☕️ World Bank predicts global growth will slow to 4.1% this year
World's largest condom maker, Karex, saw sales falling 40% since the pandemic started. Germany blames Genting HK for the fall of shipbuilder costing 1,900 jobs. Djokovic's saga plot thickens!
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD130.6 bil — the amount of venture capital investments in China in 2021, about 50% higher than the year before. VCs weren’t deterred by China’s government crackdown on the technology industry over the summer and focused on hard-core technologies like semiconductors, robotics, and enterprise software.
USD18.5 bil — Moderna Inc’s forecast of its sales figures in 2022 and about USD3.5 bil will be from additional purchases, including updated booster candidates for variants.
32 minutes — the time it took for 10,000 Wall Street bulls NFTs to sell out. There is a gamification feature that will allow bull holders to take a chance on making their NFT even more valuable or worthless. NFT holders can purchase the feature — a random generator will either blow up their NFT or add new features to make it even rarer.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
The alleged hybrid Covid-19 variant “Deltacron” is likely the result of lab contamination, according to a few experts.
Omicron is expected to infect more than half of Europeans but shouldn’t be seen as a flu-like endemic illness, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Singapore revealed statistics of fatality amongst fully vaccinated individuals:
11 deaths per 100,000: Sinovac
7.8 deaths per 100,000: Sinopharm
6.2 deaths per 100,000: Pfizer/BioNTech
1 death per 100,000: Moderna
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Abu Zahar Ujang, the chairman of MACC’s Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, organised a second press conference in a week relating to its chief commissioner share controversy. He read a prepared text to address the issues and did not take any questions from the press (what;’s the point of having a press conference then?).
He said the move by the six members of the ACAB to distance themselves from his statement earlier was because the issue was heating up unexpectedly and he blamed the media for not fully reporting his press conference on 5 Jan and creating the “wrong perception” among the public.
Johan Jaafar, a veteran journalist and also a former MACC Advisory and Prevention Panel chairman, slammed Abu Zahar Ujang, saying that he only has himself to blame and should step down, and it was unbecoming of him to blame the media.
A group of 50 civil society organisations initiated by Aliran, Gerak, Patriot and Suaram and endorsed by another 46 civil society organisations issued a statement to PM Sabri to initiate an independent investigation into Azam Baki’s alleged wrongdoing and demanded that Azam be put on leave whilst waiting for the outcome of the investigation.
The EPF announced that it posted a total gross investment income of RM48.02 bil in the first nine months of ended 30 Sep 2021, an increase of 7.7% over RM44.6 bil in the same period in 2020.
Highlights on its Q3 2021 performance:
Recorded total gross investment income of RM13.97 bil, lower than RM17.33 bil posted in the same period in the previous year.
Equities remained the primary contributor, bringing in 54% of total gross investment income of RM7.5 bil in Q3.
RM110 mil was written down on listed equities in the quarter.
Fixed income instrument contributed 36% or RM5 bil to total gross investment income in Q3, lower than RM8.18 bil generated in the same period in 2020.
Real estate and infrastructure as well as money market instruments contributed RM1.18 bil and RM290 mil respectively.
Investment assets stood at RM988.55 bil, of which 36% was invested in overseas instruments.
In Q3, overseas instruments contributed 58% or RM8.1 bil in income.
Karex Bhd, the world’s largest condom maker, said condom sales fell over the last two years, which saw sales falling as much as 40%. The company produces around 5.5 bil condoms a year and is supplier to brands like Durex and ONE Condoms.
The company assumed that at the start of the pandemic, condom demand would surge as people cooped up at home practice birth control due to economic uncertainty. However, that did not materialise as demand from hotels and motels closed, as these locations had provided privacy, the sex industry and large-scale government condom distribution programmes were impacted by the pandemic.
Germany has blamed the parent company of cruise-ship operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd for the insolvency of shipbuilder MV Weften, which is owned by Genting HK and the potential loss of as many as 1,900 jobs. Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the federal government did all it could to prevent the bankruptcy of the shipbuilder which is based in the relatively poor state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Germany offered a loan of EUR600 mil (RM2.85 bil) but was rejected by Genting HK though no explanation was given why it was rejected.
Sunway Group plans to launch a tertiary medical centre as well as a shopping mall in the 1,350 acre integrated Sunway City Ipoh township by 2025. The RM350 mil medical centre - known as Sunway Medical Centre Ipoh will have 200 beds and will open in 2024. The shopping mall with a net lettable area of 700,000 sq feet and 2,700 parking bays is designed to blend in with Tambun’s natural setting. This is part of Sunway’s RM2 bil investment in Sunway City Ipoh in the next few years.
Hatten Land, a property developer in Malacca, has confirmed the shipment of its first 80 crypto mining rigs to its crypto mining facilities in Malacca, which will start mining Bitcoin in January. The group has previously entered into an agreement with Frontier Digital Management to install and operate 1,000 crypto mining rigs within Hatten Land’s properties.
In total, Hatten land will install and operate around 3,000 crypto mining rigs at its mall, with 2,500 rigs to be deployed in 2022 alone. Depending on the type of rig, it could yield an average of 0.00053 bitcoin a day, or about 0.016 bitcoin per month. Assuming all deployed - the company could yield 4.8 bitcoin per month or about USD199,200 at current market price.
If you have not seen a crypto mining farm before, check out the video below.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
World Bank predicts global growth will slowdown to 4.1% this year from 5.5% in 2021 due to virus threats, government aid unwinding and fading demand, according to its president David Malpass. Many emerging markets are still struggling with lower vaccination rates, hampering recovery efforts. After the Fed’s hawkish outlook on interest rates, the potential higher borrowing costs could hurt economic activity — especially in weaker economies. Global inequality will only get worse, which is Mr Malpass’s biggest worry.
Senior US and Russian officials met on Monday, for high-stakes talks in Geneva, Switzerland. The Russian side reportedly told their American counterparts that Russia has no plan to invade Ukraine. However, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Russia should return the troops (from Ukraine) to its barracks if it has no hostile plans for Ukraine.
After buying 20,000 bottles of Lithuanian rum, Taiwan will launch a USD1 bil credit programme to help fund joint projects between Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies in six business categories. China has downgraded diplomatic ties with Lithuania after the country allowed Taiwan to open a de-facto embassy in its capital, Vilnius, under its own name.
Uber’s rival, Estonian startup Bolt, had raised €711.4 mil from investors led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Co. The valuation increased to €7.4 bil. The money raised will be used to expand all five product lines, develop product R&D and roll out in new cities. The company offers ride-sharing, food delivery, electric scooter rentals, car sharing and a 15-minute grocery delivery service.
The demand for LG Energy Solution's (LGES) USD10.7 billion initial public offering (IPO) is about 13 times more than the USD6 bil on offer to institutions. LGES received bids worth around USD80 bil from institutional investors. With strong demand, it is likely the company will price its shares at the higher end of 300,000 won (USD251.29) apiece.
David Bennett, 57, has become the first person in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig. His doctors said he is doing well three days after the experimental seven-hour procedure in Baltimore. He had been deemed ineligible for a human transplant, so this was either a do or die decision.
The Army Corp of Engineers has allocated billions of dollars to deepen ports across the US to cater to “mega” ships such as the Ever Ace, which can carry over 23,000 containers. The ships have doubled or tripled the size of the ships of a decade ago, which could be contributing to the supply-chain crisis that has been caused by record-breaking backlogs at US ports.
Novak Djokovic said to have travelled in the two weeks before flying to Melbourne for Australia Open from Spain, at odds with his immigration declaration, according to Reuters. All travellers to Australia are required to fill out a form called an Australia Travel Declaration. The form has a section that requires travellers to state if they had travelled 14 days prior to their flight to Australia.
Djokovic or his representatives had checked a box stating that he had not, or would not, travel in the 14 days prior to his flight to Australia — this was on Jan 5. He was spotted in Belgrade, Serbia on Dec 25, 2021 — which meant he gave misleading information in the form. It is an offense and can lead to the cancellation of the offender’s visa.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Harry Potter fans using iPhone - the below is legit. I have tried it.
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