☕️ WHO: Omicron XE, more contagious than other Covid-19 strains
Indonesia rejects BM as ASEAN's second official language. 'Link in bio' startup Linktree raised USD110 mil, valued at USD1.3 bil. Survey: >40% Indonesian and Brazilian investors own cryptocurrencies.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
600,000 Gojek drivers will receive thousands of shares each as part of GoTo’s initial public offering (IPO). GoTo raised USD1.1 billion in one of the world’s biggest stock debuts this year and is slated to list in Jakarta on Apr 11.
3.19% — Harvard University’s acceptance rate this year, of its 61,220 applicants. A record-breaking six Malaysians have been accepted into the prestigious undergraduate school at the university. Congrats to all of them!
800 tonnes — the amount of rubbish collected in the Klang River by the Interceptor in February, a massive drop from the 1,500 tonnes in 2019.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin clarified that Malaysia has not recorded the new and more contagious Omicron XE variant. The WHO warned that this variant is more contagious than other Covid-19 variants.
Travellers arriving in Malaysia using short-term social visit passes, irrespective of their Covid-19 vaccination status, will need to have minimum insurance coverage (for Covid-19 and travelling) of USD20,000. Singapore or Malaysian citizens, Singaporean or Malaysian permanent residents, and long-term pass holders in Singapore or Malaysia are exempted.
In collaboration with NextUpAsia.
100% Online Business Banking Account Application, with Low Initial Deposit of RM500 only, No Branch Visit Needed!
Apply online now at www.ocbc.com.my/ebiz
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Back in mid-March, PM Ismail Sabri said Malaysia would discuss with regional leaders making Bahasa Malaysia the second official language of ASEAN to elevate the language at the international level. The PM even discussed this with Indonesian president Joko Widodo during PM Sabri’s recent official visit to Indonesia.
Nadiem Makarim, Indonesia’s Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology has rejected Malaysia’s proposal as Bahasa Indonesia is a better option to be used as the main language as it is the most-used language in Southeast Asia virtue of Indonesia’s population and its usage is spread across more than 47 countries. No surprise here - most of us probably saw this coming.
Pakatan Harapan made a statement on Facebook commending the government on the 4 highway concessions deal, but it also claimed credit as the initiative began during PH’s administration with discussion beginning in Oct 2019. The statement mentioned PH government also planned to offer a 30% discount and toll-free travel for 16 hours a day on the four highways. The statement called for the government to offer higher discounts for these highways and also full clarification on the takeover by not-for-profit company Amanat Lebuhraya Rakyat Bhd.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa has come under fire on the quality of free tablets being procured for B40 students under the RM450 mil PerantiSiswa programme. Many have called on him to be more transparent with the procurement process and some are raising concerns about whether any funny business is happening.
Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) will appeal to the government to extend once more the sales and service tax exemption for automotive sales to end-2022 from Jun 30, 2022, to allow car manufacturers to fulfil the backlog of orders. The exemption has been extended thrice.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The need for multiple social media platforms has led to the rise of “Link in Bio”, as social media platforms only allow one website in the bio. Hence Linktree is widely adopted by celebrities, influencers and businesses. Guess how much the simple website is worth? USD1.3 bil in its latest valuation after it raised USD110 mil in an all-equity round. That’s a lot for a lightweight mini-website builder.
On Monday, the United States stopped the Russian government from paying holders of its sovereign debt more than USD600 million from reserves held at US banks, potentially triggering a historic default. The move was meant to force Moscow to choose between using dollars that it has access to for payments on its debt or other purposes — such as funding the war.
Netflix and Sony have halted upcoming movie projects starring Will Smith after the infamous slap last Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Bad Boys 4” may be shelved — good riddance, after all, does the world need another Bad Boys movie?
East Asia and the Pacific will see a growth of 5% in 2022, according to the World Bank’s report. The report highlighted three risks to the growth in the region — the war in Ukraine, the rising inflation in the US and slowing growth in China.
Swiss start-up Climeworks AG, a carbon removal start-up, raised 600 million francs (USD650 million) to increase its capacity by 10 folds. Climeworks will use the funds to build a 40,000-ton capture plant in the next three years. The world’s largest direct-air capture plant in Iceland, owned by Climeworks, currently captures about 4,000-ton per annum — roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 600 people living in Europe. How does it work?
Elon Musk will join Twitter’s board of directors after taking a 9.2% stake in the social media company, sending its shares 7% higher at the open. Musk can own up to 14.9% stake in the company during his board term or 90 days after. Musk is a meme king on Twitter, with more than 80.5 million followers.
Cryptocurrency slew of news.
The UK will regulate stablecoins for payments and the regulators are also looking to regulate tokens like bitcoin. The UK government aims to make Britain a global hub for crypto-asset technology and innovation.
Meanwhile, in Singapore, things aren’t looking so great as the country’s biggest bank, DBS is not extending its crypto trading services to retail clients by the end of 2022. Its CEO Piyush Gupta mentioned regulatory bodies are “rightfully concerned” about retail access to cryptocurrencies.
Indonesia and Brazil are leading the world in terms of the share of cryptocurrency investors among the general population, with more than 40% of the respondents in Gemini’s survey saying they owned crypto, according to a report from Gemini.
The Indonesian government sensed an opportunity and plans to charge value-added tax (VAT) on crypto-asset transactions and an income tax on capital gains from such investments at 0.1% each beginning May 1. The tax official in the country sees crypto-asset as a commodity instead of means of payment.
6. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Just how massive is Africa?
Take a drone’s eye view tour of Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory
Old footage of Tun M meeting Putin