Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Penang proposes to convert abandoned stratified units to into workers’ hostels
Team Malaysia hits 27 medal-target in Hangzhou Asian Games. The "Phantom costs" of owning a house. BKK shooting - mentally unstable teen, Thailand's 10 mil gun problem.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
Singapore’s anti-congestion measure is now costing its citizens as much as SGD146,002 (~RM503,590) to purchase a certificate of entitlement (COE) before buying a vehicle. COE is a system introduced in 1990 to control the number of vehicles in the small country to cap the total number of vehicles to around 950,000. Prospective car owners in Singapore must have a COE to purchase a vehicle. A new standard Toyota Camry Hybrid costs around SGD250,000 in Singapore, including the cost of a COE and taxes. It’s only six times more expensive for Singaporeans to own a Camry compared to their US counterparts.
130,000 individuals get a second chance at life thanks to the amended Insolvency Act, which comes into force today. The amendments include a provision for discharge, with Section 33C providing for automatic discharge within three to five years from the date of a bankrupt's submission of his statement of affairs and abolishment of the mandatory first meeting of creditors to expedite the administration process.
USD4 trillion — billionaire investor Ron Baron’s projection of Tesla’s valuation by 2030. Baron, a huge backer of Tesla, said he believes the EV maker’s valuation will soar four to five times over the next six years. Tesla’s market cap currently stands at USD815 bil. His conviction is high, though — he owns 17.5 mil Tesla shares, which, at the time of the report — were worth USD4.8 bil. He’s betting big on Elon — the investor revealed a more than USD1 bil stake in Elon’s SpaceX.
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3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Haze has come and it has made itself comfortable
As of yesterday morning, five locations recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings with API readings between 101 to 200, namely Bukit Rambai (Malacca), Melaka City, Port Dickson, Batu Pahat (Johor) and Tangkak (Johor). An API reading of:
0 to 50 indicates that the air quality is good
51 to 100, moderate
101 to 200, unhealthy
201 to 300, very unhealthy
Above 300, hazardous.
In response to the annual haze event, Putrajaya, via the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, sent a letter to Indonesia to resolve the transborder haze issue under the cooperation of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.
Former minister of energy, science, technology, environment and climate change and Puchong MP Yeo Bee Yin is calling the Government to enact the Transboundary Haze Act (THA). If not, Malaysia may suffer losses up to RM1 bil in tourism and businesses, the cost of fire-fighting and cloud seeding, cancellation of flights and events, and public health. Yeo stated that the Act would empower the relevant authorities to charge any Malaysian individuals or companies that cause haze in Malaysia, regardless of the origin of the haze. Singapore had implemented a similar law back in 2014.
One of the major contributors to the transboundary haze pollution in the ASEAN region is peatland fire. Over 70% of total peatland areas in Southeast Asia are in Indonesia, while the remaining are found in Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Penang is pushing to convert abandoned stratified units to be converted into workers’ hostels
State housing committee chairman S Sundarajoo said the Penang Government is encouraging companies to take up abandoned or unsold flats and apartments to be converted into workers’ hostels. Apart from the obvious reason for not letting usable assets become victims of urban decay, the state government wanted foreign workers to live among themselves. This way, authorities can monitor and control any social issues.
Sundarajoo also added that the state government is also combating the problem of individuals renting out low-cost and low-medium-cost housing. This is because these affordable units that are heavily subsidised by the Government are meant to help the rakyat by providing them with a decent home and not to be used as a means by them to earn revenue via rental. Apart from formulating a new enforcement method, the state government is also talking to the local government development ministry to amend the sales and purchase agreement (SPA).
Kossan Holdings (M) Sdn Bhd (KHSB), the largest shareholder of Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd and the private vehicle of the founding Lim’s family, had disbursed cumulatively 14.35% of its stake in the glove-making company to founding family members. Five parties received an equal share of the share disbursement, including founder Lim Kuang Sia and three siblings — Lim Leng Bung, Lim Kuang Wang and Lim Kuang Yong — and an undisclosed fifth party. Even after the disbursement, KHSB still holds 35% of the company, which has a market capitalisation of RM3.4 bil.
After the collapse of the planned partial acquisition of Boustead Plantations Bhd (BPlant) by Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), now the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) is coming to save the day by announcing its intention to purchase the remaining share in BPlant that it does not own at RM1.55 per share, valuing the company at RM3.47 bil. At the moment, LTAT and its wholly owned subsidiary Boustead Holdings Bhd (BHB) hold a combined 68% in the plantation company.
This is rather perplexing as the intention of the deal with KLK was to provide liquidity for LTAT to meet its obligations. PM Anwar said earlier that RM300 mil had been allocated to LTAT to address its liquidity issues and another RM2 bil by year-end to “save” LTAT. Now that the deal is aborted, LTAT has to fork out RM1.15 bil instead. What has changed?
Japan’s Daiso will invest RM1 bil to build its largest global distribution centre (GDC) in Port Klang and this GDC will be the second international hub after China. Once completed in May 2026, the 130,000 sf GDC will handle the logistics of Daiso’s products from China and Japan to be distributed to 22 countries in Asia and the Middle East.
Benefitting from this is a joint venture (JV) between Sunway Construction Group Bhd (SunCon) and Kajima (M) Sdn Bhd, which had won the RM595.38 mil contract to design and build the GDC.
PN17 designated Capital A Bhd had requested Bursa Securities to extend its dateline in submitting its regularisation plan to Dec 31, 2023. This will be the third extension request. Previously, Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes was confident that Capital A would be exiting its PN17 status by the end of this year. Third time’s the charm, they say.
Team Malaysia hits target of 27 medals at the Asian Games
As of yesterday evening, Malaysia ranked 16 in the standings with 3 gold, 5 silver and 16 bronze medals. With four days of competition remaining in the Games, Malaysia is assured of getting three medals with three finalists in squash — men’s and women’s singles and mixed doubles.
Space industry may be the next big thing in the country
The Malaysian Space Agency (Mysa) is reaching out to both public and private sectors to work together to build our rocket launch site. Mysa director-general Azlikamil Napiah said that if the feasibility study is satisfactory, the construction of the launching facility could begin by 2026/2027. SpaceM in the making?
Johor Menteri Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi officiated the expanded Senai International Airport
The expansion project that cost RM11.9 mil resulted in the airport being able to cater to up to 5 mil passengers per annum from the previous 4 mil passengers per annum capacity. MMC Corporation Bhd via Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd is the owner and operator of the Senai International Airport, which is the only privately owned commercial airport in the country.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Bangkok shooting updates
The 14-year-old teenage boy who allegedly killed two people in a Bangkok shopping centre used a blank-firing gun that was modified to fire real bullets. The suspect told police that voices in his head told him to shoot. Previously, he was undergoing treatment for mental illness but had stopped taking medication. He is currently undergoing psychiatric testing to determine whether he is fit to stand trial. The police had also arrested two men accused of selling the blank-firing pistol to the suspect.
This incident came a few days before the first anniversary of a daycare shooting, which was one of the deadliest massacres in modern Thai history that saw an ex-policeman killing at least 35 people with a gun and knife. Instances of gun violence have increased in recent years as the nation is experiencing an influx of legal and illegal weapons, making it one of the highest gun ownership rates in Southeast Asia. Thailand has approximately 10 mil guns in circulation — that’s one gun for every citizen.
Oyo - India’s tech unicorn looking healthy
Oyo Hotels, the hotel booking platform from India and seen as India’s Airbnb-equivalent, is set to report its first-ever quarterly profit after tax (the good kind, generally accepted kind of profit - not the syiok sendiri adjusted, adjusted, adjusted profits commonly practised today by loss-making startups that are trying hard to appear profitable), ten years after its founding. Following a healthier performance, the company is in talks with alternative asset giant Apollo Global Management Inc. to refinance a USD660 mil loan as it seeks more time to cut its debt after a delay in its IPO. The company said that its profitability has attracted financiers offering “cheaper financing options”.
Oyo, which is 47% owned by SoftBank, was once valued at USD10 bil and filed for an IPO in 2021 but postponed it as tech valuations started collapsing globally.
Blackberry to split its business units and IPO
Been a long while we have not heard of this name, and it is no longer the same Blackberry we once grew up with - it’s now an enterprise software provider The Canadian tech company announced it would separate its Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity business units, and targets an IPO for its IoT business next year. Its once iconic Blackberry phone, which has been around for two decades, is now defunct as the company decommissioned its infrastructure early last year and has been trying to sell its legacy patents related to its mobile devices.
Last week, the company reported a quarterly revenue of USD132 mil - IoT contributing USD49 mil and cybersecurity revenue at USD79 mil. Its market cap now stands at about USD2.3 bil, a fraction of its worth of more than USD30 bil back in 2010.
Ready to buy a house and think that you have factored in all costs? Add in “phantom costs”, which include costs such as a down payment on the home, interest paid to the bank, opportunity cost of buying a home as opposed to investing in other things, etc. Prominent personal finance author Ramit Sethi, who wrote the book “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”, said he adds 50% per month to the cost of owning a home as these phantom costs are mostly invisible until they appear. A better option? Rent or buy Bitcoin. Not financial advice.
Apple released a software update on Wednesday to fix the bug that caused the new iPhone 15 Pro to overheat. Apple said the overheating issue was due to a software bug and denied that the titanium frame was responsible., The Pro is the first iPhone to be made with a titanium body.
Taiwan will be investigating 4 Taiwanese firms that helped Huwai Technologies Co. to build infrastructure for its network of chip plants across southern China and whether they violated any US sanctions and exceeded the scope of work approved by Taipei. This comes after the recently launched Huawei Mate 60 Pro, which shocked the West on China/Huawei’s chip progress.
Weekend Read: 100 Tips for a Better Life
A comprehensive list consisting of tips covering areas of possessions, work, relationships, compassion, etc. When it comes to these kinds of lists or any life advice for that matter, only take those that resonate with you. Apply those that will improve your life.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Will our neighbours come to join us in the already tight property market? The team at MrMoneyTV went to find out in their recent trip down south.
On the 4th of October 2011, Steve Jobs tragically passed away, succumbing to his illness. His commencement address is one of my favourites — likely because I’ve also read his biography four times.