Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ MAS in talks to buy 30 new planes worth RM44 bil
Jihad Task Force questioning BNM, DOSM over OPR hike. UK PM Boris Johnson forced to step down. Radioshack: shitposting, memes boosted sales. Laos evolving to be the Sri Lanka of Asean.
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Selamat Hari Raya Haji to our Muslim readers! We are off on Monday!
1. MARKET SUMMARY
Commodity prices have been dropping and are now back to pre-Ukraine war levels. Easing inflation, however, also means slower growth and, worse still, impending recession. Some task force is going to claim glory for easing inflation, although they are a 0-contributing factor.
“In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.”
- Benjamin Graham, father of value investing.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
21,000 — the number of war crimes and crimes of aggression allegedly committed by Russia since the start of the Ukraine invasion. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova is receiving reports of between 200 to 300 war crimes a day.
USD7 bil (RM30.87 bil) — the revenue of Egypt’s Suez Canal between July 2021 and June 2022 — Egypt’s fiscal year, following a series of toll hikes for vessels transiting the vital waterway. This is the same canal that Ever Given got stuck in March 2021, disrupting the global supply chain.
USD209 bil (RM921.7 bil) — S&P Global Market Intelligence projection of dividend payout of the Asia-Pacific banking sector for the fiscal year 2022. The research firm also said economic policies in Asia-Pacific are divergent — China and Japan are keeping their policies loose, whereas the rest of the markets have already begun tightening their monetary policies.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Latest update from what is happening at the court:
1MDB trial — Former Goldman Sachs banker cum key player behind the 1MDB corruption scandal, Tim Leissner’s, sentencing is delayed until next year. For the crimes he conducted, he supposedly should be behind bars for decades, but he is likely to receive a reduced sentence as he cooperates well with prosecutors.
Former Tabung Haji chairman corruption trial — the verdict on Abdul Azeez’s appeal to strike out his corruption and money laundering charges is postponed for the third time as new evidence surfaced. There is a possibility that he might get away with all these charges, as per Abdul Azeez’s lawyer.
Syed Saddiq’s CBT trial — Syed Saddiq’s defence team, led by Gobind Singh, seeks to impeach the prosecutor’s star witness, Rafiq Hakim, as his oral testimony in court differs from his witness testimony. The court will decide on this request on Monday.
Axiata Group Bhd chairman Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said Malaysia’s leading telco players are now supportive of the government’s desire to have a single wholesale network (SWN) to implement 5G nationwide. Only July 1, 2022, DNB chief executive officer Ralph Marshall mentioned that the proposed sale of 70% of the company's equity to the telcos is expected to be completed in two months. Watch the video below to understand more about the controversy surrounding this SWN model.
In the duopoly world of the aircraft industry, Airbus is leading the race over Boeing for a potential sale of 30 wide-body aircraft to Malaysia Airlines worth RM44.3 bil, as the Malaysian flag carrier is looking for more fuel and cost-effective jets to capitalise on the travel rebound in the region. However, one needs to remember that Airbus was once embroiled in a corruption scandal involving Air Asia.
As they ran out of solutions to solve the rising inflation and start the usual route of letting others carry the blame, the special task force ‘Jihad Tangani Inflasi’ chairman, Annuar Musa wants Bank Negara, an independent and professional body, and the Department of Statistics (DOSM) to explain the OPR rate increase to the people.
One of the ways to reduce inflation is to stop throwing money into the economy (i.e. reduce government spending), but with the general election around the corner, the contrary might happen.
What is transpiring in PM Ismail Sabri’s official visit to Turkiye:
After failing to get a digital bank license in Malaysia, Boustead Holdings Bhd is trying its luck in Turkiye, partnering with Turkiye’s Great East Capital to build the republic's first Islamic digital banking.
Ismail Sabri visited Turkiye’s two major defence and aerospace companies as he looked to boost technology cooperation between the two countries. No more Scorpene deals, we hope.
Khazanah is looking to invest more in Turkiye, a country with an inflation rate nearing 80%. Khazanah has been around in Turkiye for years, having invested over USD2.7bil (RM11.95bil) in various industries since 2008, such as private healthcare and airport.
After Kota Kinabalu, Kuantan is set to build an international airport, too, at the cost of RM2 bil. But, Kuantan is thinking bigger. The new international airport will be part of a more comprehensive 5,042 hectares aerospace city, as the state government is looking to capture at least 1% of the global aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) market worth RM15 tril.
Accumulated water at Gunung Inas is believed to be one of the causes of the devastating flash floods in Baling, according to Kedah’s Menteri Besar Sanusi Md Nor. Based on an aerial survey conducted by the police, the path of the water flowed from Gunung Inas to the disaster areas and Pekan Kupang.
Flood is now a factor in determining when is GE15 — sources from the PM’s Office revealed to Malaysiakini that GE15 could take place in November, and if there are major floods on the East Coast, March 2023 will be the next option.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to resign after 59 Members of Parliament resigned from his government within 48 hours. Johnson has stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party, but he will remain in place as the caretaker PM until a new leader is elected by the Conservative Party. BBC News rounded up five things that led to the PM’s downfall:
The Chris Pincher affair — the MP was accused of groping two men.
The Partygate — the PM was fined for breaking lockdown rules.
The cost of living crisis and a tax rise.
Owen Paterson row — the MP was said to have broken lobbying rules, but the PM paused his suspension.
Lack of focus and ideas — by-election defeats kept coming.
Long queues have been forming at gas stations in the Laotian capital city of Vientiane as motorists scramble for fuel — the same thing that happened in Sri Lanka right before the country ran out of fuel. Three contributing reasons:
A huge debt pile.
An acute fuel shortage.
It’s hitting closer to home. The Laos government is looking to buy fuels from new sources, including Russia. According to Nikkei, Russian gas is 70% cheaper than supplies from other international sources. Sri Lanka’s president has also asked Vladimir Putin for supplies of fuel. The president’s request comes after prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka was “bankrupt” on Tuesday.
A new way of getting sales — “shitposting” on Twitter. RadioShack’s marketing boss Ábel Czupor said the firm saw a big increase in online sales after it pivoted to a provocative new style of social media posting (e.g. using memes, tagging celebrities). Czupor said RadioShack’s tweets got 100 million impressions in three days at the end of June. Bad PR is still PR, right?
Vyacheslav Volodin, a Putin ally and speaker of the Russian parliament’s lower house, said Russia could seek to reclaim Alaska from the US one day. Volodin made the comments as he is unhappy with the US’ actions of freezing Russian assets. The US purchased the territory of Alaska from the Russian government in 1867 for USD7.2 mil (worth about USD142.2 bil today).
Western security services — MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5) of the UK and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) of the US — made an unprecedented joint appearance to warn of the threat from China. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that the Chinese government was “set on stealing your technology” using various tools.
The creator of the hit manga comic series “Yu-Gi-Oh!” Kazuki Takahashi, 60, was found dead in the sea wearing snorkelling gear in the southern island prefecture of Okinawa. Authorities are investigating his death.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Fight inflation the Fahmi Reza’s way
Ups and downs in life have proven to take you farther — by physics.
Brake failure in a lorry led to a 12-vehicle pile-up on the Johor Bahru Causeway heading towards Singapore. Looks like scenes in Die Hard.