Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Kedah MB to flood victims: accept fate with an open heart, be grateful for other blessings
KWAP targets RM200 bil fund size by 2025. Petronas: Fortune 500 ranking rose to 216 from 277. Risk of global rice shortage - output declined in India, world's largest rice exporter.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
There are 1.1 million fewer jobs in Myanmar in 2022 compared to 2020, mainly due to Covid-19 and the military takeover, according to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) estimates. The World Bank predicts Myanmar’s economy to grow 3% in 2022 amidst the challenging outlook.
130,000 teens from B40 families received feminine hygiene kits from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry. The sanitary pads will be supplied for a period of 12 months in phases. There is this thing called ‘period poverty’.
1,000,000 — the number of Sambal Nyet bottles sold in the past 18 months since its launch generating RM14 mil in sales. Local entrepreneur/influencer Khairul Aming also announced the opening of the second factory — a 22,000-square feet facility in Kota Baru, Kelantan. Simply amazing.
The funniest Tweet: “Created more jobs in the past year than PAS did in the past 20 years.”
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysians are definitely feeling the effects of climate change. The amount of floods lately has been unprecedented (and more to come).
On Tuesday, Johor Baru saw a heavy downpour with an intensity of almost 100 millimetres (mm) of rain — a very heady (red level) is 60mm, said to be one of the worst floods the city has ever seen.
On the same day up north, some 41 villagers in Baling, Kedah, were evacuated from their homes due to floods after torrential rains.
What did the people in the administration do?
Kedah’s Menteri Besar Sanusi Md Nor became a motivational speaker after the worst flood in Kupang — he urged the victims to accept their fate with an open heart and be grateful for the other blessings granted to them.
Our Minister of Environment and Water was busy proving he isn’t the greatest at math on the internet. He was caught in 4K before deleting the tweet.
Where should police officers who are currently under investigation for allegedly being involved in an extortion racket in Gombak, Selangor, go? Probably go on leave, but nope! The police agency decided to transfer nine of the problematic personnel to Sabah in the interim. Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor is unhappy as the police did not seek the state government’s views, and he’s asking for an explanation as to why this happened.
Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz had to skip the Dewan Rakyat session yesterday when MPs were debating the Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2022, which was among several matters under the Finance Ministry — he was busy with the launch of Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan)’s (KWAP) three-year programme (2022 to 2024) Teras 5. He wasn’t cycling, not that we’re made aware of. The Finance Minister has high hopes for KWAP — saying the fund aims to achieve a gross fund size of RM200 bil by 2025. As of end-2021, the fund’s size was approximately RM159 bil. Teras 5 also aims to get a 7% return p.a.
Auditor-General’s Report 2021 Series 1 revealed significant inefficiencies of our administration.
Our lawmakers may have been too busy arguing in Dewan Rakyat and overlooked that the upgrading works of the building they are in have been dragged on for more than seven years now while the cost overrun by RM106.1 mil.
The construction of new schools from 2016 to 2021 has been inefficient and ineffective. The report points fingers at the Education Ministry (KPM), consultants and contractors.
The projects and programmes under Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) lacked efficiency. 11 projects were not completed on time, with 27 time extensions given for between 28 and 818 days. NCER had gone over budget as well, by RM78.58 mil.
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) — the country’s only Fortune Global 500 company — saw its ranking on Fortune’s listing rose to 216 from 277 in 2021. Fortune said the oil and gas company has total assets of USD152.50 billion (approximately RM679.70 billion). Who ranks first on the list? Walmart. And it’s for nine years running.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is reviewing former DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s testimony to the High Court that three former Umno MPs that are now with Bersatu had allegedly misappropriated funds while still with their former party.
Legendary badminton player Ng Boon Bee passed away yesterday at the age of 84. One of his most remarkable feats was leading Malaysia to the Thomas Cup victory in 1967. The hospital told the family Ng had died from an aneurysm. Condolences to Ng and his family.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan for South Korea. The less than 24 hours trip is enough to enrage China. What happened so far:
China ramped up a 6-day large-scale military drill around Taiwan and test-firing conventional missiles. Taiwan responded that the drills violated UN rules, invaded its territorial space and amounted to a blockade.
China’s customs department banned more than 2,000 individual Taiwanese food imports because they have repeatedly tested for excessive pesticide residues in the past year. China did not link the ban to Pelosi’s visit, but the timing is questionable.
China has warned airlines to avoid flying in the airspace around Taiwan. Wednesday saw more than 30 flights cancelled from Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport and another 40 flights on Thursday, too, have been cancelled.
Some 7-Eleven stores had their store TVs hacked by an “unknown source” to display the message “Warmonger Pelosi get out of Taiwan” (translated). Taiwan’s Presidential Palace said its website was hit by an overseas DDOS attack, flooding its site with 200 times its regular traffic.
Global food crisis - one chapter closed, a new one opened. Rice could be the next food supply to face a global shortage as the planting area in India, the world’s largest exporter, shrunk by 13% to the smallest in 3 years due to lack of rainfall. Prices of some rice varieties have jumped by more than 10% in the past two weeks. India accounts for 40% of the global rice trade and supplies to more than 100 countries.
Rice supply down, unicorn supply down, too, abruptly in July. According to Crunchbase Unicorn Board (unicorn is a private company valued at least USD1 bil), only 14 new unicorns hailing from 6 countries with a combined value of USD26 bil were created in July 2022, falling to its lowest in 2 years since August 2020 when nine companies turned into unicorns. Compared to June 2022, 32 companies joined the unicorn status with a combined value of USD49 bil. There are now 1,377 unicorns that have raised USD780 bil with a valuation of USD4.6 tril (1.73x Apple’s market cap). See the list of unicorns and statistics here.
A flurry of bad news for Robinhood, the go-to stock and crypto (meme) trading app for Gen Y and Z:
Its crypto trading unit was hit with a USD30 mil fine for failing to implement a proper security and money-laundering prevention.
Monthly active users fell by 34% (7 mil) to 14 mil over the past year.
Revenue in its latest quarter collapsed by 44% from USD565 mil a year ago to USD318 mil. Net loss, however, narrowed to USD295 mil from USD502 mil.
The company will be laying off 23% of its workforce, affecting 780 employees. Earlier in April, Robinhood laid off 9% or 340 workers.
Its share price has fallen by 43.3% year-to-date, giving the company a market cap of USD9.3 bil.
On the other hand, Airbnb is back on track and its future looks a lot brighter. Quarterly highlights:
The company reported a record high of nights and experiences booked in the Apr-Jun quarter of 103.7 mil, up 25% YoY.
Gross booking value (host earnings + service fees + cleaning fees + taxes) totalled USD17 bil, up 27% YoY.
Average daily rates rose 40% to USD164 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Nearly half of the company’s bookings are for a week or longer.
Despite pulling out from China in July, Airbnb has more than six mil active listings on its platform.
Revenue for the quarter jumped 58% YoY to USD2.1 bil and generated a net income of USD379 mil from a loss of USD68 mil YoY.
Airbnb announced a USD2 bil share buyback programme,
Its share price is down 35.6% year-to-date, giving it a market cap of USD79.6 bil.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Welcome to 2022, where you go to a zoo, and see a handbag. The London Zoo’s Reptile House displayed a confiscated leather bag at a UK airport to promote awareness of the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT). More than one bil animals are killed for their skin or hides annually.
It’s not an oil spill. It’s a sardine spill — a trailer carrying sardine cans overturned on the North-South Expressway (NSE).