- The Coffee Break
- ☕️ Divorce cases shot up 43.1% in 2022 to 62.9k cases - DOSM
☕️ Divorce cases shot up 43.1% in 2022 to 62.9k cases - DOSM
Works Minister: RM3.5 bil MLFF toll system not decided yet. Sultan Selangor decrees all mosques, surau in the state prepare audited accounts. 50k stores - McD's sets eyes on biggest expansion.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
1.1 mil — the average number of passengers using public transport in Malaysia as of the end of November 2023, according to Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana). Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd (Rapid Rail), covering LRT, MRT, and Monorail, accounted for an average daily usage of 835,119 passengers, while Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd (Rapid Bus) services saw an average usage of 258,710 passengers. The highest daily usage figure, reaching 1,200,433, was recorded on Nov 22 last year.
62,890 divorces were recorded in 2022, a surge of 43.1% from 43,936 cases in 2021. Chief Statistician Uzir Mahidin noted a substantial 45.8% increase in Muslim divorces in 2022, reaching 46,138 cases (73.4%) compared to 31,650 in the previous year. Married couples, are you okay? On another note, couple therapists may see an influx of customers are reading this. If you need to advertise, let us know.
A woman who succumbed to ovarian cancer raised an impressive USD17 mil to help many Americans erase their unpaid medical bills. Casey McIntyre, 38, asked followers to consider donating to her cause on a scheduled social media post that was posted after her passing. McIntyre and her family had raised over USD170,000 for her campaign with the non-profit RIP Medical Debt. The organisation pays off a dollar of medical debt for every penny that is donated. About 41% of Americans, or about 100 mil adults, have medical debt, ranging from under USD500 to USD10,000 or more.
Together with Breakfirst by Amy, in support of SMEs
Not sure what to gift for Christmas? The team at Breakfirst by Amy has curated the perfect gift package that will surely impress. Check it out here.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
No decision has been made on the Multi-Lane-Fast-Flow project yetAmidst rumours that the RM3.5 bil Multi-Lane-Fast-Flow (MLFF) system project has been allegedly awarded to a privately-held entity that is said to be majority-controlled by YTL Corp Bhd, Works Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi told the press that Putrajaya has not put ink to paper yet. Nanta stated that all the parties that signed the letters of agreement in 2021 still need to show their proof of concept by the December 2024 deadline. So, he said that there is a long way to go until the project is awarded to any party. Nanta also assured the concessionaires that they will still have the right to collect toll charges even after the MLFF system is fully implemented.
No monopoly, yet.
Update on Kevin Morais's murder appealIn the appeal against the High Court’s verdict that indicted six men for murdering DPP Anthony Kevin Morais, lawyer Kitson Foong, representing one of the six men who were convicted for murdering Kevin Morais, said that the 11 grounds that the High Court used to sustain the murder charge against his client S. Ravi Chandaran, indicated that the accused did corroborate to abduct the deceased but did not clearly link his client to the murder. Morais, 55, was reported missing on Sept 4, 2015. He was last seen leaving his apartment at Menara Duta in Kuala Lumpur in a Proton Perdana. His body was found in an oil drum filled with cement at Persiaran Subang Mewah, Subang Jaya, on Sept 16, 2015.
All things Selangor
Zayn Rayyan, the autistic six-year-old boy who was found dead in a stream about 200 metres away from his home, was murdered, according to the police. Selangor police chief Hussein Omar Khan said that based on the autopsy report, the boy had injuries on his neck and body. Previously, the deceased child was missing when his mother lost contact with her son when they were en route home from the park.
Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has decreed that all mosques and surau in the state need to prepare audited annual financial statements for inspection and review. By using the newly launched Selangor Mosque and Surau Financial Management Guidelines 2023 as the reference, Sultan Sharafuddin wanted all mosque and surau administrators to comply and entrust Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) and Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) to provide the appropriate training to the related parties.
After the by-election in Kemaman, there may be another one brewing in Gombak Setia. The petitioner behind the election petition to annul the election result in Gombak Setia stated that RM150 was given to several voters in the constituency, which led to the razor-thin marginal win by Perikatan Nasional (PN)’s Muhammad Hilman Idham. The petitioner, Mohd Shaffie Omar, accused that the RM150 ‘bribe’ was given to voters at two separate locations to induce voters to vote for Hilman. Previously, in the Selangor state polls, as part of the six-state GE15 2.0, Hilman won against BN’s Megat Zulkarnain Omardin with a 58-vote majority.
No water for Penangites for 4 daysPenang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) cautioned Penangistes that they will be cut off from the water supply from January 10 until January 14 due to the repair works that will be conducted at the Sungai Dua water treatment plant. At the moment, the Sungai Dua plant supplies nearly 70% of the treated water to PBAPP’s 678,857 consumers. As a reference for our fellow Malaysians in Penang who will be spending their first month of 2024 without water, the graphic below marks areas without water supply in pink for both the island and mainland, while areas highlighted in yellow are expected to have low pressure.
Berjaya Food Bhd (BFood)’s share price year-to-date has declined by 42.3% to 60 sen, mainly due to the boycotts arising from the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. BFood, which operates the Starbucks franchise in Malaysia, is confident that the company will return to its revenue growth momentum after the Middle East conflict (and the associate boycott against Starbucks) ended. However, RHB Research thought otherwise. The research house opined that even after the boycott ends, the gains that the competitors made from the loss of foot traffic to Starbucks may be sticky and made a sell call on the counter, with a target price of 46 sen from its closing price yesterday of 60 sen, with a downside of 23.3%. According to RHB Research, Starbucks has lost about 30% to 40% of foot traffic during peak hours. Read RHB Research’s report here.
After conditionally purchasing a 61.18% stake in UMW Holdings Bhd from Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) last August, now Sime Darby Bhd will purchase the remaining stake that the company does not own in UMW for a hefty price tag of RM2.27 bil. The impending takeover will see UMW being delisted from Bursa Malaysia. It’s ok - SD recently topped up its bank account through the sale of its healthcare arm Ramsay Sime Darby Sdn Bhd for RM5.7 bil.
CIMB Bank Bhd has launched a new personal loan facility, leveraging on the applicants’ Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Account 2. The loan scheme, dubbed Cash Plus Personal Loan Account 2 Support Facility, has a low-interest rate starting from 4.5% per annum and can provide financing up to RM50,000. However, eligible applicants must have at least RM3,000 in their respective EPF Account 2.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Boycott, no boycott, McD’s sets its eyes on its biggest, grand expansionRonald McDonald and the gang set an ambitious target of reaching a total of 50,000 outlets spanning over 100 countries (500 in one country) by 2027, making it the fastest period of growth in the company’s history. More than half of these new stores are planned for China, its second-largest market. Their goal includes boosting loyalty program revenue by targeting 250 million customers and achieving USD45 billion (RM210 billion) in annual sales by 2027. Currently, its loyalty program has 150 mil active users generating over USD20 bil in system-wide sales*. How do they plan to achieve this? The "Best Burger" initiative aims to improve the quality of its burgers and expand to 70 markets by 2026 while partnering with Google Cloud for AI to deliver faster and fresher food. 🍟*System-wide sales are total sales generated across the entire system, including franchise and company-owned stores. In its latest quarterly filing, there were 41,198 total systemwide restaurants, of which 39,000 (84.7%) were franchised.
Apart from its world domination plan, McD’s is also trying to take away some frappuccinos from Starbucks and has unveiled more details. The drink-focused spin-off CosMc’s will be launched this month with 10 outlets by year-end to capture the USD100 bil market of customisable drinks and coffee, CEO Chris Kempczinski told investors. Check out its menu here.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has invoked Article 99 of the UN CharterUN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has utilized Article 99 of the UN Charter, urging the UN Security Council to confront the escalating "catastrophe" in Gaza. This rarely invoked article empowers Secretary-General Guterres to address issues that jeopardise international peace before the 15-member Security Council. For the legal minds, more info on Article 99 here.
This special power allows the UN Sec-Gen to call a meeting of the Security Council on his own initiative to issue warnings about new threats to international peace and security, and matters that are not yet on the council’s agenda. Should the council accept Guterres’ resolution, the UN can take further actions including imposing sanctions and deploying an international force. First, the 5 permanent members of the council — China, US, Russia, France and UK — have to be convinced as they hold veto power. Some of these members are no longer ‘superpowers’ nor relevant, having looted their colonies and yet get to decide on matters concerning international security.
Google’s generative AI gets a major upgradeThough Google has worked on AI for years. it was caught off-guard by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Google declared “code red” and rushed out its own version Bard, which was rather subpar. Now, Google announced its latest AI model, Gemini which will be powering Bard and is capable of more sophisticated reasoning and understanding information with a greater degree of nuance as compared to its prior technology. In a demo (watch below), the AI was able to recognise what it was shown from a person acting out a Matrix movie and someone drawing and holding a rubber duck. There will be 3 versions of Gemini - each requiring a different amount of processing power, with the smallest version being able to run efficiently on Android smartphones.
Fortnite x Lego unite. Minecraft, watch out. In a strategic collaboration, Fortnite, a gaming sensation boasting 400 million players, has joined forces with Lego to unveil a novel survival mode game. This game mode integrates Lego bricks, allowing players to tackle challenges in a uniquely crafted environment. It appears to have taken cues from Minecraft, a popular Lego-style block-building and crafting game that holds the title of the best-selling game of all time, with 176 mil copies sold across all platforms. Fun fact: Minecraft maker Mojang was acquired by Microsoft in 2014 for a staggering USD2.5 bil, about 20 times Mojang’s 2013 reported profit of USD126 mil.
SpaceX's valuation rockets up — Bloomberg reported that Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX is seeking to raise between USD500-750 mil, with an implied valuation of USD175 bil (RM733 bil) - 16.7% higher than what it was worth back in the summer at USD150 bil. At this new valuation, SpaceX is worth more than the House of Mouse (i.e. Disney) and Comcast, both worth about USD167 bil. The Wall Street Journal reported that SpaceX generated USD55 mil in profits on USD1.5 bil revenue in Q1 2023, after 2 years of losses.
Seychelles declared a state of emergency — A man-made disaster and climate disaster, both occurring at the same time, have forced President Ramkalawan to declare a state of emergency after a blast at an explosives depot and heavy rains, leading to widespread flooding and damage in the popular tourist destination. Seychelles is the least populous country in Africa, comprising 115 islands with about 100,000 people (see map here).
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
To me, being disciplined is all about habits. And habits are about mindset (paradigm) shifts.
Red Bull is back with another insane stunt - Brian Grubb wakeskate at the world’s tallest infinity pool in Dubai, pulled by a drone, then base jump from 964 ft (293 meters), parachuted down and landed on the beach.
The growth of home retailer juggernaut IKEA is in one picture. With a record EUR47.6 bil (RM240.2 bil) recorded in its previous fiscal year, the retailer now sees about 23% (EUR12 bil) of its sales through e-commerce. IKEA’s maze layout serves the objective of maximising the Gruen effect to increase customers’ impulse purchases. Watch: How IKEA gets you to impulsively buy more.