Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Inside job - at least 20 employees from 5 banks helped scammers duped RM200 mil from victims
Top Glove's 3rd consecutive loss-making quarter. 'Deadpool' sells telco Mint Mobile for USD1.35 bil. Baidu unveiled its ChatGPT - unimpressive, sending share price down.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
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2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
The government has paid 1Malaysia Development Berhad RM43.8 billion thus far, according to Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan. There is a debt balance of RM9.7 bil — involving a principal of RM5 bil and RM4.7 bil of interest. Maslan added that the government had also recovered RM33.6 billion of 1MDB assets and RM8 billion from the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
The most streamed band on Spotify — South Korean boyband BTS — with over 31,960,000,000 streams (31.9 bil) on the platform with 37,226,216 monthly listeners as of March 3, 2023. The band broke their own Guinness World Record. What is the most played song of the band? Dynamite — 1.6 bil streams.
52% of Malaysians believe that the promotion of women’s equality has “gone so far” to the point of discrimination against men, according to Ipsos’ International Women’s Day 2023 survey released last week. Moreover, 65%of Malaysians (66% of men, 64% of women) also believed that men are “expected to do too much” to support equality.
Redefining Assets with Valuing IP
Valuing IP Sdn Bhd, intellectual property valuation specialist and Malaysian tech start-up, yesterday launched ASEAN’s first and only IP valuation software and digital platform. The software challenges the status quo and is a major milestone for the ASEAN IP industry. Being a democratised digital tool, it represents a real game-changer to manifest IP Financing, IP Marketplace, and IP Insurance and make these a reality in the near future.
Check out launch highlights on their Facebook page.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Sultan Johor is extending his ‘royal hands’ into stuff
Sultan Ibrahim has called out to the Federal Government to give special allocation to the state government in order for the latter to fix damaged infrastructure and properties that were affected by the flood. Previously, Putrajaya had committed RM50 mil to be channelled to the flood victims, which stand at about 31,000 victims.
From the federal government he turned to the state government, Sultan Ibrahim urged the state government to classify Orang Asli’s land as sultanate land, in order to prevent any third party from misusing the land, such as turning the aboriginal’s land into palm oil or rubber plantation. Under Section 2 of Johor's Sultanate Lands Enactment, no part of the sultanate land can be sold, leased, or disposed of except with the sultan's written permission.
Mentaga Terbang’s crew is facing more than flying butter
The director of the controversial Mentega Terbang movie, Khairi Anwar, stated that his car was splashed with black and red paint and he also faced death threats. The actor in the movie, Arjun Thanaraju, also confronted the same attacks, where acid was also being splashed towards Arjun’s car.
See the damage here.
Commenting on the matter, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that personal feelings should not trump the law and all parties should work with the authorities in relation to the police investigation conducted on the production of the movie. Although Fahmi did not disclose his personal feelings on the movie, but back in 2021, he criticised the then-government for not taking action against the production of the movie.
Watch the trailer here.
Whatever that is happening with this whole Mentega Terbang saga is a classic example of the Streisand effect — where an attempt to censor, hide, or otherwise draw attention away from something only serves to attract more attention to it. Unfortunately, the extra attention that the whole Mentaga Terbang team is getting at the moment has reached a life-threatening and borderline extremism stage.
Malaysia 1 - 0 Sulu heirs
The Paris Court of Appeal decided to uphold Malaysia’s stay of the enforcement of a purported final award to the Sulu claimants. The claimants filed a challenge previously and utilised the enforcement to seize Petronas assets in Luxembourg. The French court’s decision signals to the world that the claims by the Sulu claimants were illegitimate and does not jeopardise the sovereignty of Malaysia.
Over RM200 million scammed, aided by employees from 5 banks in Malaysia
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) revealed that several bank employees from five banks were involved in the international scamming syndicate that was busted by the authorities in an operation dubbed Ops Tropicana. At least 20 bank employees, which included auditors and frontline officers, did not bat an eye for any suspicious transactions from accounts that they created without proper scrutiny. Interestingly, the employees bagged RM1,000 to RM2,000 for each bank account opened by the scammers, while the scammers raked in about RM200 mil from victims, mainly from Australia and the United Kingdom, just within three months.
Bolehland, where military deals never proceed according to plans
Defence Minister Mohamad Hasan told the Parliament that the Government’s decision to purchase 18 FA-50 light fighter jets worth RM4.08bil from South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries Co (KAI) was based on solid reasons as the plane is also being used by neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Previously, the deal was facing corruption allegations as certain government officials were believed to receive kickbacks.
Outgoing Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director-general Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som had expressed his disappointment with the delay in the handover of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV). According to Mohd Zubil, the ship that was supposed to be handed to MMEA this month is very important for the security of the nation as the ship is able to conduct remote surveillance up to the Exclusive Economic Zone.
Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd had stated that its liquidator had agreed to several right-sizing initiatives with the liquidator in order for the company to manage its cash flow to sustain operations. Serba Dinamik is in the process of appealing the High Court’s dismissal of its application for a permanent stay of winding up petition from its creditors after the company failed to commit to its debt payment, amounting to about RM5 bil.
Top Glove Corp Bhd, the major benefactor from the pandemic, reported its third consecutive loss-making quarter in the second quarter that ended Feb 28, 2023 (2QFY2023). The company recorded a net loss of RM164.67mil for 2QFY2023, compared to a net profit of RM87.55mil for the same period last year. Yet its share price closed 19.29% higher yesterday, adding a cool RM1 bil+ to its market cap. Top Glove’s factories’ average utilisation rate is running at 35% as at end-Feb. 14 of its factories are also not operating.
View: Top Glove Q2FY2023 financial results
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Banks make the world go round
Swiss central bank to the rescue
The Swiss National Bank has extended a 50 bil Swiss francs (USD54 bil) loan to Credit Suisse under a covered loan facility and a short-term liquidity facility, easing investor fears around Credit Suisse. Its share price jumped at least 30% upon this news, recovering some losses after it fell 30% a day before.
Inflation > market chaos - ECB raises interest rates
The European Central Bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points (0.5%) to 3% as promised despite the banking turmoil spreading from the US to around the world - curbing inflation is its priority. The ECB did not offer commitments to increase rates for the future as it acknowledged the market chaos, saying any rate hikes will be “data-dependent”.
European financial regulators slammed US regulators over its handling of Silicon Valley Bank collapse
“Total and utter incompetence”, “disaster”, and “joke” — these are the words some European regulators threw at its counterpart in the US, according to the Financial Times, particularly in guaranteeing SVB deposits above the insured limit of USD250,000.
Flurry of deals
Stripe raised USD6.5 bil
Payments giant Stripe raised USD6.5 bil in Series I round at a valuation of USD50 bil from existing investors and also new ones, including Singapore’s GIC and Temasek. This valuation is down by a third from its previous round in 2022 of USD74 bil and nearly by half from its peak of USD95 bil in 2021. The company said it didn’t need the funds to run its business but instead plans to use it to provide liquidity to current and former employees by buying their shares and covering taxes related to their stock compensation. The company also shared that 100 businesses now handle more than USD1 bil on Stripe every year. Read Stripe’s press statement here.
Uber considers spinning off its freight logistics arm
The company is exploring whether to spin off its freight logistics arm through a sale or list it publicly so it can focus on its food delivery and ride-hailing businesses. Uber entered its freight division in 2017 and has since grown to contribute 18% of the company’s overall revenue, with USD1.5 bil generated in the fourth quarter, up 43% year-on-year. In its latest earnings announcement, Uber reported USD8.6 bil in revenue. View: Uber Q4 and Full Year 2022 Results
Boeing wins USD37 bil orders from 2 Saudi Airlines
Boeing won a massive order to sell 78 of its 787 Dreamliners to Saudi Arabian Airlines and Riyadh Airlines, with an option for 43 more. This follows the oil kingdom’s plan to turn the country into an aviation and tourism hub by 2030, attracting 100 mil visitors per year.
Foxconn wins order to make AirPods
Foxconn, already assembling 70% of all iPhones, became an AirPod supplier for the first time and will invest USD200 mil to build a plant in India for this purpose. It was not mentioned how much this deal is worth. The decision to manufacture AirPods was a contentious issue amongst Foxconn management due to the relatively low-profit margins, but it ultimately went ahead to “reinforce engagement “ with Apple.
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‘Deadpool’ sells telco for USD1.35 bil
US telco T-Mobile announced that it will acquire Ka’ena Corp, the owner of Mint Mobile, for USD1.35 bil, to be satisfied in 39% cash and 61% stock. Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds owns roughly 25% of the Mint Mobile and stands to take home a payday of more than USD300 mil. Reynolds has lent his fame to the company’s marketing campaigns.
The actor is doing quite well in the business world - he owned an undisclosed stake in Aviation Gin, which Diageo subsequently acquired for USD610 mil in 2020. Reynolds still retains some ownership interest in the gin company. His other ventures: include a football club, Wrexham AFC, and Maximum Effort (after Deadpool’s catchphrase), a production and marketing agency. Watch his announcement on the deal below, cracking a joke together with T-Mobile’s CEO.
Read: How Ryan Reynolds Built A Business Empire
FIFA announces new expanded format for 2026 World Cup – The 2026 World Cup, to be co-hosted by Canada, the United States, and Mexico, will have 104 matches featuring 12 groups of 4 teams each, compared to the originally planned format of 64 matches with 16 groups of 3 teams. The new format is meant to minimise collusion, with all teams playing a minimum of three matches with balanced rest time.
China’s search engine giant Baidu unveiled its version of ChatGPT called Ernie, but it didn’t go down well. The real-time demo was said to be clunky, looks pre-recorded and not looking spontaneous, sending its share price down 6.4%, wiping out about USD3 bil in value. If Baidu has any advantage, it lies in its understanding of the Chinese language and culture (and censorship).
Weekend Read: The Art and Science of Spending Money.
Everyone spends their money differently. Find one that works best for you. In the article, Housel breaks down how revenge spending mentality can come from a poor childhood to humans’ tendency to miscalculate the cost of purchases.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Russia denied that its jet attacked a US surveillance drone causing it to crash over the Black Sea. US drops the receipts - it released footage of the encounter.
Cocaine Bear is a comedic horror film directed by Elizabeth Banks based on the -real-life drug overdose of an American black bear in 1985. The movie has raked in over USD57 mil worldwide. National Geographic shared that the real-life bear did not go on a rampage like in the movie but died due to overdose and described further the situation actually reflected human recklessness endangering wildlife.