Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Cash is king in Malaysia. PM announced cash assistance to B40 families and single persons.
Carsome Group mulling to delay its listing plan due to poor macroeconomics conditions. Disrespecting BM can cost you RM50K. Mass casualties & injuries from a 5.9 earthquake in Afghanistan.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD40 mil (RM176 mil) — the sale price of a coffee shop (kopitiam) in Yishun, Singapore. The 397 sq m Yishun coffee shop’s sale price is equivalent to USD9,361 (RM41k) per square feet, higher than the prices of ground-level retail units on Orchard Road. Who knew.
9.1% — the inflation rate in the United Kingdom in May, mainly due to higher food prices, particularly for bread, cereal and meat. The Bank of England has warned it will reach 11% this year.
46.76 million vehicles entered Kuala Lumpur in December last year, compared to 26.51 million pre-pandemic back in December 2019. That’s a whopping 76% more vehicles.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
In a special address to the nation, PM Ismail Sabri said that the government will retain the RM4 bil worth of subsidies allocated for cooking oil. However, the subsidies are now only applicable for cooking oil in polybags and not the bottled cooking oil (1kg, 3kg and 5kg).
On top of that, PM also announced his solution to the rising cost of goods which is — giving pocket money totalling RM100 mil. Additional cash handouts will be given to B40 households and single individuals on top of the current Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) payments. Did he forget about the M40 group?
In the 1MDB-Tanore trial, a war of words broke out between the defence lawyer, Shafee Abdullah and a key witness, the former second finance minister, Ahmad Husni. The argument started when Shafee argued why Husni signed one of the 1MDB and SRC letters, even though the latter stated that any letters related to the two companies were handled by Najib Razak himself. Shafee asked Husni, “don’t be arrogant,” and all hell broke loose. The judge needed to step in to subdue the argument.
Day 2 of Syed Saddiq’s CBT case — the investigating officer (IO) suspected Syed Saddiq, his assistant, Nurul Hidayah and Lim Hooi Sean were working in cahoots as only those three knew the combination code to the safe. Plus, police also revealed that there was no sign of the forced opening of the safe.
Another day, another way for the government to find more ways to police the rakyat — under the proposed amendments to the current Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Act, individuals who do not respect the national language could face up to an RM50,000 fine or being sent to prison. As per the chairman of the DBP board of governors, Prof Awang Serian, the proposed punishments are meant to instil patriotism in the country and not to punish.
In another episode on why ‘Johor tidak di-anaktiri-kan’ by the federal government, the future third land connection to our neighbour, the JB-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link will be 70% completed by December 2023, State Works, Transport and Infrastructure Committee chairman Mohamad Fazli said. He also mentioned that the state government has agreed to conduct a feasibility study for a future LRT Line in the city.
Carsome Group, the Malaysian online-to-offline car marketplace, may delay its dual listing plans in Singapore and the US, citing poor macroeconomic conditions that could undermine its valuation. Carsome raised USD290 mil in January at a valuation of USD1.7 bil in a Series E round led by the Qatar Investment Authority and firms backed by Temasek Holdings Pte.
Gojek, the Indonesian unicorn and Grab’s arch-nemesis, might be coming to Malaysia after a local news outlet had reported a Honda City bearing the Gojek logo was recently spotted in Kuala Lumpur. This is a win-win situation for the market and consumers as fierce competition will drive the price down and induce innovation.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
London Underground metro workers went on the biggest rail strike in 30 years. The union is arguing that the strikes are necessary and is forcing Boris Johnson to address the inflation fever as wages have failed to keep pace on the back of the major rise in energy costs across Europe. The strike this week will cause a week-long effect of disruption across the network, bringing most services to a standstill and leaving major stations deserted.
Joe Biden proposes a three-month federal gas tax holiday to give Americans immediate relief as gas prices soar above USD5 a gallon in many states. Suspending the gas tax is one of the quickest steps to ease the pain for drivers. With the federal government’s deficit down USD1.6 trillion this year, the US can afford to pause the gas tax. There’s no guarantee Biden’s gas tax holiday proposal will pass Congress though.
Switzerland imported gold from Russia for the first time since Putin launched his war on Ukraine. Over three tons of gold from Russia arrived in Switzerland last month, suggesting that the self-sanctioning of some buyers may be easing. There has been a de facto ban on Russian metals in the London market, but no explicit sanctions have been imposed. Despite sanctions imposed by Western nations, Russia continues to flex its muscles as a commodities provider, especially in energy, as oil and gas revenues roll in.
There’s a 50% chance of a global recession as central banks hike rates to curb inflation, according to Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s CEO. The Fed imposed its single largest rate hike last week, lifting its benchmark rate by 75 bps. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said another 75-point increase is possible next month and admits recession a ‘possibility’. The tightening generally takes around 12 to 18 months to really show up in economic conditions. He isn’t the first CEO sounding the recession alarm. If businesses are concerned, generally, the effect flows down to the people. Hence, we might see more job cuts.
Sri Lanka’s debt-laden economy has “collapsed” after months of shortages of food, fuel and electricity, according to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Sri Lanka is unable to purchase imported fuel due to heavy debt owed by its petroleum corporation, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. As a result, no country or organization in the world is willing to provide fuel to them. So far, Sri Lanka has been muddling through, mainly supported by USD4 billion in credit lines from neighbouring India. It also has received pledges of USD300 million to USD600 million from the World Bank to buy medicine and other essential items. IMF assistance seems to be the country’s only option now.
More than 1,000 people were killed and 1,600 others injured in the 5.9-magnitude quake in Afghanistan. The quake struck the city of Khost, about 230km away from its capital city, Kabul. Tremors were also felt in Pakistan. This comes as the country is struggling with extreme poverty, drought and a worsening political, economic and security situation following the chaotic withdrawal of US troops last year.
Nepal has announced that the South Base Camp — the most popular starting point to the Everest summit — will be moved 200-400m lower. The Khumbu Glacier is thinning out at a rate of 1 meter/year, which makes the campsite unsafe for the trekkers. During peak season, around 4,000 litres of urine are produced by the trekkers. This along with kerosene and other waste products, impact the glacier.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Your favourite Uncle In Law is back. Who can you sue if you were injured by potholes in Malaysia? Watch the entertaining 5 minutes video below to find out.
Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2’s trailer.