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☕️ GLICs invests more than 60% (RM451 bil) of funds in local equities
MUDA re-strategises, forming alliances with like-minded parties in SEA. Stroke patients in MY are getting younger, with one in four below the age of 50. The OpenAI drama continues.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
The French Football team humiliated Gibraltar over the weekend after the team scored seven goals in each half as they recorded their biggest-ever win by thrashing 10-man Gibraltar 14-0 in the Euro 2024 qualifying. The team had a great conversion rate of 70% — France finished the game with 20 shots on target, compared to none for Gibraltar. So far in the tournament, Portugal has the best conversion rate of 47%.
According to the National Stroke Registry, there were 47,911 reported stroke incidents in 2019. This implies that approximately 130 people suffer from a stroke every day in Malaysia. The most prevalent risk factors for stroke encompass high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, heart disease, irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation), and a family history of stroke. The Global Burden of Disease Stroke Statistics Worldwide Survey in 2016 estimates that if no preventive action is taken, one in four Malaysians will experience a stroke by 2040. Additionally, the trend is becoming more concerning as stroke patients are getting younger, with one in four strokes occurring in individuals under the age of 50.
The young people in the US are doomed — sort of. Not only does their own Government owe a lot of money (USD33 trillion and counting), but consumers under the age of 50 now hold 55% of all US household debt. Total US household debt increased by USD228 bil last quarter, reaching USD17.3 trillion, largely driven by mortgages, credit cards, and student loans. The most indebted households are those between the ages of 40 and 50.
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3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Deputy Finance Minister II: Over 60% of GLIC funds invested in Malaysia
Deputy Finance Minister II Steven Sim revealed that more than 60% of government-linked investment companies' (GLICs) funds are invested within Malaysia. From January 2019 to August 2023, GLICs' investments in Malaysian-listed equities ranged from 15.8% to 62.7%. GLIC participation in the Malaysian equity market represents 7.7% of the total average daily traded value.
Here are key investment highlights shared during the question and answer session at Dewan Rakyat:
Major institutions like the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) allocate about 64.9% of their substantial RM1.096 tril in domestic markets, with 24.4% in locally listed companies.
Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) manages RM332 bil, with 84.3% invested locally and 74.4% in domestic stocks.
Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen (KWAP) oversees RM167 bil, with roughly 79.3% invested in the local scene and 45.2% in domestic stocks.
Lembaga Tabung Haji handles RM91 bil, with 90.1% in Malaysia and 18.3% in local stocks.
Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) manages RM10.5 bil, entirely within Malaysia, with 52% in domestic stocks.
Khazanah, as of Dec 31, 2022, has a portfolio with a realisable asset value of as much as RM122.5 bil, in which RM81.2 bil or 66.3% of the holdings, are assets in the country.
Collectively, the six funds held RM451.3 bil in local listed equities, constituting approximately 25.6% of the Malaysian listed equities' market capitalisation as of September 30, 2023.
Muda plans early party elections, eyes collaboration with Southeast Asian political parties
Muda, the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance, plans to hold party elections in the second quarter of 2024, aiming for a revamped leadership. Acting president Amira Aisya Abdul Aziz highlighted the decision after a recent Central Executive Committee meeting, the party's first central committee meeting since Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman stepped down from the post of president.
The party also intends to establish official ties with Thailand’s Move Forward Party and other political groups in Southeast Asia to give Malaysia a stronger voice in the political sphere. Another party that Muda has set its eyes on is the Indonesian Solidarity Party, led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep.
Nepali recruiter's death triggers suspicion in alleged migrant visa scam
The mysterious death of Nepali recruiter Rinji Rai in a Nilai hostel has raised concerns about a potential migrant worker visa scam in Malaysia. Despite authorities ruling out foul play, Rai's widow Indrasuwa Rai and the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agency suspect wrongdoing. Rai's agency Marvelous Employment Nepal Pvt Ltd, together with Rose Overseas PVT, recruited and sent 64 workers to Malaysia who ended up unemployed. Amidst allegations that Rai paid 3 million Nepali rupees (RM107,502) to a Malaysian named “Ms Yeoh" for visas, suspicions of embezzlement have surfaced. While Rai's death remains puzzling, stranded workers are still waiting for help after the agent's promises fell through.
PNB plans RM1.5 bil from highway listing in 2024
Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is revving up to raise RM1.5 bil through its highway listings set for next year. The listing pegged to value the highway trust at around RM3.5 bil, is expected to be the country’s largest in recent years. The IPO, named Prolintas Infra Business Trust (Prolintas Infra BT), will see PNB's highway concessionaire, Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas), separate four of its six owned and operated highways. These highways will be placed in a business trust for listing, marking the country’s inaugural listed highway trust. The trust aims to distribute at least 90% of its earnings to unitholders, targeting a distribution of RM66 mil for FY2024.
Mr DIY records a 22.5% surge in Q3 earnings to RM123.95 mil, fueled by new store contributions
Mr DIY Group (M) Bhd experienced a notable 22.5% boost in net profit during the third quarter, ended Sept 30, 2023, hitting RM123.95 mil. The increase was fueled by a 10.4% rise in quarterly revenue, reaching RM1.07 bil due to contributions from newly opened stores, totalling 1,208 outlets. This is Mr DIY’s fourth consecutive quarter of revenue above RM1 bil. The gross profit margin rose to 45%, marking a 3.9 percentage point increase year-on-year. The company also declared an interim dividend of 0.8 sen per share, totalling RM75.5 mil for its fiscal year ending Dec 31, 2023. View the earnings results here.
MyEG records 20% dip in Q3 net profit to RM120 mi due to one-off gain in prior year
MyEG Services Bhd saw a 20% year-on-year decline in net profit for the financial quarter ended Sept 30, 2023, to RM120 mil compared to RM150.71 mil last year. The profit slide happened due to a one-off recognition of fair value gain from the prior year’s listing of its investment in Agmo Holdings Bhd. Revenue, however, jumped by 19% to RM194.12 mil from RM162.62 mil driven by new services introduced on its Zetrix blockchain platform and the sale of Zetrix tokens. MyEG remains cautiously optimistic about future growth, focusing on introducing innovative services leveraging blockchain technology both locally and globally. View the earnings results here.
The Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) is handling a significant case involving 115 police reports related to losses amounting to RM118.6 mil in connection with the i-Serve investment scheme. This scheme is associated with Datuk Allan Goh, the co-founder of MYAirline.
A sizable crowd, mainly PAS members, gathered at Putrajaya's Palace of Justice to stand in solidarity with the Shariah courts. This event coincides with the ongoing Federal Court hearing challenging Kelantan's Shariah criminal laws. The challenge, initiated by lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Abdul Rashid and her daughter, contests 20 provisions which range from false claims to sexual offences, citing overlapping federal laws. The duo want the apex court to declare these provisions null and void.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
OpenAI’s bizarre corporate drama
After Sam Altman’s shock firing as the OpenAI CEO last Friday, there were moves over the weekend to reinstate him as the CEO. The company’s nonprofit board has gone another way entirely and named former Twitch CEO and co-founder Emmett Shear as interim CEO. The surprise move came after OpenAI’s four-person board refused to step down and let Altman return. Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, took the opportunity to hire Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman to “lead a new advanced AI research team.”
It was reported that Ilya Sutskever, a leading researcher in the field, played the leading role in ousting Altman. The irony is — based on a letter signed by over 500 OpenAI employees (70% of its workforce) asking for the return of Altman and Brockman, Sutskever’s name was #12.
Argentina gets a new president, a self-described anarcho-capitalist
Populist Javier Milei secured a decisive victory in Argentina's presidential election on Sunday, marking a shift to the right after an intensely polarised campaign. Milei, who pledged a significant overhaul of the state to address surging inflation and increasing poverty, won with 55.7% of the vote, while Economy Minister Sergio Massa received 44.3%, according to Argentina's electoral authority. This victory margin is the widest in a presidential race since Argentina's return to democracy in 1983. Milei has been compared to former US President Donald Trump.
What is anarcho-capitalism? It is a political philosophy and economic theory that promotes the idea of the voluntary exchange of goods and services in a society primarily regulated by the market rather than the state.
Israel-Palestine conflict updates
A group of 28 prematurely born babies, evacuated from Gaza's largest hospital, were transported to Egypt for urgent treatment on Monday. This evacuation took place as Israeli tanks surrounded another hospital in Gaza, and Palestinian health authorities reported casualties inside the besieged medical facility. The newborns had been at Al Shifa hospital in north Gaza, where, amid the disruption of medical services during Israel's military assault on Gaza City, several other infants died when their incubators were affected.
China urges Israel to stop its “collective punishment” of people in the war zone. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also urged Israel to open a humanitarian corridor “as soon as possible to prevent a wider humanitarian disaster”. Wang stated that Beijing would persist in collaborating with Arabic and Muslim nations to achieve a ceasefire. Additionally, China would extend assistance in securing the release of individuals detained in the conflict.
Australia defeated India to win the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. The match was played in the world's largest stadium in the western state of Gujarat. The event attracted a record viewership of at least 57 mil on Disney Hotstar, although the numbers started to decline as the game shifted decisively in favour of Australia. Some bettors had a windfall as betting sites, such as Sportsbet, offered 2.9 times the amount for an Australia win as of Friday, more than twice the payout for an India win at 1.4 times.
Chinese regulators are reportedly in the process of compiling a list of 50 developers eligible for various forms of financing. This move is part of China's ongoing efforts to stabilise the property market. The list, encompassing both private and state-owned developers, is intended to serve as guidance for financial institutions considering support for the industry through bank loans, debt, and equity financing. The specific developers included on the draft list have not been disclosed.
As part of Amazon’s “AI Ready” program, the company is offering training in generative AI through eight online courses designed for individuals with both tech and tech-adjacent roles. The courses, accessible for free through an Amazon learning website, cater to beginners as well as those with more experience. The training aims to serve as a foundation for professionals preparing for jobs and skills currently in demand in the industry. Find out more here.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Looking for a new car to welcome the new year? You may just want to consider the Proton S70. Listen to what the experts have to say about it.
How many social media apps survive the initial buzz? Only a handful, based on an analysis of the relative Google search volume for the internet’s most recognisable platforms.