☕️ "Heirs" of Sultan of Sulu seized 2 Petronas subsidiaries worth more than USD2 bil over USD15 bil legal dispute with Malaysian govt
Malaysians can catch the supermoon tonight! India to overtake China's population in 2023. Spotify acquired Heardle, the Wordle-inspired music guessing game.
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️1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
London’s Heathrow Airport is limiting 100,000 departing passengers daily this summer (Jul 12 to Sep 11) as it struggles to cope with demand. The cap will reduce queues, baggage delays and cancellations. Prepandemic, the airport had between 110,000 and 125,000 daily passenger departures in July and August 2019.
China’s gift to Zimbabwe — USD140 mil parliament building — to deepen its influence in the continent, where it is the largest trading partner and lender. Sitting on the top of a hill, the building covers a total area of 33,000 square metres (355,200 sq ft).
1.75mm — the thickness of a new watch from Swiss luxury brand Richard Mille. The RM UP-01 collaboration with Ferrari is the thinnest mechanical watch in the world and costs a cool USD1.88 mil. Only 150 pieces are available.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Two of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas)’s subsidiaries in Luxembourg, worth a reported USD2 bil, have been seized by “heirs” of the late Sultan of Sulu over a USD15 billion (approximately RM66.55 billion) legal dispute with the Malaysian government arising from an agreement signed 144 years ago. The Financial Times reported the move is part of legal efforts by the Sulu heirs to win compensation over land in Sabah that they said their ancestor leased to a British trading company in 1878, before the discovery of vast natural resources in the area.
Petronas confirms two of its subsidiaries in Azerbaijan were served with ‘Saisie-arret’ on July 11, 2022, but clarified the subsidiaries have fully divested its entire assets in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Petronas views the actions taken against it as baseless.
Back in May 2022, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, reported that Malaysia would be sending diplomatic notes to 168 countries that signed the New York Convention on the unilateral legal claims by the descendants.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that civil courts have no jurisdiction over matters involving persons seeking to renounce Islam as they come under the purview of the Syariah Court. The ruling came after Judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid dismissed a legal suit filed by a 32-year-old woman for leave to commence judicial review to renounce her faith from the religion of Islam to Confucianism and Buddhism.
A woman who gave a cringe-worthy and inappropriate performance at a comedy club in Taman Tun Dr Ismail last Friday and her partner will be charged today after they were deemed insulting Islam, Bukit Aman's police secretariat confirmed yesterday. The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) ordered Crackhouse Comedy Club to be temporarily shut down.
The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) received a total of 72 reports nationwide related to fraudulent haj pilgrimage packages against three travel agencies. Total losses amounted to RM3.95 mil — averaging RM54.8k per report. The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has suggested a prison sentence for those involved in the scam.
The one-off windfall tax or Cukai Makmur (Prosperity Tax) is expected to “help a little bit” towards the revenue collection in the country, according to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz. The final tally would be known by next month, but preliminary calculations indicate the target is as per the government’s expectation — at least RM3 bil.
The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) launched the i-Lindung platform under the Members Protection Plan to facilitate the purchase of insurance and takaful products at an affordable premium from Account 2. EPF chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir said the initiative would help to increase ownership of insurance policies and takaful certificates as the insurance penetration rate in the country is low, at 56.1%.
The Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA) said Malaysians will stand a chance to witness a supermoon phenomenon, expected to occur at 5.09 pm today. During a supermoon, a full moon can appear up to 7% larger than a normal full moon.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Russia turned off a key pipeline carrying natural gas to Germany for annual maintenance this week. The scheduled maintenance starts from July 11 to July 21. Though Europe fears that this shutdown may be permanent. Meanwhile, fears of recession and energy crisis are affecting the Euro as the pair trades closer to parity with the US dollar. The last time this happened was 20 years ago. Also, your Europe trip just became cheaper. More on fx parity here.
Global politics have gotten so wild lately! The next UK Prime Minister will be announced on September 5. Following Boris Johnson’s resignation, 11 candidates, including former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, have announced their intention to contest for the role. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is set to elect a new president on July 20 after the departure of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The nation is facing its worst crisis since 1948 as it is running out of fuel, food, and other essentials.
After raising the biggest-ever special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), billionaire investor Bill Ackman is set to return USD4 billion to investors after failing to secure a suitable target to take public. Ackman highlighted that adverse market conditions and strong competition from traditional IPOs hindered his progress. Looks like blank check companies are no longer a trend in high-interest environments.
As the economy is experiencing one of the worst downturns in recent history, Meta is preparing for leaner times ahead by asking its managers to identify people for layoffs. In addition, the company started preparing to cut costs due to weak revenue forecasts and decreasing daily active users in the last quarter of 2021.
“If a direct report is coasting or is a low performer, they are not who we need; they are failing this company. As a manager, you cannot allow someone to be net neutral or negative for Meta” — in a memo written by Maher Saba, Meta's VP for Remote Presence, according to The Information.
Twitter Inc. sued Elon Musk for violating his USD44 billion deal to buy the social media platform. The lawsuit claims Musk believes he is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away — in other words, above the (contract) law.
Over the last two months, distressed depositors have held many protests in Zhengzhou as four rural banks in China’s central Henan province have frozen millions of dollars in deposits since April, sparking fears of a liquidity crisis. On Sunday, more than 1,000 depositors from throughout China gathered outside the People’s Bank of China’s Zhengzhou branch to begin their largest protest yet.
India is set to overtake China as the country with the most population in 2023. United Nations reports state that China and India will have over 1.4 billion people in 2022, with India projected to surpass China in 2023. The global population will reach 8.0 billion in mid-November 2022 from an estimated 2.5 billion people in 1950. Overpopulation and scarcity of resources are something India may need to ponder on.
Spotify acquired Heardle, the Wordle-inspired music guessing game but did not disclose the price it paid to acquire it. Like Wordle, which was acquired by The New York Times for “low seven figures”, Heardle operates with a simple playstyle — you have six tries to guess the correct song, and with every failed guess, the length of the song doubles. Try it for yourself here.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The world is beautiful. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope shared the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe — galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. A picture paints a thousand galaxies.
A Whopper is the name of Burger King's flagship burger, as well as a British slang term for a lie. Burger King seized a marketing opportunity to market its burger using a truck driving past 10 Downing Street, the residence of the UK PM, Boris Johnson, after he announced his resignation.