☕️ Mamee Monster founder passed away at 96
RM15.2 mil insurance claims paid out daily in 2021, 75% due to motor claims. World's first clinical trial of lab-grown blood transfusion in humans. Liverpool FC up for sale.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD1.9 bil (RM9.01 bil) — the Powerball jackpot in the US, and the odds of any given ticket’s winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million. How did the jackpot snowball to such size? Apart from no one winning it in the past three months, the US Federal Reserve indirectly contributed to this gargantuan jackpot through increasing interest rates that affect the annuity payment of the prize — explained here.
RM9.8 bil — the amount of gross direct premiums collected in the first six months of 2022, an increase of 10.3% compared to the same period last year. However, underwriting profit contracted by 21.2% to RM 810 million, primarily due to losses in the motor, medical and health Insurance business, according to the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM). The industry paid out RM15.2 mil of claims daily in 2021, with motor representing 80 of the claims, although this segment only contributed 44% of the total insurance premium.
80.4% of Malaysian drivers want a dashboard camera to be a standard device for vehicles, according to a survey conducted by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) recently. Which one is good? List below.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
GE15 daily digest
Hot seat review: P096 Kuala Selangor
This semi-urbanised electoral district has been a notorious swing seat, changing hands between Barisan Nasional (BN), PAS and Pakatan Harapan (PH) since the 2008 general election. A predominantly ‘Malay’ seat, with about two-thirds of its electorates being Malays, the seat was always won by Malay leaders since its inception in 1955. On paper, it will be a four-corner fight, but realistically, only two candidates have a chance to win the seat – Tengku Zafrul and Dzulkefly Ahmad.
On one side, the current finance minister, Tengku Zafrul, is representing Barisan Nasional (BN) as the poster boy of a new wave of fresh candidates from BN. A win is crucial for both Tengku Zafrul and BN in their bid to topple PH’s dominance in Selangor. However, given the internal fighting between BN’s grassroots due to Zahid Hamidi’s decision not to nominate Selangor BN’s chief, Noh Omar as a candidate in Selangor, it may dampen Tengku Zafrul's probability of winning.
On the other side, Dzulkefly Ahmad is the incumbent, aiming to retain the seat for PH. Unfortunately, out of the three times, he contested in Kuala Selangor, he narrowly lost once in 2013. So, it is not a sure win for the former health minister, but a home advantage does have its perks, having served the Kuala Selangor constituency for about 15 years.
So, how to win in Kuala Selangor? Assuming the Malay votes are split in half to each side, the candidates need to focus on the remaining one-third of non-Malay votes, convincing them with concrete initiatives to alleviate the people's economic life and solve the severe flooding issues.
Former PM and Perikatan Nasional (PN) chief, Muhyiddin Yassin announced that if they successfully conquer Putrajaya, his first act will be to announce public holidays on Sunday – for Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor and on Monday – for the rest of the country. Muhyiddin said that this would allow the rakyat to vote in peace without worrying about the need to apply for work leave.
On the other hand, PH made a pledge to take over the maintenance work for low-cost flats from the existing joint management bodies or management committees if they decisively win the GE15. The potential move, which will cost not more than RM1bil, will ensure the days of the flats’ inhabitants living in sub-standard dirty conditions are over.
Imprisoned Najib Razak is making cameo appearances on social media by posting a few tweets on Twitter, specifically commenting on issues related to GE15. The Prisons Department said, “No statements can be issued by prison inmates.” Would Najib get a slap on the wrist for this? It is unclear whether the posts are from the man himself or via an administrator. But, if it is from him, he sure knows how to bypass the prison’s firewall.
RM2bil flood mitigation project awarded through direct negotiation, Rafizi Ramli claims
Pandan constituency seat candidate Rafizi Ramli made another exposé via a live stream on Facebook, stating that the Environment Ministry directly awarded an RM2 bil flood mitigation project to a company called Mangkubumi Sdn Bhd. The company, with no financial history, is allegedly linked to former Baling MP Azeez Rahim. Environment Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has denied these allegations.
Court case updates:
In Najib Razak’s misappropriation of RM2.28bil 1MDB fund, the former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping revealed that the former premier was referred to as ‘Optimus Prime’ in her interactions with Jho Low via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) in 2014. Joanna also stated that Jho Low always insisted that Najib’s name should be concealed for monies that are coming into his accounts. However, Joanna repeatedly stated that foreign exchange transactions could not be hidden from Bank Negara.
Putrajaya is resuming its suit against National Feedlot Corporation (NFC), whose chairman, Salleh Ismail, is the husband to former Wanita UMNO chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, to recover about RM250 mil in loan payments and interest from the company. Previously in May 2022, the court allowed both parties to settle the suit outside of court, but it did not happen.
NFC was at the centre of the Cowgate scandal, where public funds were siphoned out from a project that was intended to help the country to achieve 40% self-sufficiency in beef production by 2010. Chronology of NFCorp issue here by The Star.
Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah is appealing to overturn the High Court’s dismissal of her defamation suit against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown. Back in 2018, the Terengganu Queen filed an RM100mil defamation suit against Rewcastle Brown for making derogatory statements about her in the ‘Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose’ book.
News from the corporate floors:
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is looking to sell a minority stake in its planned renewable energy unit in order to raise about RM4.74bil that will be intended towards its expansion into the renewable sector. According to the sources quoted by The Edge, this proposed sale is not guaranteed yet and no financial adviser has been appointed thus far.
Mamee founder Pang Chin Hin passed away at the age of 96. His legacy is sure to be remembered by many as he left a series of excellent products such as Mamee, Double Decker's crackers and Mister Potato snacks that will continue to be enjoyed by current and future generations.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Firing and Rehiring
Twitter: you’re fired, you’re rehired
A few days after laying off half of its workforce, Twitter is making a quick u-turn and reaching out to dozens of employees it fired to return. 2 reasons given for the rehiring, according to sources - they were laid off by mistake and management realised that their work and experience is needed to build features Elon Musk envisions.
Meta - mass layoff coming soon
The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc will begin large-scale layoffs this week, which will be announced as early as Wednesday. The number of staff to be axed could be the largest to date at a major tech corporation. Meta has more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. Meanwhile, Zuck continues to burn money in the metaverse, having spent USD36 bil so far and warned investors that losses from Reality Labs, its metaverse arm, will grow significantly in 2023.
The only person that couldn’t be fired? Mark Zuckerberg himself. Meta’s share has a dual-class structure - Class A and Class B, with the latter having a disproportionate 10 votes per share versus the former with only 1 vote per share. Zuck controls 90% of Class B shares - job secured.
The Return of POTUS Trump?
Former US President Donald Trump has given his strongest hint yet that he plans to run for president once more in 2024. He teased a crowd in his speech during a rally that an announcement would come “very, very soon”, and he did not want to confirm then and there to avoid taking the spotlight from the midterm election candidates that he was backing. Some analysts suggested that Trump planned his candidacy announcement post-midterm election to capitalise on Republicans’ expected success.
Watch: Trump teasing his 2024 presidential candidacy.
Explained: What is the US midterm election all about.
World’s first lab-grown blood transfusion in humans
A research project by teams in Bristol, Cambridge, London and at the UK’s National Health Service Blood & Transplant has conducted the world-first clinical trial of blood grown in a laboratory transfused into two people, with further tests to be conducted in at least 10 healthy volunteers. For a start, only tiny amounts are used (i.e. a couple of spoonfuls). To manufacture the blood, it first needs actual human blood to extract stem cells capable of becoming red blood cells and then taken to cultivate in the lab. The whole process takes about three weeks.
This method is far from replacing human blood donors, but its ultimate goal is to manufacture ultra-rare blood groups that are hard to obtain to treat conditions such as sickle cell anaemia.
Kyiv preparing for mass evacuation over Russian attacks on energy infrastructure
Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, is making emergency preparations to evacuate three mil residents if the city loses electricity as Russian forces have been bombarding Ukraine’s power plants, damaging nearly 40% of its energy infrastructure. This is particularly concerning as the harsh winter is setting in. The city is setting up 1,000 heating shelters that double as bunkers. However, it might not be sufficient for all Kyiv’s residents.
Airbnb is introducing a new element to its service- transparency. An update in December will “display total price” to avoid users getting caught by surprise with hidden fees (i.e. cleaning).
Watch: Airbnb’s CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky demo-ing this feature
Fancy owning a football club? Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group is putting the football club up for sale. It acquired the club in 2010 for close to USD343 mil. According to Forbes, the club is worth USD4.45 bil.
Fun fact: NBA superstar LeBron James owns a 2% stake in Liverpool
Heavy rains and stormy weather have caused a passenger plane in Tanzania to crash into Lake Victoria, Africa’s biggest lake, killing at least 19 of the 43 people in the plane.
Watch: Rescue mission of the plane floating on the lake
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Warren Buffett’s portfolio in 1 picture as of Q2 2022
The insane amount of cash Apple generated in its Financial Year 2022 (FY2022).