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☕️ Census 2020: Malaysia's population at 32.4 mil, 69.4% Bumis, 29.9% Chinese and Indians
Thailand to reopen Thai-MY border under 'Test & Go' programme in March. Tonik, Philippines digital bank raised USD131 mil Series B funding. Supermax terminates land deal to non-waiver of Bumi equity.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
7,468 domestic violence cases were reported to the police last year, an increase of 42% compared to 2020 with a total case of 5,26 according to the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.
Western Digital declared 6.5 billion gigabytes of flash storage (NAND chips) as useless due to contamination issues at its NAND production facilities. The price of NAND — the main component of SSDs — could spike up 10% as a result.
22% of Italians have stopped using social media in 2021, according to the Digital Consumer Trends Survey 2021 of Deloitte. Three main reasons why:
Getting tired of the content (35%)
Excessive fake news (25%)
Privacy concerns (21%)
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Fully vaccinated Malaysian travellers do not need to quarantine when entering India, effective Feb 14 (yesterday), according to Indian High Commission in Malaysia. Even the pre-flight Covid-19 RT-PCR Test is not mandatory.
Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) to allow for tax relief of up to RM1,000 for Covid-19 detection test and vaccination expenses for self, spouses and children in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
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4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The National Census 2020 exercise results are out and here are some stats on the Malaysian population:
Malaysia’s population is now at 32.4 mil, an average annual increase of 1.7% in 10 years.
52.3% male, 47.4% female
Bumiputera population increased to 69.4% in 2020 from 67.4% in 2010, whilst Chinese (23.2%) and Indian (6.7%) ethnicities now make up less than 30% of the population, from 32% in 2010.
2.6 mil non-Malaysians working in the country, making up 8.3% of the population
Malaysians are becoming an ageing population, with the young population decreasing to 24% in 2020 from 27.6% in 2010.
There are now 3.4 mil senior citizens aged 60 and above, or 10.5% of the population compared to 2.2 mil (8%) in 2010.
15 Malaysian travellers were stranded at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines, after they were refused entry as their Malaysian digital vaccine certificate in the MySejahtera app was not an acceptable proof of vaccination. Immigration authorities told the travellers that they needed to be vaccinated in countries such as Singapore or possess the WHO’s international Certificate of Vaccination.
Their passports were confiscated and they were told they would be deported on Tuesday, 15 Feb and had to sleep on benches. The Malaysian Embassy has resolved this matter and these seven travellers (the earlier figure was misreported according to Wisma Putra) were allowed to enter the Philippines.Wisma Putra is pleased to inform that 7 fellow Malaysians who were stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been allowed to enter the Philippines, following swift action by our Malaysian Embassy in Manila. Kudos team !The Malaysian Embassy in Manila @myembassymanila is currently on the ground to assist our stranded fellow Malaysians at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to enter the Philippines. Wisma Putra is liaising with relevant agencies to facilitate the process smoothly.Wisma Putra @MalaysiaMFA
Meanwhile, Thailand is planning to reopen Thai-Malaysia border in March to attract Malaysian tourists back to the kingdom through its quarantine-free ‘Test & Go’ programme. The programme was initially launched in Nov 2021 but suspended in late Dec over concerns about the Omicron variant. As of Feb 13, a total of 39,277 visitors had entered the country through the quarantine-free programme.
2 Myanmarese siblings, 4 and 2, were found dead after eating food scraps from a rubbish bin in Kampung Baru Sungai Tepa, Langkawi. The father of the children has been remanded to assist the investigation and was tested positive for drugs. The case has been classified as sudden death by the police. A heartbreaking incident that children have to scrounge for food from the bin.
Non-performing loans (NPL) are loans whose borrowers have defaulted on repayment and are considered as bad assets in the banking industry. Despite that, there is a market for buyers of such NPLs. For banks, selling NPLs is one way for banks to resolve bad debt quickly, though it is not a common practice in Malaysia.
BNM will remove the requirements for buyers of NPLs to be majority-owned by domestic shareholders, a move that will be positive for the industry. Currently, there is a foreign equity cap of 49%. Non-bank buyers would be required to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as a proven track record of fair debt recovery practices.
Thailand is the busiest market in the Southeast Asian region and attracts many large foreign buyers. Aiqon Capital Sdn Bhd, the largest NPL-acquiring firm in Malaysia is a regional player which is majority-owned by local players has acquired retail NPLs with a total face value of RM50 bil in Malaysia since its founding 2010.
Big 4 glove manufacturer Supermax Corp Bhd has aborted its plan to acquire two pieces of freehold land in Setia Alam, Selangor from SP Setia Bhd’s subsidiary Bandar Setia Alam Sdn Bhd for RM73.49 mil cash to build an operations headquarters for its wholly-owned subsidiary Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd.
The proposed acquisition was subject to the Economic Planning Unit’s (EPU) approval to transfer ownership of the land if Maxter meets the 30% Bumiputera equity ownership, which Maxter had submitted an appeal to waive the EPU approval condition. However, it was rejected on 15 Dec 2021. Based on this, Maxter has requested to terminate the agreement which the purchaser is allowed to terminate if EPU’s conditions after the appeal is not acceptable to the purchaser.
AirAsia X is evolving its business model to focus on transporting cargo more than passengers. It has secured full belly space utilisation for one-third of its wide-body A330-300 fleet for an initial period of 1 year for Teleport, the logistics venture of Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group Bhd). Teleport will use the additional capacity to fulfil its robust customer requirement, both within and across the Asia Pacific.
The company is also in discussions with several other major players that have air cargo requirements. Its CEO, Benyamin Ismail, states that cargo revenue will be its main consideration for its route strategy, and for the first time, passenger revenue will be ancillary. AAX plans to add one plane a month to full service and hopes to have its full fleet operational by the end of Q3. The company’s market cap currently stands at RM212 mil.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
DBS Group reported a record full-year profit of SGD6.8 bil dollars in 2021, up 44% YoY. Its CEO Piyush Gupta said it was one of the best years he’s seen. Despite the low-interest-rate environment for the past two years, the bank’s deposits increased by SGD140 bil. Gupta added rate hikes in the coming year is good news in terms of better dividends for shareholders.
BMW AG will see its earnings increase by as much as €8 billion after Chinese authorities gave BMW permission to raise its stake in the business with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd to 75% from 50%. Prior to the relaxation of the rules, foreign manufacturers weren’t allowed to own more than half of their Chinese joint venture and had to share profits with local partners. China is BMW’s biggest national market, contributing a third of global deliveries in 2021.
Tesla is a notable exception, as the government allowed it to fully control its local subsidiary.
Philippines’ digital bank Tonik closed a USD131 mil Series B funding led by Japan’s Mizuho Bank. Tonik said that it would use the Series B funding to accelerate the growth of its digital bank in the Philippines. Tonik reached USD20 million and USD100 million of consumer deposits within the first and eight months of operation, respectively, since its launch in March 2021. The interest rate competition in the Philippines is fierce. Tonik pays as high as 6% of interest on deposits p.a.
US private equity giant Blackstone has agreed to take over Australian gaming group Crown Resorts for a cool USD6.3 bil. The troubled company has faced scrutiny from Australian authorities, who allege the company had knowingly dealt with criminal organisations then misled authorities about it.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), UK’s tax authority, has seized three Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) for the first time as part of a probe into a suspected a VAT fraud and arrested three suspects on suspicion of attempting to defraud it of £1.4 mil. The suspects were said to have used “sophisticated methods” to hide their identities. With the case, HMRC wants to warn others that are using crypto assets to hide money from them.
The US and UK leaders are still hopeful for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis but warn that the situation remains fragile. Russia has always denied plans to invade Ukraine, despite massing more than 100,000 troops on the border. Russia’s foreign minister said diplomacy was “far from exhausted”.
OnlyFans has joined Twitter and Reddit, implementing a feature for users to display verified NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain as profile pictures.
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Crypto exchange Coinbase spent an estimated USD14 mil on a SuperBowl ad — offering USD15 in free bitcoin for new signups — but only to see its website crash after an overwhelming response. It was forced to throttle traffic to its website. It was a brilliant piece of marketing, though. Reminded me of an episode of The Office (any fans?) — The DVD Logo.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
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A Twitter user spotted a black-and-white Family Mart logo in Cameron Highlands. FamilyMart does this to its outlets in selected locations to not outshine and overwhelm the beauty of the natural environment in that particular area.
On top of the normal activity, hope you had a Covid-free Valentine’s Day yesterday! Follow the Malaysian artist, @themokumentary, for his funny and relatable doodles.