Briefs | Few SMEs delay repayments of gov’t loans

Approximately 4% of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which received subsidized loans from the Macao Economics Services Bureau (DSE) delayed their loan repayments, according to DSE director Tai Kin Ip. This group of SMEs, which delayed loan repayments typically across more than two semesters, saw the Financial Services Bureau (DSF) taking mandatory measures to collect the debts. Since the launch of subsidy programs for SMEs, a total of 1,148 SMEs awarded a subsidy did not succeed, having terminated their operations. This figure represents 11 percent of the total number of approved subsidized SMEs. In 2013, DSE launched a subsidy program to help young entrepreneurs. As of today, the program has received 1,500 applications.

70% of shops install e-payment devices

Approximately 70% of Macau local shops have installed e-payment devices, according to Tai Kin Ip, director of the Macao Economics Services Bureau (DSE). In 2017, DSE launched a program to subsidize the installation of e-payment devices by local SMEs. Tai thinks that the 70 percent coverage is a high penetration rate. As of today, Macau has a total of 33,000 related e-payment equipment and QR codes. The number of transactions made in January this year through these devices exceeded the total number of transactions made during the whole of last year. Currently, according to Tai, the majority of the shops that have not yet installed e-payment options are micro-enterprises or stalls.

SSM calls for withdrawal of stomach medication

The Health Bureau (SSM) has announced that four types of stomach medication should be withdrawn from the market on a retail level, as they have been contaminated by traces of pollutants. The medicines concerned are all manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and sold under the brand name “Zantac”, namely Zantac Tablet 150mg, Tablet 300mg, Syrup 150mg/10ml and Injection 25mg/ml. The main ingredient of the medicines is ranitidine. The manufacturer has notified the bureau that a recall is underway. The import agents, meanwhile, have notified clinical establishments about the withdrawal. As such, patients in possession of the medicines should consult the bureau for assistance. The contaminant is N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a type of environment pollutant found in food and water. Meat, vegetables and dairy products are common carriers. The Health Bureau has also conducted tests on the affected medicines and is waiting for the results, which it said will be made public once available.

20 business leaders on UM’s new business program

Twenty business elites from the Greater Bay Area have been taken on as students of the University of Macau’s (UM) new Doctor in Business Administration (DBA) program, said the university. These DBA students work in senior management positions at enterprises in the Greater Bay Area. Their positions include CEO, general manager, partner or company secretary. As introduced by Prof. Jean Chen, Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, the three-year DBA program is designed to broaden an international vision and develop an innovative perspective among senior working executives. Rector Song Yonghua was present at the opening ceremony and gave a welcome speech.

Discrimination lawsuit filed against Saipan casino

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a lawsuit that a Saipan casino discriminates against women workers. The agency filed a lawsuit this week alleging sexual harassment against Imperial Pacific in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The lawsuit cites examples such as sexual advances and demands for sexual favors by casino customers. The agency says Imperial Pacific shrugged off employee complaints and that those who complained were fired or faced other retaliation. Imperial Pacific didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

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