- The Coffee Break
- ☕️ Netflix released its first ever engagement report
☕️ Netflix released its first ever engagement report
Malaysia produced 5.92 mil grads in 2022. Duo cheated RM940K by investment scam - 50% return in 48 hours. Tesla recalls two million cars over autopilot defect - it will be done "over the air".
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
The Dow Jones (DJ) industrial average achieved its first record closing high since January 2022, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both surged over 1% on Wednesday. This occurred after the US Federal Reserve indicated the end of its interest rate-hiking policy and predicted lower borrowing costs in 2024. In its policy statement, the Fed kept interest rates steady, and 17 out of 19 Fed officials projected a lower policy rate by the end of 2024, aligning with expectations.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
812 million — the number of hours people have collectively spent watching The Night Agent Season 1 on Netflix (watch the trailer here). The streaming platform has published a What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report that tells how much people are watching Netflix’s TV shows and movies. The report will be made available twice a year, covering a six-month period (Jan to June and July to December). The report covers more than 18,000 titles. View the press release here and download the report (in Excel format!).
In 2022, Malaysia saw a total of 5.92 mil graduates, marking a 5.1% increase from the previous year’s figure of 5.63 mil, according to the Graduates Statistics 2022 released by the Malaysia Statistics Department. The unemployment rate among graduates was reported at 3.7%. Among the graduates, 53.9% held degrees (3.19 mil), while 46.1% held diplomas (2.73 mil). Graduates' Labor Force Participation Rate (GLFPR) stood at 85.4% as out of the 5.92 mil graduates, 5.06 mil were part of the labor force.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a global surge in dengue cases, with 4.2 mil cases reported in 2022, marking an eightfold increase from the year 2000. Dengue, once considered endemic to tropical and subtropical regions, has now been confirmed in various areas, including Japan, signalling its spread amid the impact of climate change. Experts suggest that the El Niño weather pattern, which elevated sea surface temperatures off the coast of Peru, may be contributing to this year's record of dengue infections. Malaysia saw infections double to about 100,000 this year compared to last year.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Who gets what after the split of the Communications and Digital MinistryDigital Minister Gobind Singh Deo will oversee the Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Sdn Bhd, MYNIC Bhd, and the Department of Personal Data Protection. Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said his ministry would retain the Community Communication Department (J-Kom) along with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). National news agency Bernama, state broadcaster RTM, the National Film Development Corporation (Finas), and MyCreative Ventures will also be under Fahmi’s purview.
The hotcake that has no owner yet — Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB).
PM Anwar Ibrahim reminded all Cabinet members, newly appointed and existing, that there is no honeymoon period. The leader added that the tasks at hand remain — eradicate hardcore poverty, master key areas, drive economic growth and ensure the prosperity of the country.
In the courtroom
Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Adlin Abdul Majid dismissed businessman Goh Hwan Hua’s (MYAirline co-founder) and four companies’ applications to strike out the suit brought by 15 investors over alleged failure to pay monthly redemption value sums from the investors’ outlay of about RM8 mil. The full trial will begin on October 14, 2024, and will be heard over 9 days.
Former first lady (self-proclaimed) Rosmah Mansor has submitted a third representation to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), aiming to have her 12 money laundering charges of RM7,097,750 and five charges for failing to declare income to the Inland Revenue Board struck out. This follows two previous representations submitted on May 3 and August 18, which are still pending a decision from the AGC.
Of fake MCs and investment scams
Fake MCs group bustedKajang OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Zaid Hassan said raids were conducted on Dec 8 and 9 to bust a group selling fake medical leave certificates (MC). Six people, aged between 26 and 51, were arrested. Over 200 sick leave certificates were found, along with 19 clinic receipts. The group was selling each certificate for around RM30 to RM50 a piece. Lucrative business selling pieces of paper, albeit fake ones.
Duo lost RM940K in an investment scamA businesswoman, in her 70s, with her son-in-law, lost RM56,000 and RM880,000, respectively to an investment scam that promised returns of up to 50% within 48 hours. Both victims banked the money into an account after being lured by the unusually high returns but did not receive any news after waiting 48 hours. Don’t be greedy. Never hesitate to call the National Scam Response Centre’s 997 if you feel there’s something amiss. Also, a simple infographic by yours truly done back in 2021 — share with your friends and family.
Sapura Energy Bhd may get out of PN17 status soonThe Practice Note 17 (PN17)-classified oil and gas service provider was given a lifeline by 75% of the financiers of its approximately RM10.3 bil multi-currency financing facilities, which have approved-in-principal for a proposed debt restructuring scheme. Sapura Energy Bhd said it had received written confirmation from the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee, marking a significant milestone for the group to address its unsustainable level of debt and amounts owed to trade creditors, particularly Malaysian vendors who are small and medium enterprises. Earlier in the year, it was reported that Sapura might have found a white knight, bringing in a capital injection of RM1.8 bil. Not much updates since. Where art thou?
Eco World International Bhd announces a final dividend of six senEco World International Bhd (EWI) reported a narrowed net loss of RM37.69 mil for 4Q23 Oct 31, 2023, compared to RM95.73 mil in the same period the previous year. The company declared a final dividend of six sen per share for the quarter, totalling RM144 mil, payable on Jan 14. With the RM792 mil dividend already distributed, EWI's total dividends for FY2023 reached RM936 mil, exceeding the targeted excess cash distribution of RM900 mil set the previous year.View the earnings report here.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
UN General Assembly vote for cease-fire shows global opinionThe 193-member UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, which indicates global opinion. The resolution passed with 153 countries voting in favour and 23 abstaining. The 10 countries voting against it included Israel and the US. This follows a failed resolution in the UN Security Council, which was vetoed by the US.
Biden: Netanyahu must change as Israel loses global supportUS President Joe Biden cites the “indiscriminate” bombing of Gaza as the reason Israel is losing global support and calls for Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu to change his stance on there being “no Palestinian state”. This is an indicator of a new rift forming between the two world leaders, with Biden telling Netanyahu, “Don’t make the same mistakes we made in 9/11.” Instead of just criticising and lashing out, Biden could threaten to stop the foreign aid it provides Israel. Israel is the US’s largest foreign aid recipient on record, having received a total of USD124 bil since 1946.
COP28 sees historic deal to transition away from fossil fuelsThe climate summit saw nearly 200 countries agreeing to begin reducing global consumption of fossil fuels to avert the worst of climate change. COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber called the deal “historic”, sending a signal to investors and policy-makers that the oil age is reaching its eventual end. The move to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels faced strong opposition from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries for decades due to OPEC nations’ reliance heavily on oil export revenues. 🛢💸
How to gauge if the major oil-producing countries, especially in the Middle East are taking this seriously? We could see a ramp-up in deals outside the oil and gas industry by the sovereign wealth funds of these countries, like in the case of Saudi Arabia (e.g. football, golf, esports)
Argentina to devalue peso over 50%, while Bangladesh, Sri Lanka secure IMF loan payout approvalsEmergency economic reforms will see Argentina devaluing the peso by more than 50%, moving the official conversion rate to 800 pesos per US dollar from a previous 365 pesos. For years, the peso has been artificially supported by strict capital controls, with its value dropping about 53% against the US dollar this year. This is the first of several steps to tamp down on hyperinflation in the country.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have secured final approvals from the International Monetary Fund loan payouts, with Bangladesh to receive USD690 mil and Sri Lanka to receive USD337 mil. Both nations face elections next year and the approved loans will help secure each nation against potential risks.
Taiwan’s Gogoro enters India’s EV scene with electric scooters, battery-swap stationsThe Taiwanese EV firm will roll out its CrossOver GX250 scooters and around 120 battery-swap stations in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, and Goa by the middle of next year. The scooters will initially be available for delivery drivers only, with the public able to purchase the scooters by the second quarter of 2024. Gogoro is manufacturing the scooters in the state of Maharashtra with its partner Foxconn, with the two firms inking a deal with Indonesia and two local companies to spend about USD8 bil to manufacture EVs there. Gogoro is backed by Singapore’s state investment firm, Temasek.
Tesla recalls over two million cars after regulator finds Autopilot defectThe “recall”, which will come by way of an “over the air” automatic software update, applies to nearly every Tesla sold in the US since the Autopilot feature was launched in 2015. However, The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration still refers to the update as a recall, stating it was due to an issue with Autopilot’s driver monitoring system. The findings follow a two-year investigation into 956 crashes where Autopilot was initially alleged to have been in use. Tesla conceded that the system’s controls “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse”.
Turkish referee attack: Football in Turkey representative of national social stateElite referee Halil Umut Meler was punched in the face by MKE Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca, then kicked by furious fans storming the pitch after the Ankara-based team conceded a late equaliser against Super Lig rivals Caykur Rizespor. He received hospital treatment and is contemplating quitting, while any further Turkish Super Lig games are indefinitely suspended as a result of the assault. However, while violence has long been associated with Turkish football, the current state of the sport in Turkey is marked as a “reflection of the general social situation” of the nation.
Koca, who is a former Ankara MP and current member of President Erdogan’s ruling party, has since resigned and been placed in pre-trial detention with two others. Still, Turkey’s judiciary has long been criticised for its lack of independence, with the general public believing that his connections will help him against the charges he faces.
Fundraising scandal could see Japanese PM axing ministersJapanese PM Fumio Kishida is expected to announce a cabinet shake-up soon in a bid to manage the fallout from a fundraising scandal that has further lowered public support for his administration. Four ministers and several deputy ministers are expected to be axed, including Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, who holds one of the most powerful posts in government.Explained: What is the Japanese fundraising scandal that has engulfed Fumio Kishida govt?
Thai MP convicted for lese-majesteRukchanok “Ice” Srinork, aged 28, was sentenced to six years in jail for lese-majeste after allegedly posting tweets critical to the monarchy. She pleaded not guilty and has since been released on bail worth USD14,000 on the condition she must not repeat the offence. This follows an incident earlier this week where a 26-year-old was given a prison sentence for shouting at a passing royal motorcade about “a burden imposed on society”. He is now released on bail.
Two-time Emmy winner Andre Braugher dies at age 61The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star who portrayed Captain Raymond Holt died “following a brief illness”, according to his publicist. He was nominated for a total of 11 Emmy nominations throughout his career, winning two for his roles in “Homicide: Life on the Street and Thief.” Rest in peace, Captain Holt. 😢
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Global carbon dioxide emissions have grown six-fold since the 1950s. Which are the biggest contributors?
Understand “attention residue” in order to focus better and pay sharper attention.
Don’t be a corporate clown — clear your leaves before the year ends!