☕️ Mass layoffs at Shopee, coming soon
Capital A plans to list airlines AirAsia, super app in New York. AFC mulls banning Bukit Jalil stadium over deplorable football pitch.EU lawmakers voted to ban sale of petrol cars and vans from 2035.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
FBM KLCI continued its downtrend for the eighth consecutive day, hitting its lowest since Nov 2020.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD400,000 — prize pool for the esports tournament ESL One Malaysia 2022 with 12 teams vying for it and will be played in front of a live audience at the Arena of Stars in Resorts World Genting from 23-28 Aug.
>1,000,000 — the number of displaced people in Myanmar exceeds one mil for the first time, according to the UN, as people have been forced to flee their homes since the toppling of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in 2021.
USD15.3 mil — the price fetched at an auction by a rare violin made in 1714 by Antonio Stradivari. This violin has quite a history as it was used in the “Wizard of Oz” soundtrack recording in 1939 and was also used to teach the famous Albert Einstein.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Najib Razak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi court cases updates:
In Najib Razak’s SRC International Sdn Bhd case, the prosecution objected to Najib Razak’s request to appoint the Queen’s Counsel from London. Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof stated that the London-based lawyer does not have any relevant experience conducting criminal cases under the Malaysian laws and cannot speak BM, which is a requirement under the Legal Profession Act.
The last time Malaysian courts allowed a similar ad hoc admission was in 1971. I guess Najib needs to trust his hotshot lawyer Shafee to get his ‘get-out-of-jail’ card.
In another Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial, Salmah Daman Huri, the Ambank officer that was in charge of the former prime minister’s account, told the court that she converted more than USD710 mil between 2012-2013 and another £8.7 mil in 2014, not knowing who is the owner of the account and only found out from the 1MDB investigations in 2015.
Switching channel to Zahid Hamidi’s trial for charges of receiving bribes from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) in return for extending the company’s contract to operate the foreign visa system. A former director of UKSB had enlightened the court that apart from Zahid Hamidi, Khairy Jamaluddin also received contributions from the company. However, the money was not given directly to him.
Putrajaya plans to introduce a new system — identity card by sector — to solve the issues of foreign workers jumping jobs between sectors. Human Resources Minister M Saravanan said that the system will ensure no job-hopping by workers and no abuse by employers that misuse employee registration.
Bukit Jalil Stadium may be banned from hosting future football matches until its pitch’s issues are rectified, as per the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). This comes after the chaos that clouds Malaysia vs Bahrain match, where the game was played on ‘sawah padi-like’ pitch condition.
There was a reported large-scale theft of logs at the Nenggiri Forest Reserve. Save Kelantan chairperson and VP of Amanah party, Husam Musa, said that the illegal logging had been carried out by Daulah Najah Sdn Bhd, a Kelantan state-owned company. A police report of the allegations of illegal logging has been received by the Gua Musang district police.
In the trial against Rumah Bonda’s founder, Siti Bainun, for neglecting and abusing Bella, a girl with down syndrome, a witness told the court that she saw Siti Bainun force Bella to eat cut chillies laden with rice. In previous proceedings, witnesses had stated that Bella had been fed rice poured with vinegar and rotten fried chicken. If found guilty, she will face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years or a fine of RM50k or both under Section 31 (1)(a) of the Child Act 2001.
Capital A Group (fka Air Asia Group and still under PN17, a designation for companies in financial distress) had begun compliance works in anticipation of its New York listings for its low-cost AirAsia airline and the so-called digital ‘super app’.
Spritzer Bhd is allocating its largest capital expenditure yet, to the tune of RM100 mil, to install a new production line and water treatment plant, upgrade machinery and settle the balance for the 1,227 acres of land it acquired in Bukit Gantang. Spritzer is the leader in the Malaysian bottled water industry, holding 40% of the market share.
Bermaz Auto Bhd, the automaker and distributor of Mazda, Peugeot and Kia, announced RM78.7 mil in earnings in its Q4FY22, up 17.8% YoY on revenue of RM897.36 mil, soared from RM641.2 mil YoY with higher sales volume due to the sales tax incentive.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Rough day for markets, especially cryptocurrencies. Updates:
Crypto lender Celsius Network with more than USD11 bil in assets under management, paused withdrawals, swaps and transfers on its platform, fueling a selloff across the industry, blaming “extreme market conditions”. This was predicted by some market participants, yet a day before it happened, CEO Alex Mashinsky publicly countered this speculation.
The company is rumoured to be facing insolvency - either a mismatch in its cash flow (which would be relatively easier to resolve) or having insufficient assets to cover its liabilities. Read the thread below to learn more about the two types of insolvencies.
Rival Nexo has offered to acquire Celsius’ qualifying assets, which will provide immediate liquidity to Celsius’ clients, claiming that the company is in a healthy position to do so.
This selloff took the cryptocurrency market cap down below USD1 tril for the first time since Feb 2021. MicroStrategy, the first public-listed company in the US to adopt Bitcoin in its treasury, owning nearly 130,000 bitcoin, was hammered by as much as 26%.
HODL on, comrades!
News on more layoffs, even amongst the big boys:
E-commerce giant Shopee is set to implement “mass layoffs” across its international operations affecting workers in ShopeeFood and ShopeePay. Earlier in March, Shopee ended its operations in India and laid off 300 workers.
Singapore-based crypto exchange Crypto.com announced it would lay off 260 workers, about 5% of its workforce. Last year, the company spent USD100 mil on an advertising campaign featuring Matt Damon and paid USD700 mil to have a stadium renamed Crypto.com Arena for the next 20 years.
European lawmakers (349 for, 249 against, and 24 abstained) have voted in favour of banning the sale of gasoline cars and vans in the EU from 2035, which contributes 14.5% of the EU’s total CO2 emission. This is just a small step towards its goal — the lawmakers now have to bring back the negotiations with the bloc’s 27 member states. The UK, no longer part of the EU, aims to achieve this goal 5 years ahead of the EU by 2030.
Google has agreed to pay USD118 mil in a class-action lawsuit claiming the tech giant discriminated against women in pay and promotions without admitting to wrongdoing as part of the settlement. The lawsuit initiated in 2017 by three former female employees successfully got the settlement to cover about 15,500 female employees who worked in Google after Sep 2013. Google also settled a discrimination accusation by the Labour Department last year and paid over USD3.8 mil to more than 5,500 female and Asian employees.
The truck driver strike in South Korea has entered its 7th-day, causing petrochemical firms, automobile and steel makers to cut their operations due to growing inventories, with shipments at the petrochemical firms plunging by 90%. The 22,000-strong truckers’ union are protesting against soaring fuel prices and demanding minimum pay guarantees as South Korea’s inflation hit a 24-year high of 4.8%. The government estimated the strike cost the economy USD1.2 bil in lost production and unfulfilled deliveries.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
RM10/hour pay + a free iPhone SE after six months of work at Kanna Curry House. Either they have great margins to afford such incentives, or labour shortage is worsening.
The size of Mercury vs the Sun