Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ How long will this hot and dry climate in MY last?
Delta variant effectiveness: Pfizer@88%, AZ@67%. Big money's favourable sentiment to crypto assets. Mercedes-Benz unveiled USD47 bil plan to go all-electric by 2030. Music meets GIF: Spotify x GIPHY.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
We’ve just added the price of Bitcoin denominated in USD to the table above. No particular reasons why now apart from Bitcoin’s strengthening fundamentals and trajectory to be a significant asset class in the medium to long term. We are advocates of sound, hard money (money that central banks can’t just print away happily), which in this case is Bitcoin.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
64,773 active contributors from Grab and foodpanda delivery partners have registered for and contributed to the Self-Employed Social Security Scheme (SESSS) under the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) as of July 9, 2021.
USD100 mil x 2 — After his 11-minute space trip, Jeff Bezos decided to give USD100 mil each to Nobel Peace Prize-nominated chef, Jose Andres and CNN political contributor and founder of Dream Corps, Van Jones.
21,283,521 likes — Lionel Messi’s photo of him holding the Copa America trophy has become the most liked photo on Instagram. He has 235 mil followers on Instagram.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Selayang Hospital is now a full Covid-19 hospital, the third one in Selangor after Sungai Buloh and Ampang hospitals.
DPM said the government is considering providing flexibility for long-distance couples and parents who have received both doses for travel interstate to meet their families.
Two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine are effective against the highly transmissible Delta variant, with reported effectiveness of 88% and 67%, respectively.
Those aged 17 and below will not be vaccinated for now according to Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF), to prevent risks of myocarditis and pericarditis.
Another Covid-19 self-test kit by Hangzhou Alltest Biotech Co. Ltd. has received conditional approval from MoH.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman claims trial to charges of criminal breach of trust involving RM1 mil belonging to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and misappropriating RM120,000 from the party’s election coffers in 2018. The next court date is set for September 10, 2021.
The Muar MP advised UMNO MPs and other political parties not to become “frogs” and not bow to the threatening party. You can watch his press conference below.
ViTrox Corp Bhd posted a record Q2 2021 ended June 30, 2021, with a net profit of RM50.64 mil, more than doubled from RM22.92 mil a year earlier. The increase is attributable to the semiconductor boom — the surge in sales volume contributed from both Machine Vision System and Automated Board Inspection as Covid-19 accelerated digital adoption and transformation throughout the world.
News in brief:
Feeling hot in the past week? Well, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) said Malaysia is currently experiencing the southwest monsoon, which results in a hot and dry climate and will likely last until mid-September. Remember to hydrate yourself!
Khanazah Nasional Bhd’s venture capital arm, Xeraya Capital Sdn Bhd investee Rapid Micro Biosystems Inc has been listed on the US’ Nasdaq Global Select Market at USD20 per share, raising USD158.4 mil following an initial public offering of 7.92 mil shares. Xeraya’s CEO Fares Zahir kept mum on Xeraya’s stake in the company.
Swift Haulage Bhd, an integrated logistics services provider, has filed a draft prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, involving the sale of 314.14 mil ordinary shares. The prospectus indicated Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP) has a 13.61% stake in the group.
At least 15 doctors at a public hospital in Klang Valley (believed to be Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah) have resigned in the last two weeks — citing burnout and gloomy prospects as the reasons.
Ministry of Finance has clarified Lembaga Tabung Haji will be under the purview of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) until the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) are presented to the government.
Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, also known as Ku Nan claimed that the corruption charges would have been dropped if he had supported Tun M during the latter’s prime minister stint during the Pakatan Harapan administration.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Crypto sentiment from the lens of the big boys with big money. Below are insights from 2 surveys done recently by Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Digital Assets.
Goldman Sachs: Family Office survey
In a survey of more than 150 family offices worldwide, close to half of its family office clients or 45% expressed interest in this emerging asset class as a hedge against “higher inflation, prolonged low rates, and other macroeconomic developments following a year of unprecedented global monetary and fiscal stimulus”. 15% of these family offices are already exposed to crypto-assets.
Bloomberg describes family offices as managing “the wealth and personal affairs of rich people”. Ernst & Young estimates there are more than 10,000 family offices that manage the financial affairs of a single-family, with assets of USD6 tril, more than the hedge fund industry.
In this survey, 67% of the firms surveyed manage more than USD1 bil worth of assets, and 22% of respondents boasting assets of more than USD5 bil.
Fidelity Digital Asset: Institutional Investor survey
In this survey of more than 1,100 institutional investors across the US, Europe and Asia, 70% of them intend to buy or invest in digital assets in the near future, with over 90% of them planning to do so by 2026. Interestingly, 52% of these investors are “currently invest in digital assets”, further confirming institutional participation in the crypto-asset industry.
Likewise in the preceding survey, unprecedented fiscal and monetary measures are the primary factor for these institutional investors to define their digital asset investment thesis.
In both surveys, a common concern of these investors is the volatility of crypto assets.
Meanwhile, funding for blockchain startups exceeded USD4 bil for the first time in the second quarter with USD4.38 bil investments recorded, up 50% from the previous quarter and 9x from the same period last year.
Investment volume in Asia Pacific commercial real estate reached USD83.5 bil in H1 2021, representing a 39% y-o-y growth according to JLL’s Asia Pacific Capital Tracker.
Some highlights of this finding:
China, Australia and South Korea comprised 69% of the total investment, whilst Japan faced some pullback due to the Covid-19 disruption.
Capital flows show nearly equal share in investments between office (31%), logistics and industrial (30%) and retail (30%) respectively.
Logistics and industrial investments take the spotlight with a surge of 215% y-o-y in Q2 to USD15 bil, driven by e-commerce expansion regionally.
Office demand improved in most cities, ith USD15.5 bil investments.
Visa acquired Currencycloud in a deal valued at USD963 mil, buying up shares that it did not already own. The London-based company develops API that powers remittance and currency exchange services, including some of the biggest startups such as Revolut, Monzo, and Starling. It has 500 customers in 180 countries.
It owns 4 US facilities where it operates its proprietary mining facilities and also hosting bitcoin and other digital asset mining hardware for customers. The company said it is 100% net carbon neutral through using clean energy and purchasing renewable energy credits. In H1 2021, it has mined 1,683 bitcoins worth USD54.5 mil at the current market price.
News in Brief:
How much sales Crocs, the foot apparel maker, brings in? In Q2 2021, it recorded revenue of USD641 mil and operating income of USD195.3 mil. For the full year, it’s expecting topline growth of between 60% to 65% compared to 2020 revenue of USD1.386 bil. Crocs has a market cap of USD8.23 bil.
Crocs is suing Walmart and 20 other retailers, manufacturers and distributors, alleging copyright infringement of its USD50 signature clogs.
JP Morgan estimates that US stock buybacks are on track to hit USD1 tril this year amid the ongoing recovery, led by the tech sector. Of the tech sector’s announced USD133 bil in stock buybacks, Apple accounts for the lion’s share of USD90 bil. During good times, money is returned to shareholders. When bad times, the corporates go begging from the government. Profit is privatised, loss is socialised!
Mercedes-Benz laid out its EUR40 bil (USD47 bil) plan to build 8 battery factories in its push to become an electric-only automaker by 2030.
In an exciting collaboration, Spotify partners with GIPHY, a GIF database - whenever a user comes across a Spotify-linked GIFs, there will be an option to click a button to be taken to Spotify to listen to the artist’s music. GIPHY is owned by Facebook, after its USD400 mil acquisition in 2020.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)
Billboard’s highest-paid musicians of 2020.
2021 Proton X70 SE — limited to 2,000 units priced at RM116,800 on-the-road without insurance and factors in the ongoing vehicle sales tax exemption (RM7,000).
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