- The Coffee Break
- ☕️ Anwarnomics presents Ekonomi Madani and National Energy Transformation Roadmap
☕️ Anwarnomics presents Ekonomi Madani and National Energy Transformation Roadmap
Former BNM governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz testifies in 1MDB-Tanore trial. Testimony: The US gov may have known about the existence of UFO since the 1930s. Weekend Special: Investing Wisdom of Howard Marks.
1. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
A recent Gallup poll revealed that American confidence in higher education is declining, with only 36% expressing "a great deal" or “quite a lot” of confidence in colleges, down from 57% in 2015. The rising cost of college, with some private colleges reaching USD80,000 a year, has led to concerns about college affordability and a perceived crisis in the system.
After 100 years, people can soon swim again in River Seine as Paris is in the final stages of a major clean-up effort to allow swimmers and divers back into the Seine. In 1923, swimming was banned in River Seine due to the water’s pollution. This regeneration project, costing EUR1.4 bil, is considered a success and is set to be a major legacy of the upcoming Olympics.
Kylian Mbappe, 24, is said to have rejected the mouth-watering GBP604 mil (USD775 mil) salary package from Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal - for ONE year. The world cup winner would rather be an outcast (i.e. being benched) in his current club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), in the coming season. Mbappe is believed to be interested in finishing the final year of his contract at PSG before moving to Real Madrid as a free agent next year.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Prime Minister announced his Anwarnomics policyPM Anwar Ibrahim finally announced his economic vision, dubbed ‘Ekonomi Madani’, after more than 8 months of taking over the premiership office. The core of his economic policy would be to uplift the industrial sector into the country’s main engine of growth. At the moment, the industrial sector is contributing 25% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP).
PM Anwar added that Putrajaya will adopt geography-based industrial policies in order to reduce the development gap between rich and poor states. For example, this approach would include strengthening oil and gas downstream industries in Sabah and Terengganu or increasing value-added electronic activities in Kulim and Bayan Lepas. So what PM Anwar-led Government is trying to achieve with this so-called Ekonomi Madani? The premier underlined seven key targets to be achieved, as shown below:
Other than that, PM Anwar also included a few sweeteners (i.e. handouts):
RM1 bil has been allocated for a one-off RM100 eWallet credit to all eligible Malaysian adults above 21 years old that earn less than RM100,000 annually.
About 2.3 mil civil servants and government retirees will be receiving free monies too. RM300 will be given to civil servants below Grade 56 and RM200 to civil service retirees.
Where did the funding come from?
The National Energy Transition Roadmap was launched yesterdayAfter PM Anwar released his Anwarnomics, Putrajaya also launched another mega masterplan on the same day, with the second one being the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR). According to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, NETR is not just a short-term framework to achieve the country’s Net Zero target but is a plan to achieve a dual goal of doing good for both the economy and the environment.
Under NETR, 10 key initiatives are underlined that will open up the country to investment opportunities up to RM1.85 tril by 2050. One of these initiatives is the integrated renewable energy (RE) industrial park spearheaded by Khazanah Nasional. Within the RE industrial park, Khazanah's wholly-owned UEM Group will work together with Itramas Corp to build a one-gigawatt (GW) hybrid solar photovoltaic power plant, making it ASEAN’s largest.
Former BNM governor testifies in 1MDB trialFormer Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz appeared as the 46th prosecution witness in Najib Razak’s 1MDB-Tanore trial. Here are some of the important information she revealed:
Najib Razak had asked her to issue a statement clearing him of any wrongdoing over the RM2.6 bil in his personal account. However, Zeti refused as she has no knowledge of transactions that occurred in his account.
Then Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali, for reasons unknown, decided that the investigation paper submitted by BNM to initiate criminal prosecution and to charge 1MDB and its senior officer to classify as no further action (NFA) despite all damning evidence gathered.
The 3 letters regarding Arab donation from an individual alleged to be a member of the Saudi royal family were never presented to BNM and were only discovered during a joint raid by BNM and MACC at AmBank.
Zeti said her family did not take a “single cent” from 1MDB. Former Goldman Sachs Southeast Asia chairman Tim Leissner testified last year that Zeti’s husband, Dr Tawfik Ayman, was bribed for BNM’s approval for an overnight transfer of USD1 bil for the PetroSaudi-1MDB JV project.
Is Najib toast?
Hundreds of firms flock over to join the KL-Singapore HSR RFI briefingFauzi Abdul Rahman, chairman of MyHSR Corp, said that over 700 international and local firms participated in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) Request For Information (RFI) briefing. The future KL-SG HSR project will adopt the Design-Finance-Build-Operate-Transfer (DFBOT) model, and local and foreign businesses need to submit concept proposals, as well as consortia, for the project. DFBOT is one of the many forms of public-private partnerships out there.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Russia and Belarus officially banned from Paris Olympics 2024After months of debating among the IOC committees (International Olympic Committee), they have decided not to invite Russia and Belarus to join the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The IOC cited decisions made by other sports regarding these athletes and emphasised the need to ensure the security and integrity of the games.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine during the Beijing Olympics last year has been deemed a violation of the Olympic Truce, which prohibits warfare during and after the competition. Despite previous sanctions and a state-sponsored doping scandal, the IOC will allow Russian athletes to compete under the ROC moniker.
The US gov may have known the existence of UFOs since 1930sThree retired military veterans testified before a House Oversight Subcommittee about their experiences related to UAPs — unidentified aerial phenomena. It is also commonly known as unknown flying objects (UFO). One of the veterans, retired Major David Grusch, revealed that he was informed of a long-standing UAP crash retrieval and reverse engineering program, but he was denied access to it. Grusch suggested that the US government has likely been aware of non-human activity since the 1930s, implying the possibility of extraterrestrial involvement.
The Pentagon denied Grusch's claims of a cover-up, stating that there is no verifiable evidence to support the existence of programs involving extraterrestrial materials. During the hearing, Grusch hinted that there may be individuals who have been harmed in efforts to conceal extraterrestrial technology but refused to elaborate further, citing classified information. Grusch's testimony suggested that the US government is not only hiding information on UAPs from the public but also from Congress.
Meta reports second-quarter performanceAs of June 30, Facebook has over 3 bil active users every month, accounting for almost 40% of the world's population. This represents a 6% year-on-year increase and marks the fourth consecutive quarter of monthly user growth for Facebook. Here are some highlights:
The number of monthly active users across Facebook's family of apps, including Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Threads, reached 3.88 bil as of June 30, its highest ever reported.
The largest increase in Facebook users came from the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world, with around 25 and 16 million monthly active users, respectively.
Despite overall growth, there were concerns when Facebook’s daily active users declined for the first time in the app's history in the last quarter of 2021.
Most of Facebook's new users are from outside the US and Canada, indicating a potential plateau in popularity in its home market.
Meta’s metaverse unit Reality Labs keeps burning money in the real world - it has accumulated losses exceeding USD40 bil, and further financial challenges are anticipated. However, despite the losses, investors showed confidence in Meta's future prospects, leading to a 7% increase in the company's stock on Wednesday. This positive response was driven by Mark Zuckerberg's explanation of the reasons behind the substantial investments in the relatively unproven metaverse space.
Meta reported an 11% year-on-year increase in quarterly revenue, reaching USD31.9 bil and a net profit of USD7.9 bil in the second quarter. View: Meta Second Quarter 2023 Results
The U.S. economy picked up last quarter as the Commerce Department reported that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2.4%. Overall, the GDP report adds evidence the economy remains resilient amid higher interest rates.
A new study by the universities of Exeter, Cambridge, and Nijmegen has found that electric cars result in lower carbon emissions overall, even when electricity generation relies on fossil fuels. The study projects that by 2050, half of cars on the roads could be electric, leading to a reduction in global CO2 emissions of up to 1.5 gigatons per year.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions were tightened by Judge Lewis A Kaplan after US prosecutors accused him of witness tampering. A “gag order” has been imposed on Bankman-Fried, where his freedom of speech will be restricted in public. Prosecutors have requested his detention until the first of two trials in October, which Judge Lewis is also considering.
Weekend Special: Investing Wisdom of Howard MarksSeems like Howard Marks’ quote yesterday was very well received by you folks! Thought would be a good idea to kickstart your journey of reading his memos by sharing some of his interesting quotes from his book ‘The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor’.
Investment success doesn’t come from ‘buying good things’ but rather from ‘buying things well’.
The safest and most potentially profitable thing is to buy something when no one likes it.
First-level thinkers look for simple formulas and easy answers. Second-level thinkers know that success in investing is the antithesis of simple.
On herding and the ‘wisdom’ of the crowd
The truth is, the herd is wrong about risk at least as often as it is about return.
You can’t do the same things others do and expect to outperform.
To beat the market, you must hold an idiosyncratic, or nonconsensus view.
On investor psychology
Not only should the lonely and uncomfortable position be tolerated, it should be celebrated.
The biggest investing errors come not from factors that are informational or analytical but from those that are psychological.
No matter how good fundamentals may be, humans exercising their greed and propensity to err have the ability to screw things up.
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5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Since young, I always wonder if a crane on a building falls off. And happened it did in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. The crane, 45 stories above the ground, caught fire, smashed into a building across the street and collapsed to the ground. Fortunately, no one died, and 12 people were hurt and none were life-threatening.
Signing off for the weekend with a lighthearted video of the famous deers in Nara City, Kyoto, taking shelter from the rain together with humans.