☕️ UOB acquires Citigroup Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia for USD3.7 bil
Mydin: dry goods and clothing prices to rise up to 10%. Former PM Mahiaddin justifying emergency: worse than war. Massive volcano eruption in Tonga sends shockwaves around the world.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD14 billion was lost through cryptocurrency bugs and exploits throughout 2021, according to a report by CoinGecko.
148 million people in Asia have been pushed into poverty since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Oxfam. On the other hand, Asia’s billionaires increased their wealth by 74%. The number of billionaires in Asia increased from 803 in March 2020 to 1,087 by Nov 2021.
MrBeast made USD54 mil in 2021, making him the highest-paid YouTube content creator last year. Jimmy Donaldson, the 23-year-old American, received more than 10 billion views with his elaborate stunts, including Squid Game in real life.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Night sweat is one of the symptoms of the omicron variant of Covid-19, according to health experts.
The quarantine period in Malaysia has been updated.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
In an interview with Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National, former PM and Pagoh MP Mahiaddin Yassin attempted to justify his unpopular use of the emergency declaration as the Covid-19 pandemic was “worse than a war”. Not that we have lived through and experienced an actual war, but from historical programmes and shows, war is clearly more destructive and his justification is a poor attempt to mask his actual intention of declaring an emergency.
Short and sweet - Malaysiakini holds no punches in perfectly summarising Mahiaddin’s administration:
He resigned in August 2021, with his 17-month tenure making him the shortest-serving prime minister in Malaysian history,
His leadership saw Malaysia plunge into recession, with hundreds of thousands losing their livelihood, companies closing down, and prices going up.
His regime was also criticised for its autocratic practices and double standards in the implementation of Covid-19 punishments.
The owner of retailer Mydin, Ameer Ali Mydin, has warned that prices of dry goods and clothing are expected to rise by up to 10% due to higher costs faced by manufacturers and coupled with international trade issues. However, he added, that for wet goods, prices are expected to stabilise as it has its own nature of supply chain.
If you are starting to feel the pinch from the rising cost of living, check out Hargapedia - Malaysia’s leading grocery price comparison app. The free-to-download app helps you to easily seek savings by comparing the prices of household items both online and offline.
Chee Hoi Lian, 83, was a kindergarten teacher 22 years ago when she adopted a 2-month old baby Rohana Abdullah, 22, after her Indonesian mother abandoned her and returned to her country. Despite the religious and racial differences, Chee has provided for all of Rohana’s needs, including sending her to religious lessons and providing her halal food.
Chee has brought up the issue of Rohana having difficulty obtaining her citizenship since trying in 2016 and has sought the help of Gulam Muszaffar, Batu Zone Residents Representative chairman, who happened to be her student in 1980. She was forced to stop school in Form 4 for lacking citizenship.
Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin, touched by this story, has asked his officer to look into Rohana’s case and validate the information before making any decisions.
Watch the coverage by Harian Metro in the video below.
eSports and lion dance have been proposed to be added into the list of official sports under the Sports Development Act, according to Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Ti Lian Ker. The proposal has been submitted to the Sports Commission, which is currently drafting the amendments and will be initiating the process.
Malaysia ranks second in Asia in 2020 for cyberbullying among youths, according to a United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) report, indicating that it is becoming an increasingly prominent problem in the country. A researcher on youth cyberbullying says that the cause of such behaviour could be the projection of one’s own unhappiness due to being deprived of their basic needs.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes believes that airasia food and Super App can become one of the biggest food delivery as well as ride-hailing companies and online travel agencies in Asia. He shared that AirAsia started with only two planes, 200,000 passengers and now have grown to 90 mil passengers. Last August, AirAsia’s digital logistics venture Teleport has acquired local food delivery player, DeliverEat for USD9.8 mil (RM41 mil) to strengthen its delivery services in the country.
Iconic Worldwide Bhd, a tourism and property development company turned healthcare product manufacturer has launched an RM200 mil glove and face mask manufacturing facility in Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Penang (a bit late to the party?). The factory, built on a 5.5-acre land, is expected to produce a minimum capacity of 3.3 bil pieces of gloves and 220 mil pieces of disposable face masks per annum. The company’s current market cap stands at RM157.5 mil.
Karex Bhd, the world’s top condom maker, has also diversified into the rubber glove game with its Thailand facility to go online by March producing 500 mil gloves and aims to grow it to 2.5 bil pieces per annum in 3 years.
From its peak, the big four glove players, namely Top Glove, Supermax, Kossan and Hartalega, saw more than RM100 bil in its market cap wiped out. Top Glove, the world’s largest glove manufacturer, saw its market value fell 68% from about RM60 bil in mid-Sep 2020 to RM19.2 bil now.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be committing to invest USD60 mil in Creador V LP for investments in companies in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. Creador V is the private equity fund managed by Malaysia-based investment firm, Creador.
2 major successes that Creador has listed recently - Mr DIY Group Bhd (market cap: RM23.2 bil) and CTOS Digital Bhd (market cap: RM3.96 bil) and it recently acquired a 30% stake in Tealive owner, Loob Holding Sdn Bhd. Established in 2011, Creador has since launched five private equity funds, totalling USD2 bil in committed capital as at Dec 2021.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa suffered “significant” damage from a powerful volcanic eruption that triggered a tsunami, according to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Pacific nations and humanitarian groups struggled to communicate with Tonga leaving its 105,000 residents virtually unreachable. There are no official reports of injuries or deaths in Tonga yet.
Novak Djokovic would not be playing in the Australian Open of 2022 after losing his visa appeal. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his ministerial powers to cancel the Serbian player's visa last Friday, arguing his presence would risked fanning anti-vaccine sentiment. The federal court’s ruling on the lawfulness and legality of the minister's decision. Because Djokovic’s visa is cancelled for the second time, he is barred from entering Australian borders for three years.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic thinks the decision made by the court is scandalous and questions the two completely contradictory court decisions.
United Overseas Bank Ltd (UOB) will acquire Citigroup’s consumer banking businesses comprising its unsecured and secured lending portfolios, wealth management and retail deposit businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. UOB will pay a premium equivalent to USD915 mil on top of the net asset value of the consumer business at completion. The acquisition is expected to be completed between mid-2022 and early 2024. The value of the deal is approximately USD3.7 bil.
Flyfish Club restaurant is being billed as the first to sell memberships through non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — you can only dine there if you own the NFT, either “Flyfish” or “Flyfish Omakase”. To experience the omakase course, you need to get the Flyfish Omakase which costs 4.25 ETH. The restaurant raised USD14 mil through the sale of nearly 1,500 tokens.
The restaurant will only open in 2023, yet the demand for the NFTs is high — the floor price on OpenSea is 5.939 ETH or RM82.4K (at the point of writing). One marketing guru is behind the group (VCR Group) that owns the restaurant — Gary Vee.
The irony, the restaurant only accepts cash for payment.
China’s state-backed Blockchain Services Network (BSN) is rolling out infrastructure to support the deployment of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to create a Chinese NFT industry that is not linked to cryptocurrencies.
The infrastructure named the BSN-Distributed Digital Certificate (BSN-DDC) offers application programming interfaces for businesses or individuals to empower them to build their own user portals or apps to manage NFTs. One main use case — vehicle plate management, where car owners, government and insurers will have access to the data in the NFT.
Eye-care products maker Bausch + Lomb Corp has filed to go public in the United States and Canada through an initial public offering to raise USD100 mil to expand its business further. The company’s revenue rose to USD2.76 bil in the nine months ended Sept 30, 2021.
It isn’t the company’s first listing — it was first listed on NYSE in 1958 but was taken private in 2007 when it was acquired by Warburg Pincus. Then it was bought by Canadian drugmaker and parent company Bausch Health Companies Inc in 2013.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd wants to raise funds for its high-tech grocery chain, Freshippo, at a proposed valuation of USD10 bil. China’s e-commerce leader will still retain a major stake in its new retail arm after the funding round. With nearly 300 stores in China, the fresh produce chain plans to roll out construction on a network of country-wide distribution centres.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on Saturday said it had rejected a £50 bil offer from Unilever for its consumer goods arm. The group's consumer goods business will be spun out into a separate listing in the middle of this year. GSK said Unilever’s offer "fundamentally undervalued" the business and its prospects.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Using paint to manipulate the perception of space
How long would it take to read the Terms of Service Agreements of Popular Online Services? It takes at least one hour for Microsoft’s.
Thanks for reading The Coffee Break! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.