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Last Week In Numbers: Grab Raises Most Funding In The World

Ride-hailing app Grab received the most venture capital investment in the world for the first quarter of the year with US$2.5 billion raised. Total funds raised in VC investments in Singapore for the first quarter was US$2.68 billion across 23 deals. This is the most amount of funds raised by local start-ups in a single quarter since data started being recorded 8 years ago.

The second biggest local deal involved logistics firm Ninja Van, which raised US$87 million, while software solutions provider Capillary Technologies was third, raising US$20 million. Game developer Virtuos raised US$15 million and in fifth, Love, Bonito raised US$13 million. Regionally, Indonesian-based Go-Jek raised US$1.5 billion, the fourth largest deal in the world for the quarter.

CEOs’ median compensation hit an 11-year high in 2017, according to a report by Equilar, which examined the pay of the leaders of the 100 largest public companies by revenue. The median CEO pay package was valued at US$15.7 million, 5 % higher than 2016’s previous record of US$15 million. The research report also released data on the ratio of what the companies’ CEO make in comparison to the median pay of their workers. The median ratio for the 100 largest companies was 235-to-one, while the ratio for the Russell 3000 index was 72-to-one. The Russell 300 index is a broad stock market index in the US.

The highest-paid CEO was Broadcom’s (NASDAQ: AVGO) Tan Hock Eng, whose compensation package was US$103.2 million in 2017. However, the sum included US$98.3 million in stock grants that will only be paid out over a period of several years if Broadcom meets certain targets. The lowest paid CEO in the ranking was billionaire investor Warren Buffett. He received a US$100,000 salary, the same amount he has received for more than 25 years. He had no bonus or stock awards and his pay ratio was just 1.87-to-one.

Meanwhile, for the fifth straight year, Singapore was the top in attracting and developing talent in Asia-Pacific. Worldwide, Singapore came in second, behind Switzerland. The other top five cities in Asia-Pacific were Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, and Auckland.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the United States deficit will grow by more than 20% this year mostly due to recent tax cuts. The CBO estimates that the budget deficit would reach US$804 billion in 2018, which would be 4.2% of US GDP, up from US$665 billion in 2017. Based on the CBO’s projections, the US budget deficit will rise to more than a trillion dollars by 2020, and will exceed 5% of GDP by 2022. US GDP is expected to rise 3.3% this year and 2.4% in 2019. US soverign debt will reach 100% of GDP in the next decade. Total debt incurred by the US Treasury is projected to reach US$16 trillion by the end of this year, and will grow to US$28 trillion by 2028, or 96% of GDP. The CBO said that that level of debt would have “serious negative consequences for the budget and the nation.”

Finally, the fight against climate change heats up in New Zealand, as the country will stop granting offshore oil and gas exploration permits. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government also plans to plant a billion trees over 10 years and wants to achieve 100% renewable electricity generation by 2035. But opposition parties have said that the step to disallow exploration will simply move business elsewhere and will have no material impact on climate change. The oil and gas industry in New Zealand employs 4,700 people and supports thousands more.

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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.