new e-book. Packed with information and insights, we believe this book will help you be a better, smarter investor. You can download the full e-book FREE of charge--simply click here now to claim your copy.

Also, like us on Facebook to follow our latest hot articles. The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better.

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Jeremy Chia doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.