☕️ Cabinet undecided on whether to have election this year
Tabung Haji's highest ever deposits since establishment 59 years ago. HappyFresh halts operations in Malaysia. China's energy resiliency - decades-long oil and coal energy reserves.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Nigeria loses 108,000 barrels a day of oil production to theft, or about 7% of production, costing the government USD1 bil in the first quarter of the year. The damage could be worse as watchdogs estimate that 5-20% of Nigeria’s oil is stolen. Thieves break into pipelines and siphon the oil away. The situation is so bad that the Trans Niger pipeline, which transports 180,000 barrels a day, had to shut down as the theft was too rampant.
26.2 mil people on average in the UK, or about 38% of its population, tuned in to watch Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service in Westminster Abbey on TV screens, making it one of the biggest moments in British TV history. The record is held by the World Cup final in 1966 when England won, with a record of 32.3 mil people watching.
Thinking of visiting Bhutan? Be prepared to fork out USD200 (approx. RM900) for the country’s Sustainable Development Fee just to enter the country. The move is in line with the country’s continued goal to attract “high value, low volume” tourism. Check out the beauty of Bhutan in the video below.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Elections 101: Who to vote for?
During a weekly Cabinet meeting that was held recently, the ministers were undecided on whether to call for a general election this year or not. Based on the article published by Utusan Malaysia, let’s see which side is pushing for or against having an election this year.
UMNO — Yes, we want the election to be held this year!
According to a source quoted by Utusan Malaysia, during the Cabinet meeting, those ministers that wanted the election to be held this year were UMNO ministers. It was no surprise, as the call for an election by UMNO was loud and clear. Separately, in a Facebook post by UMNO president Zahid Hamidi, in response to the Opposition’s concerns that it is not suitable to have a general election this year due to the impending monsoon floods season, he said that the election should be held immediately before the year-end floods start.
However, Zahid’s sentiment was not shared by all UMNO members, as health minister and fellow UMNO member Khairy Jamaluddin said that it is not conducive to hold general elections during the flood season, mainly due to manpower issues and public safety. He told the press that holding an election needed a lot of manpower, one thing that could not be spared as the country also needed the same manpower to brace for the consequences of the monsoon flood.
PAS & Bersatu — Maybe next year, let’s focus on other things first.
Based on Utusan Malaysia, in the same Cabinet meeting, unnamed ministers from Bersatu and PAS were not in favour of the election to be held this year as they want the Government to focus on the economy (which is in a double whammy of recession and high inflation) and preparing for the upcoming monsoon flood season.
MUDA - For sure not this year, half of peninsular Malaysia will be underwater at the end of the year.
MUDA (who is not in the Cabinet meeting, but its opinion is worth merit, too) is going a step further in opposing the move for a general election this year by having a demonstration in the capital on Saturday to pressure PM Ismail Sabri to not succumb to Zahid Hamidi’s nonsensical push to have an election this year.
We cannot divulge the details of Najib Razak’s health condition - DG Hisham.
Following the report of Najib Razak’s admittance to Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, DG Hisham said that the health ministry could not disclose detailed information regarding Najib’s illness (if any) as such detail could only be shared with the court. He also added that the ministry is bound by the code of ethics under the Medical Act 1971 in regard to patient confidentiality.
It is a rare occasion for a prisoner to be taken to hospital for check-ups or treatment unless the condition is severe — guess Najib Razak shares this privilege with another former prisoner, Anwar Ibrahim.
The special girl, known as Bella, testified against Siti Bainun in court.
In the trial of the alleged abuses by Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun, the 13-year-old victim with Down syndrome, Bella, who was seen in an elegant Elsa’s blue dress depicted in Frozen, came to the court to testify. Bella, who was allegedly neglected and mistreated by Siti Bainun, conducted her testimony in camera and accompanied by an intermediary and an accompanying adult, as required under the Evidence of Child Witness Act. Bella’s testimony could not be reported as she is a child witness.
Indonesia-based HappyFresh decided to cease its operation in Malaysia after seven years of operating in this country. The decision was made by the grocery delivery platform amidst its restructuring exercise to manage its piling debt. The company will focus its operation only on Indonesia in the near future.
Tabung Haji reported a healthy income of RM1.47bil for the 1H22 period with total deposits of RM88.09 bil, the highest recorded since it was established 59 years ago. Below is the breakdown of Tabung Haji’s income:
65.71% of the total income, or RM966.34mil, was derived from fixed income investments.
The remaining 34.29% of the total income or RM224.62mil came from equity investment. Investment in equities recorded a better performance during this period by RM41.27mil, compared to RM183.35mil in the same period last year.
All in all, minus all expenses and zakat, Tabung Haji reported a net profit of RM1.03bil, a little bit lesser compared to RM1.22bil of net profit earned in the same period last year.
The subsidiary of South Korean giant SK Group, SK magic, is planning to make Malaysia as the regional hub for the company in the next five years and aiming to boost its revenue in Malaysia by 23 fold to RM3.2bil. The company said that in order to reach the RM3.2bil revenue target, the company needed to focus more on one-off purchase of its products, moving away from the current rental or instalment plan business model, which is very capital intensive. The company is currently importing 2 key products from South Korea — air and water purifiers.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Protests erupted in Russia over mobilisation, Ukraine-Russia prisoners swap.
Protests sparked across Russia hours after Putin announced partial military mobilisation that will see 300,000 reservists drafted. At least 525 people have been arrested across Russia. Russia has earlier passed laws that criminalise dissent over the war with harsh penalties - up to 15 years in prison.
Can’t blame the everyday Russians wanting to protest — a Russian YouTube channel, Popular Politics, made a prank call to the 32-year-old son of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s long-time official spokesperson, pretending to be a recruitment officer and telling him that he has been drafted. He refused and replied them that they need to “understand the political implications and nuances” of his situation.
Ukraine and Russia announced that they have completed a surprise prisoner swap, the largest since the invasion started - 215 Ukrainians consisting of fighters from countries including the US, UK and Morocco, and civilians were returned to Ukraine in exchange for the release of 55 Russians and Viktor Medvedchuk, one of Putin’s staunchest Ukrainian allies and his daughter’s godfather.
UN is one step closer to averting a USD20 bil environmental ‘time bomb’ in Yemen.
The United Nations said it has raised the necessary USD75 mil to salvage an abandoned oil tanker that is at severe risk of sinking, which could lead to an environmental disaster with a potential USD20 bil clean-up bill. The UN earlier warned that the ship is a ticking environmental time bomb — it has not been serviced since 2014 since Yemen plunged into a civil war and holds more than 1 mil barrels of oil, 4x the amount of oil spilt in the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.
Facebook parent Meta violated live-streaming patents, ordered to pay USD174.5 mil.
The tech behind Facebook Live and Instagram Live was the result of a US army veteran’s experience of getting ambushed on the battlefield.
Meta has been ordered to pay Voxer, the creator of the Walkie-Talkie messaging app, over USD174 mil in damages after the jury found the tech giant guilty of violating two patents with Facebook Live and Instagram Live.
Voxer was founded in 2007 by a US army veteran who was inspired to fix the problems experienced in battlefield communications, resulting in a new technology that enabled live and video communications transmission. The Walkie-Talkie app was launched in 2011. Meta approached Voxer to collaborate and by Feb 2012, Voxer had disclosed its patent portfolio and proprietary technology to Meta but failed to reach an agreement.
China’s decades-long energy reserves show the resiliency of the nation’s energy security.
China’s Ministry of Natural Resources announced that the country has enough coal to last it for the next 5 decades and sufficient oil to last at least 18 years at current rates of production. The reserves can last China well beyond 2030 - its deadline to peak its carbon emissions. In other words, its reserves could last it way longer should it transition more to renewable energy. This is the complete opposite of Europe’s energy planning — all it took was for Russia to squeeze supply of gas over a single Earth rotation and it is enough to send the continent into a crisis.
Startups - fundraising, markdown and closing shop:
SoftBank, the largest investor in Oyo with a 45% stake, has cut down once more the valuation of the Indian hotel chain startup to USD2.7 bil (the company has raised a total of USD3.23 bil, ouch), down from USD3.4 bil. At its peak in 2019, Oyo was valued at USD10 bil.
FTX, one of the largest crypto exchanges that turned out to be the white knight during the crypto washout, is in talks to raise up to USD1 bil in new funding, maintaining its valuation at USD32 bil. It counts big-name investors like Singapore’s Temasek, Tiger Global and SoftBank as its shareholders. The company saw revenue 10x in 2021 to USD1.02 bil from USD89 mil in 2020, and its net income exploding to USD388 mil from USD17 mil. Revenue in 2022 would see a “similar” figure, according to its founder Sam Bankman-Fried - an impressive feat during crypto winter. Read Bankman-Fried’s latest interview here on how FTX survived the recent washout and expanded.
Kittyhawk, the air-taxi backed by Google’s co-founder Larry Page, will be closing down. Founded in 2010, it set out to pioneer the market for electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Not all is gone — the company’s technology will be inherited by Wisk Aero, a joint venture with Boeing Co. established in 2019 with the aircraft manufacturer pumping in USD450 mil.
Weekend read: The inside story of the poker boom: 'We blew the doors off.'
How poker, once stigmatised during its early days, turned into a respectable game and ‘sports’.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Hollywood star Angeline Jolie visited flood-stricken Pakistan representing the UN High Commissioners for Refugees, saying that she has “never seen anything like this”. Al Jazeera mapped out the scale of the damage by the floods that displaced more than 33 mil people — check it out here.
NASA’s InSight lander on Mars captured the sound of a meteoroid hitting Mars. interestingly, it’s more of a “bloop” than “boom”. Listen to it from the 1-minute mark in the video below.