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☕️ RM83.6 mil worth of land and property awarded to former PM Abdullah Badawi for his services to the government
Russia made 4 demands from Ukraine to end the invasion. Endemic phase: borders to open, 24 hours mamak back to action. More women are investing - 34% of trading accounts owned by women.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
34% of Central Depository System accounts were held by women in 2021. 30% of the total trade value in Bursa in 2021 came from female investors.
USD7.4 billion — Australia’s budget for a new base to house a future fleet of nuclear submarines. Prime Minister Scott Morrison warns the Ukraine war will “inevitably stretch” to the Asia-Pacific.
USD121 billion — loans extended by foreign banks to Russian firms and households, which has been on a downtrend since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Malaysia will enter the ‘Transition to Endemic’ phase starting Apr 1, 2022.
Borders are finally open. No quarantine requirements, only RTK-PCR two days before arrival and RTK-AG on arrival — must be negative, in case not obvious.
50% capacity limit for event venues dropped.
Vaccination is no longer a requirement for inter-state travel.
Eateries are allowed to operate past midnight. 24 hours mamak will be back to action.
State governments would have the final say on social distancing for Islamic affairs.
An Oxford University study (n = 785 participants) has found Covid-19 can reduce brain sizes between 0.2% to 2% — reduce grey matter in the regions that control emotion and memory, and damage areas that control the sense of smell.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Abdul Latiff Ahmad, Special Functions Minister in the PM’s Department disclosed in Parliament that former PM Abdullah Badawi was the only former PM who was awarded a plot of land and property worth RM83.64 mil for his services to the government and it was approved in 2009.
Situated at Persiaran Tuanku Ja’afar, the size of the land was 155,290.94 sq ft worth RM76.4 mil and on top of it sat a property valued at RM7.24 mil. Pak Lah served as the PM from 2003 to 2009 for a period of 7 years. That’s a RM11.95 mil award per year of service, on top of his pension.
This matter was highlighted by former PM Tun Mahathir saying that Pak Lah received “RM70 mil in gifts” after his retirement and that it was “extraordinary” as the first 3 PMs were only given “old houses” after they stepped down. No wonder Najib Razak had the cheek to ask for a RM100 mil land — relatively, it isn’t a lot after adjusting for inflation.
KL was hit by half a month’s worth of average rainfall in a 2-hour span on Monday causing the flash flood as the extraordinary rain pour overwhelmed existing drainage with a high volume of water flow according to Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (the same guy that said in Apr 2021 that Malaysia was not a country vulnerable to climate change).
Also disclosed by the minister, a flood mitigation project in KL due for completion this year has been delayed once more to 2024 due to contractor troubles (perhaps, could have been prevented had contractor vetting during tender stage been done rigorously), which has been in the works since 2013.
Reminder from LHDN: submit your taxes within the stipulated deadline, and there is no plan to extend the deadline this year as the situation is back to normal. However, there will be a 15-day grace period for those who submit their BE and B forms online. Deadlines for BE and B forms submissions are Apr 30 and Jun 30, respectively.
Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) shared that Malaysia attracted a record amount of RM306.5 bil of approved investments in 2021, driven by higher foreign direct investments (FDI). Some highlights:
FDI of RM208.6 bil accounted for 68.1% of total approved investments, balance 31.9% from domestic direct investment at RM97.9 bil.
Top five countries contributed 88.9% to FDI: Netherlands (RM78 bil), Singapore (RM47.3 bil), China (RM31.3 bil), Austria (RM18.9 bil) and Japan (RM9.9 bil).
Pulau Pinang attracted the most investments of RM83.5 bil, followed by Kedah (RM68.3 bil), Kuala Lumpur (RM37.7 bil), Selangor (RM28.8 bil) and Sarawak (RM25.7 bil), with these top 5 states accounting for 79.6% of total approved investments.
The manufacturing sector, specifically in the electrical and electronics sector, attracted the most approved investment of RM195.1 bil, followed by the services sector (RM94.1 bil) and the primary sector (RM17.3 bil)
World’s largest glovemaker Top Glove Corp Bhd, has postponed its plan to raise USD347 mil through a secondary listing in Hong Kong due to heightened market volatility and uncertainty arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Its stock price fell 6.3% after the news was announced, further pushing the stock down 31% in 2022.
Aquaculture group MAG Holdings Bhd plans to invest RM100 mil this year to expand its prawn farm business and double its prawn production capacity to 8,000 tonnes per year to cater to growing demand. 90% of its production is exported, with the bulk of it to South Korea as it has a strong relationship with the largest prawn brand in that country.
Warren Buffett on investing in Europe during this Russia-Ukraine crisis:
“It wasn't because the news was good, it was because the prices were good.”
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Russia’s Prime Minister Alexander Novak warns oil prices could more than double to USD300 a barrel should the West goes ahead with a ban on Russian oil. The US has been exploring a potential ban with allies as a way of punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine but was rejected by Germany and the Netherlands. The US imports as many as 700,000 barrels per day of Russian crude and petroleum products.
Russia gave its ultimatum on Monday to Ukraine if it wants the invasion to end. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Ukraine must:
Cease military action
Change its constitution to enshrine neutrality
Acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory
Recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent territories.
The London Metal Exchange (LME) was forced to halt trading in nickel cancel trades as prices doubled to more than USD100,000 per tonne yesterday. The situation was due to the situation in Russia and Ukraine, as well as the low-stock environment (electric vehicles) and high pricing volatility.
Chinese billionaire, Xiang Guangda, who controls the world’s largest nickel producer, Tsingshan Holding Group Co. is facing billions of dollars in mark-to-market losses as he built a massive short position in nickel futures as prices spiked.
Bain Capital Ventures — one of the world’s biggest startup-investment firms is launching a USD560 mil cryptocurrency fund. The fund will be investing in everything from crypto startups to decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs). Stefan Cohen, a managing partner at Bain Capital Crypto, believes the world is at the beginning of a multi-decade technology shift with cryptocurrency.
China is considering buying or increasing stakes in Russian energy and commodities companies. Beijing is under pressure to secure imports on energy and food security as the cost of energy is high as metals and food skyrocket to unprecedented levels. Any deal would be to bolster China’s imports — not as a support to Russia.
Google announced its plans to acquire cybersecurity firm Mandiant for around USD5.4 billion. Mandiant will join Google’s cloud computing division to enhance its security operations suite and advisory service. The deal is a great addition to Google’s cloud computing division, which is yet to grow to the same size as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.
6. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Compliment vs complement. Forgo vs forego. Stationary vs stationery. Know the difference - take a minute and improve your English.
EVs almost 9% of new cars sold last year. Still, the world is addicted to oil.
Apple’s “Peek Performance” event summarised in 7 minutes.