Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ A man convicted of raping an underage sentenced to 1,050 years in jail (a record), but reduced to 42 years by the High Court
Ambulance blocked to give way to PM Ismail Sabri's convoy. Uniqlo to continue operating in Russia, founder sees clothing a 'necessity in life'.USD248.5 mil - The Batman's global opening weekend sales.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
7% to 10% of all superyachts worldwide are owned by Russians. Reuters reported at least five Russian superyachts belonging to Russian billionaires are anchored or cruising around the Maldives. Why? The Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation, does not have an extradition treaty with the US.
1,332 premises were raided by the Pharmacy Enforcement Division of the Health Ministry (MoH) for selling unregistered health products throughout 2021 until Jan 31 this year. Almost RM24 million worth of products were seized during the raids.
USD248.5 mil — The Batman’s global ticket sales during its opening weekend, a clear sign that the moviegoing is alive and well despite the ongoing Omicron pandemic. It is the second-best opening since 2019, after Spider-Man: No Way Home.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Malaysia is in the midst of developing methods to administer the Covid-19 vaccine orally or using a nasal spray to cater to those people who are afraid of needles.
Those who have tested positive for Covid-19 and have completed quarantine do not need to undergo further Covid-19 testing, according to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The Klang High Court set aside a 1,050-year jail sentence by the Sessions Court, the highest to date ever recorded for a rape offence handed down to a 34-year old man who raped his underage stepdaughter at the age of 12. The man who pleaded to 105 charges (each charge carrying a ten years jail sentence) will instead serve a reduced jail sentence of 42 years - a sentence of 14 years in prison to run consecutively for each year the offences were committed in 2018, 2019 and 2020. However, the sentence of 24 whippings was upheld.
The High Court judge said the sentence handed down by the Sessions Court Judge was an emotional judgement that was manifestly excessive and a ‘crushing sentence’. Section 377B of the Penal Code (rape offence) provides that the jail term can be imposed up to 20 years, and there is no rule that the total punishment cannot exceed a number that is considered a maximum.
Former PM Najib Razak, through his Facebook announced that he is suing PKR information chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin for defamation after the latter did not respond to a letter of demand from his lawyer to retract, correct and apologise for claiming that Najib stole RM2.6 bil from 1MDB to support his lifestyle. Najib even included the link to Shamsul’s post in his Facebook post.
Klang Valley was hit by flash flood 1 of n for the year, with areas like Kuchai Lama and Jalan Tun Razak badly affected. Fortunately, floodwaters have receded in all areas except the Bulatan Pudu underpass and cleanup works have begun by DBKL.
Watch how China addresses its flood problem by designing its city to be like a sponge.
Yet again, an ambulance was stopped for a VIP convoy to pass and this time, it was the PM’s own convoy in Johor Bahru after he ironically attended the launch event for Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia on Saturday.
Capital A’s airasia Super App has entered into a MoU with CGS-CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd to introduce a new feature - stock trading. This will be done through via ProsperUs, CGS-CIMB Securities’ digital investment platform. The company was inspired by the rise of zero-fee stock trading and crypto trading provider Robinhood in the US. No mention of their fee structure though.
The service will be launched within the next 6 months and they will also offer fractional share trading to improve the accessibility of share ownership to the public. Currently, one has to buy a minimum of 100 shares (1 lot). Last month, Capital A announced it will enter into flying taxi business. What new business entry they will announce next in their pursuit of becoming a super app?
SEG International Bhd (SEGi) has quashed speculation that there is a possible sale to a Chinese party in the near term. Its managing director, Clement Hii, clarified that there were inquiries from interested parties but no concrete discussions on this matter.
SEGi has a student enrolment of 20,000 and 6 campuses. It’s partly owned by the private equity firm, Navis (37.49%) and combined with Clement’s stake of 32.36%, both parties control 69.85% of the company. For the 9 months period ended Sep 2021, SEGi registered net profits of RM34.77 mil and RM166.37 mil in revenue.
Navis became a shareholder in SEGi in Apr 2012 and in the same month, the PE fund and Clement made an offer to take the company private valuing it at RM1.14 bil. However, shareholders were advised by Affin Investment Bank to reject the offer as the price was deemed unreasonable and unfair. The education company’s market cap currently stands at RM803 mil.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Russia announced yet another cease-fire to allow civilians to flee Ukraine, although the evacuation routes were mostly leading to Russia and its ally Belarus. However, Russian forces continued to pummel some Ukrainian cities with rockets. Both countries blamed one another for the failure of a cease-fire.
Some analysts are afraid the West’s sanctions against Russia will create the next financial crisis in the long run. One major US bank estimates the West’s exposure to Russia through its companies as well as its dealings with the Russian central bank could be as high as USD400 bil. However, Wall Street is more confused than panicked as market participants are still trying to figure out the bigger effects of the sanctions.
Fast Retailing Co, parent of Uniqlo, will continue to operate its 50 stores in Russia even as international pressure to isolate the country for its invasion of Ukraine. Because the company believes clothing is a necessity of life, according to chief executive officer Tadashi Yanai. The move counters many other major retailers’ decisions to exit or suspend operations in Russia.
US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase says it’s currently blocking 25,000 cryptocurrency addresses related to Russian individuals or entities we believe to be engaging in illicit activity, following the Ukraine crisis.
Malaysians stole electricity from Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to mine bitcoin, but a man in Singapore one-ups Malaysians by stealing from Amazon and Google. Singaporean Matthew Ho admitted in a Singapore court to impersonating two men to deceive Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google for cloud computing services that he used to mine cryptocurrency (ethereum). He cheated AWS and Google into providing cloud computing services worth about USD5.2 million and USD250,000, respectively.
The potential upcoming meme stock is the least expected — Bed, Bath and Beyond, which shares surged 55% pre-opening yesterday after GameStop Chairman Ryan Cohen revealed he had a nearly 10% stake in the retailer through his investment company RC Ventures. This could be the methodology of value investing in the 21st century. Bed Bath shares have dropped nearly 45% in the last 12 months.
Uber Technologies Inc raised its first-quarter profitability guidance, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) expected to be between USD130 mil to USD150 mil. February showed really encouraging numbers — on the delivery side, gross bookings reached an all-time high. The company said its mobility business was improving faster than expected. Food delivery may be the saving grace for ride-hailing companies — Grab Holdings Inc., too, intends to focus on broader opportunities in the food services market to drive user growth.
Palladium surged past an all-time high (climbed to UDS3,442.47 an ounce) on mounting concerns that exports from top producer Russia could be disrupted. Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst at UBS Group AG, said palladium, which was under-supplied for nine years until 2020, is very sensitive to supply disruption risks. The metal, primarily used in devices that curb pollution from gasoline cars, extended this year’s gain to 76%.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
How sea urchin’s gonad or uni in Japanese, a sushi delicacy, is harvested, and why is it expensive.
Maszlee Malik was speaking Tamil to encourage Johoreans to vote and pulling some moves from Rajinikanth (mega Indian superstar).
Feeling down? Here are ways to trigger some happy chemicals in your body.