Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Abu Dhabi agrees to pay Malaysia USD1.8 bil (RM7.9 bil) for 1MDB settlement
Global penis length ranking - Malaysian men ranks 79 of 87 nations. Pharmaniaga now PN17 status - financially distressed company. Thai druglord's 'oppa' facial surgery to evade police.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
More than 43,000 hectares (106,255 acres) of forest reserve land across 117 listings have been openly advertised for sale online, identified by Rimba Disclosure Project, an independent forest monitoring watchdog. New listings are posted online every week based on its year-long observation on Facebook and even on iProperty.com. In February, it identified a listing of 800 acres, with a map attached to it clearly showing it is the Bukit Naga forest reserve in Perak. The NGO said it is surprised the authorities have not taken action against the advertisers.
11.5 cm — the average length of Malaysian men’s erected genitals, 2.6 cm shorter than the global average of 14.1 cm, according to an analysis by Mars, an online pharmacy. This means Malaysian men have some of the shortest penises, ranking 79 out of 87 nations. The most endowed? Ecuadorian men with an average length of 17.6 cm when erect. The methodology is explained at the end of the article in the link. It’s not the size of the tool but how you use it.
How many islands are there in Japan? Do you have an answer in mind? Double it. The number of official islands is expected to double from 6,852 to 14,125 islands after the government conducted the first survey since 1987 of its territorial waters. This does not increase the country’s territory but gives officials a more accurate picture of Japan’s terrain. In comparison, Indonesia has 18,110 islands.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Abu Dhabi to pay Malaysia USD1.8bil in 1MDB-related settlement
The governments of Malaysia and Abu Dhabi had agreed to resolve the dispute between 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), with the latter, alongside its subsidiary Aabar Investments PJS agreeing to pay USD1.8 bil (RM7.98 bil) to the Malaysian government. This settlement was in respect to the legal proceedings in London’s courts after the then-Pakatan Harapan government filed an application in the London High Court in 2018 to challenge the consent award that stated that Malaysia need to pay USD5.78bil to IPIC for payments related to 1MDB.
The legal challenge by the Government at that time was basically based on the justification that IPIC was aware that 1MDB had been defrauded. Hence, Malaysia should be voided of any responsibility to pay the USD5.78bil to IPIC. During the time of the legal challenge, Malaysia had paid USD1.46bil out of the grand sum of USD5.78bil to IPIC. In a rare feat of royal contribution, the King, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Tengku Zafrul were the main men behind the rounds of negotiations with the Abu Dhabi Government. YDPA is said to be a close friend of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, as they were college friends more than 40 years ago.
In a piece of news related to 1MDB, Titiwangsa MP Johari Abdul Ghani had urged the Government to chase after Goldman Sachs in its effort to recover 1MDB-related assets. In a previous deal struck between Putrajaya and Goldman Sachs in 2020, the financial firm agreed to pay USD2.5bil on top of guaranteeing the return of USD1.4bil of 1MDB assets to the Malaysian government. Johari felt that the deal was one-sided that benefitted Goldman Sachs only as Goldman previously played a key role in raising USD6.5bil from three 1MDB bond issuances in 2012 and 2013 and also enjoyed USD600mil fees for raising the money.
Businessman Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad will appear again in court today to face fresh charges for the third time related to the Jana Wibawa program. Previously, Adam had already been charged twice with four charges in the Shah Alam and Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
In Najib Razak’s bid to have the apex court’s decision on his SRC International decision reviewed, the prosecution stated that Najib Razak was the author of his misfortune when he decided to change his legal counsel at the last minute during his final appeal at the Federal Court. The prosecutor said to the court that his legal team had enough time to prepare for the appeal and Najib Razak’s decision to change his lawyers was a strategy gone wrong.
Ahmad Maslan thanks Ismail Sabri for his service
UMNO secretary-general Ahmad Maslan expressed his gratitude towards Ismail Sabri as the latter decided not to defend his vice president post in the upcoming party election. Ahmad Maslan stated that Ismail had reached the pinnacle of his political career when he became the ninth prime minister. However, Ismail Sabri told the media that he will not throw in the towel as of yet as a politician as he is still the MP for Bera.
Pharmaniaga joins the ranks of companies like Capital A to be designated as PN17
Pharmaniaga Bhd, the pharmaceutical arm of Bouestead Group, which in turn is controlled by Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), has been designated as PN17, a Bursa-classification for a company that is financially distressed. This situation resulted from two main events. Firstly, the RM552.3mil impairment of its Covid-19 vaccines inventory as the company was struggling to sell its Sinovac vaccines when the country had transitioned into the endemic phase. Secondly, Pharmaniaga also suffered financially when its Indonesian manufacturing units were written down by RM50.3mil. Pharmaniaga Bhd is 51.85% owned by Boustead Holdings Bhd, whose name has been down the drain due to the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal.
FGV to bring in more foreign workers, to be exact about 10,000 by year’s end
FGV Holdings Bhd is to bring in about 10,000 foreign workers by the end of the year in order to solve its labour shortage which stands at 13% as of last year. The company, which reported a full-year net profit of RM1.32bil in 2022, stated that they always practise a policy of sustainable and ethical recruitment. However, nothing shouts sustainability when you keep hiring foreign workers to solve your workforce needs. Sime Darby Plantation is setting the gold standard as the company strives to hire 100% local workers by 2027 at its oil palm plantations - it now has already managed to hire nearly 9,000 local workers.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Refugee boat shipwreck, more than 100 feared dead
At least 62 refugees are confirmed to have died, including 12 children, after a boat carrying some 200 refugees crashed against rocks and broke apart as it tried to land near Crotone, Italy, after travelling from Turkey a few days ago. 80 people were found alive, including some that managed to reach the shore after sinking.
Refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Iraq were to be on board with the majority from Pakistan. Speaking at the UN’s Human Rights Council on Monday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on countries to do more to help refugees and for safer travel routes and strengthened rescue operations. More than 20,000 people have died or gone missing at sea in the central Mediterranean since 2014.
Read: Europe’s refugee crisis, explained.
The World of Drugs: Oppa disguise, cocaine meets banana
At just 25 years old, Thai Saharat Sawangjaeng has become a druglord in Bangkok, with the Thai Police major-general describing him as “one of the main causes of Bangkok’s MDMA epidemic”. MDMA is also known as ecstasy.
To avoid capture, he has undergone extensive facial surgical procedures to alter his appearance, and witnesses described him as a “handsome Korean man”. He even has a Korean name for himself - Jimin Seong. He confessed to ordering MDMA over the dark net. Despite this, the police were still able to track him down by analysing the way MDMA was distributed on the streets of Bangkok.
Police in Ecuador has found 8.8 tonnes of cocaine in a shipment bound for Belgium with a street value of USD330 mil. The coke was found inside a container full of banana cases. Ecuador has become of the main transit countries for cocaine produced in neighbouring Peru and Columbia as smugglers leveraged Ecuador’s position as the world’s largest exporter of bananas to hide their products among the fruit, which is shipped all over the globe.
Belgium has emerged as the main entry point for illegal drugs as the country has recorded the largest quantities of cocaine seized within the European Union in recent years.
We covered the economics of the cocaine industry back in January - check it out here.
The Oracle of Omaha has published his annual letter
Prominent investor Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha, has published his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, which has been an annual tradition for more than six decades and has become a must-read for investors around the world. Read his 2022 letter here. In short, the conglomerate saw revenue grew by 9% to USD302 bil in 2022 and operating income rose by 7%to about USD35 bil. You can access Berkshire’s annual letters from 1977 onwards here.
Buffett had taken advantage of the poorly performing capital markets last year to deploy USD68 bil into stocks over the course of the year, setting a new record for annual spending on stocks, breaking 2018’s spending of USD43 bil. Despite the spending with some stock sales, Berkshire ended the year with USD129 bil in cash, though down from USD147 bil at the end of 2021.
In a tweet about Berkshire’s cash pile, Elon Musk revealed that Berkshire could have invested in Tesla at a USD200 mil valuation in 2008 when Musk had lunch with Charlie Munger, Buffett’s right-hand man. Tesla’s market cap now stands at USD642.9 bil - 3,214x from that point in time. Instead, Berkshire invested in Tesla’s competitor and the world’s second-largest EV maker, China’s BYD.
An analysis by the Financial Times on Manchester United’s value suggests that the club is valued a lot lower than the GBP6 bil (USD7.22 bil) price tag its owner, the Glazer family, is seeking. The publication looked at earnings multiples of previous sales of other clubs, cash flow, and revenues compared to competitors to derive its own assessment of United’s fair value at just USD1.6 bil.
Ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia revealed its new brand identity — the first major redesign of the firm’s logo in nearly 60 years to remind the world that it doesn’t make mobile phones anymore following its sale of that business to Microsoft in 2014. The company wants to launch a new brand focusing on networks and industrial digitalisation.
Side note: Microsoft, unfortunately, inherited Nokia’s decaying phone business. 2 years after the acquisition, the tech giant booked around USD8.6 bil in losses and sold it to HMD, the Finnish subsidiary of the giant Foxconn Technology Group, in 2016.
Another big win by Michelle Yeoh’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once” at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. The award is voted by more than 120,000 members of Hollywood’s acting union, and the SAG Awards is an important precursor for the Academy Awards, which will take place on 12 March. Michelle Yeoh was named the best actress - watch her acceptance speech below. The complete list of SAG Awards 2023 winners here.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
It’s the immense pressure that kills when trap in a quicksand
Learn a simple Cantonese word today. Fan gao = sleep.
PM Anwar is a bigger promoter of Bahasa Malaysia than former PM Sabri