Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Ismail Sabri: "It is not our culture to have debates"
1.95 mil Carousell accounts impacted by data leak. Najib Razak’s airtime on TV1 was pre-recorded before he was sent to prison. No more Yeezys as Adidas breaks up with Kanye.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD1.5 tril has been wiped out from the combined market value of American-listed chip businesses thus far this year due to the boom-and-bust cycle—and America’s government. The CHIPS Act of 2022 was enacted to strengthen the US’s semiconductor manufacturing, design and research industry. However, the timing was unfortunate. Inflation-weary shoppers are buying fewer gadgets — Gartner, a research firm, expects smartphone sales to drop by 6% this year and PCs by 10%.
A database of 2.6 million Carousell accounts is being sold for SGD1,000 on the Dark Web. Carousell said 1.95 million user accounts were affected, but it assured users that no credit card and payment-related information was compromised. What was leaked? Usernames, first and last names, e-mail addresses, mobile phone numbers, country of origin, date of account creation and the number of followers.
Rank #2 — national shuttler Lee Zii Jia moved up a spot higher in BWF’s men’s singles ranking after he finished as Denmark Open runner-up on Sunday behind Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Caretaker PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob said authorities are ready and well prepared for all eventualities — floods on voting day. On top of 58,227 police personnel that would be deployed on polling day, 69,235 officers from the police, Malaysian Armed Forces, People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela), Civil Defence Department and Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) were also ready for the floods.
The challenge by opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim to have a debate between political parties’ prime ministerial candidates has been turned down by the caretaker PM. Reason being - “Not our culture.” What does a turtle do when it is scared? It hides in its shell. Why the turtle reference? ;) Syed Saddiq shot down Sabri’s “not our culture” suggestion, reminding him of the debate between Anwar Ibrahim and prisoner Najib Razak in May on Sapura Energy Bhd.
Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan (JKOAK) slammed Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Ku Li) for alleged inaction on key issues in his 30 years of service. JKOAK hopes Pakatan Harapan candidates to seize the opportunity and be more aware and concerned with the plight of the Orang Asli.
The news of three-term Klang MP Charles Santiago possibly being dropped as a candidate in the upcoming GE15 has upset many quarters.
The National Registration Department (NRD) dismissed rumours that many Bangladeshis have been issued identity cards (MyKad) ahead of the election.
Tun Dr M distances himself from former AG Tommy Thomas
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he appointed Tommy Thomas as attorney general because he was known to be “impartial” and a lawyer who followed the “rule of law”. However, the allegations in Tommy Thomas’ infamous memoir changed his mind. He said if he had to do it all over again, he would have appointed a person who is not biased.
Caretaker PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Tommy Thomas is believed to have committed four offences based on the investigation of the latter's memoir. He took a swipe at Pakatan Harapan’s silence over the investigation — saying it implies guilt.
Najib Razak’s airtime on TV1 was pre-recorded before he was sent to prison.
According to The Star, the video was pre-recorded by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) in conjunction with Kembara Keluarga Malaysia, Episode 57, before Najib was sent to prison. The video aired on Oct 24, 2022, to the shock of netizens. The video shared the history of Pekan, Pahang and was not related to politics. Only in Malaysia where a prisoner can get airtime. Malaysia boleh!
Founders of Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, namely the Koon brothers, have sold 123.59 million shares off-market, representing a 1.5% stake in the company, for RM605.59 million. Press Metal is Southeast Asia’s largest integrated aluminium producer. The Koon brothers are the third richest on Forbes Malaysia 2022 billionaire ranking with a net worth of USD6.2 bil (RM29.36 bil).
Hextar Technologies Solutions Bhd’s shares hit another fresh high after rising 50 sen or 5% from its closing price of RM10 last Friday (Oct 21). The group replied to Bursa Malaysia’s unusual market activity (UMA) query stating that it was not aware of any corporate development, rumour or report, or any other possible explanation, for the rally. Hextar’s shares have rallied almost 90% since Oct 14.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Nine dead, a million displaced, as Cyclone Sitrang hits Bangladesh
Cyclone Sitrang has taken at least nine lives – mainly through trees falling on the victims – as the weather system hit Bangladesh. However, authorities managed to evacuate about a million people from their homes and moved to thousands of multi-storey shelters before the cyclone made landfall late Monday.
The country saw heavy rains – which flooded Dhaka, Khulna, and Barisal – with 324mm of rainfall on Monday alone. For comparison, the monthly average for rainfall in Dhaka is about 156mm.
In the neighbouring Indian state of West Bengal, authorities went on high alert and evacuated thousands of people to over 100 relief centres but received no damage reports.
Cyclone, hurricane, typhoon - what’s the difference? According to National Geographic, it’s based on the geographical origin of where these dangerous storms are formed.
Jellysmack, WebTVAsia tie up to create Asia’s Mr Beast
Seeking Asia’s next Youtube and Tiktok stars is NY-based Jellysmack, partnering with KL-based WebTVAsia to invest USD30 million in up-and-coming talents over six months to become the “Mr Beast of Asia”. The money is a part of the USD500 million Jellysmack earmarked to fund social media personalities.
The company is also backing its bets on the influencers’ long-term growth by providing the money upfront. This provision will be based on the content creators’ existing and projected future work, with Jellysmack getting a cut of the revenue from the work.
Interestingly, Jellysmack had laid off 8% of its staff in June, right before its backer – Japan’s SoftBank – laid off up to 150 (about 30%) of its Vision Fund staff due to the global tech slump.
A former US military pilot who worked in China now faces extradition after being arrested in Australia. This comes a week after Britain warned former military pilots to stop working with China as concerns were raised about information being leaked to China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The US has also charged two Chinese nationals with attempting to recruit a US law official to help interfere with the ongoing investigation into Huawei, alongside eleven other Chinese citizens in two other spying cases.
In the business world, US-listed Chinese stocks such as Alibaba and Baidu saw share prices slump in response to China’s President Xi Jinping holding on to the reins for a third consecutive term. Investors are concerned that Xi will continue to enforce his administration’s zero-Covid policy, which has damaged the Chinese economy.
Fed likely to go for 4th consecutive hike in November
The US Federal Reserve is expected to be hiking its interest rates on November 2, its fourth consecutive hike of 75 basis points.
A Reuters poll showed that economists believe the interest rate hikes are likely to continue without pause until inflation falls to about half its current level. The economists also believe there is a 65% probability of a recession within the coming year. On a technical basis, the US is already in recession, but in the name of mid-term elections, the definition becomes a moving goalpost.
A basis point (bps) is a common unit of measure for interest rates and other percentages in finance - 1 bps = 0.01%.
No more Yeezys as Adidas finally breaks up with Kanye West
The sportswear giant said it would terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy-branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Just last Friday, Kering SA’s Balenciaga said it had stopped working with Kanye West. It’s a painful break-up for Adidas as the Yeezy partnership is estimated to generate annual sales of between €1 billion and €1.5 billion, roughly 4%-8% of Adidas’s group revenue. An excerpt of Adidas’s statement can be found below.
The silver lining is — Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products, as well as previous and new colourways under the partnership.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
On the low but need to know
Google was slapped with a USD113 mil fine by India’s antitrust watchdog for abusing the dominant position of its Google Play Store. The Competition Commission of India ordered the firm to allow app developers to use third-party payment processing services for in-app purchases or for purchasing apps.
WhatsApp was down globally for a couple of hours yesterday. Meta said the problem had been fixed but did not give a reason for the disruption.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The puzzling Ubernomics — jaw-dropping top line (revenue), USD29 bil in Q2 of 2022, yet it reported losses of USD713 mil.
A British Conservative MP, Bob Seely, saying ‘Insya-Allah’ in an interview. He served for the British army in the Middle East for nearly a decade.