Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ 41% Malaysian youths unsure who to vote for in GE15 - survey
Ambank, RHB merger proposal revisited, Grab's talks "nothing official". Top Fruits Plantations - high-tech IoTs (ie.drones) meet durians. Another mass shooting in US, 9 days apart from previous one.
Thousands of Malaysians enjoy our newsletter. Subscribe now and stay informed for FREE!
A new term we all should know: gerontocracy
1. MARKET SUMMARY
JPMorgan says Bitcoin is undervalued and its fair value should be 28% higher at USD38k. In a note to its clients, the bank said that crypto assets are its preferred alternative asset along with hedge funds, replacing real estate.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
47 million people are at risk of acute food insecurity because of the world grain shortage, according to the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP). Main reasons? War, extreme weather (i.e. climate change) and export controls.
RM15,000 — the price of an exclusive 1954 Levi’s Big Epack. Lokman Alias, a thrift shop owner, wanted to display the vintage jeans at his store. He took a two-year instalment plan to finish paying for the pair of jeans.
2 trillion rupees (RM113.38 bil) — the amount the Indian governments want to spend in the 2022/23 fiscal year to cushion consumers from rising prices and fight multi-year high inflation. Fight money with money.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
KL flash flood. 3rd time in 6 months. Next news.
A survey (n=3,089, age 18-30) was conducted by Architects of Diversity in collaboration with Undi18 and UndiNegaraku to gauge the political preferences of youths. Some findings:
41% of respondents were undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming GE15.
As for the remaining 59%, BN parties have the most support (15.5%), followed by PN (13.8%), MUDA (11.9%) and PH (10.5%).
Socio-economic issues remain the primary concern among youth.
55% have not voted before. However, 80% of the respondents intend to vote, and 13% are on the fence.
50% said there were too few women in politics.
63% said there were too few young people.
Youth seem split when it comes to racial minority representation - 34% saying it’s just enough, 33% say too few.
With Undi18 in effect, it adds another 5.8 mil voters, bringing the total voters to 21.1 mil voters. Meaning, 41% (if extrapolated) of these 5.8 mil new voters are undecided.
For further details, you can view the survey report here.
Former DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi court trial updates:
Ahmad Zahid denied that the payment of RM13 mil to him was a bribe for MYEG projects. He said the money was for the construction of mosques and tahfiz schools in his constituency of Bagan Datuk.
Ahmad Zahid was alleged to have used funds from his foundation, Yayasan Akalbudi, for personal usage (i.e. credit card bills, insurance). He said he has sufficient funds in his bank to pay off his credit card bills and the payment from YAB to pay off his cards was due to the negligence of his executive secretary Mazlina Mazlan.
The Ministry of Finance announced the retail prices of fuel for the period May 26 to 1 June 1, 2022. RON97 hit a record high, seeing a hike of 37 sen to RM4.70 per litre. Meanwhile, RON95 remains at RM2.05 per litre as capped by the government since February last year. Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul said this year’s subsidies are expected to exceed RM30 bil, with half disproportionately benefiting the T20 group.
UMNO — the party of finance minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz. This was confirmed by UMNO secretary-general Ahmad Maslan and Zafrul has been a long-time member even before becoming a cabinet member. Zafrul considered an ally to Muhyiddin, was appointed to the position during the latter’s administration. Speculation is rife that Zafrul might contest in the next GE under the BN umbrella.
Ambank Chairman Azman Hashim said Ambank and RHB have been revisiting a merger proposal, but no progress has been made. As for rumours on Grab acquiring a stake in the bank, he said that there is also nothing official”.
At Top Fruits Plantations is where high-tech meets durian. The durian grower with a 700-acre plantation in Batu Pahat has turned to IoT (the internet of things) such as drones and sensors in its processes to boost output. Drones are used to spray pesticides and sensors take soil readings to analyse water and fertiliser content to allow for more precision planting.
The company has invested RM4 mil into these technologies over the past three years. As a result, yield increased by 40%, and labour force fell by 30%, allowing it to produce about 800 tonnes of durians a year (average output of 1.14 tonnes per acre).
Perhaps, palm oil players with a bigger balance sheet can learn a thing or two from Top Fruits in applying more technology towards its plantation processes, gradually cutting back on relying on foreign labour.
Logistics and express carrier provider GDEX Bhd reported its first-ever quarterly loss of RM1.9 mil for the quarter ended 31 Mar 2022 since it was listed in 2005. Revenue declined 13.16% YoY to RM91.89 mil from RM105.8 mil due to a competitive pricing environment, which the company say is slowing down. GDEX is present across the region in Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. Malaysia and Vietnam contributed the bulk of their revenue of 99%. The company’s market cap stands at RM1.015 bil.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Tragedy struck the US once more with another shooting. An 18-year-old gunman entered a Texas elementary school and killed 19 children and two teachers. It was the deadliest school shooting in almost a decade. President Joe Biden vowed to “turn this pain into action” and called for Americans to stand up against the country’s pro-gun lobby.
Facebook parent Meta Platforms fell 10% on Tuesday after a warning from its peer Snap Inc about a tough macro environment in the second quarter. The warning wiped a total of USD53 billion in Meta’s market value. Snap’s chief executive Evan Spiegel told the company in a memo that it would most likely miss its revenue target for the current quarter and factors such as rising inflation, supply chain shortages, labour disruptions, platform policy changes and the war in Ukraine contributed to it. Snap shares plunged by more than 40%, while Pinterest, Alphabet and Twitter fell 27%, 8% and 4%, respectively.
American voice actor Seth Green lost four of his NFTs after falling for a phishing scam. One of the NFTs was sold to a collector for more than USD200,000. To add insult to injury, the NFTs Green owned were set to star as characters in their own TV show but are now unable to do so now thanks to copyright laws preventing him from releasing it.
The Premier League board has approved Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehley’s purchase of Chelsea. Borhley and a consortium agreed to a record USD 5.3 billion to buy the club from Russian owner Roman Abramovich. The purchase breaks the previous record for the largest sale for a sports team, that being the New York Mets, for USD 2.4 billion back in 2020.
The UK government said its previous owner, billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich who has been sanctioned, would not benefit from this sale. Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 for USD233 mil.
The US condemned North Korea’s three missile launches and called for them to engage in peaceful dialogue instead. The US has warned for multiple days that North Korea could test a missile or nuclear bomb after President Joe Biden visited South Korea and Japan. The Biden administration had repeatedly called for dialogue with North Korea, only to be met with silence.
Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed the finance minister amid the country suffering from its worst economic crisis. The appointment ends two weeks of wrangling between coalition partners for the position ahead of the nation’s bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund.
Andreessen Horowitz announced a USD 4.5 billion fund to back crypto and blockchain startups while digital assets markets are low. It is the Silicon Valley firm’s fourth fund for the asset class and brings its total raised for crypto and blockchain investments to USD 7.6 billion. The firm plans to invest in both cryptocurrency projects and company equity.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
If you have watched Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” (recommended to watch, mind-bending time travel movie done differently), there was a scene where a sailboat was ‘flying’ above the water. This boat is called a hydrofoil sailboat, named after the hydrofoil mechanism that gives the sailboat upwards lift like how a plane works, allowing it to travel up to 100 km/h. Check out SailGP, the Formula 1 of watersports - instead of cars, it’s hydrofoil sailboats.
The sleekest MR DIY outlet around — MR DIY Plus @ Mid Valley.
Understanding the obsession of Americans with guns