Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Kelantan Forestry Dept Director: Deforested area good for tiger population
Former PM Najib Razak to hire Queen's Counsel from UK to appeal conviction. France, Germany-signs of easing manufacturing pain & supply bottleneck. Orangutan offering helping hand, driving golf cart.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
84% of Tonga’s 105,000 population had been affected by ashfall and a tsunami triggered by an underwater volcanic eruption. The remote archipelago was cut off for five days.
USD490 mil will be paid by the University of Michigan as damages to 1,050 former students, mostly male, who said sports doctor Robert Anderson sexually abused them. The announcement came after 15 months of mediation.
USD73.6 bil — the sales of personal luxury goods in mainland China in 2021, keeping the country on track to become the world’s largest luxury goods market by 2025, according to consultancy Bain & Company. The growth of duty-free stores in Hainan, an island province in southern China, is a major driver.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
A preliminary study published by Israel's Sheba medical centre found that a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine given to people over 60 in Israel made them three times more resistant to serious illness.
PM Ismail Sabri has promised no movement control order (MCO) enforced and travel restrictions during Aidilfitri this year. Instead, the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) targeted approach would be used if necessary. The Aidilfitri holidays are about three months away — we might see a u-Turn.
Malaysia is seeing an uptrend in infectivity rate, with an R-Naught of 1.08 as of Jan 23, 2022.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The KL High Court has ordered former DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to enter his defence on 47 counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering linked to tens of millions of ringgit of funds from Yayasan Akalbudi. Trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah ruled that the prosecution has established a prima facie (accused has to answer) case against the former DPM and home minister. He was first charged on Oct 19, 2018 - read the chronology of the former DPM court case here.
In response to criticism that the recent tiger attack in an Orang Asli community in Kelantan was due to loss of habitat arising from logging, state Forestry Department director Abdul Khalim Abu Samah argues that “based on expert research”, areas that have been deforested are actually good for tigers as new vegetation will grow which will encourage the presence of new animal species that serve as good to tigers.
We would like to review this “expert research”. Can he explain how tigers survived and its population grew in its natural habitat before human industrialisation?1. Kelantan Forestry Department director Abdul Khalim says logging activities are good for the tiger population. "Populasi harimau akan lebih tinggi, apabila berlaku pembalakan kawasan itu akan ditumbuhi anak pokok. Jadi dihadiri haiwan seperti kancil yang jadi makanan harimau"1. Deputy Kelantan MB Amar Nik denies logging caused tigers to leave their habitat and stray into Orang Asli villages. “Perhilitan beritahu apabila harimau sudah tua ia tidak mampu kejar haiwan, jadi paling mudah adalah manusia sebab manusia lari pun tidak laju seperti haiwan.” https://t.co/VE39G3GVSs https://t.co/ah94QLJMXdBFM News @NewsBFM
Former PM Najib Razak will apply for Queen’s Counsel from the UK to argue his appeal to quash his conviction and 12-year sentence and RM210 mil fine for the SRC International Sdn Bhd case in the Federal Court. The Queen’s Counsel would first have to gain leave (permission) from the Federal Court to argue the case first as the person is not licensed to address the court here. Learn more about the Queen’s Counsel here.
Malaysian and Indonesia have agreed on an MoU to implement the “one-maid-one-house” concept where an Indonesian domestic helper can be employed to work in a household of not more than six people, replacing the earlier “one-maid-one-task” arrangement. Other key issues include a channel system to establish a single passage of entry and salary. Both countries agreed to a pilot project on the recruitment of 10,000 domestic helpers.
Flash flood occurred again in Taman Sri Muda but is reportedly under control now. Swollen drains that could not hold surface runoff following an afternoon downpour worsened by household garbage dumped into the water channels caused water to overflow onto the road. The issue is more of water pooling than flash flood according to the area’s assemblyman, V.Ganabatirau.
Back in December, more than 2,000 homes in Taman Sri Muda were submerged by the floods and saw more than 6,000 residents being evacuated, making it one of the worst hit areas by flood.
Genting Hong Kong chairman and CEO Lim Kok Thay has resigned, days after the company filed to wind up its business in one of the biggest stumbles by a cruise operator since the pandemic began.
Malayan Banking Bhd has dismissed allegations that it will face major financial trouble on its lending exposure to Genting Hong Kong. Singapore’s The Straits Times reported that 3 Malaysian banks namely Maybank, CIMB and RHB were among the main unsecured creditors of Genting HK with a combined exposure of USD600 mil (RM2.5 bil). RHB Bank said they were not able to comment on the news and CIMB said it does not disclose or comment on specific names and clients.
PE firms Southern Capital and TPG surfaced as leading contenders to acquire IHH Healthcare Bhd’s International Medical University (IMU). IMU offers pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate studies and has five schools and two centres in the faculty of medicine and health.
When the news of the sale went public in March last year, the price tag on IMU was about USD300 mil (RM1.3 bil). How profitable is this education institution? Very profitable it seems. In its financial year ended Dec 2020, it recorded revenue of RM240.15 mil and net profit of RM45.85 mil. In the past five years, it has paid RM232.5 mil in dividends to its parent company with RM40 mil in dividends paid in FY2020.
Gold jewellery export from Malaysia is projected to surpass the RM6 bil mark in 2022 according to the Penang Goldsmith Association. From Jan to Nov 2021, the export value of Malaysian gold jewellery hit RM5.1 bil, exceeding the RM4.1 bil achieved in the whole of 2020. Lower gold prices, pent-up demand and weddings are expected to drive consumption in 2022.
Top buying countries of Malaysian gold jewellery during the Jan to Nov 2021 period were Singapore, UAE, Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
China Evergrande Group’s shares jumped more than 13% yesterday after the embattled developer said it would appoint an official from a unit of state asset manager China Cinda Asset Management to its board. Evergrande's assets are expected to be taken over by state-owned firms in a restructuring led by the Guangdong provincial government.
Taiwan's defence ministry said Sunday its fighters warned away over three dozen Chinese aircraft in an area close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Island — the largest incursion of Chinese air force jets in months. While Beijing did not comment on Sunday’s mission, it defended its previous incursions as necessary drills for protecting the country's sovereignty.
Google is facing troubles at home as Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine sued the search giant on Monday over deceptive location tracking practices that invade users’ privacy. Three other state attorneys general plan to file lawsuits to hold Google accountable over privacy.
“Ethereum killer” Solana network suffered another network outage that lasted about 48 hours. The issue was caused by “excessive duplicate transactions” done by bots. DeFi users on the blockchain paid the price of the outage as they faced heavy liquidations over the 48 hours the network was down.
Two of Europe’s largest economies, France and Germany, signal the easing of manufacturing pain as supply bottlenecks ease. In Germany, private-sector output unexpectedly rose to a four-month high. However, while the supply-chain issues look to have eased further, rising costs remain a key concern for businesses.
In an interview with CNBC, former Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein is optimistic about the cryptocurrency space as the ecosystem around cryptocurrencies has matured in the past year. He changed his stance after digital assets attracted trillions of dollars in value and a rapidly growing ecosystem.
Behemoths like Alibaba and Tencent have fallen out of favour in China. Instead, “little giants” are on the rise under an ambitious government program aimed at fostering a technology industry that can compete with Silicon Valley. These often-obscure companies are targeting strategically important sectors like robotics, quantum computing and semiconductors to reposition the country’s technology industry. The program has an audacious goal of creating 10,000 little giants by 2025.
Netflix Inc. shares slipped as much as 25% Friday after the company reported its slowest year of growth since 2015. Netflix is the market leader and its slowing growth could be indicative for the industry as a whole. In addition, investors believe the entire streaming market is in for a rough year ahead, signalled by the selloff in Disney and Roku.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Global streaming music subscription market share, Q2 2021
An orangutan offering a helping hand to a man in an orangutan facility managed by Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Read here for the story. This emotional moment was captured by photographer Anil Prabhakar.
A real video of Rambo, an orangutan, driving a golf cart.