☕️ Nothing escapes inflation - GE15 estimated to cost RM1.1 bil
EPF: RM1 mil min needed to retire in 20-30 years' time. After LCS, PAC to launch proceedings into OPV. Linkedin's social experiment on 20 mil users could have impacted careers.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
If you are retiring in 20 to 30 years’ time, be prepared to save up as Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) chief strategy officer Nurhisham Hussein said the bare minimum to have is at least RM900,000 to RM1 mil after factoring in inflation and medical bills. For those retiring in a few years’ time, the goal is slightly lower — RM600,000 if one chooses to retire in KL. However, it is an almost impossible task for many, as 56% of EPF contributors who are 54 years old have less than RM50,000.
2:01.09 — two hours, one minute and 9 seconds, the time it took for Eliud Kipchoge to finish the 2022 Berlin Marathon. The time is a new marathon world record. Watch Eliud finish his 42km run below.
The extended ship shortage has caused South Korean carmakers’ global market share slightly fell to 7.7% in the first half from a year earlier (7.9%), as only 2.1 mil vehicles were sold by Korean carmakers in the world’s eight major markets.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysia will wait and see before deciding on the next course of action regarding MH17.
Putrajaya will stand on the sidelines and observe the verdict from the Dutch court that will be delivered in November in relation to the downing of the unfortunate flight MH17 in 2014. There had been previous attempts by countries such as the Netherlands and Australia to include Malaysia in the persecution of Russians and Ukrainians that were involved in shooting down the aeroplane.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, commonly known as MH17, was a commercial plane Boeing 777-200ER that was shot down by a Buk ground-to-air missile while flying over eastern Ukraine territory controlled by Russian separatist forces. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members, mostly Dutch, Australians and Malaysians, were killed almost immediately.
The dynamic duo Najib Razak and Zahid Hamidi’s court cases updates:
In Najib Razak’s misappropriation of 1MDB’s fund, the 37th prosecution witness, AmIslamic Bank’s branch manager, R. Uma Devi, testified that RM2.28bil did flow into Najib Razak’s personal account between 2011 and 2014, where the bulk of it, specifically RM2.08bil entered his account within a span of 20 days in 2013. Cash is indeed king for Najib, as RM2.5bil went out of the same account in just over four months in 2013. Among the recipients of the monies from Najib were:
RM20mil to UMNO;
RM2mil to Orb Solutions;
RM303,000 to Semarak Konsortium Satu Sdn Bhd.
As for Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s acquittal by High Court last week, the prosecution is not giving up easily and has filed an appeal against the High Court’s verdict.
A whopping RM1.1bil is needed to hold GE15
A ballpark figure of RM1.1bil was quoted by the Election Commission (EC) for the country to hold GE15, a significant 120% increase in cost compared to the previous general election held in 2018, that only cost RM500 mil. EC shifted the blame to the huge influx of young voters due to the constitutional amendments to reduce the minimum voting age from 21 to 18 years old for the increase in election spending. Currently, there are about 21.16mil registered voters, compared to 14.9 mil voters in 2018. Thus, according to EC, more polling centres and personnel are needed to manage the 42% increase in the number of registered voters.
To put things into perspective, RM1.1bil is about the cost of building a 600-bed Hospital Sungai Buloh, one of the country's flagship hospitals. Democracy is indeed an expensive endeavour.
After LCS, PAC now set its eyes on MMEA’s OPV delay.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, Wong Kah Woh, announced that the committee will initiate proceedings on the delay in the delivery of three offshore patrol vessels (OPV) to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). The committee will summon officials from the Home Ministry and MMEA, which represent the end user of the OPVs and also officials from the Finance Ministry. The contract for the construction of the ships was awarded to THHE Destiny in 2017, of which the first ship should be delivered in 2020. Previously, MMEA stated that the delay in the delivery of the first OPV ship was due to the pandemic.
The PAC should be wary of the latest multi-billion deal in town, which is the tender for 18 light combat aircraft (LCA). Even though the award announcement has not been conducted yet, there were already allegations of kickbacks that started to surface. The current frontrunners for the LCA tender are the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI)’s FA-50 jets and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)’s Tejas fighter jets.
No more one-time password (OTP) system, Bank Negara told the banks.
In a menu of steps announced by the central bank to protect consumers against financial scams, one of them was the ruling for financial institutions to move away from the one-time password (OTP) system that is used to verify online transactions to a more secure form of authentication method. Some major banks had started the migration process, especially for online activities such as fund transfers, payments, the opening of accounts and personal information changes.
As part of Malaysia Airlines’ recent purchase of 20 new A330-900 neo with Airbus, the national carrier will return all six Airbus A380s to the European manufacturer. Previously, Malaysia Airlines had put the A380s on sale, but unfortunately, there was no taker as there was basically no second-hand market for the A380s due to the high operating cost.
In its latest bridging round led by long-time customer Petronas, Malaysia-based drone company Aerodyne Group raised RM137.7mil that will be used to expand into markets such as Europe, Africa, South America and South Asia.
As Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad posted a 13% increase in net profit for the 2QFY23 period, the company announced the retirement of its group CEO, Henry Tan Poh Hock. Astro will internally promote its group COO, Euan Daryl Smith, as the new group CEO.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Russia domestic terror - deadly school shooting
A gunman in all black and a balaclava with a red swastika symbol on his t-shirt opened fire at a school in the city of Izhevsk, about 960 km away from Moscow. There were about 1,000 pupils in the school. At least 13 people were killed (7 children, 6 adults), and the gunman, a former student in the school, killed himself at the scene. No motive was established yet but authorities are calling the shooting “a terrorist act”.
You can watch a video of the scene here. Warning — contains graphic content.
Linkedin’s social experiments on 20 mil users could have affected their careers.
Between 2015 to 2019, Linkedin conducted experiments on more than 20 mil users (users were not informed) that could potentially have affected their livelihoods, according to a new study. The experiments randomly varied the proportion of weak and strong contacts suggested by its “People You May Know” algorithm to test an influential theory in sociology called “the strength of weak ties”, which maintains that people are more likely to gain employment and opportunities through arms-length acquaintances than through their close friends. The study found weak ties to increase the success of securing employment by 2x compared to stronger social ties.
Data shows we are better off seeking favour for commercial opportunities from acquaintances rather than your buddies.
Ebola virus outbreak in Uganda
The east African country reported that 16 people have contracted the highly contagious Ebola virus and four have died from it. The outbreak, announced last week, is raising fears as the vaccine for this particular rare Ebola Sudan virus strain has not been found yet. Ebola is a haemorrhagic fever with high death rates ranging up to 90%. For comparison, the global Covid-19 death rate is 3.4%.
Exxon Mobil O&G projects cost overrun up to USD138 bil
A leaked 2020 study showed that 110 projects that the oil and gas giant invested in between 1998 and 2017 saw cost balloon beyond early-stage estimates costing up to USD138 bil. The Pareto principle is at work here — 21 of these projects accounted for 93% of the overspend, with the worst costing more than 6x its early estimate.
The cost overrun is a gross figure that includes its partners’ stakes in the projects, meaning Exxon did not bear the excessive costs on its own. This study is notable as Exxon has a reputation for keeping costs in check, though the data shows otherwise.
Crypto washout follow-up:
Celsius, the bankrupt crypto lender, is considering applying a crypto solution to repay some of its creditors — issue them tokens. In a leaked audio recording, its co-founder Nuke Goldstein said that it plans to issue “wrapped tokens”, which will serve as an IOU for its “Earn” account customers and can be traded.
Interpol has issued a red notice to locate and arrest Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, who is facing charges for the spectacular collapse of the Luna and TerraUSD cryptocurrencies, wiping out USD60 bil back in May. Welcome to the sane club as Jho Low!
View Interpol’s Red Notice list here.
Indonesia’s flagship carrier Garuda has filed for Chapter 15 Bankruptcy in the US to allow for cooperation between the US and foreign courts if a US financial interest is involved. Garuda and its creditors had earlier agreed to slash its debt by half to USD5 bil. However, it’s being challenged by one of the creditors in the US.
Germans can turn up their heater a bit more during winter - it has signed a natural gas deal with the United Arab Emirates for delivery in December, another step to diversify its dependence on Russian gas. The deal also includes a multiyear commitment to deliver natural gas to Germany from 2023 onwards.
So despised the state funeral of Shinzo Abe, former PM of Japan who was assassinated, that a man set himself on fire to protest against it. The funeral is expected to cost USD11.3 mil. State funerals are reserved for members of the Imperial family, and only once was a politician given the honour.
Read on here about why Abe’s state funeral is so controversial.
The British pound got pounded to its lowest in 37 years, falling to as low as USD1.033 before rebounding, as the market reacted negatively to its USD45 bil tax cuts, drawing criticism as it favours the rich. Tax cuts worth more than GBP55,000 per year will be enjoyed for those earning GBP1 mil a year.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
If there’s one Excel skill you need to learn, learn this.
Hand soap vs sanitiser — which is better?