☕️ The day MACC offended doctors and the rakyat's intelligence
Photos of individuals in MUDA t-shirt drinking beer gone viral. OpenSea, NFT marketplace, valued at USD13.3 bil in new fundraising round. Watch BMW colour-changing car.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
£130 mil was mistakenly deposited by Santander to 75,000 accounts on Dec 25, 2021. Merry Christmas indeed! Santander’s staff are now rushing to claw back the money, but it’s an uphill task as much of it was deposited into rival banks’ accounts. Uh-oh.
USD3,000 — the average amount spent by users to purchase properties on SuperWorld, a virtual planet where people can buy digital versions of any place on earth. There are 64.8 billion unique parcels on SuperWorld.
¥1.8 billion (yuan) — Xiaomi 12 series’s sales within 5 minutes after the official sales launch. This result exceeds the previous record of the Xiaomi Mi 11 series, which sold a historical RMB1.5 billion (USD236 million) in 5 minutes.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has downplayed the IHU Covid-19 variant found in France, first identified in November. WHO monitors multiple variants, and when it finds one may pose a significant risk, it declares it a “variant of concern.” IHU is only under investigation.
Australians are unhappy over Novak Djokovic’s exemption from vaccination. Djokovic has been approved to play in the Australian Open, which begins on Jan 17 in Melbourne. However, PM Scott Morrison has said if the player’s evidence for vaccine exemption was insufficient, he would be sent home immediately.
Singapore has made it mandatory for those aged 18 and above to take a booster shot within 270 days of completing their primary vaccination series, to maintain a fully vaccinated status against Covid-19.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
In the highly anticipated MACC press conference, the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman, Abu Zahar Ujang, said MACC chief commissioner, Azam Baki, has appeared before the board on 24 Nov to explain himself with regards to his shareholdings in 2 listed companies in 2015.
Azam Baki claimed that his brother borrowed his trading account to purchase these shares and said there was no offence committed and he need not explain himself to the public. He declared the share trading to the anti-corruption agency, although he was not required to.
However, it seems that Azam Baki has committed an offence under the securities act, which provides that any securities account opened must be in the name of the beneficiary owner. Will the relevant regulator take action against Azam Baki, now that he publicly mentioned his brother used his account?
Still on MACC, but on a separate matter, the agency released a video that has offended the country’s doctors, who felt that the footage offended their profession. The 30-second video clip depicted an act of bribery occurring in a clinic, where a patient tried to pay off a doctor to obtain a medical certificate.
The Malaysian Medical Association has demanded the MACC to issue a public apology for the video and take it down immediately. If MACC wanted to win the confidence of the rakyat, the video could have been an actor playing the role of a PM, minister, or politician receiving bribes.
A total of 54 fatalities due to the floods have been reported since 18 Dec with Selangor reporting the highest fatalities at 25 deaths, followed by Pahang (21), Kelantan (4), Sabah (3) and Negri Sembilan (1).
To improve response to flood disasters, the Royal Malaysia Police is planning to equip each of the 157 district police headquarters nationwide with 5 boats for immediate response to flood disasters.
Images of individuals in MUDA t-shirt drinking beer have gone viral alleging that the beer was purchased using funds the party crowdsourced, though no proof was presented to substantiate the claims. In response to these images, Syed Saddiq, the party co-founder, said they have been fully transparent about the flood-related donations with audits to be carried out after the relief missions are over.
Had the images been genuine, the faces of the individuals would have been revealed for maximum damage, but it wasn’t. Seems like a cheap, smear tactic by the political old guards. Besides, there is nothing wrong with drinking for non-Muslims (in an appropriate environment of course, not whilst driving).
IHH Healthcare Bhd, the largest private healthcare group in Asia, announced that a US fund, Emqore Envesecure Private Capital Trust is seeking in excess of USD6.5 bil in damages from it and more than two dozen named defendants in the lawsuit. This lawsuit is in relation to the issuance of shares of Fortis Healthcare Ltd to IHH’s subsidiary in 2018.
IHH said it was not possible to determine the estimated potential liability to IHH arising from this lawsuit, as it involved 28 named defendants and 28 non-party defendants. The company said it is “not expected to have any business, operational or financial impact on IHH, as IHH believes that it has strong grounds for dismissal of the suit”. IHH market cap stands at RM60.35 bil.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Chinese gaming and social media company Tencent Holdings Ltd reduced its stake in Sea to 18.7% from 21.3% to raise USD3 bil. Tencent sold 14.5 mil shares of Sea at UDS208 each, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters. Sea said Tencent had also agreed to cut its voting stake in the company to less than 10%.
A digital lender in Indonesia, Allo Bank, is seeing great interest from multiple parties in its rights issue of 4.8 trillion rupiah (USD335.55 mil). Bukalapak.com, conglomerate Salim Group, Grab’s subsidiary Carro, Traveloka, and Growtheum Capital Partners have all expressed interest to participate in the rights issue. Allo Bank's core capital will increase to more than 6 trillion rupiah after the rights issue.
South Korea and Japan are angered by North Korea’s firing a suspected ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast, in its first such launch since October. The launch came after Mr Kim Jung Un said Pyongyang would continue to strengthen its defence capabilities. The UN prohibits North Korea from ballistic and nuclear weapons tests.
Emergency has been declared in Kazakhstan’s capital, main city and provinces after demonstrators stormed and torched public buildings. The country has been seeing the worst unrest for more than a decade. The Cabinet resigned, but that failed to quell the anger of the demonstrators. Authorities appeared to have shut the country off the internet as the unrest spread.
NFT marketplace, OpenSea, raised USD300 mil in series C funding, bringing the overall company value to an astonishing USD13.3 billion. Back in July 2021, it was only worth USD1.5 bil. In a tweet, OpenSea said the funding helps them accelerate product development, improve trust & safety, and invest deeply in the web3 community & ecosystem.
Goldman Sachs Group foresees bitcoin’s price to increase to USD100,000 should the cryptocurrency’s share of the store of value (SOV) market were “hypothetically” to rise to 50% over the next five years. Goldman is prudent in estimating the value of the SOV market, which it said is comprised of Bitcoin and gold. According to Holdman, bitcoin’s market cap is just under USD700 biland gold that is available for investment is USD2.6 tril. Hence, bitcoin is currently said to account for 20% of the SOV market.
World Gold Council estimates there are 197,576 tonnes of above-ground gold (end-2019), which means the precious metal has an estimated market cap of USD11.52 trillion.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian predicts a significant shift in the gaming industry where play-to-earn crypto will be the only games people play in five years. Play-to-earn games are a crypto-powered virtual realm that grew in popularity worldwide in 2021, notably Axie Infinity and The Sandbox, which use cryptocurrencies as in-game currencies. For a quarter of Axie players, Axie wallets are their first financial services as they never had access to a bank account before.
Ohanian has two more predictions:
Most people will participate in a DAO or a decentralized autonomous organization.
People will care more about their online identities than real-world ones.
KFC restaurants in the US will serve Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken on their menus to cater to customers’ demands for healthier choices. The Yum Brands chain and Beyond Meat had tested plant-based chicken before back in 2019 and sold out their limited supply in less than five hours.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
BMW colour-changing car at CES 2022
An eagle flying with its catch - a shark