Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ MACC investigating the SDs supporting Zahid Hamidi to be PM10
BNM hikes OPR by 25 basis points to 2.75%. Elon Musk to slash Twitter's workforce by half. The longest passenger train in the world - 1.2 miles.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Bank Negara Malaysia has raised the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 bps to 2.75% — the fourth consecutive rate hike. The central bank said the hike was needed to control inflationary pressures amid the country’s strengthening economy. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) went three notches higher, announcing a 75 bps rate hike.
Gone in 120 seconds — the time it took for the top executives of Adidas, Europe's largest sportswear manufacturer, to make their final decision to cut ties with Kanye West after the latter’s antisemitic remarks. The end of the partnership is expected to eat into Adidas’ profits — about USD246 mil.
1.2 miles (1.9km) — a new world record for the longest passenger train, set by Switzerland's first railway, Rhaetian Railway. The Swiss transport company formed 100 cars stretching over 1.2 miles to celebrate its 175th anniversary. Perfect for a James Bond or Mission Impossible scene.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
GE15 Daily Digest
Hot seat review: P107 Sungai Buloh
Before we start, Sungai Buloh is a relatively ‘young’ constituency, a seat that was created as a result of the re-delineation exercise conducted in 2018. Sungai Buloh is a predominantly Malay seat (68.1% based on the 2018 electorate) situated in a densely urbanised area.
In 2018, PH won 55.97% of the votes by fielding Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) co-founder Sivarasa Rasiah and obtaining a decisive 26,634 majority votes over other candidates. GE15 candidates need to see that racial-based politics does not work here, but ideology-based politics and exemplary candidates’ profiles will play a factor.
For GE15, although it has not been finalised how many sides will be fighting for the seat, the main ‘fighters’ for Sungai Buloh will be PH and BN. BN is nominating one of its high-profile candidates, Khairy Jamaluddin. Some will say the move is an act by Zahid Hamidi to kill Khairy’s political career, but one should not dismiss Khairy on the get-go.
PH, on the other hand, will abandon the incumbent for a more controversial candidate in the form of Ramanan Ramakrishnan, former MIC treasurer-general embroiled in a fraud case. There were calls from various factions, including from Rafizi Ramli, to reconsider PH’s candidate for Sungai Buloh, especially after Khairy’s candidacy announcement. Still, PH’s leader, Anwar Ibrahim, had a different view, and he decided to retain Ramanan’s candidacy.
Zahid Hamidi is still not off the hook in regards to the leaked ‘surat akujanji’
Following the leaked ‘surat akujanji’ that bonded UMNO’s election candidates to support the party president, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, as the prime minister candidate, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) responded by initiating a probe on that matter. MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki said that the case would be investigated under Section 23 of the MACC Act for abuse of power, and certain individuals may be called in for questioning.
RM222mil to Penang – caretaker PM Ismail Sabri assured that almost 1,000 affordable housing units, which could be fetched as low as RM45,000, will be available for residents in Seberang Prai to buy. In the same ceremony in Penang, which was also attended by housing minister cum candidate for Kepala Batas seat, Reezal Merican Naina Merican, PM Ismail Sabri also announced three major projects for Penang, namely a 700-unit People’s Housing Programme (PPR), a mosque and a youth centre. The trio of projects are worth RM222mil.
Relief for 122 house buyers as they won the suit against the developer
122 house buyers in Cyberjaya will pocket RM50,000 each, on top of other damages, such as late delivery, from the construction company, Wawasan Rajawali Sdn Bhd, for misrepresentation. The house buyers claimed that the developer had misrepresented its property development project as a mixed development comprising residences, a hotel, a shopping mall and a central park, via its brochures. However, upon completion of the project, there was no hotel or commercial development presence. Wawasan Rajawali is a wholly owned subsidiary of OSK Property Holdings Sdn Bhd, the developer for Ryan & Miho at PJ Section 13.
Rotten apples come from the same tree – in two tales
Company directors lying to regulators
A tale resembling the episode we had with Serba Dinamik, two former directors of Silver Bird Group were sentenced to a one-day jail and an RM500,000 fine each for knowingly allowing false statements to be furnished to Bursa Malaysia. The duo, Jackson Tan Han Kook and Derec Ching Siew Cheong, furnished false statements in the company’s unaudited quarterly financial results for the financial periods ended Oct 31, 2010, and Oct 31, 2011.
In a case mimics the KPMG-1MDB case, Grant Thornton Malaysia’s managing partner C R Narendrakumar was charged with laundering RM115mil four years ago, in 2018. Narendrakumar allegedly transferred the money from Sabah Forest Industries’ CIMB current account to a CIMB Islamic fixed deposit owned by the same company via twelve transactions. Narendrakumar was charged as the “receiver and manager” appointed by Grant Thornton Consulting Sdn Bhd to represent Sabah Forest Industries.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Elon Musk goes on a diet on Twitter’s workforce
3,700 workers, or half the workforce of Twitter, will be eliminated to drive down costs following Elon Musk’s USD44 billion acquisition, which Musk said he overpaid. The affected staffers will know their fate today. Musk is also quite old school as he intends to reverse the company’s existing work-from-anywhere policy. He needs results, and he needs them quickly. He has got his eyes on perfecting the core product.
“Software engineering, server operations & design will rule the roost.”
Digital bank Chime is also cutting its workforce
Chime was one of the first neobanks to hit EBITDA profitability, a milestone it shared when it hit USD14.5 billion two years ago. According to TechCrunch, the digital bank is laying off 12% of its workforce, or about 160 people. The financial market uncertainty was a factor in these changes. The bank has also been quiet on its listing plans, suggesting that growth trends may have changed.
Russia blames the West for flaming up the nuclear rhetoric
Russia wants to avoid a nuclear disaster and asks the West to stop “encouraging provocations with weapons of mass destruction, which can lead to catastrophic consequences.” Moscow said it stood by a joint declaration issued together with the United States, China, Britain and France early this year affirming their joint responsibility for avoiding a nuclear war.
The cat’s out of the bag — TikTok workers in China have access to UK and EU user data
Turkey’s inflation hit 85.51% in October 2022, a new 24-year high, after the central bank cut its policy rate despite surging prices. In the last three months, the central bank slashed its policy rate by a total of 350 basis points to 10.5%.
Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was shot in the leg at a rally in Gujranwala. However, he was not in danger.
Ex-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers thinks Joe Biden’s threat to energy companies to boost production or risk paying windfall tax is a bad idea. Summers believes the tax would drive crude prices higher.
Will Meta Platform Inc.’s bet on the metaverse pay off? An article on Vice thinks Facebook’s dominance is imploding.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
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Of iPhones, Macs, iPads and AirPods.
How big is a wolf?