Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ 1MDB-Tanore trial witness: 1MDB advisor got paid RM30k a month doing little to nothing, 1MDB set up as political fund to BN
Religious Affairs Minister to Muslims-don't participate in Japanese Bon Odori festival. Big 4 accounting firms-USD167bil in FY21 combined revenue. Paramount sued for not reacquiring rights to Top Gun.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia, made a surprise rate hike of 0.5% (50 bps) to 0.85%.
The Japanese Yen hit 20-year lows against the USD.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
2050 — Malaysia’s target to be a carbon-neutral nation announced by PM Sabri during his World Environment Day speech.
142.1 kg — the largest haul of ganja this year seized by the police force with a value of RM355,250. That’s RM2,500 per kg. Aspiring downstream agri-preneurs but unfortunately distributing the wrong processed crop.
127,393 — the number of explosive devices removed by Ukraine in urban areas after Russian forces have retreated, according to the UN.
73.5% — Turkey’s annualised inflation rate in May, jumped to a 24-year high due to rising energy prices and the tumbling lira. Their currency practically could only purchase 4x fewer of the same product one year apart. Turkish opposition lawmakers claimed that inflation is higher than official data.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Former PM Najib Razak’s 1MDB-Tanore trial continues. Long summary, but worth the read - let’s go:
Former chief secretary (Ketua Setiausaha Negara KSN) to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan testified in court that he regarded his appointment to 1MDB’s board of advisors (BOA) as a way for Najib to increase his salary after Najib asked Sidek about his salary and thought it was low.
He was paid RM30k monthly since his appointment in Jul 2010 and subsequently, after his retirement from the government in Jun 2012, he was still paid RM10k a month, effective Jan 2013 until Jun 2015, when he was appointed as Petronas chairperson. It was reported from 2013, KSN earned more than RM23k a month. Even assuming Sidek’s salary was 30%-40% lower when Najib asked about it, the former PM still deemed it as low.
During his tenure, Sidek said that nobody from 1MDB ever briefed him on 1MDB matters and no board of advisors meetings were ever held during this time. He said he found out about the alleged 1MDB embezzlement from the media. Was he paid for doing little to nothing?
He added that based on his understanding, 1MDB was set up to be used as a political funding to the ruling party then - BN.
Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah testified that he advised Najib that 1MDB should not invest in the JV with PetroSaudi International Ltd as the latter was at the exploration stage and had no experience in it.
Responding to Husni, Najib told him not to get involved or interfere in 1MDB matters, and subsequent 1MDB issues were no longer brought to his attention.
However, Najib and the then UMNO secretary-general Tengku Adnan stated that only the UMNO president and secretary-general knew about Najib receiving the RM2.6 bil as a donation from the Saudi royalty. Husni was holding the position during the period when the funds were received.
The same day the statement was made, Najib’s media officer visited Husni to give him a statement to be released. Husni met with Najib, pressing for further details on the transaction.
Religious Affairs Minister Idris Ahmad has been criticised for advising Muslims not to participate in the upcoming Bon Odori event in Shah Alam next month as it contain non-Islamic religious elements that can lead Muslims astray. The festival has been observed in Malaysia for the past 30 years and does not contain non-Islamic religious influence, according to Shah Alam City Council councillor Muhammad Shakir Ameer. The event in Selangor is said to be the largest outside of Japan. The festival is considered a cultural event and the state will consult relevant authorities, Selangor Menteri Besar Aminuddin Shari said.
A joint statement by a group of 75 opposition MPs has called the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to withdraw its instruction for a senior federal counsel to represent a teacher and former headmistress in a civil suit against student Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam and her father saying it was improper and irregular, especially when the headmistress was no longer a public servant.
To recap, Ain’s teacher Khairul Nizam filed a defamation suit against the daughter and father over a TikTok video that alleged classroom sexual harassment, which they are making a counterclaim.1. 75 MPs have urged the AGC to withdraw the senior federal counsel for a teacher and former headmistress in a counter-suit filed by Ain Husniza and her father Saiful Nizam. They called the decision appalling, noting that it could further tarnish Putrajaya's reputation.1. Seputeh MP Teresa Kok says she is appalled that a senior federal counsel is defending a teacher who allegedly made a rape joke in class. “Is this not tantamount to endorsing the misconduct of the teacher in school? This sends a wrong message to the teachers,” she adds. https://t.co/iYD50B3ZYE https://t.co/tyNB3S0NczBFM News @NewsBFM
IHH Healthcare Bhd will sell IMU Health Sdn Bhd (which owns IMU Education, IMC Education and IMU Healthcare) to a company backed by Hong Leong Healthcare Group Sdn Bhd, Singapore’s The Rise Fund Inbound SF Pte Ltd and EPF for RM1.24 bil. IHH will record a gain of RM901.98 mil on this disposal after its original cost of RM308.67 mil.
IHH will also sell a hospital that is still under construction to Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd for RM139 mil.
Real estate investment trust (REIT) CapitaLand Malaysia Trust proposed to acquire industrial properties in Penang (freehold land + warehouses + offices) for RM80 mil to expand into the logistics sector. The freehold land of 5.11 hectares has net lettable area of 335,000 sq feet.
If you want to be a property owner without the hassle of managing it, you can consider investing in REITs that are listed on Bursa Malaysia. Learn more here.
Dialog Group Bhd is acquiring the entire stake in Canada-listed oil and gas company 2432707 Alberta Ltd for USD38.7 mil (RM170 mil), making it Dialog’s first upstream O&G venture outside Malaysia.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Global shares rose by 68% on Monday following a Wall Street Journal report that China is ending cybersecurity investigations into the company and other tech companies. It was first removed from domestic app stores due to national data security risks and will likely face financial penalties as the outcome of the investigation.
A Chinese economist at a government-run research group proposed a radical approach to counter US sanctions should the US hit China with sanctions on a par with those levelled against Russia — seize Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC). TSMC produces over 50% of the global chips manufactured, including the chips used for Apple Inc’s iPhone devices.
New Macbook Air launched with the biggest redesign in over a decade. Features of the updated notebook computer include:
Losing the “tapered shape” of the 3rd Gen version to look similar to the latest 14-inch & 16-inch Macbook Pros (includes a notch)
A slightly larger 13.6-inch screen
M2 processor with 8 processing cores + 10 graphic cores, reportedly 18% faster overall processing than its predecessor.
Influential European lawmakers are to pronounce current human rights conditions against the Uygurs and other ethnic Muslims as ‘genocide’ in a resolution set for Parliament next. This changes the mood in Parliament but not the EU's official stance on the situation. The decision is likely hastened due to backlash against China’s support of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Shosh and Yuval Yonay, heirs to Ehud Yonay, author of the 1983 article “Top Gun” that inspired the 1986 Top Gun movie, sued Paramount for failing to re-acquire rights to produce the sequel movie, “Top Gun: Maverick”. Paramount commented that they would defend themselves “vigorously” by denying that the sequel is derived from the 1983 article. The sequel is this year’s biggest box office hit, generating a total of USD839.6 mil — USD291 mil in North America and USD548.6 mil globally in its first 10 days of release.
UK’s PM, Boris Johnson, can resume duties without being challenged for a year after a no-confidence vote on Monday. Johnson needed 180 votes to remain in position and received 211 of them, whilst 148 of his own members voted against him. The vote came about after a series of scandals, primarily the “Partygate” controversy, which involved Boris breaking lockdown rules for political events. Sounds familiar for Malaysians, doesn’t it?
Tencent-backed Chinese logistics startup, G7 Connect, is to merge with competitor E6, that’s backed by Alibaba, before a potential IPO in Hong Kong this year. G7 had a valuation of USD2.2 bil prior to the merger, while E6's revenue is around 70% of G7’s, but the valuation for the combined company, which will take on G7’s name, was not disclosed. The video platform, Bilibili, is another firm backed by the two Chinese platform giants, Tencent and Alibaba.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Combined 2021 revenue of the big 4 accounting firms - USD167 bil.
Even ape can go ‘ini macam pun tak boleh’.