Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Former PM Najib Razak gets new lawyers for his final appeal of the SRC Int'l Sdn Bhd trial, seeking to postpone trial
AirAsia's load factor (84%) back to pre-pandemic levels. Not over with heatwave, Europe face possible energy crunch in winter. >100,000 kg of plastic removed from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
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PSA — If you’ve recently renewed your passport online, please collect it within 90 days; otherwise, it will be disposed of. There are as many as 2,600 passports that are unclaimed thus far.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
RM40 bil — the export target of the halal sector this year, according to Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Lim Ban Hong. Local halal products are said to have huge demands from China, Singapore, Japan, the United States and Indonesia.
5.6 mil passengers were ferried by AirAsia in the second quarter of the year, driven by demand for domestic and international flights. A massive jump compared to approximately 880k passengers a year ago when the world was still plagued by Covid-19. The crucial figure of any airline is its load factor. AirAsia recorded a load factor of 84%, back to pre-pandemic levels.
95% of Malaysians do not consume enough vegetables, leading to fatty liver disease and increasing risks for heart and kidney diseases. According to Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, the findings were based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Former PM Najib Razak pulled an unexpected move in his final appeal in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case — changing lawyers. Law firm Shafee & Co has been discharged from representing Najib Razak in the SRC case and will be replaced by law firm Zaid Ibrahim Suflan TH Liew and Partners.
Renowned lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik will be representing Najib Razak in the case (same lead counsel defending former DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi), flanked by lawyers Liew Teck Huat and Rueben Mathiavaranam and assisted by Sidharth Luthra and Kavin Gulati from India. The Edge found out that the new legal team will be seeking an adjournment (postponement) of Najib’s final appeal, which is slated to start on Aug 15. Well played, Najib; hats off to you.
The enforcement of Subsection 4(5) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) has been extended for another five years after the Dewan Rakyat had passed the motion — 111 MPs were in favour of it, while 88 voted against it and 21 were absent. What does it mean? The police have special powers to hold individuals arrested and detained under the Act for up to 28 days without trial.
Former Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok won in her defamation suit against Sungai Besar UMNO division leader Jamal Md Yunos over alleged misuse of Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas) funds. The Kuala Lumpur High Court awarded Teresa RM300,000 in damages and ordered Jamal to pay the cost of RM50,000 to Teresa within 14 days from yesterday. Jamal said he would appeal the decision.
The Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatudin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah delivered a personal message to Noor Jehan Abu Bakar, Pahang Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) chief, who was called in by the police for allegedly insulting the royal in a tweet that had been deleted. His Highness has also asked the police to leave Noor Jehan alone and not create drama after knowing the police called her in.
Corporate quarterly earnings:
CTOS Digital Bhd reported a net profit of RM22.48 mil for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 (2QFY22), an increase of 89.86% from RM11.84 million a year ago. A substantial jump in other income and share of profits of associates, lower expenses and finance costs were the main contributors to the jump in net profit. The company also declared an interim dividend of 0.59 sen per share, payable on Sept 13. CTOS’s shares closed at RM1.31 yesterday, representing a gain of 19% from its initial public offering price of RM1.10.
On the other hand, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd saw its net profit plunge by 95.6% to RM45.99 mil for its second quarter ended June 30, 2022 (2QFY22) no thanks to decreasing average selling price (ASP) for gloves. Kossan concedes that it will be a challenging 2nd half of 2022 as the glove industry will be confronted by an oversupply situation in the near term.
National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin assured another movement control order (MCO) is unlikely as the Ministry of Health (MOH) is well prepared to tackle the rise of Covid-19 cases and the spread of monkeypox infections. A total of nine cases of suspected monkeypox had been notified to the MOH as of July 23, and all had been confirmed negative.
How to live in the year 2050? Change your company’s name. Eastland Equity Bhd has changed its name to Meta Bright Group Bhd. The company will trade under the name “MBRIGHT”. On its website, it is stated that the company's core business is hospitality, investment properties and property development. Super Meta, indeed.
Two more entities have been added to the Securities Commission Malaysia’s (SC) Investor Alert List. Please be mindful when you invest and avoid the entities listed in the list. Two new additions are:
Gold Master Trade
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Chinese tech giant Alibaba would be the first large dual-primary listed company on NYSE and HKEX. The company announced plans to open the firm to a vast pool of mainland China investors. The move comes after the e-commerce giant saw its stock price plummet after Beijing launched a sweeping crackdown on the tech industry last year.
US retail giant Walmart issues profit warning as the rising cost of food and fuel hits consumer spending. The company expects profits to fall by 13% this year. Inflation is changing the dynamics of how consumers spend, forcing them to cut back and focus on essentials.
Europeans can’t seem to get a break after facing a record-breaking hot summer. They are now required to confront another problem — energy for winter. EU countries voluntarily agreed to cut gas consumption by 15% from August to March in a bid to prepare for the winter months as Europe faces an increasing gas squeeze from Russia. Gazprom has said it would cut flows to Germany to a fifth of capacity because it needed to halt the operation of a turbine. The EU is anticipating Russia to completely cut off flows in retaliation for Western sanctions over its war with Ukraine.
On another note, Germany looks to be heading into a recession according to a popular German business confidence measure which surveys 9,000 managers across German businesses. The Ifo Institute’s Business Climate Index (similar to the PMI index) fell to 88.6 in July. Its lowest level since June 2020. The threat of a gas shortage and high energy prices are weighing on the country.
Russia says it will withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024 and build its own as relations have soured since Russia invaded Ukraine. The new head of Russia's space agency, Yuri Borisov, said the state’s Space Corporation “Roscosmos” would honour all its obligations until then. The ISS — a joint project involving five space agencies — has been in orbit around Earth since 1998. The US wanted to extend the operation of ISS for another six years after 2024. However, the future of the ISS remains unclear as US’s space agency, NASA, had not been officially informed of Russia's plans.
Coinbase is facing a probe from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The cryptocurrency company is facing scrutiny on whether it improperly let Americans trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities. The Howey Test, consisting of 4 criteria, is applied to define whether a contract/transaction is a security. Scrutiny on Coinbase has increased since the platform expanded the number of tokens available to trade. In response, Coinbase wrote a blog titled: “Coinbase does not list securities. End of story.” Not sure if you can dodge SEC that easily.
The US and Taliban are negotiating the release of UDS9.5 bil frozen Afghan assets. The US froze its assets after the Taliban took over in August 2021. Currently, only USD3.5 bil is under negotiation as aid groups are calling for the repatriation of funds to be used to ease the country’s economic and humanitarian crisis.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is where garbage thrown into the North Pacific ocean ends up. How dense is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and where is its location?
The good news is that more than 100,000 kg of plastic has been removed from the patch! The same company and tech are involved in cleaning up Klang River.
Ouch. The lesson here? Get an experienced captain, and invest in a good depth finder.