Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ RM367.2 mil, 5-year contract from 2022-2027 awarded to GFM Services Bhd for facilities management in Istana Negara
Witness: 1MDB officials reported directly to Najib, not MOF. Indonesian President Jokowi to meet Russian President Putin in Moscow. Apply to join real-life Squid Game by Netflix, USD4.56 mil prize.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75%, and short-term borrowing costs now range between 1.50% and 1.75%. The median Fed policymaker expects to raise interest rates to roughly 3.4% by the end of the year based on economic projections released yesterday.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
31,598 — the number of tax evaders traced by LHDN (23,751 individuals) costing the government more than RM665 mil in tax losses. A month grace period from June 15 to July 15 is given for them to declare their income.
1.2 mil workers — the number of worker shortages Malaysian industries are experiencing, resulting in having to forgo billions in sales. Manufacturers are short of 600k workers, construction needs 550k, the palm oil industry needs 120k, chipmakers need 15k and glove makers need 12k workers.
80% — 4 out of 5 children in the Gaza Strip suffer from depression, sadness and fear caused by the 15 years of the Israeli blockade, according to a study of 468 children and 168 parents. Children make up 47% of Gaza’s two mil population.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysia is liable for USD3 bil as then-finance minister, Najib Razak, signed a letter of support in 2013 for a subsidiary of 1MDB to issue a bond of that amount. In the trial, former Finance Ministry deputy secretary-general (policy), Siti Zauyah, said 1MDB officials reported directly to Najib, not MOF and it is unclear how the money had been spent. Such letters of support were considered de facto government guarantees.
Meanwhile, Najib Razak and his family were given a VIP sneak preview of the new MRT Putrajaya Line prior to the official unveiling by Ismail Sabri.
Parti Bersatu is facing an existential crisis. Last month, Ampang MP, Zuraida Kamaruddin quit Bersatu to join the newly formed Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM). Now, there are claims that senior minister Azmin Ali will quit Bersatu. However, the party’s president, Muhyiddin Yassin, has denied the allegations.
A Malaysian woman’s bid to be declared no longer a Muslim has been rejected by the civil High Court. Prior to this, the Shariah High Court and Shariah Court of Appeal also rejected her application to become an apostate. Thus, she resorted to filing a civil lawsuit against the Sharia courts. In Malaysia, a Muslim who wants to convert to another religion must get explicit permission from the Shariah court.
After a police report was submitted regarding the alleged theft of logs in the Nenggiri permanent forest reserve in Kelantan, Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar revealed that the state government has granted approval to the company to carry out logging activities. He added that logging should not be turned into a big issue as it is a big economic contributor to the local economy and log thefts occur in other states too.
Integrated facilities and services management GFM Services Bhd has been awarded an RM367.2 mil contract by the Public Works Department (JKR) to provide facilities management services for Istana Negara spanning a 5-year period from Jun 15, 2022, to Jun 14, 2027. That’s RM6.12 mil per month (RM204k per day) to maintain Istana Negara.
AirAsia X Berhad will be focusing on medium-haul flights (e.g. Sydney, Seoul, New Delhi) moving forward in order as such routes are “commercially viable”. However, exceptions are given to a few long-haul flights to destinations such as London, Dubai and Istanbul as the company believes that they could capitalise on the pent-up demand after travel restrictions are lifted.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Indonesian President Joko Widodo will be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on June 30. No details of the meeting were provided but the attendance of both leaders has been confirmed.
A study estimates that more than 15,000 Russian millionaires will be leaving Russia this year as the rich flee the country amidst sweeping sanctions, accounting for 15% of Russia’s millionaire pool and nearly 3x more than the 5,500 millionaires that left in 2019. Their new destination — the UAE, which is expected to attract more than 4,000 millionaires from around the world in 2022.
Kpop phenomenon BTS announced they will be taking a break from the group to focus on their solo careers. The members say they are “exhausted”, not knowing what is the group’s identity anymore, but they promise to return someday and more mature.
Hybe Co., the public-listed South Korean agency that manages the group went into free fall, falling as much as 28% and wiping out USD1.7 bil in market cap. In the nine years since its debut, BTS has broken various records (i.e. fastest accumulation of No.1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 since Michael Jackson) and took over the world by storm.
China’s internet search engine Baidu is in talks to sell its 53% stake in Nasdaq-listed, China’s second-largest video streaming player iQIYI Inc. for a price of USD7 bil, nearly double its current market cap of USD4 bil. This divestment came after Baidu identified iQIYI as a non-core asset. China Mobile, the world’s largest telco operator by subscribers (also owns streaming service Migu Video), is said to be among the potential buyers. China’s video streaming industry revenue is expected to hit USD24 bil in 2022, up 17% year-on-year.
The East African country Uganda announced that its exploration surveys have discovered huge gold ore deposits of 31 mil tonnes with an estimated 320,158 tonnes of refined gold it could extract. The country wants to attract big investors to develop the sector, which is currently dominated by smaller players. Wagagai, a Chinese company, has already invested USD200 mil in setting up a mine and refinery in Uganda.
At the current gold price of USD1,822 per ounce (1 tonne = USD64.3 mil), the market value of gold beneath Uganda is worth USD20.6 tril. Did someone say Uganda suddenly has weapons of mass destruction?
Flying in a ‘balloon’ will soon be a commercial reality. Air Nostrum, a sister company of British Airways, has signed a deal to buy ten helium airships from British company Hybrid Air Vehicles, estimated to be worth USD600 mil. These airships, whose design has been approved by regulators, will be used for short-haul flights and first deployed in Spain in 2026.
Fun fact: Hybrid Air is part-backed by the legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden frontman and qualified pilot Bruce Dickinson. The band once did a world tour in a Boeing 747 flown by Bruce.
Warren Buffett donated USD4 bil worth of Berkshire Hathaway stocks to various charity organisations, making him no longer a centi-billionare (<USD100 bil). Howard Buffett, his son, a few days ago donated USD2.7 mil to Ukraine.
Tesla has kickstarted trimming its workforce of 100,000 after Elon Musk announced earlier this month that he planned to cut 10% of staff.
Netflix is planning a real-life Squid Game reality show of 10 episodes scheduled to be recorded in Jan 2023. No one will die — the worst outcome is going home empty-handed, missing out on the USD4.56 mil prize. If you are keen to participate, you can sign up at SquidGameCasting.com
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Bird’s eye view of getting hit by a missile. Ukraine released video footage of its UAV being shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile.
Coke and Jack Daniel’s distiller Brown-Forman are teaming up to offer Jack Daniel’s whiskey and Coke cocktail in a can.