Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ LGE to sue Tajuddin over turning MOF office into 'tokong Cina' remark
Tun M's GTA wants to work with both PH and PN. Mark Zuckerberg's metaverse projects burnt USD9 bil in 2022. Musk-Twitter - signs of the USD44 bil deal coming to a closing.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Malaysian gamers are expected to pay 20-40% more for games on Steam in the coming months as the gaming platform has recommended new price values for games on the platform in different currencies. Valve will not be enforcing these price changes — it’s just a reference for game publishers on its platform.
Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) sold RM2.87 bil (USD605.9 mil) worth of equities in the second quarter of 2022 (2Q2022) and was the top institutional seller on Bursa Malaysia, according to Bursa Digital Research.
300,000 — the number of paintings sold or donated by artist Steve Keene, the “assembly-line Picasso,” since the early 1990s. Keene said he could make between 50 and 200 paintings daily, depending on the size of the pieces he is working on. Follow his Instagram here.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition announced eight candidates from Pejuang who will contest the parliamentary seats in the 15th General Election (GE15). Tun Mahathir Mohamad said the coalition is expected to contest more than 120 seats in GE15 and wants to work with both PH and PN.
DAP Secretary-General Anthony Loke explains why Bentong incumbent MP Wong Tack was dropped (running as an independent to defend his seat) by the party in favour of Young Syefura Othman - he is less popular compared to Young Syefura with 55% of people in Bentong dissatisfied with him in a survey commissioned by DAP.
The team at Malaysiakini released a comprehensive and interactive guide on GE15. Check it out here.
Court cases updates
Najib Razak’s legal challenge over the Prisons Department’s refusal to allow his request to attend Dewan Rakyat proceedings has been dismissed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. Why? Because of the dissolution of Parliament on Oct 10. Judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid said the application is now academic and has no merit.
Muhammad Shafee Abdullah will know his fate today — whether he needs to enter his defence on charges of money laundering involving RM9.5 million allegedly received from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and making false declarations to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) today.
The same goes for incumbent Muar Member of Parliament Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman — the Kuala Lumpur High Court will deliver its decision on whether the MP will be acquitted or ordered to enter his defence on charges of abetting in criminal breach of trust (CBT), misappropriation of assets and money laundering.
Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng had issued a lawyer letter to the controversial UMNO leader, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, for his accusations that Lim had turned the Ministry of Finance into a Chinese temple when he was the finance minister. Watch the said interview with Tajuddin here.
Former attorney general Tommy Thomas filed an originating summons (OS) to seek a declaration that an eight-member task force formed by the government to investigate claims made in his memoir is an unlawful body. He also sought for a declaration that the report prepared by them should be considered an illegal document.
CTOS Digital Bhd posted a healthy net profit of RM22.76 mil for 3QFY2022 ended Sept 30, 2022, which is a 95% increase from a year earlier. The results were driven by higher revenue and share of profit from associates. CTOS Digital declared an interim dividend of 0.6 sen per share, payable on Dec 14.
Gamuda Bhd has been appointed as the main contractor for the TaoYuan City Underground Railway Project package by Taiwan's transportation ministry and state-owned railway company Communications’ Railway Bureau to construct an underground rail track and commuter station. The contract is worth NTD14.5 billion (RM2.13 billion). The group is expected to receive RM1.28 billion (60%) in revenue from the contract as it is a 60:40 joint venture with a local company.
Berjaya Food Bhd plans to open 35 to 40 new Starbucks outlets across Malaysia in the current financial year ending June 30, 2023 (FY2023), bringing the total number of outlets to almost 400. As of June 30, 2022, Berjaya Food's annual report stated it operates 356 Starbucks outlets across Malaysia.
Kelana Jaya line LRT commuters can rejoice as Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd (Rapid Rail) will receive 19 new four-car train sets for the Kelana Jaya line. However, the train sets will arrive in phases from June 2023 to December 2024 — about one set per month. Rapid Rail is also awaiting spare parts from its suppliers, which has been delayed again. The spare parts are expected to arrive in May 2023. The train frequency is likely to return to three minutes by September 2023.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse ambition keeps burning money in reality
Facebook parent Meta reported a dismal third-quarter performance — net income crashed 52% year-on-year (YoY) to USD4.4 bil, and operating margin shrunk from 36% to 20%. The culprit? Reality Labs — the division in Meta that runs its metaverse and virtual-reality projects. Reality Labs incurred losses of USD10.2 bi in 2021, and year to date, it lost another USD9.4 bil. With nearly USD20 bil burnt on its metaverse projects, Reality Labs only reported USD285 mil in revenue for the quarter. Zuckerberg’s commitment towards the metaverse means the losses will keep piling for the foreseeable future, as he mentioned during the earnings call that the division’s expenses will “increase meaningfully” in 2023.
Meta’s second straight quarterly decline sent its stock down by nearly 20%, wiping out USD67 bil in its market cap. Zuck got ‘poorer’ in 2022 as 61% of his wealth was wiped off, making him worth USD48.9 bil yet still the 23rd richest person in the world.
Meta’s losses are a lot bigger if one considers its share buybacks. Having spent USD45 bil in 2021 and USD21 bil in 2022 on share buybacks, Meta is sitting on a USD42 bil loss, with its share price hovering around USD100 currently. Will Meta’s bet on the metaverse pay off?
Watch below what burning USD19 bil+ has delivered for Meta so far.
Musk-Twitter deal - the end is near
Signs of the deal is coming to a close:
Elon Musk changed his Twitter description to “Chief Twit.”
A video (below)of him walking into Twitter’s San Francisco office carrying a porcelain sink and making a dad joke out of it.
His bankers have started sending him USD13 bil in cash to finance the acquisition.
If there are no further surprises, Twitter will be suspended from trading today on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as Musk faces a court-imposed deadline of 28 Oct to close his USD44 bil acquisition of Twitter.
As this contentious deal comes to a close, Musk has another fire to fight at Tesla — the EV maker is under federal criminal investigation over claims that its Autopilot technology is capable of “self-driving” but qualifies it by noting that it is not “autonomous”. No matter how Tesla spins it, the average person will interpret self-driving as autonomous.
Ye (fka Kanye West) escorted out from Skechers office
Now that Adidas has dropped Ye, is he trying his luck with Skechers? The rapper showed up unannounced and uninvited to Skechers corporate office, made unauthorised filming, and was subsequently escorted out by Skechers executives. Skechers was quick to add in its statement that it has no intention to work with Ye. He’s getting cancelled by brands (for fairly good reasons) after he debuted a shirt that said “White Lives Matter” at a Paris fashion show and made antisemitic comments. He claims in an Instagram post that he lost USD2 bil in one day after major brands (i.e. Gap, Balenciaga, Vogue) cut ties with him.
China, specifically Shanghai, has started administering an inhalable Covid-19 vaccine in what appears to be the world’s first. Good news for those who are unvaccinated and have trypanophobia (extreme fear of needles).
Apple says it will comply with a new European Union law that attempts to reduce e-waste by mandating electronic devices to follow a common charging standard by 2024 — using USB-C for its iPhone. Apple refused to answer whether this will be EU-exclusive.
During a talk at the Vatican that covered a wide range of topics, Pope Francis warned against watching online pornography, warning that “the devil enters from there” and said that even nuns and priests give in to this temptation.
Rihanna is returning after a 6-year hiatus from music. The new solo song, Lift Me Up, will drop today and will be on the soundtrack for Marvel’s sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Listen to a short clip of the song here.
Whilst taking time off from music, she was building a business empire — launching fashion collections, a lingerie line (Savage x Fenty) and a makeup brand (Fenty), making her a billionaire.
The world, especially Indians, cheer for the first-ever Asian prime minister of the UK. This Al Jazeera op-ed piece shares a different view, a pessimistic one on Rishi Sunak’s appointment that it represents the status quo and is unlikely to herald any meaningful changes.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
How robbers and burglars use social media to rob influencers. It can happen to anyone who shares too much on social media.