Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ B40/M40/T20 classification to phase out in 2024, households' net spendable income to be used instead - Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli
Thanks to Coldplay (partly), Klang River much cleaner than before. Sapura Energy + Serba Dinamik news combo-TLDR: nothing good. Chinese President reiterates call for Palestine to be UN "full member".
Sorry folks for the late one today - had some technical issues! Let’s get started!
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
Local coffee chain ZUS Coffee has delivered 36 mil cups (and counting) of coffee to date, according to its chief operating officer, Venon Tian, in an interview with Vulcan Post. Since its first outlet in 2019, the chain now has 225 outlets throughout Malaysia and it aims to have 350 outlets by the end of the year. What is the secret behind the growth? The ZUS app, allows customers to order their daily dosage of coffee with ease.
While we know the West is funding the Ukraine-Russia war, who has been funding Russia? A recent analysis conducted by The Economist reveals that the fiscal burden on Moscow due to direct war spending has been unexpectedly low. The report estimates that war-related expenditures account for approximately 3% of Russia's GDP, equivalent to around USD67 bil annually. In comparison to historical standards, Russia's current level of war spending is notably low. For instance, during World War II, the Soviet Union allocated around 61% of its GDP towards combat efforts.
In 2000, the global fertility rate stood at 2.7 births per woman, surpassing the "replacement rate" of 2.1 births per woman needed for a stable population. However, the fertility rate has declined over the years and currently stands at 2.3 births per woman, and it continues to decrease. It is noteworthy that the 15 largest economies in the world, including the United States and several wealthy nations, as well as China and India, both of which have significant populations, have fertility rates below the replacement rate.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Things-that-don’t-make-sense of the week goes to former minister Zaid Ibrahim:
From the Parliament
On education: No child left behind - the government is working to amend legislation to allow children without documents to study at public schools. The education policy is also undergoing changes to make it mandatory for students to undergo 11 years of schooling, up from the current 6 years. ChatGPT made it to the government’s doorsteps, too - ChatGPT is not prohibited at local institutes of higher education but students must adhere to the guidelines set by the Department of Higher Education.
On Sulu: PM Anwar said the government will not hesitate to take legal action based on the country’s criminal laws against any parties, including Malaysians and third-party litigation funders, that have given support to or collaborate with the Sulu heirs’ claims against Malaysia. Investigations have been initiated against the Sulu heirs, the arbitrator, and other related parties under the Penal Code for the offence of sabotage. PM Anwar added that there is no evidence of the Philippine government’s involvement in the Sulu heirs’ claim on Sabah in response to an opposition MP’s claim that he believed the Philippine government was involved. Believing is one thing, having evidence is another thing.
On prison visitation: Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution said the Home Minister and the Prison’s Department director-general are authorised to approve a special permission for visit of up to 45 minutes in accordance to the Prisons Regulations Act 2000. This follows after Deputy PM and UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed he visited Najib Razak in prison for more than an hour (but, but the law says up to 45 mins no?) and brought Najib his favourite food, with the special permission granted by the Prison’s director-general. Zahid Hamidi also said Najib is pursuing his PhD in prison. We will never stop asking why it’s always a case of one law, but different treatment?
On aerotrain: Transport Minister Anthony Loke said one of the 2 aerotrains at KLIA is expected to start operating next year. He added that train is at the end of its life as it has been in service for 25 years and replacement should have been implemented earlier but there was delay in decision making.
In a separate but transportation related matter -in the case of a student arriving at a private school in Setia Eco Park, Shah Alam, in style via helicopter earlier in April is currently being investigated and the private helicopter has been identified, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM). CAAM said legally, a helicopter can land anywhere in an open area so long the pilot has obtained permission from the landowner.
Thanks to Coldplay (partly), Klang River is very much cleaner than before
Water quality in Klang River has slowly improved from Class 4 and 5, to Class 2 and even reached Class One during rainy season, according to Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. Amount of trash removed from the river since 2016 has also declined annually and odour issues have been less frequent as well. He shared the 2 river-cleaning machines dubbed the Interceptors, have been used since 2019 and have been instrumental in collecting rubbish. 86,021 metric tonnes of floating rubbish, equivalent to 470 Boeing 747 aircraft was removed between 2016 to 2022.
How is Coldplay involved? In case for those in green party that isn’t aware, 1 of the 2 Interceptors were sponsored by the band, costing RM3.2 mil.
After Penang, Kelantan state legislative assembly will be dissolved on 22 June and has received the consent of Sultan Muhammad V, the Sultan of Kelantan. Terengganu, Kedah, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan are the next 4 to announce. Leaders from these 6 states had earlier agreed to dissolve each respective state assemblies in the last 2 weeks of June.
The B40/M40/T20 classification will be phased out in 2024, according to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli. Socioeconomic policies (ie. subsidies) will be targeted based on the recently formed Padu database and households’ net spendable income instead, starting Jan 2024.
In Busines: Sapura Energy + Serba Dinamik news combo - TLDR: nothing good
SAPNRG share price: 4 sen, market cap: RM639.2 mil
Sapura Energy Bhd’s external auditor Ernst & Young has expressed its unqualified opinion with material uncertainty to the group’s going concern, in relation to its financial statements for year ended 31 Jan 2023 (FY2023). In simpler terms - it’s highly doubtful the Sapura is financially fit to stay in business. Sapura posted net loss of RM3.16 bil in FY2023, On Tuesday, Sapura was granted a 6-month extension until 30 Nov to submit its regularisation plan to exit PN17 status. Sapura’s largest shareholder is AmanahRaya Trustees Bhd - the trustee for the funds under Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), with a 40.03% stake. Read EY’s Bursa’s filing here.
SERBADK share price: 2 sen, market cap: RM74.5 mil
Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd posted its largest quarterly net loss of RM972.1 mil for Q3 ended 31 Mar 2023 (Q3 FY2023), largely due to impairment of trade receivables amounting to RM865 .1 mil arising from projects the company was unable to fulfill. The company’s borrowings stood at RM3.72 bil vs cash of RM36.45 mil. Read Serba’s latest quarterly financials here.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
More carmakers adopt Tesla's Gigacasting method for EVs
Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai, and Volvo are a few of the automakers adopting Tesla’s Gigacasting technology for their own electric vehicle (EV) lines. Gigacasting uses large aluminium die-casting machines to produce aluminium parts larger than any used before in car manufacturing. Larger parts mean fewer parts, lower costs, and a simplified production line, while the vehicle’s weight would also be reduced. In one instance, using a single component in the rear of Model Y reduced cost by 40%.
However, the benefit to Tesla comes with the company recording most of its sales with just two models. For other automakers with more products, the decision to invest the tens of millions of dollars needed to bring in new casting technology to replace existing machinery would be a tougher decision to make.
Toyota showed off a few parts from its own gigapress in the video below
Clothing brand Supreme sees revenue drop in latest financial year
The streetwear brand reported revenue of USD523.1 million for the financial year ending March 2023, USD38.4 mil short of the previous year’s revenue and missing the USD600 mil expectation of parent company VF Corp (acquired Supreme in 2021 for USD2.1 bil). Supreme’s net income also dipped, coming in at USD64.8 mil compared to last year’s USD82.4 mil. This could be the result of Supreme’s business model, which focuses on frequent but limited product drops on its direct-to-customer channel. Another factor could be due to fashion’s rapidly-shifting trend cycle, which has seen many luxury brands shifting their focus from streetwear in recent years.
Less than a decade ago, Supreme was the company that sold branded bricks – yes, building bricks – at USD30 per piece, which sold out within minutes of launch. Now, StockX has those bricks valued at about USD231 each.
US pushing India to seal armed drone deal
The Biden administration is pushing for the Indian government to complete a deal for India to purchase as many as 30 of the US-made SeaGuardian drones, with the deal valued between USD2 bil to USD3 bil. The deal has been hampered by red tape on India’s side due to a need for an “Acceptance of Necessity” document, which serves as a precursor to a “Letter of Request”, which would allow discussions to progress. US negotiators are hopeful that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington will help push negotiations to advance. The visit to the White House is slated for June 22.
The EU might force Google to break up its ad business.
The EU has accused Google of abusing its dominance in digital ads, calling for the company to “offload part of its business”, following an investigation into the threat of Google Ads to competition in the adtech sector. The accusation claims Google is “favouring its own online display advertising technology services” at the expense of its rivals. Google issued a statement that it disagrees with the findings. As yet, Google has not been fined or issued orders to break up its business but will be allowed to argue its case. The tech firm generates most of its income from selling ad space on its services, with ad revenue coming to USD224.5 bil in 2022.
New Twitter CEO promotes freedom of speech in company email – Linda Yaccarino, who took over from Elon Musk, sent a company-wide email sharing her vision for users to “have the freedom to speak (their) minds” and for Twitter to become “the world’s most accurate real-time information source”. This vision matches Musk’s goals for the platform. The email was also shared on Yaccarino’s Twitter account.
Disney delays Avatar, Marvel, and Star Wars titles in film schedule shuffle – Upcoming movies from the Avatar, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars franchises will be delayed, with a possible reason being the writers’ strike in the US that has crippled the film and television industry. The third Avatar movie will be delayed to 2025, with the MCU’s movies also pushed back. There’s some good news - Deadpool 3 has been brought forward to a launch in May 2024.
Spider-Man artist John Romita Sr passes away at age 93 – The Marvel Comics artist passed away peacefully in his sleep, according to his son John Romita Jr. Romita Sr was credited with having a hand in the creation of Wolverine and Spider-Man’s love interest Mary Jane Watson, as well as the Punisher and Kingpin. He continued to work on Spider-Man projects for Marvel, along with a Superman cover for DC Comics, after his semi-retirement in 1996.
China flexes muscle in Israel-Palestine conflict - China’s growing influence in the Middle East sees President Xi Jinping reiterating his call for Palestine to be a “full member” of the UN during Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas visit to Beijing.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Every once in a while, Apple changes the world — think Apple II, iPod and iPhone. Will its Vision Pro change the world again?
The science of how to buy the perfect durian. See the tweet to read the 4 factors further.
A motorcyclist on Ducati was killed after being thrown off an elevated highway flyover said to be as high as 8-10 floors, whilst trying to avoid another motorcyclist riding against the traffic flow. Watch incident here (warning - graphic).