☕️ 'If you see orangutan, orangutan will kill you first' - Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister
Axis REIT to build RM130 mil distribution centre for Shopee. TikTok-owner ByteDance-70% revenue growth, USD58 bil in 2021.US Air Force awarded contract to SpaceX to explore cargo delivery via rocket.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd announced plans to invest USD76 bil towards clean energy projects. The money would be used over the next 15 years to build 100 gigawatts of renewable power projects and a green hydrogen network. These projects will also boost Reliance’s target to make its operations carbon-neutral by 2035.
857 megawatt Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm will begin operations in the first quarter of 2022. The wind farm uses 90 wind turbines from Danish firm Vestas and produces sufficient electricity to meet the needs of around 800,000 homes each year. German power firm RWE owns the majority stake of 59% in Triton Knoll, while Kansai Electric Power and J-Power own 16% and 25% respectively.
6,000 million cubic metres — the volume of water in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap lake in January 2020, which is one-third of its average dry-season volume. The severe drought in 2019 left a lasting impact on water levels, affecting the livelihoods of many fishers and farmers.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Effective next Monday (Jan 24, 2022), travellers who have received booster shots are only required to undergo a five-day quarantine upon arrival in Malaysia. Travellers would not be required to wear pink surveillance wristbands anymore.
Fake Covid-19 vaccination certificates have been detected in Kedah. Investigations are currently underway to see if the certificates are issued by doctors in the public or private sector.
Temperature checks will no longer be required to enter public places. The requirement would be removed from the Covid-19 SOP.
Covid-19 infections are reaching new peaks in the Americas with 7.2 million new cases and more than 15,000 COVID-related deaths in the last week, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Opposition MPs attempt to debate the share controversy surrounding MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki in Dewan Rakyat was turned down by Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun (Art Harun) on the grounds that he has no power to decide on what is to be debated as it is the absolute discretion of the Head of House, which is the Prime Minister.
PM Sabri has called for a special sitting to discuss the recent floods that affected the nation. He blamed the weaknesses at the state and district levels in Selangor for the poor disaster response towards the floods and compared that during the same period, Pahang saw worse flooding but managed it well. He claimed that he was on the ground from the first day the floods hit the country on 18 Dec last year. However, evidence proves otherwise - UMNO had its division level meeting, and the PM was seen attending the dinner function and cutting cake on the very same day.Mungkin ni adik PM kot masa banjir tu pegi potong kek, dinner, lek luDec 18 floods: I was on the ground since day one, says Ismail Sabri https://t.co/gcjRpkcfcf https://t.co/gcjRpkcfcfThe Star @staronline
Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man shared at the briefing on the long-term flood management at the Special Meeting of Dewan Rakyat that over RM300 bil is needed for the proposed long-term solutions to flooding problems nationwide which will be implemented in phases for 50 years until 2100. These projects include developing water infrastructure such as flood mitigation systems, construction of embankments as well as the prevention of coastal erosion. Will it actually take this much money and this long of a time to bring about a feasible solution to our nation’s flood issue?
Following the cabinet’s intervention, the Malaysian Highway Authority has instructed PLUS, the highway concessionaire, to maintain both SmartTAG and Touch n’ Go lanes, with a total of 43 SmarTAG lanes to be reopened in stages at 34 toll plazas. PM Sabri added that motorists should be given the freedom to choose their payment method of choice.
The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) said it would monitor PLUS and Touch n’ Go Sdn Bhd in relation to the implementation of the RFID technology on competition matters and will enforce the Competition Act 2010 if needed. Have not heard about Competition Law? Read up the basics here. The basic idea behind this law is to protect consumers and businesses from being bullied by companies with excessive market power.
In a speech on Jan 5 defending the palm oil industry by the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, she commented that ‘orangutan will kill you first’ and made several factual errors in her speech, drawing widespread criticism. Her office issued a statement that her remark was taken out of context and was cherry-picked to distort the issue. Watch her speech below for yourself.
The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has forecast a 17.9% increase in Total Industry Volume (TIV) to 600,000 units in 2022 from 508,911 units recorded in 2021. Passenger and commercial vehicles are expected to record 540,000 and 60,000 units respectively this year.
New vehicle sales fell for the second consecutive year in 2021, with TIV at 508,911 units vs 2020’s 529,514 units - a 4% drop. The sales tax exemption incentive for passenger vehicles is until 30 June 2022 - make sure you shop a car by then to grab the savings. Actually, you don’t save by spending even though you pay less…
Axis Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) will develop a 620,096 sq feet distribution centre at the cost of RM130 mil in Shah Alam, which will be leased to Shopee’s logistic arm, Shopee Express Malaysia Sdn Bhd, for 15 years upon completion. The proposed development is expected to commence by Q1 2022 and be completed for handover by 31 Aug 2023.
The development cost excluding the land comprises 3.86% of Axis REIT’s total asset value of RM3.36 bil. If you are seeking a relatively safe investment with a decent annual yield of >5%, REIT is something one should consider instead of investing directly into properties (disclaimer: not financial advice). Learn the basics of REIT here.
YC alum Dropee, a Malaysia-based b2b wholesale platform, has closed its Series A round totalling USD7 mil - USD3 mil in equity and USD4 mil in debt, led by returning investor Vynn Capital (valuation not disclosed). Operating in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, the company has raised a total of USD8.7 mil. It has introduced new financing products for wholesalers and retailers by working with strategic partners like regional banks.
Launched five years ago, the startup primarily focuses on F&B and fast-moving consumer goods. It says it is used by 80,000 SMEs and totals more than USD100 mil in annualised transaction value.
YC, or Y Combinator, is an early-stage early incubator that has incubated and invested early in the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe and DoorDash, with 25 of its portfolio companies growing to become unicorns with a total valuation of USD600 bil. Explore its entire portfolio here.
Meanwhile, Durioo, a tech and animation startup that aspires to be the Disney and Netflix for the 400 mil Muslim children worldwide, has just been accepted to join YC’s Winder 2022 cohort, beating out 17,500 other applicants.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Joe Biden promised to make Russia accountable if it invades Ukraine. Biden stressed that it would be disastrous for Russia to do so, further escalating the tension. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday the comments “in no way contribute to defusing the tension that has now arisen in Europe”. Talks last week aimed at easing the crisis failed to produce a breakthrough. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Geneva on Friday.
Meanwhile, Russia’s central bank wants to ban the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, citing threats to financial stability, citizens’ wellbeing and its monetary policy sovereignty. Russia has argued for years against cryptocurrencies.
TikTok owner ByteDance reported revenue growth of 70% YoY to around USD58 bil in 2021, slower growth than a year earlier as China tightens its regulation of big tech companies. ByteDance retained its second-ranked position in China’s online advertising market last year, with a market share of 21%. Recent trades in the private-equity secondary market valued ByteDance at about USD300 billion.
On a side note, Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) believes YouTube won’t go away in an interview with Colin and Samir. He is uncertain if TikTok is here for the long run.
After committing a USD300 mil accounting fraud almost two years ago, Luckin Coffee wants to relist its stock on the Nasdaq by the end of this year. Luckin Coffee believes it can offer investors an attractive opportunity after it brought in new management and has seen recent growth at its stores. Luckin's third-quarter revenue jumped 106% to a respectable USD370 million.
Users of Google’s digital cards might soon be able to hold bitcoin and spend fiat. Google has formed partnerships with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc. and cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay to enable the new functionality. However, the company still isn’t accepting bitcoin for transactions.
We’re living in the future — the US Air Force wants to deliver cargo and aid worldwide via rockets. The US Air Force has awarded SpaceX a USD102 million contract to do exactly that. The contract is part of the Air Force's Rocket Cargo program, which involves looking at the use of big commercial rockets for Department of Defense global logistics.
News in brief
Meta is exploring plans to let users create, showcase, and sell NFTs on Facebook and Instagram. If the plans materialise, it would be the biggest show of mainstream support for NFTs to date. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri had said the company is actively exploring NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience back in Dec 2021.
Former Pope Benedict XVI failed to act over four child abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich, according to a new report by a German law firm. The alleged abuse continued under his tenure and the accused priests remained active in church roles.
Convicted Ghislaine Maxwell has officially requested a retrial after being found guilty of recruiting and trafficking young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting Hong Kong’s economic growth to slow to 3% this year from an estimated 6.4% in 2021 due to ongoing uncertainty linked to the pandemic. The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong found that the city’s stringent travel restrictions are now the biggest challenge for U.S. businesses and expatriates in the city.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Strict quarantine measures have been the cornerstone of keeping Covid-19 at bay, but Omicron could change that.
Motivational post of the day - you are worth differently in a different environment.
The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power coming to Amazon Prime Video on 2 Sep 2022. Watch the trailer here first, then only watch the below how the trailer was made.
In some minister’s world - orangutan and guns.