☕️ PM Sabri asked to comment on Petronas' seized assets by Sulu Sultanate: Petronas will issue a statement
IDN announced temporary freeze of workers to MY. Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo under tax, money laundering investigations in India. Sri Lanka president fled nation to Maldives, reportedly heading to Singapore.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Malaysians’ life expectancies are up by 12 years, compared to five decades ago in 1970. A baby born in 2021 can expect to live until 75.6 years. Another way to interpret this — every decade of progress, life expectancy increases by 2.4 years on average. On another note, by 2030 — Malaysia will be an ageing nation where people aged 60 years and above will reach 15.3% of the total population. An ageing population is no good — here’s why.
9.1% — the inflation rate in the US for June 2022. The US inflation rate is now at its highest level since November 19, rising from 8.6% in May. No sign of cooling inflation in the US - the US Fed is going to come down hard on it. If your portfolio is bleeding, brace for more blood.
USD2.5 million — the price paid by entrepreneurs and brothers Giovanni and Piero Buono for a bottle of champagne, a 2017 vintage sold by Champagne Avenue Foch, likely breaking the record for the most expensive wine in history. The champagne was made from Premier Chu grapes, the second-highest category in the world of fizz, after Grand Cru. Nothing too special, right? Well, the bottle the brothers bought is printed with five NFTs — nonfungible tokens — including a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT.
“You're neither right nor wrong because other people agree with you. You're right because your facts are right and your reasoning is right - that's the only thing that makes you right. And if your facts and reasoning are right, you don't have to worry about anybody else.”
— Warren Buffett
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The leader of our country, PM Ismail Sabri, passed the buck to Petronas when reporters asked about the seizure of Petroliam Nasional Bhd's (Petronas) Luxembourg-registered subsidiaries by descendants of the Sulu Sultanate. Ismail said, “Petronas will issue a statement.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Laws), Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, clarified the Paris Court of Appeal (CoA) on Tuesday (July 12) had allowed Malaysia’s application for a suspension order to temporarily halt the enforcement of an arbitration ruling in favour of the "heirs" of the Sulu Sultanate. The basis is the arbitration ruling rendered by arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa will compromise Malaysia’s sovereign immunity. Our assets are still safe, for now.
However, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) wants to play it safe — MARA has already warned its officers and representatives outside the country will look after the GLC’s assets. Other GLCs and GLICs with assets abroad better start assessing the potential fallout.
Your chances of hiring an Indonesian domestic worker are now close to 0. Indonesia announced a temporary freeze on all workers entering Malaysia effective immediately. Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono confirmed an official letter sent to Human Resources Minister M Saravanan cited a breach of the terms in the MOU on the recruitment and protection of Indonesian domestic workers signed on April 1.
Who breached the terms? The Immigration Department, under the Home Affairs Ministry — because of the department’s continued use of Maid Online System (MOS). Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin defended his department, saying the MOS can be used by prospective domestic helpers from all source countries and not just Indonesia. Hamzah added there are 15 countries where Malaysia can source workers from.
Samsung Engineering of South Korea has secured a USD680 million (approx RM3.02 billion) contract from Sarawak Shell Bhd (SSB) to build an onshore gas plant (OGP) for SSB’s Rosmari Marjoram project in Bintulu. The OGP plant will be able to process up to 800 million cubic feet of gas daily. Why not local contractors? 🤨 Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd, anyone?
The release of the action-adventure movie “Thor: Love and Thunder” in Malaysia theatres has been postponed indefinitely. The movie was expected to be screened on July 21 before the current indefinite postponement. You can catch a snippet of it here, its trailer. In China, the movie is unlikely to be played due to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and scenes.
The draft of the bill on party-hopping has been finalised — scheduled to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on July 18. Amendments need to be made to the Federal Constitution to prevent party-hopping among parliamentary members (MPs).
The bill will be debated in Dewan Rakyat on July 27 and 28.
The bill will be read in Dewan Negara between Aug 8 to Aug 10.
Once approved, the bill will be presented to Yang di-Pertuan Agong between Aug 11 and 26 for consent.
The bill should be gazetted between Aug 29 to Sept 2, should it all goes well.
Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) Malaysia expects corporate earnings to increase between 6% to 7% in 2023, supported by the oil palm plantation and banking sectors. However, the real estate and construction industries could potentially drag down the overall corporate earnings. On another note, StanChart’s head of asset allocation and thematic strategy, Audrey Goh, said the bank has advised clients to trim global equity allocation while adding exposure to bond markets.
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4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Sri Lanka President Gobataya Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka on a military jet to the Maldives whilst the nation descended into chaos and mass protests. He earlier tried to flee the country through an airport but was blocked by immigration officers. As president, he enjoys immunity from arrest - it is believed that he wanted to go abroad before stepping down to avoid the possibility of being arrested. It is reported that Rajapaksa will seek asylum in Singapore.
The video below tells the story of his multiple failed attempts to escape the country, and the humiliating treatment he received from Sri Lankan citizens. Here, crooks are celebrated.
In a civil suit, the Tokyo district court has ordered four former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) to pay JPY13 tril (USD95 bil) in damages to the operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant that was wrecked by the 2011 tsunami. The court ruled that the disaster could have been prevented had the executives exercised proper care.
[Question to lawyers - more likely than not, these former execs aren’t billionaires. What’s the court’s rationale for imposing such a gigantic amount which they won’t be able to afford to pay in multiple lifetimes?]
This ruling is in opposition to a verdict made in a criminal trial in 2019 where the Tokyo district court found 3 of Tepco’s executives not guilty of professional negligence as they could not have foreseen a huge tsunami to strike the power plant.
Chinese phone makers allegedly breaking laws one after another in India:
India has accused China phone maker Oppo of evading USD550 mil in custom duty when it “willfully” wrongly declared descriptions of certain items it imported into India.
India’s financial agency crime, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), has blocked 119 bank accounts holding USD58.8 mil linked to Vivo India’s business over allegations of money laundering.
Back in May, Indian tax officials froze USD478 mil of deposits in the local bank accounts of China’s Xiaomi as part of an investigation into alleged tax evasion. This is on top of another investigation by the ED for alleged illegal foreign remittance where USD725 mil in funds was seized.
Private equity (PE) giant KKR & Co is in talks to sell accounting software business MYOB Group Ltd for more than AUD4 bil (USD2.7 bil) to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ). ANZ sounds familiar? It owns 21.7% of Ambank Malaysia and has been looking to sell its stake for years.
MYOB, founded in 1991, serves more than one mil customers and over 10,000 accounting professionals in the Asia Pacific. KKR acquired the company in 2019 for AUD2 bil. ANZ, the smallest of Australia’s big four lenders has been shoring up its balance sheet to capture new opportunities, according to its CEO Shayne Elliot. Grab could do ANZ a favour to boost its balance sheet if the market rumour of it wanting to buy a piece of Ambank from ANZ turns out to be true.
In general, PE firms invest and buy out growth-stage companies that have proven and scalable business models, unlike venture capital firms that invest in early-stage companies. PE fund and investment sizes are a lot bigger than VC. Learn more here.
Be careful about the ‘independence’ of academic research - best to know who is funding it o understand their motives. In a leak involving 124,000 documents by a whistleblower in Uber, the ride-hailing giant paid up to USD100,000 to academics in 2015 to produce a report to “prove Uber’s economic positive role”, which Uber used as ammunition against regulators, politicians and the media.
The leaked documents obtained by The Guardian show extreme steps and ethically questionable moves the company allegedly took to grow aggressively.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Taxing the rich is a 2020 agenda — it’s time to eat the rich! An ice cream truck is selling popsicles in Los Angeles and New York that are shaped like tech billionaires. Called 'Eat the Rich' popsicles, the treats are the latest endeavour by MSCHF (pronounced “mischief”), an art collective that is known for making viral hits - check out their past campaigns here.
The world’s USD100 tril economy in a chart. As usual, the US is the biggest economy but China is set to surpass it by 2030.