Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ It's the final countdown for Najib Razak as his final appeal in the SRC Int'l trial has begun.
LSC Scandal: Former BNS senior official to be charged today. 500k Bangladeshis coming to MY in next 3 years to solve worker shortages. O&G Saudi Aramco's Q2 profit > Exxon + BP + Shell.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD10 bil — the amount venture capitalists (VC) have poured into American aerospace and defence startups in 2021, triple the amount compared to 2019. The US Department of Defence (DOD) has an annual procurement budget of USD140 bil, attracting the likes of big tech and scrappy startups.
Top Gun: Maverick is the 13th highest-grossing movie ever made, raking in USD1.37 bil in ticket sales globally after 12 weekends at the box office. It is also Tom Cruises’ highest-grossing film and first-ever billion-dollar movie. It is the biggest film of 2022 thus far and the biggest film in the history of Paramount. And I still have yet to watch it. 😂
4,000 beagles have been rescued after a breeding facility was accused by the US Department of Justice of multiple acts of animal cruelty. The dogs were being bred at a facility in Virginia that then sold them to laboratories for drug experiments. The rescue was thought to be one of the biggest in the US.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
On Day 1/9 of Najib Razak’s SRC International final appeal at the Federal Court (the highest court in the land), the five-judge panel granted Najib Razak to introduce additional evidence, among others, regarding the alleged conflict of interest of the trial judge, Mohd Nazlan and the appointment of Maybank Investment and Bina Fikir as 1MDB’s strategic advisory service provider in the establishment of SRC International. Najib Razak and his team hope this new evidence will void the whole trial and free the former PM from the 12 years of jail sentence.
The Jihad Against Inflation is taking a crack at data analysis — the committee will review detailed reports from the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) and the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) on the status of supply and demand of chicken and eggs. The new ceiling prices for both staples and the decision to lift the current export ban on chicken will be determined after the reports.
500,000 Bangladeshi workers are expected to come to Malaysia in the next three years after both countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The workers would solve manpower shortages in certain industries such as manufacturing. Commenting on this news, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said Malaysian employers favour Bangladeshi workers as they are quick learners, cooperative and quick to adapt to the
oppresivelocal working environment.
Malaysia’s big six telco companies (Celcom, DiGi, Maxis, U Mobile, Telekom and Time) are finalising the terms of their participation in the government’s single wholesale network model (SWN) to roll out 5G technology in the country. They have until the end of the month to iron out all the details. As part of the SWN model pursued by Putrajaya, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) is created where the telcos jointly hold 70% of the company while the remaining stake belongs to the government.
After Bung Mokhtar (Sabah’s Deputy Chief Minister) said that Sabah’s poor infrastructure is the reason why Sabah’s GDP is among the lowest in the country that leading to high unemployment and poverty, his colleague and also the deputy chief minister (yup, Sabah has two deputies), Joachim Gunsalam, stated that low contribution of the manufacturing sector is the reason why Sabah’s GDP is low, quoting that the sector only contributed 7.5% towards Sabah’s RM80bil GDP. Joachim said that the figure should be closer to 35%, and he believes the target could be achieved by working with SIRIM to guide local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). How to guide people when you don’t have the tools?
LCS scandal update:
One individual, who is also a former senior executive of Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), will be slapped with a criminal breach of trust (CBT) charge in relation to the LCS scandal. We find it hard to believe there’s only one individual involved in the entire scandal, as Rome (in this case, the LCS scandal) was not built by one person, but time will tell.
Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) Sdn Bhd’s CEO’s latest statement to the media that 15% of RM1.7bil worth of equipment was ‘still operational and usable and not obsolete’ and ‘could be used for at least another 25 years’ contradicts his testimony to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), says PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh.
Craving for food from Penang? AirAsia has you sorted — AirAsia Food will offer the country's first air-flown, intercity food delivery from Penang to your homes in Klang Valley on selected days each week, starting from RM5.99 delivery fee per order.
Malaysia Aviation Group (parent company of MAS) chose Airbus over Boeing (hooray to the Europeans) as the airline orders 20 units of Airbus A330neos aircraft in a bid to renew its medium-haul fleet. Ten aircraft will be directly purchased from Airbus, while the remaining ten will be leased from Avalon.
The Health Ministry is pushing Putrajaya to increase public health expenditure to at least 5% of gross domestic product (GDP), in line with the global benchmark for upper-middle-income countries. Currently, Malaysia only spends 2.59% of its GDP on public health expenditure.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
A Myanmar junta court sentenced Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, 77, to a 6-year jail sentence for four anti-corruption charges. She was earlier sentenced to 11 years in jail for corruption, incitement against the military, breaching Covid-19 rules and breaking a telecommunications law. In June, she was transferred from house arrest to a prison in the capital Naypyidaw. Last month, the military shocked the world by executing four pro-democracy activists,
Saudi oil giant Aramco reported a 90% surge in its Q2 net income of USD48.4 bil from USD25 bil YoY, bringing its first-half net income to USD87.9 bil. Just how massive are its Q2 profits? It almost matched the combined net income of USD51 bil for the five largest Western oil companies (BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and TotalEnergies) put together during the same period. The oil giant does not expect oil demand to fall despite economic headwinds and in fact, for demand to continue to grow in the coming decade.
If you do the maths, Aramco made half a billion in profit daily in the previous quarter!
Fun fact: Apple and Aramco are the leading two companies constantly jostling for the world’s most valuable company spot. Currently, Apple is ahead with a market cap of USD2.7 tril vs Aramco’s USD2.37 tril.
Geopolitics: Russia x North Korea, US continuous provocation of China, the 77th anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender:
US retaliation against Russia is indirectly bringing its foes closer together. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed Russia’s wishes to expand ties between Moscow and Pyongyang through a letter to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un on the 77th anniversary of the end of Japan’s occupation of the Korean peninsula when Japan ruled from 1910 to 1945.
The US continues to provoke China — just two weeks after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the third-highest ranking government official after the President and Vice President, US made a visit to Taiwan that irked China, a 5-member US congressional delegation arrived in Taipei on an unannounced 2-day visit and will be meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. This prompted China to continue its military exercises near Taiwan.
Japanese PM Fumio Kishida vowed on the 77th anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender that Japan would never again wage war and that Japan is a “proactive leader in peace”. This anniversary is traditionally marked by visits to the controversial Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honours 14 wartime leaders convicted as war criminals and 2.5 mil war dead commemorated there, which is seen by South Korea and China as a symbol of Japan’s past military aggression. Unlike Kishida’s predecessors Yoshihide Suga and Shinzo Abe, Kishida did not make the visit to the shrine but nevertheless sent an offering with his cabinet ministers making the visit.
Learn more here on why Yasukuni shrine is so controversial.
Fashion and tech fundraising:
Italian fashion house Prada SpA is planning to raise USD1 bil from a secondary listing closer to home in Milan after previously raising USD2.1 bil in 2011 by listing a 20% stake in Hong Kong, where its largest customer base is at. With a market cap of USD14.8 bil, the company is still tightly held by the husband and wife co-CEO team, Miuccia Prada and husband Patrizio Bertelli, with an 80% stake. In its financial year 2021, the company generated EUR3.4 bil in revenue and profit of USD294 mil.
Facebook’s parent Meta recently invested in Take App, a Singaporean startup founded by former Facebook engineering manager Youmin Kim that helps businesses with little technical know-how to set up an e-commerce shop directly connected to Whatsapp.
Initially started as a non-profit during the pandemic to help small restaurants in Singapore to go online, Take App was turned into a commercial venture after realising the significant opportunity. The company claims to have 1,000 businesses using its app across 35 different markets, with the majority coming from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The investment amount and valuation were not disclosed.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
A walk down memory lane, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple Inc. for a second stint, he introduced the iMac in a bid to revive the company. It definitely changed people’s perception of what a computer can be. 24 years ago, on Aug 15, 1998, it went on sale.
The world’s fastest car, Bugatti blocked by an F1 car on Autobahn.