☕️ PM Sabri made decision to reduce max retail chicken price by 20 sen whilst being served Evian water
Genting Skyworlds Theme Park soft opening on 8 Feb. European Commission plans to classify certain nuclear and natural gas plant as green energy. Meta (FB) lost USD237.6 bil in market value.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Want to live longer? Walk 10 minutes daily. Based on a study in the US, 10 minutes of moderate exercise daily would prevent more than 111,000 premature deaths a year. Increase your odds by doubling to 20 minutes daily. That’s a mere 140 minutes per week.
One rocket per week — SpaceX is reportedly planning to launch a record 52 rockets in 2022, breaking the record of 31 launches in 2021.
RM1.4 billion — the damage of the Dec 2021 floods, according to the Selangor government’s estimates. RM1 bil was the damage to households and RM400 mil was for infrastructure repairs.
555.55 carats — the size of a billion-year-old diamond thought to have come from outer space. The rock is expected to fetch over £4.4 mil (USD6 mil) at a Sotheby's auction.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Any nationality can now apply for quarantine-free entry to Thailand, provided they are fully vaccinated. Thailand's government expects between 200,000 and 300,000 travellers to take advantage of the so-called Test & Go programme in February alone. The tourism sector contributed up to a fifth of the country’s GDP pre-Covid 19 days. BRB booking tickets to Bangkok. Aroi mak-mak.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
After charing a National Action Council on Cost of Living by PM Sabri, the council decided to reduce the maximum retail price of chicken by 20 sen to RM8.90 and maintain the price of eggs for the period 5 Feb to 5 June. Whilst deliberating on this decision, the council members were served with Evian water. The irony.
At this time of writing, the cheapest Evian 500ml is selling for RM4.23 per bottle, whilst a close comparison, Spritzer 600ml is selling from RM1.15 per bottle. Want to check offline and online grocery prices?
Check out Malaysia’s largest grocery price comparison app, Hargapedia - helping more than a million Malaysians to save easily on their household shopping.Mesyuarat Khas Majlis Tindakan Sara Hidup Negara memutuskan harga maksimum runcit bagi ayam standard dikurangkan 20 sen daripada harga siling yang ditetapkan iaitu RM9.10 sekarang kepada RM8.90. Harga telur ayam semua gred KEKAL spt harga kawalan SHMKM.Combined gaji orang yang hadir di mesyuarat ni mencecah RM1 juta sebulan, tapi hasilnya ialah harga siling ayam kurang 20 sen. Yang penting, makanan time mesyuarat kena sedap, video kena gempak. https://t.co/1S6oHvuQRbMesyuarat Khas Majlis Tindakan Sara Hidup Negara memutuskan harga maksimum runcit bagi ayam standard dikurangkan 20 sen daripada harga siling yang ditetapkan iaitu RM9.10 sekarang kepada RM8.90. Harga telur ayam semua gred KEKAL spt harga kawalan SHMKM. @IsmailSabri60 @kpdnhep https://t.co/kb5N7CXBqrPejabat Perdana Menteri @MalaysiaPMO
MUDA president Syed Saddiq has denied claims that he owns a luxury bungalow worth millions of ringgits after a tweet (now deleted) made such allegations. In his video, he refuted the allegations and shared that the bungalow is a rented unit and also serves as a meeting space for MUDA. He did an MTV Cribs-style tour of the bungalow. Would the incumbent politicians be up for doing a similar MTV Cribs tour?
Bersatu’s supreme council recently discussed firing its member Zuraida Kamaruddin, current Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister and others in the party over alleged involvement with Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM), a new political party that is set up by former PKR leaders aligned with her but no decision was made pending further investigations.
PBM has announced that she is not on their membership list but sidestepped questions when pressed about Zuraida’s alleged involvement in forming PBM.
The security level in Sabah’s East Coast will be increased, including the deployment of a commando team from the Special Action Unit (UTK), to defend against the rising threat of the Abu Sayyaf militant group. This was following information that Abu Sayyaf’s sub-leader and bomb maker, Mudzimar @ Mundi Sawadjaan, confirmed to be still alive. No kidnapping cases have been reported in Sabah’s East Coast in the past 2 years.
The fire disaster in Pulau Burung landfill has been finally put out after 20 days a fire broke out on 12 Jan on the more than 11ha landfill, which led it to be declared a level one disaster area causing severe pollution to the surrounding area and posing a health risk.
For all the problems Lim Kok Thay is facing with his Genting HK cruise business, at least there is a bright spot within his empire with Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park, Southeast Asia’s most anticipated theme park, to open its doors to the public on 8 Feb 2022 after at least 5 years of delay. More than USD800mil have been invested in the development of the theme park.
For its soft opening, the theme park is offering a 20% discount from its published rate for bookings from Feb 8 to Mar 31, 2022.
The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) in Malaysia, wholly-owned by Canada’s third-largest lender by assets, Bank of Nova Scotia, will exit the country before year-end, ending its 49-year history in the country. Its wind-down costs include a provision for severance payments of RM21.045 mil.
Scotiabank’s Canadian parent wanted to sell its Malaysian operation as part of a wider plan to scale back in Asia to refocus on its domestic market and in key South American markets. However, due to lengthy approval deliberation by BNM that took nearly a year, the deal was scrapped. Today, it only has one branch left in Menara Hap Seng in Jalan P Ramlee from 5 branches in 2007 with assets of only RM1.28 bil as of Jul 31, 2021, compared to RM5 bil 8 years earlier. The bank mainly does corporate banking.
Capital A Bhd (fka AirAsia Group Bhd) is said to have approached Raya Airways Sdn Bhd to acquire it to scale its logistics business Teleport, according to people familiar with the matter. However, the conversations are in the early stages.
Teleport made up 53 of AirAsia Group’s overall revenue in Q3 2021, contributing RM157.9mil, up from RM55.7mil a year ago. It is looking to secure about USD50-100mil of fresh funding to expand its fleet to 6 freighters by 2023 and go public in the next three years.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to raise borrowing costs by 25 basis points to 0.5% to tame red hot inflation. BOE officials lifted their forecasts for the peak of inflation to 7.25% in April. Why will it peak in April? Before BOE’s announcement, UK energy regulator Ofgem said the energy bill for a typical household would rise 54% in April. The BOE will also start to unwind USD1.2 trillion) of bond holdings it amassed over the past decade to stimulate the economy. It is an example of contractionary monetary policy.
The European Commission wants to classify nuclear and natural gas energy plants that meet requirements as green energy. The move has divided the EU — Austria, Luxembourg and Spain objected while France and Germany supported. The move is not finalised as the European Parliament and the council of heads of state have four months to consider the suggestion and object to it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the US and its allies of ignoring Moscow’s security concerns over Ukraine. Furthermore, he added the US is using Ukraine as a ‘tool’ to contain Russia — a pretext to impose more sanctions on Russia. Putin assured it was possible to find an end to the crisis if the interests of all parties are taken into account, suggesting at least one round of diplomacy is likely.
The US is deploying extra troops, some 3,000 in total, to Europe amid continuing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Another 8,500 were also put on heightened alert last week.
Have you been seeing grey, yellow, or green boxes on your social media lately? If you have, your peers have probably started playing Wordle — a free game that provides players with a new five-letter word to solve, with six tries to figure out. The game was created by Josh Wardle for his partner who enjoys word games. The New York Times bought the game for USD1 mil, as part of the company’s bid to increase digital subscriptions to 10 mil by 2025. Who knew love could make you money.
Expect your venti latte to be more expensive in 2022 as Starbucks Corp announced its plans to hike prices to offset inflation. Starbucks reported profits of 72 cents per share, missing Wall Street estimates of 80 cents, mainly due to amplified staffing shortages and inflationary costs. Thanks, Covid.
Tesla drivers in the US are reporting a surge in ‘phantom’ braking’ — unexpectedly slamming on their brakes in response to imagined hazards. 107 complaints have been raised in the past three months (since Nov ‘22), compared with only 34 in the preceding 22 months. The timing of the complaints coincides with a period in which Tesla has stopped using radar sensors in its vehicles to supplement the suite of cameras that perceive their surroundings. Tesla wants to transition its fleet to Tesla Vision, but its reliability issues are hampering the transition.
In an unrelated event, watch Elon Musk, or rather his Chinese twin look-alike wishing us all Happi Chinese New Year! Some names given to this dude by netizens — Clone Musk, Yi Long Musk.
Jack Sweeney, a freshman at the University of Central Florida, tried to earn an internship with Tesla by having a Twitter account (with 310K followers) that tracks Elon Musk’s private jet. Musk offered USD5,000 to Sweeney to shut the account down, citing security risks. However, Sweeney asked for either USD50,000 or an internship with Tesla but got blocked instead. The freshman is now starting a business that monitors flight activity of additional high-interest planes (think Gates, Bezos, Buffett) called Ground Control.
Meta Platforms Inc. lost USD237.6 bil in market value on Thursday after its shares plunged more than 20% after hours after announcing its results on Wednesday. The biggest single-day drop value in the history of the US stock market. As a result, Mark Zuckerberg’s networth fell by USD29 bil.
The social media giant highlighted increased competition and Apple’s privacy change as its main challenges. Its revenue in the first quarter will be USD27 billion to USD29 billion, while analysts were expecting sales of USD30.15 billion. Evidently, Wall Street is not too happy with the forecasted figures. Will the platform’s Metaverse bet pay off?
YouTube topped Netflix in terms of quarterly revenue, according to Alphabet’s results. YouTube delivered USD8.6 bil in advertising revenue in Q4 of 2021, compared to Netflix’s USD7.7 bil in the same quarter. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, reported USD75.3 billion in revenue for the quarter, with Google search advertising still making up the lions share of the revenue. CEO Sundar Pichai is looking to take YouTube further, focusing on areas such as podcasts, gaming, learning, and sports and ways to support creators better.
Amazon Inc. reported a profit of USD14.3 billion and revenue of USD137.4 bil for its holiday-season 4th quarter. Its investment in electric vehicle Rivian paid off as Amazon gained almost USD12 bil from the investment. Amazon’s cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is its biggest contributor, having reported an operating profit of USD5.9 billion on revenue of USD17.8 billion. The company said it would raise the price of its annual Prime membership to USD139 from USD119 to improve its delivery services.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Fireworks here, fireworks there - but just how do fireworks work?
With more than 1.6 billion iPhones in use, Apple’s move to increase its user privacy wreaked havoc across social media platforms.
Oil spill from a pipeline sprays into Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest