☕️ A member of Genting's Lim family received USD14 mil for assisting in the sale of Genting's power plant to 1MDB
4 state elections since Sep 2020 cost taxpayers RM420 mil. PAS President's Twitter account hacked, promoting Bitcoin. Agricultural industry veterans warn of global food shortage due to Ukraine war.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Malaysians consume 2.09 million chickens daily. We really do love our ayam goreng. Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah expects the supply to be sufficient during the Ramadan month. Isn’t his job to ENSURE the supply to be sufficient?
RM3.29 million — the cost of loving a ‘Korean man’. A 63-year-old woman befriended a man, who claims to be Korean and working in an oil rig through Instagram in December last year. You see where this is going. Oppa needed money and asked the women to transfer money to him — 184 transactions in total.
136 million — the number of times Netflix’s ‘Skip Intro’ button is pressed daily. The wonderful feature was introduced five years ago. What’s an intro you never skip? Mine is Chef’s Table.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
99% of new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia fall under Category 1 (asymptomatic) and Category 2 (mild symptoms). The infectivity rate (Rt) in the country was at 0.91.
“True giving happens when we give from our heart.” — Muhammad Ali
That’s why we’ve partnered with Giffy & Co! Get RM15 off with a minimum spend of RM150 by using the promo code “GIFFYTCB”!
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Updates from former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng 1MDB trial in New York:
1MDB’s second bond of USD1.75 bil was to part-finance the acquisition of Genting Sanyen, an independent power producer owned by the Genting Group. Tim Leissner testified that he and others received USD28 mil from this transaction, and on the instruction of Jho Low, USD14 mil was transferred to a member of the Lim family for his assistance in the sale of the power plant. The Edge withheld the name of this Lim member and is awaiting a response from Genting Bhd, the holding company.
Due to numerous questions and documents required by most financial institutions when Jho Low wanted to effect larger fund transfers, he decided that owning a bank would help with the process and went shopping for “a small to medium-sized private bank” in 2015
FBI agent Sean Fern told a jury that the USD35 mil siphoned from 1MDB, diverted to a Goldman Sachs banker, was traced to purchases of USD300,500 in diamond jewellery, including a 6-carat ring and a USD20,000 gold-plated hourglass.
The controversial Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) failed to be extended for another 5-year period by the government after the Dewan Rakyat voted against it. The bloc voting saw 84 MPs voting for and 86 opposition MPs against, whilst 50 MPs were absent, with 3 MPs being disqualified for being late.
SOSMA allowed police to detain suspects for up to 28 days, without any judicial oversight. This is the first-ever government bill defeated by the opposition in history. The government is unhappy over this — their MPs should have turned up to vote then.
KLIA and Langkawi International Airport (LIA) have been named amongst the world’s best airports in the airport categories serving above 40 mil passengers per annum (mppa) and 2-5 mppa respectively, scoring a perfect 5.0 score for 2021 in a global Airport Service Quality survey by Airports Council International.
The election is an expensive activity. The four state elections since Sep 2020 cost the Election Commission RM420 mil:
Sabah: RM130 mil
Melaka: RM45 mil
Sarawak: RM149 mil
Johor: RM96 mil (initially reported to cost RM150 mil)
Gamuda Bhd is amongst the first corporate to revise its compensation structure. It will increase its minimum wage from RM1,200 to RM1,600 (RM100 more than the government imposed RM1,500 min wage) for foreign workers effective May 1, 2022. Entry-level pay for fresh grads is also being increased from RM3,300 to RM3,500 for engineers, and from RM3,000 to RM3,200 for non-engineering students. Well done Gamuda!
Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and 5 of its subsidiaries are being sued for 5.88 tril rupiah (RM1.72 bil) over the disposals of 2 plantation units by Indonesian company PT Asa Karya Multi Pratama, which had wanted to acquire the two companies for 1.65 tril rupiah (RM483 mil). It is seeking compensation of 882.5 bil rupiah (RM258 mil) and immaterial compensation of 5 tril rupiah (RM146 bil) for loss of reputation and efforts spent, among others - that’s 3.6x more than the transaction value. Sime Darby Plantation said it has “sufficient legal basis and merits” to defend the claim and added that it did not have any contractual relationship with the plaintiff.
The first pawnbroking company to go listing on Bursa, Pappajack Bhd, has received an oversubscription of 21.7x for 33.4 mil public issue shares made available to the Malaysian public. It received 7,125 applications for 759 mil shares with a value of RM227.75 mil. To recap, the company is raising RM50 mil. If you have applied, we hope the best for you — to pop like Farm Fresh, closing +27% on its first day of trading.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Ukraine’s president said nothing is left of Mariupol, a port city, after weeks of Russian bombardment. Kyiv appealed to Moscow to allow the evacuation of at least 100,000 people who want to leave. Russia denies targeting civilians after Ukraine defied an ultimatum for the city to surrender by dawn on Monday as a condition for Russian forces to let civilians leave safely.
[WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD]
Agricultural industry veterans are warning of food shortages due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict as western sanctions on Russia have disrupted shipments of key fertiliser ingredients. Farmers worldwide scaling back fertiliser use and reducing the amount of land they’re planting.
Russia and Belarus accounted for more than 40% of global exports of potash last year, one of three critical nutrients used to boost crop yields. Notwithstanding, the two countries in conflict are also major grain producers. Maybe we can eat Indomie as a last resort, but fat chance — it ran out of stock in Indonesian shops.
Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission bans the use of crypto as means of payment from Apr 1, citing money laundering concerns and the inability of the central bank to step in and provide assistance. The regulator said it is not a ban on crypto trading and digital assets. It’s just another u-turn because back in Jan, the regulator announced a plan to regulate digital asset payments.
Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings posted an 8% rise in fourth-quarter revenue, its slowest growth since going public in 2004. Revenue rose to 144.2 billion yuan (RM95.56 bil) in the 4QFY21 ended Dec 31. Beijing’s crackdown on tech giants — freezing game approvals and cut down on advertising — have stopped decades of unbridled growth.
Apple has acquired British fintech start-up Credit Kudos. The start-up develops software that uses consumers’ banking data to make more informed credit checks on loan applications — it could be a good addition to Apple’s foray into financial services — Apple Pay and Apple Credit Card. The deal values Credit Kudos at around USD150 mil.
UK inflation hits 6.2% in February 2022, hitting a fresh multi-decade high — no thanks to soaring food, fuel and energy costs. There is also a planned 10% increase to National Insurance (a tax on earnings), which kicks in in April.
The Taliban administration in Afghanistan must have learned the essential skill of u-turning from Malaysian politicians — closing girls’ high schools immediately after they reopened for the first time in nearly seven months. Female students above the sixth grade will not be able to attend school until a plan is drawn up in accordance with Islamic law and Afghan culture.
Creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Yuga Labs, has secured a virtually unprecedented USD450 million in seed funding, valuing the start-up at USD4 bil. The raise was led by venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz (a16z). The money will allow Yuga to launch things faster and bring in new partners.
6. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The whole grocery store is pretty much owned by just 10 companies.
Reminder to self.
PAS President Abdul Hadi Wang is promoting cryptocurrencies now. Just kidding — his Twitter account got hacked. Would have been more believable had the hackers tweeted it in BM instead.
Sandbags in a Ukraine hospital, to protect against Russia’s attack on hospitals.