Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Malaysians spend RM1.47 bil a year on bubble tea
LCS project report declassified - Zahid Hamidi's 'Sila Laksanakan'. Stalking, online stalking to be made crime by law. Rubbish collection company in SG in talks to sell for USD300 mil.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”
— Voltaire, a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD3.7 bil — the amount Southeast Asians spent on bubble tea in 2021, according to a report (get it here for ‘free’) by venture outfit Momentum Works and payments start-up qlub. Not surprisingly, Indonesia ranked first in terms of market size among all South-eat Asian nations, with an annual turnover of USD1.6 bil. Malaysia’s market size is estimated at USD330 mil (RM1.47 bil) — or RM45 spent on bubble tea a year per capita. You can download the market report here.
Microsoft finally admitted the PS4 sold twice as many units as the Xbox One. 60 million Sony PS4 consoles were sold in 2017, compared to 26 million units of Microsoft’s Xbox one in the same period.
Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) will broadcast 41 matches of the Qatar World Cup 2022 — 27 live and 14 delayed. The matches will be selected from high-ranking countries that have many fans in Malaysia. The matches would be broadcasted on TV2, TV Okey, Sukan RTM, as well as live streaming via RTM Klik.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
A seismic shift in the Malaysian political scene because of the ships (or the lack of them) and probably this moment:
Senior Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein asked everyone not to look back again (on the LCS issue) because it is “general election season” where issues like these are brought up. Rakyat deserves to look back on these issues — look at what happened to 1MDB. It’s not a seasonal issue, is it?
The littoral combat ship (LCS) project report has been declassified by the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM). However, public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Wong Kah Woh said the redaction of certain facts by JPM does not affect the overall report as that information (on directors and shareholders) is open information. The full report is available here.
Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) Sdn Bhd claimed it needs an additional RM1.416 bil to complete all six ships — bringing the total cost to a whopping RM11.145 bil.
Former defence minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, changed the design of LCS, contrary to what the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) wanted. Last week, Ahmad Zahid dismissed allegations linking him to the mismanagement of the LCS project because the contract was awarded after his tenure as defence minister has ended.
Bullshit. In the PAC report, Ahmad Zahid signed off a letter from BNS asking for a letter of intent (LOI). Oops. This part wasn’t redacted.
Of settlement, awards, a crack in the comedy scene and more.
Datuk Mohamad Nizar Najib has settled with the Special Commissioners of Income Tax (SCIT) over his non-payment of RM13.16 million in tax arrears. Nizar’s lawyer said the consent judgement is “significantly less” than the amount claimed by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
Two airports operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) — Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Langkawi International Airport (LGK) — have been listed as among the world’s best airports in the latest Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey for the second quarter of 2022 and achieved a perfect score of 5! The survey measures overall passenger satisfaction regarding terminal safety, facilities, services and cleanliness.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) licensing committee revoked Crackhouse Comedy Club’s licence effective July 30. The club’s owner, Rizal Van Geyzel, has now been permanently blacklisted from registering a business licence in Kuala Lumpur. Maybe people in Selangor can finally be happier than KL folks.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is committed to investing RM20 bil per year for the next 28 years as capital expenditure (Capex) for initiatives to fast-track its Energy Transition Plan. The investment would pave the way for TNB’s journey towards its net zero aspiration by 2050. RM20 bil sounds a lot, but on an annual basis, that’s just RM714 mil.
Both stalking and online stalking can be a crime should the amendments to the Penal Code be passed. The Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2022 (Act 574) is expected to be tabled for the second and third readings at the Dewan Rakyat sitting in October and approved in Parliament at the end of the year.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
UK inflation hit the highest in 40 years, rising 10% YoY in July caused by rising food prices, spreading beyond energy. The worst is yet to come as the Bank of England, the UK’s central bank, is expecting inflation to surpass 13% later this year amid rising energy prices, with the economy expected to descend into a recession in the fourth quarter lasting into early 2024. Inflation + economic stagnation = stagflation in the making.
Inflation in the US, also at a 4-decade high, has started affecting middle- and higher-income consumers, a shift different from prior economic downturns, according to Walmart during its quarterly briefing. The retail giant said 75% of its market share growth came from shoppers with annual income above USD100,000.
“Joker: Folie a Deux”, the sequel to the “Joker”, is coming to theatres in 2024. Actor Joaquin Phoenix and director Todds Philip are each getting paid USD20 mil for this sequel, and Lady Gaga, a new addition, is taking home USD10 mil. Phoenix only took USD4.5 mil in the first movie - a more than 4x pay bump. With a budget of just USD55 mil, “Joker” was a huge success earning over USD1 bil at the global box office and nabbing 11 Oscar nominations (including a best-actor win for Phoenix).
Folie a Deux is a rare psychotic, delusional disorder shared by 2 or more people with close emotional ties. In other words, a mental disorder that gets transmitted to another individual/people.
China, on the one hand, is dumping its US Treasuries holdings but buying up more US oil on the other. For the 7th consecutive month running, China has cut its holdings down to USD967.8 bil in June, down from USD980.8 bil in May. 2 reasons given - China is defending the Yuan against the dollar and also diversifying away from US assets, given rising geopolitical tension (the US and its allies have frozen USD300 bil of Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves since the start of the Ukraine invasion.
China’s import of US oil rose to the highest in 18 months in July, whilst cutting down (weirdly) cutting down on Russian imports,
Loss, loss, loss
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norges of Norway, recorded a loss of USD174 bil in the first half of 2022 as the stock and bonds market were hit by recession fears and inflationary pressure. The fund made a negative return of -14.4% during H1. With a fund size of USD1.3 tril, similar to the size of the 16th largest economy in the world Mexico, it owns shares in more than 9,300 companies globally, 1.3% of all listed stocks.
The wealth fund derived its capital from the nation’s thriving oil and gas industry and has made each of its citizens a millionaire since 2014 (in crown terms). When proper check and balances and governance is in place, the nation and its citizens prosper.
Shopee’s parent Sea Ltd saw its net loss more than double to USD931 mil, causing its share price to dive 14%. Shopee recorded 51% growth in revenue to USD1.7 bil, while Garena, its gaming arm, saw revenue falling to USD900.3 mil and SeaMoney, Sea’s digital financial services unit, saw revenue rising to USD279 mil.
Ted Baker, the British fashion brand, will be acquired in an all-cash deal by Authentic Brands Group (ABG) for USD254 mil. ABG is a retail conglomerate that owns other brands like Reebok, Forever 21 and Juicy Couture.
Multi-millionaires can be made out of the rubbish business. 800 Super Waste Management, a Singaporean rubbish collection company backed by private equity giant KKR & Co. is nearing selling the business for around USD300 mil. Final bidders include KKR itself and Australia’s Macquarie Asset Management. KKR helped the Lee family to take the company private in 2019 that valued the company at SGD161 mil.
Read more on its humble beginnings here.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Where them UMNO macais at?
Linkedin Park — the lyrics are so damn good you got to read it.
Why do Malaysians avoid 3D (dirty, dangerous, difficult) jobs? It comes down to pay, earning a living and a dignified wage or status? The work, no matter how 3D it is, is always cleaner and a more honest work than makan rasuah.