☕️ KPMG in Canada adds BTC and ETH to its corporate treasury. Probably nothing.
KJ lost appeal against Anwar Ibrahim's "main belakang" defamation suit.DBS Bank 'penalised'-to increase capital by SGD930mil due to digital services outage.Kedah Rubber City-global rubber industry hub
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Stacey Macken was awarded USD2.8 mil damages from her suit to BNP Paribas for sex discrimination and victimisation. Macken found a "large Halloween-style black witch's hat" in front of her computer after arriving at work one morning.
As many as 9,200 species of trees have yet to be discovered, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US). These are unknown to science due to the small number of trees growing in limited territories.
768km — the longest flash ever recorded. This lightning back in 2020 spanned across three US states. Imagine one lightning striking across from Johor to Penang.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Australia will welcome vaccinated tourists and other visa holders beginning Feb 21, a move welcomed by many sectors including international education.
What is the best way to tackle the Omicron wave in Malaysia? Hold more meetings. The National Recovery Council (MPN) will hold meetings today and at the end of the month to discuss measures for national recovery. Another reactive measure by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Kedah Rubber City (KRC) was officially launched by PM Sabri, making it the first-ever dedicated rubber eco-industrial park and is expected to sustain the current growth trajectory of Kedah and Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). KRC will be developed to be a global hub for the high-value rubber industry and also serves as a rubber product innovation centre to support downstream and upstream activities of the sector.
KRC is set to attract RM10 bil in potential investments and create 15,000 job opportunities by 2025 in an area covering 1,244 acres. To date, it has already attracted RM4 bil in investments and generated nearly 7,000 jobs.
BNM has announced the launch of a cross-border QR payment linkage with Bank Indonesia (BI), which will enable citizens from both countries to perform instant cross-border payments when making purchases. In other words, visit Indonesia without needing to exchange for physical Indonesian Rupiah. The service, currently in the pilot phase, will be fully launched commercially by Q3 2022. The central banks commented that this would boost the tourism sector of both countries — 5.6 mil travellers between both countries per year pre-pandemic.
Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin failed in his appeal over a defamation suit filed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim 14 years ago when Khairy used the phrase “main belakang”, suggesting Anwar Ibrahim was a homosexual and person of low moral character.
Anwar filed a defamation suit against KJ, seeking RM100 mil in damages. The High Court in 2015 found the remark defamatory and ordered KJ to pay RM150,000 damages and a cost of RM60,000. The Court of Appeal upheld this decision, and the minister will be appealing to the apex court - Federal Court.
Bersatu supreme council member Razali Idris has pledged that the party will continue supporting the leadership of PM Sabri until the expiry of his term and would not withdraw its support as stated in their agreement. What would happen to the spirit of cooperation after the PM’s tenure?
Share prices of rubber gloves rallied on Monday as the Omicron wave worldwide generated renewed interest in healthcare counters. The world’s largest glove manufacturer, Top Glove, rose as much as 13.36%. However, most analysts believe this trend isn’t sustainable as average selling prices are seeing a downtrend, higher competition from new glove players in China and merely a knee-jerk reaction to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases.
Malaccan-owned company Dominant Opto Technologies Sdn Bhd, an automotive light-emitting diode (LED) manufacturer, will make an additional RM1.3 bil investment this year in Melaka to expand production. The company, which have been operating for three decades, has placed Malacca in the 4th place among the world’s LED technology suppliers after Germany, Japan and the US. The company said it has received the contract as a supplier to BMW luxury cars for the X Series.
Proton’s sales volume in January dipped to 4,443 units for both domestic and export sales, a fall of 25.3% from the same month in 2021 due to the knock-on effects of the severe flooding in Selangor last year. The company’s production facilities were not affected. However, the company’s vendors were not as lucky. Proton’s current market share stands at 11.3%.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
One of the largest lenders in Southeast Asia, DBS Bank, has been directed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to apply a multiplier of 1.5 times to its risk-weighted assets for operational risk following a multiple-day outage of its digital services last year. This translates to SGD930 million in additional regulatory capital. What if BNM employs similar measures to banks (e.g. CIMB, Maybank) in Malaysia?
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has again denied the sexual assault allegations in her first interview with Western media. Peng spoke to the French newspaper L’Equipe after the paper was granted permission from the Chinese Olympic Committee and the questions had to be vetted before the interview. The interview seems to stir more controversy than to address it.
The poverty premium is very real as people in poorer countries spend up to 60% of their income on food. High food prices globally because of supply chain disruptions, adverse weather and rising energy prices are imposing a heavy burden on poorer people worldwide and threatening to stoke social unrest.
A global index released on Thursday by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation showed that food prices in January climbed to their highest level since 2011. The IMF’s data shows average food inflation across the world reached 6.85% on an annualised basis in Dec 2021.
A white knight in the form of decentralized autonomous organisation (DAO) has appeared for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange is currently fighting extradition to the US following a court ruling in December that overruled a British court ruling barring extradition. The DAO has raised 12,569 ETH, which will go towards Assange’s defence fund for legal fees and campaigning to raise awareness about Julian’s extradition case.
Switzerland prosecutors seek around 42.4 million Swiss francs (USD45.8 mil) in compensation from Credit Suisse in a money-laundering trial. The country's second-biggest bank faces charges for allowing an alleged Bulgarian cocaine trafficking gang to launder millions of euros, some of it stuffed into suitcases. The activities are said to have happened between 2004 and 2008.
The department store chain Kohl’s Corp adopted a shareholder rights plan to protect itself from hostile offers — also known as “poison pill.” Acacia Research Corp offered to buy Kohl’s at UDS64 per share, valuing it approximately USD9 bil. On the other hand, Sycamore Partners was preparing an all-cash offer at USD65 per share. However, the retailer thinks both offers are undervalued; hence it adopted the “poison pill.”
Interesting read here on the different types of “poison pill” approaches.
News in brief:
Meta Platforms Inc. has threatened to pull Facebook and Instagram from Europe if it cannot keep transferring user data across the Atlantic back to the US. The previous Privacy Shield agreement with the US, which governs the data transfer, was ruled invalid by the European Court of Justice in July 2020.
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), deepened its bet on video games as it disclosed stakes of more than 5% in two Japan-listed gaming firms — Capcom Co and Nexon Co.
Price comparison provider PriceRunner AB is suing Alphabet Inc’s Google for USD2.4 bil (22 bil kronor) at Stockholm’s patent and market court. The lawsuit came after a legal ruling in the EU established that Google has breached antitrust laws by manipulating search results favouring its own comparison-shopping services.
One of the big four accounting firms, KPMG in Canada, has completed an allocation of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to its corporate treasury. In a statement by one of its managing partners, Benjie Thomas, the firm believes the institutional adoption of crypto assets and blockchain technology will continue to grow and become a regular part of the asset mix.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Watch oxygen being produced in real-time
How mirror scenes are shot in movies and TV without revealing the camera
A step-by-step guide for Malaysians to access the largest crypto exchange in the world, Binance, which was banned in Malaysia in 2021.