Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ PAS provocation weekend - of warrior cosplay and rickshaw
MY women's rights restored - auto citizenship for their overseas born children. Former finance minister under MACC investigation over Jana Wibawa probe. For sale: Manchester United, WWE.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
EUR20 bil (RM94.99 bil) — revenue of the biggest luxury brand in the world, Louis Vuitton, in 2022, marking the first time the brand surpassed the EUR20 bil threshold. Its revenue doubled from EUR10 bil just 4 years before. Louis Vuitton is one of the 75 brands owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH, Europe’s most valuable company and controlled by the richest man in the world, Bernard Arnault. An interesting read on LVMH’s 2022 performance — group revenue grew by 23% year-on-year. No recession for the rich.
Read: How Kering, another luxury conglomerate and owner of Gucci and Balenciaga fell behind LVMH
There are 80.7 mil odd lot shares (total value not disclosed), according to Bursa Malaysia Bhd. Shares on Bursa are traded in a specific amount called board lots (1 board lot = 100 shares) and anything less than it is called odd lots. Bursa Malaysia has launched a charity programme called Shares2share scheme, allowing investors to donate listed securities (in board or odd lots) or proceeds from the sale of listed securities to charities supported by Yayasan Bursa Malaysia without incurring any transaction costs. Excluded from this scheme are LEAP market stocks, structured warrants, leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds, non-equity securities, and PN17 securities.
Russia has held at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in Russian-occupied Crimea and Russia itself in at least 43 camps and from as young as 4 months for the “primary purpose” of political reeducation, according to researchers from the Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab. This action might constitute a war crime and a crime against humanity, putting Moscow in clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the treatment of civilians during the war.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Terpaling ditindas - Terengganu PAS conducts an annual event showcasing provocative Islamic warriors’ cosplay
Terengganu PAS organised the annual Himpunan Pemuda Islam Terengganu (Himpit) event last Friday in Setiu. However, the Himpit event turned sempit when the thematic march that was part of the Himpit event included a group of men wearing provocative Islamic warrior attire, much to the public’s displeasure on social media. Meanwhile, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had downplayed the matter by stating that the thematic march was similar to Chinese opera, where actors also carry swords and spears. In this situation, you, the readers, will judge whether the matter is blown out of proportion or just clear-as-day provocation. Side-by-side comparison of Himpit and Ku Klux Clan here — same energy?
Whatever displayed by Terengganu PAS has wrongly placed Islam in an extremist context. In the holy text of Al-Quran, the word ‘war’ was only mentioned six times in 6 verses, and Al-Quran has 6,236 verses (merely 0.1% of the total number of verses). Overall, the Al-Quran's message is one of peace, compassion & justice.
A big win for Malaysian women and their overseas-born children
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution, in a joint statement with Minister in the PM’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman, said the Cabinet had agreed to amend the Federal Constitution to allow children born to Malaysian mothers overseas to obtain Malaysian citizenship automatically. Currently, the Constitution only recognises citizenship through fathers. The proposed amendment will be tabled during the current session of the Dewan Rakyat.
Hard to fathom why such blatant discrimination against women and children couldn’t be corrected by the past administrations. Now, let’s see which MP(s) will reject this amendment and on what grounds.
International trade minister Tengku Zafrul is a suspect in the Jana Wibawa probe
According to a source, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will be calling up Tengku Zafrul, who previously served under the premiership of Muhyiddin Yassin as the finance minister, regarding the RM5.7 bil Jana Wibawa probe. The program was initiated to help Bumiputera contractors during the Covid-19 pandemic. MACC is investigating the allegation that the chosen contractors under the Jana Wibawa program had allegedly deposited RM300mil into the Bersatu party account, whose president is Muhyiddin Yassin.
Additionally, Muhyiddin had confirmed that the MACC had summoned him in relation to the Jana Wibawa probe.
Education Minister: Malaysian education curriculum is on par with Singapore, Japan
Education minister Fadhlina Sidek had stated in the Parliament that the country’s education curriculum is on par with other developed nations, such as Japan and Singapore, based on an internal study conducted by her ministry. However, in relation to the matter, Muar MP Syed Saddiq highlighted growing concerns among parents regarding the inferior quality of the public education system compared to private education. According to Syed Saddiq, Singapore and Japan outranked Malaysia on the global Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), although the Government outspent both Singapore and Japan in terms of the % allocated for education out of the total national expenditure.
When it comes to this topic, we think that the ministry is correct that our curriculum is on par, and there is no immediate need to revamp the curriculum. However, we believe that the problem lies with the quality of education delivery. Teachers at public schools are burdened with unnecessary tasks that negatively affect the overall quality of education.
Currently, the education ministry is moving in the right direction by halting any competitions and celebrations that do not have a major impact on student learning starting from the 2023/2024 school session, which would lead to an immediate reduction in workload for teachers.
The Fisheries Department bans shellfish in several affected areas in Sabah
The Sabah Fisheries Department has taken several preventive measures, including a temporary ban on the harvesting, sale and consumption of shellfish from affected areas (east coast of Sabah), mainly due to the red tide phenomenon. Red tide is a rare occurrence on the east coast, but when it happens, it leads to an explosion in the population of certain types of algae that could be harmful to both marine life and human health.
So why only shellfish is temporarily banned? The harmful algae - Pyrodinium bahamense — that thrived during the ride tide phenomenon bioaccumulates in shellfish and causes harm to people who consume them.
Sime Darby Plantation Bhd reported that for the financial year ended 31 December 2022 (FY2022), the company recorded a year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in net profit of 7.7% to RM2.68 bil. The company attributed the achievement mainly towards the improved performance of its downstream operations Sime Darby Oils (SDO), which enjoyed a 61% increase in profit before interest (PBT) to RM859mil.
Taiwan-based Elna PCB had invested approximately RM1 bil to construct a new manufacturing plant in Penang to manufacture printed circuit boards for automotive, server, networking, laptop, desktop and consumer electronic device products.
Lynas Rare Earths Ltd stated that the closure of its Malaysian unit’s cracking and leaching part - following Putrajaya’s stance that the cracking and leaching process, which involves radioactive material, should be moved outside of Malaysia - will result in the loss of hundreds of direct jobs.
Alternatively, the science and technology minister Chang Lih Kang stated that if Lynas was willing to ship the ‘low-risk radioactive waste’ out of our country, Putrajaya may consider retaining the cracking and leaching plant in the country.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Turkey-Syria earthquake updates
Two weeks since the deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria. The death toll now has surpassed 46,000 people (Turkey: 40,642, Syria: >5,800). The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said search and rescue operations in most provinces have ended. Neither Turkey nor Syria have reported how many people remain missing - many more could still be potentially buried under the rubble.
A video shared recently showed balloons hanging over debris in memory of the children that perished in the devastating earthquake.
The business of sports and gaming
For Sale: Manchester United
At least three parties have submitted their bids to American owner the Glazer family to acquire the football club, namely British billionaire and owner of chemical firm INEOS Sir Jim Ratcliffe, son of former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and hedge fund Elliot Investment Management. The Glazers will not sell for anything less than GBP6 bil (USD7.23 bil). The club, which is publicly listed, currently has a market cap of USD4.3 bil. If successful, this will be the biggest sports deal ever, far ahead of the USD5.2 bil in debt and investment of Man U’s rival, Chelsea.
The Glazers acquired the club in 2005 for GBP790 mil (USD951 mil). It expects to generate up to GBP610 mil in revenue in 2023 and an EBITDA of GBP140 mil.
For Sale: World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.
The controlling shareholder of WWE, Vince McMahon, is looking to fetch as much as USD9 bil for the wrestling company, an asking price 37% above its current market cap of USD6.5 bil. The company is said to have already received offers - Endeavour Group, the owner of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is believed to be a potential bidder.
McMahon is unlikely to get his price tag if USD9 bil. With revenue of USD1.29 bil last year, this translates to 7x the company’s revenue and 23x its adjusted EBITDA, which is at the high end for the entertainment industry.
If you are interested in the business model of a wrestling media company, here is its 4Q FY2022 earnings presentation.
The Saudis - now largest outside shareholder of Nintendo
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) has emerged as the largest outside shareholder of the Kyoto-based gaming company, with a stake of 8.3%, just behind Nintendo’s own holding.
PIF has set up a special unit, Savvy Games with a USD38 bil budget dedicated to making investments in the gaming and esports industry as part of its ambitious plan to diversify the nation’s reliance on oil. Nintendo marks PIF’s third investment in a Japanese gaming company that hit the public disclosure threshold of 5% and Street Fighter maker Capcom Co. Other gaming companies in its holdings: Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive Software and Koei Tecmo Holdings.
In Nintendo-related news, Super Nintendo World theme park has now opened its doors on Friday at Universal Studios Hollywood.
China’s top tech dealmaker goes missing
Bao Fan, one of China’s most prolific tech dealmakers known for overseeing mergers involving Didi and Kuaidi and Meituan and Dianping, has gone missing, according to China Renaissance Holdings Ltd, the investment bank he founded. The firm, in which Bao owns nearly a 50% stake, said they could not reach the executive for the past two days and he did not show up in the office.
In China, it is not uncommon for business executives to go missing of for months, as Chinese authorities can detain suspects without charge or access to legal representation. In one case, Canadian-Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua disappeared in Hong Kong before reemerging in mainland China 5 years later to face corruption charges. Lucky for Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba — he disappeared from the public eye in late 2020 after publicly criticising Chinese financial regulators and reemerged without facing any criminal charges, but his business empire became heavily handicapped by Chinese authorities.
The family of Die Hard actor Bruce Willis has released a statement saying that the 67-year-old actor will step away from filmmaking after being diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which had affected his cognitive abilities. The condition causes the loss of ability to understand or express speech. There is currently no treatment to cure or slow the disease, only steps to manage the symptoms.
Read: What’s FTD? A look at Bruce Willis’s diagnosis
Nestle, one of the world’s largest FMCG companies and the maker of KitKat and Nescafe, has warned that it will raise prices again in 2023, despite an 8.2% increase in 2022 as rising ingredients costs are eating into its margins. Be prepared to pay more for Milo and Maggi Mee at mamak.
The alleged Chinese spy balloon detected over the US has caused heightened security in the US airspace. Another balloon caught recently has been taken down by the US Air Force using a USD400,000 missile. It turned out the balloon was one of the balloons costing USD12 and had gone missing, released by a hobby group
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Another PAS controversy was posted below by ADUN of Jabi from PAS, with little context. AstroAwani producer and host Sharaad Kuttan replied with an appropriately scathing comment to this tweet. Read here to understand more on the historical context of the image.
Drone footage of a faultline in Turkey caused by the earthquake. A fault is a fracture or zone of fractures between two blocks of rock.