Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ New 'accidental' scientific discovery - life flash before our eyes as we die
Further revelation - Tim Leissner also had affair with other 2 Malaysian women. MUDA to clash with PKR in Larkin, diluting opposition votes. A new life for our cut hair - cleaning oil spills.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
The escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict has pushed up commodity prices to new highs in recent years. Crude palm oil prices (CPO) hit RM7,000 per tonne, the highest since 2008 and oil breached USD100, rising above USD105 per barrel for the first time since 2014.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
11 Malaysians are currently still in Ukraine out of 23 Malaysians that were registered with the Malaysian Embassy in Kyiv. The embassy is working to provide protection and safe haven for these Malaysians before they can return to Malaysia.
Difference between Embassy vs High Commission: Embassies are diplomatic missions sent to non-Commonwealth countries. High Commissions are diplomatic missions sent to member Commonwealth countries.
The number of extreme wildfires is expected to increase by 30% within the next 28 years because of climate change triggering droughts and farmers clearing forests. Wildfires are now scorching places that were not prone to burning in the past.
USD401 mil — the estimated damage of the fire that recked the 650-foot-long Felicity Ace carrying luxury cars and commercial vehicles, according to an estimate from the risk modelling firm Russell Group.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
New quarantine SOP for Covid-19 close contact effective Mar 1, 2022 — no isolation required for adults aged 18 and above if they are boosted and asymptomatic. Currently, everyone is required to quarantine under a home surveillance order (HSO) for five days if they are in close contact with a positive patient.
The occupancy rate for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitals in Putrajaya, Labuan, and nine other states was below 50% as of Wednesday, according to the Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. DG commended that each of the nine states was well prepared with a quick response plan.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
After 1MDB star witness Tim Leissner’s testimonials, here come the responses:
BNM, in a late-night statement, said it had furnished information to the relevant law enforcement agency on the accounts belonging to the husband of the former BNM governor in accordance with the law.
Najib Razak’s daughter, Nooryana Najwa Najib, has confirmed that she did try to apply for a job at Goldman Sachs, however, was told it would be a conflict of interest and subsequently, Leissner introduced her to TPG, a giant private equity firm and said she was “the PowerPoint girl, the photocopying girl, the coffee girl and the delivery girl.”
Silence so far from former Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd CEO Rohana Rozhan, whom Leissner was blackmailed by to keep her silence in return for a USD10 mil property in London. According to Utusan Malaysia, MACC has opened an investigation into her involvement following Leissner’s revelations.
Apart from Rohana, Leissner shared that he also had affair with another 2 Malaysians - the niece of former chief minister of Sarawak and the daughter of a Malaysian ambassador to the US.
This 1MDB trial will be taking a mid-season pause so don’t expect any more juicy revelations any time soon - a blunder by the US government to turn over to the defense more than 15,500 documents relating to Leissner has caused the judge to pause the trial to allow the defense time to review the newly disclosed evidence.
MUDA will be fielding a candidate to contest the Larkin state seat even though PKR has announced a candidate for the area. Such move will dilute votes for the opposition camp. MUDA has earlier committed not to clash with the opposition camp. Asking for his comments on this clash, MUDA president Syed Saddiq said all efforts had been exhausted.
Compromising and giving up a seat increases the probability of defeating the incumbent and is a better option than risking both opposition parties getting their votes diluted and losing. But of course, who would be the one compromising - MUDA or PKR?
After forming his own badminton club, Lee Zii Jia has teamed up with Taiwanese sports equipment company Victor, with their collaboration confirmed through a joint Instagram post. Victor is currently sponsoring Taiwan’s world number one women’s singles player Tai Tzu Ying, world number two men’s doubles Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Sitiawan of Indonesia and Denmark BA.
In 2015, the Badminton Association of Malaysia inked a 6-year deal with Victor worth RM60 mil, ending a 15-year partnership with Japanese brand Yonex. However, in 2021, BAM returned to Yonex with a RM55 mil 5-year deal.
Property developer UEM Sunrise Bhd is targeting to raise RM300 mil through the disposal of non-core assets with potential assets such as land, car parks and some office and residential units identified for sale, as it streamlines its business to focus purely on property development. 90% of the company’s current landbank 0f 10,624 acres is located within Johor. The company’s market cap currently stands at RM1.64 bil.
Lembaga Tabung Haji announced a profit distribution of 3.1% after zakat for 2021, similar rate as 2020. Total profits distributed, however, is RM219 mil higher in 2021 totalling RM2.46 bil as compared to RM2.24 bil in 2020. The pilgrim fund recorded revenue of RM3.24 bil in 2021, up 2.9% from the year before of RM3.15 bil.
Its assets totalled RM88.73 bil, exceeding its liabilities of RM85.51 bil as of Dec 31, 2021. Almost all of TH’s investments are within the country and to ensure sustainable returns, TH will diversify by periodically increasing overseas investments.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Russia has officially invaded Ukraine, to the surprise of many. Russian military vehicles breached the Kyiv region from Belarus to the north, Ukrainian officials said, after tanks reportedly rolled earlier into Ukraine from Crimea. Russia wants to remove US influence by ensuring pro-Moscow government in Kyiv. His aim is to demilitarise and “de-Nazify” Ukraine. Putin’s military moves upended markets, with the ruble and Russian stocks sinking while oil and gold soared.
Putin threatened the West should they intervene by saying,
“Anyone who tries to get in our way, let alone tries to threaten us and our people, should know that Russia’s answer will be immediate, and it will lead to consequences of the sort that you have not faced ever in your history.”Flight radar shows how Putin's invasion of Ukraine has opened up a 1,000-mile wide hole in the east European airspace Full story 👉 trib.al/Y4AWixt
China rejects the term “invasion” and urged all sides to exercise restraint. China has blamed the United States and its Western allies in recent weeks for “hyping up” the crisis.
President Joe Biden met with leaders of the G-7 countries to discuss the situation and planned for the next steps. He spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and assured the US would be imposing sanctions on Russia.
UK’s PM Boris Johnson announced sanctions on banks, Putin’s circle, and wealthy Russians. Johnson is also calling for Russia to be excluded from SWIFT, backing a demand made by Ukraine.
The West and its allies showed no inclination to send troops into Ukraine — a non-member of NATO. However, NATO reinforced its member states in Eastern Europe as a precaution against an attack on them.
The MOEX Russia Index fell 45% at open yesterday morning, before paring down losses to close at 33%. Investors had expected Putin to back down.
The unexpected early winner from the Ukraine crisis — the Chinese yuan. The currency is standing out for its resilience as global markets reel from the Ukraine crisis. The yuan’s correlation to global volatility dropped to a three-year low earlier this week.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since going public in 2014. Sales growth slowed down due to competition intensifying and consumers cutting down on discretionary spending. Alibaba said group revenue rose about 10% in October-December 2021 to 242.6 billion yuan (USD38.37 bil). Once Asia’s biggest listed company, Alibaba has long given up its crown to Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC as its shares have lost roughly half their value in the past 12 months amid Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on certain industries.
LG Electronics Inc announced its decision to close its solar panel business in the face of deepening competition and sluggish sales. The sales have been on a downtrend since 2020 — sales from the solar panel business declined to 58 billion won (USD50 million) last year, versus 800 billion won in 2020 and 1.1 trillion won in 2019. Competition from low-cost Chinese suppliers and a sharp increase in polysilicon and other raw materials prices didn’t help too.
Life may actually flash before your eyes before death, according to a scientific “accident”. A team of scientists set out to measure the brainwaves of an 87-year-old patient who had developed epilepsy. The patient suffered a fatal heart attack unexpectedly during the neurological recording, and the team of scientists found in the 30 seconds before and after, the man’s brainwaves followed the same patterns as dreaming or recalling memories.
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX hired fashion and beauty entrepreneur Lauren Remington Platt as its head of global luxury partnerships to double down on branding and sponsorship opportunities in the USD300 billion luxury goods market. Prior to joining FTX, Platt founded an on-demand beauty company called Vesette, which has launched brand partnerships with Saks 5th Avenue, Vogue, Michael Kors and Chopard.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Team Coriander / Cilantro, anyone?
An ongoing tweet thread on the Ukraine crisis.
Your cut hair has a new and better purpose - cleaning oil spills. 1 kg of hair can absorb up to 5x its weight.