Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ World No.7 and All-England winner national shuttler Lee Zii Jia resigned from BAM
Former PM Najib disappointed, top uni MIT and Tsinghua chose indonesia over MY to set up campus. Indonesia's largest IPO, Bukalapak now a flop. North Korea stole USD400 mil of cryptocurrencies in 2021
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
At least 630,000 animals’ lives were spared in 2021 and that’s just in the US, thanks to two plant-based food companies — Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods’ products. World Animal Protection (WAP) collated the data and stressed that the actual figure is likely significantly higher – nearing one million in the US alone. Are you on #TeamVegan?
USD400 mil worth in cryptocurrency was stolen by North Korea in 2021, according to blockchain analysis firm Chainanalysis. The attacks were targeted at investment firms and centralized exchanges, with Ethereum accounting for 60% of the funds stolen.
Sony Group Corp lost USD20 bil in market cap yesterday after Microsoft announced Activision’s acquisition. Analysts think Sony doesn’t have deep pockets like Microsoft does to acquire popular game IP.
USD10 trillion — the asset under management of BlackRock Inc., becoming the first public asset management company to hit the mark. The milestone was hit because of a surge in fourth-quarter flows into its exchange-traded funds — investors poured a net USD104 billion into ETFs in the three months ended Dec. 31. You can buy the top 5 companies listed on NYSE with the amount of money — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that the pandemic is nowhere near over, cautioning against a narrative that the fast-spreading Omicron variant is risk-free.
India reported new coronavirus infections at an eight-month high — 282,970 new infections over 24 hours yesterday, with scientists saying the peak of this wave is weeks away.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
After coming under fire for saying there was “no conclusive evidence” of proxy trading by MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki, the Securities Commission (SC) has clarified that it found no evidence of such offence and that he had “control” over his own trading account. This appears to contradict Azam’s own explanation that he allowed his brother to purchase shares using his trading account.
Does this mean Azam was actually trading shares on his own whilst still active in his MACC position?
Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia deputy president, said that Pakatan Harapan should stop undermining government institutions such as the MACC and SC as their constant criticisms on civil servants are demoralising and unpatriotic. The contrary is only true - keeping quiet and allowing inefficiency and incompetency run wild is unpatriotic.
World no.7 shuttler and All-England champion Lee Zii Jia has tendered his resignation last week as confirmed by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM). BAM President, Norza Zakaria, expressed BAM’s aspiration to take Lee Zii Jia to greater heights, but Lee Zii Jia said that he is no Lee Chong Wei and cannot cope with the pressure.
A press conference will be held this Friday at 1600 on this matter. Should Lee Zii Jia leave BAM, he could be paying a hefty price as the body reserves the right to ban him from competing. Only those aged 29 and who have played in all five major tournaments – the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, SEA Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics will be exempted.
Former PM Najib Razak expressed his disappointment that top universities Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (rank: #1) from the US and Tsinghua University (rank: #17) have chosen Indonesia and not Malaysia to set up a joint university campus.
Sad indeed, but it shouldn't come as a surprise going by the government’s performance post-Langkah Sheraton.
The Pulau Burung landfill that has caught on fire burning through 4ha of the site since 12 Jan has been declared as a Level 1 disaster area based on a National Security Council directive. On Sunday, about 400 residents from 86 families from the two villages were evacuated after the air quality index was at dangerous levels. About 35% of the fire has been put under control. It will take another week to extinguish the fire.
Texchem Resources Bhd has proposed to increase its stake in Sushi King Sdn Bhd to 98% through the acquisition of another 28% from Asia Yoshinoya International Sdn Bhd for RM102.2 mil, valuing Sushi King at RM365 mil. The acquisition of additional stake will allow the group to enhance its assets and earnings base through the consolidation of the stake, and to facilitate easier decision-making and control of the restaurants. Texchem market cap stands at RM162.6 mil.
The government of Canada’s public services and procurement department has terminated its sourcing contract with rubber glove maker Supermax Corp Bhd following allegations of forced labour. Canada halted the import of gloves in Nov 2021 to decide on the next step after receiving an audit report on alleged labour practices. According to MIDF Research, Canada contributes 9% to the company’s market share.
Bursa Malaysia has announced the enhanced requirements in the Main and ACE Market Listing Requirements to further strengthen board independence, quality, and diversification. Some of the enhancements:
Independent director tenure is limited to not more than a cumulative tenure of 12 years in a listed issuer and its group of corporations. This will come into effect by 1 June 2023. Any long-serving independent directors impacted must resign by then or be re-designated as non-independent directors.
Listed issuers with a market cap of RM2 bil as at Dec 31, 2021 to appoint at least one woman director on their board by 1 Sep 2022. For the remaining PLCs, the requirement must be complied with by June 1, 2023.
PLCs to have a fit and proper policy to address board quality and integrity for the appointment and re-election of directors across the PLC group, which must be published on its websites from July 1, 2022.
Berjaya Corp Bhd has proposed to dispose of its 71.73% stake in Berjaya Higher Education Sdn Bhd, which owns Berjaya University College to Nanyang International Education Group Sdn Bhd which was incorporated by its majority shareholder, Krirk international Education Holding Co Ltd to invest in the education business in Malaysia. Krirk, a Thai company owns and manage Krirk University in Thailand.
This disposal, pending approval from the Ministry of Higher Education, is in line with BCorp’s plan to divest its non-core assets and focus on its core business, according to its CEO Jalil Rasheed.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Inflation in the UK hit a near 30-year high as the annual rate of consumer price inflation (CPI) rose to 5.4% in Dec 2021. The rise was mainly driven by prices for food, hospitality and household goods. As a result, financial markets now price in a more than 90% chance that the Bank of England (BoE) will raise its main interest rate to 0.5% on Feb 3, 2022.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces calls for resignation following a series of lockdown parties in Downing Street. As many as 58 Conservative lawmakers had openly criticised the prime minister.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could happen soon as an estimated 100,000 Russian troops have been deployed near Ukraine's borders. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on Russia to take a “diplomatic and peaceful path” while Russia has repeatedly denied planning to invade the country. In addition, the US has promised to boost security assistance for Ukraine.
Metaverse company Animoca Brands, which owns the majority of the popular metaverse game the Sandbox, doubled its valuation to a USD5 bil after a USD358 million funding round backed by the Winklevoss twins and Soros Fund Management. The funds will be used for acquisitions, product development, and licenses for intellectual property.
Tesla Inc’s shareholders urged a judge to claim USD13 bil back from Elon Musk. Why? Tesla acquired SolarCity back in 2016, but shareholders think Musk strong-handed Tesla’s board to acquire SolarCity, in which Musk was the top shareholder. Shareholders allege the deal was a needless distraction and burdened Tesla with SolarCity's financial woes and debt. The outcome of the suit should be known in about three months, according to the judge.
Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya is on the verge of being cancelled after saying that he and most Americans “don’t care” about abuses against the Uyghur minority in China during a podcast discussion. Mr Palihapitiya later admitted that his comments “lacked empathy” in a tweet — it was not an apology though.
News in brief
Former German chancellor Angela Merkel had been offered the chair of a high-level UN advisory body on global public goods, but she has turned it down. She is currently working on a political memoir with her long-time aide.
Morgan Stanley beat quarterly profit expectations on Wednesday by reporting a profit of USD3.59 bil for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2021. Full-year revenue and profit were a record for the bank — USD59.7 bil and USD15bil, respectively.
FTX CEO cum crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried thinks Solana (SOL) and Avalanche (AVAX) are the most promising blockchains in 2022 with the potential to “kill” Ethereum. Are you buying the dip?
Indonesia’s largest IPO — the listing of PT Bukalapak.com — turns into a flop. Bukalapak’s market cap has shrunk 66% since the record IPO in 2021, not the statistics that GoTo and Blibli want to see. Both these companies are planning to go public in 2022.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
It has been a year since Joe Biden took office as the 46th US president. How are his approval ratings? Click to see five other charts on how the president has performed so far.
A beautiful shot of Batu Caves by @lohendran
First Japanese Lalaport Mall in Southeast Asia in Bukit Bintang, built on top of the oil Pudu Jail site.