Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ PMX vs Mahathir, PMX vs Muhyiddin
The performance of 19 IPOs in 2023 on Bursa MY. 2 women paraded naked by mob in India sparks outrage nationwide. Going traditional: After grocer, Grab to acquire SG’s third-largest taxi operator.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
As the fear of recession fades, investors in June pumped USD45 bil into equities, more money than they have in a single month since March 2022. The market continues going up, up, up — with the Dow Jones Industrial Average now extending its winning streak to 9 days.
You can now easily invest in US stocks through M+ Global (regulated by the Securities Commission) with the UI/UX of modern times. When you sign up with the code T30E, you stand a chance to win Apple, Tesla and various other stocks. Also, an exclusive offer to our readers, you will get ONE (1) unit of iShare China Large-Cap ETF worth USD27 (RM122.70, at current price). Terms & Conditions apply.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
The 10,000 Model Y booking milestone turns out to be fake news and the actual number of units booked will remain undisclosed, according to Tesla regional director Isabel Fan. Tesla Malaysia did its official launch event yesterday in Pavilion KL.
Across various developed and developing nations, women are increasingly choosing to delay childbirth. In England and Wales, the average age for women to have their first child has risen to 29, which is more than five years older than it was five decades ago. Closer to us in Shanghai, the mean age is one year higher. In Malaysia, the age is 27.9 years in 2021, from 27.3 years in 2011.
Over 40% of the Malaysian workforce, especially informal workers, lack formal retirement schemes, leaving them without adequate coverage. The country's Employees Provident Fund (EPF) currently covers only 47% of the labour force, falling below the global average of 68% for pension scheme coverage.
Starlink satellites operated by SpaceX have been performing frequent avoidance manoeuvres in low Earth orbit to avoid potential collisions with other objects in space. In a six-month period between December 2022 and May 2023, the satellites executed over 25,000 avoidance manoeuvres, raising concerns about the increasing congestion in space and the risk of a catastrophic collision. SpaceX disclosed this information in a recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission.
It’s how you stay informed. Get the daily newsletter of many Malaysians for free.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
MUDA launches its election manifesto
In this special shoutout in relation to the state elections, we will try to showcase every party’s manifesto for the people to judge. The first round goes to MUDA, the youngest party with fewer seats in the Parliament and state assemblies combined, compared to a Myvi. MUDA President Syed Saadiq unveiled its manifesto yesterday, on what he called a ‘realistic’ manifesto focusing on four main pillars — to be pro-rakyat, to be a voice for the youth, to digitalise the economy and government service and to preserve the environment.
Two key exciting things that MUDA is pushing are the call for the local government elections and the creation of a referendum system where an online petition dubbed ‘Usul Rakyat’ that received more than 10,000 signatures from the local communities must be discussed in the respective state assemblies. This referendum-based democracy is being practised in countries such as Switzerland.
PM Anwar ‘WWE’ Special
PMX vs Mahathir — In response to PM Anwar’s claim that certain files exposing the irregularities committed by former UMNO ministers exist, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad accused the premier that he is abusing his power by threatening to release the files. Mahathir also said that a file on PM Anwar also existed when he was the Prime Minister back then, but he admitted that he never saw that file firsthand.
PMX vs Muhyiddin — Former aide to PM Muhyiddin Yassin stated that the documents showed by PM Anwar were regarding the Sukuk issuance and not the debt relief of Felda settlers, to the tune of RM8.3 bil. Previously, PM Anwar said that the Felda settlers’ debt relief under the Muhyiddin administration never materialised and that his administration provided the debt relief with an initial allocation of RM990 mil.
Putrajaya to create an energy exchange to spur the renewable energy market
It will be a game changer for the local renewable energy market as the Natural Resources Minister Nik Nazmi stated that the Energy Commission is formulating the framework for creating an energy exchange. This energy exchange will catalyse the export of renewable energy (RE) to neighbouring countries and will directly kickstart the greener gold rush to generate more RE domestically for both local and international uses.
To further indicate that Malaysia is doing all the right stuff in regard to RE transition, the World Economic Forum recently placed Malaysia at the top of the chart in the Energy Transition Index, compared to its peers in the Southeast Asia region. The index takes into account the country’s readiness to switch to more environmentally friendly energy sources. Based on Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, Malaysia is en route to attracting more global investments in the RE industry, where as of 2022, the investment figure has reached RM5 tril.
Health Ministry concerns over viral traders that use aquariums as drink containers
Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni had voiced his concern over the action of some traders that utilised aquariums and aquarium pumps as drink containers in order to attract customers. Awang said that his ministry had dispatched teams to look into the matter as it is an issue of food safety and quality.
Gamuda Bhd had acquired a 9.1-acre land in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for a price tag of RM1.47 bil. The acquired land will be developed into a high-end mixed-use high-rise development that would have a gross development value (GDV) of a staggering RM5.1 bil.
Another IPO failed to hit the mark as MST Golf Group Bhd’s share price closed at 78 sen, 3.7% below its IPO price of 81 sen. Of 19 listings this year, MST became the fifth listing to close below its IPO price. Of these 5, 3 were Main Market listings and the other was ACE Market.
View table: IPO performance in Bursa for 2023
The world’s first hydrogen-powered smart tram was constructed by China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Research Institute Co Ltd is Sarawak-bound for its Stage 2 proof of concept (POC) exercise. Given the smart tram passes all its tests, it will initially operate on the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) 27.6km Blue Line, from Rembus, Kota Samarahan, to Hikmah Exchange, Kuching City Centre.
While Sarawak is on cloud nine over potentially being the first operator of this hydrogen smart tram, in 2022, a French city called Montpellier ditched its USD33 mil project to run 51 hydrogen buses in favour of electric buses as the latter would be six times cheaper to run. Could the descendants of the great Sarawak Rajah master the art of hydrogen better than the French? Only time will tell.
The government has green-lit Elon Musk’s Starlink to provide internet services via satellite in the country, especially in remote areas, as around 3% of populated areas in Malaysia are still struggling to get a stable internet connection due to geographical and infrastructure issues. Schools and higher education institutions will be the first group to enjoy the Starlink internet connection. We know the cost of a Tesla Model Y in Malaysia, but we do not know (yet) the cost of Starlink.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Two women paraded naked in India, causing outrage nationwide
A shocking video (warning - disturbing) showing a mob parading two women naked in Manipur, a north-eastern state of India, has sparked widespread outrage in India. The police have initiated a case of gang rape and arrested one man, assuring that others involved will also be apprehended. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the incident, stating that it has brought shame to India and vowing that those responsible will face strict consequences. The Manipur police revealed that the incident occurred on May 4, and a case of abduction, gang rape, and murder has been registered in the Thoubal district — a day after deadly riots broke out between the Meitei and Kuki-Zo tribes in the remote Indian state.
Trump in trouble, again
According to NBC News, special counsel Jack Smith sent a target letter to lawyers representing former U.S. President Donald Trump. The letter mentions three federal criminal statutes, which are conspiracy to defraud the United States, witness tampering, and deprivation of rights under the colour of law. Smith is investigating Trump and his allies for their actions in attempting to reverse his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden. These efforts involved submitting false Electoral College slates, legal challenges to state election results, providing testimony to state lawmakers, and Trump’s pressure on Georgia’s top election official to change the election results.
Read: What is a target letter?
Grab is set to acquire Trans-cab, SG’s third-largest taxi operator
Ride-hailing company Grab is making a significant move by acquiring Trans-Cab, Singapore’s third-largest taxi operator. This acquisition, which requires regulatory permission, will be facilitated through Grab Rentals, the private-hire division of Grab, further strengthening its presence in the transportation market. According to Grab, Trans-Cab has a combined taxi and private-hire-vehicle (PHV) fleet of more than 2,500 vehicles. While The Straits Times quoted an acquisition price in the north of SGD100 mil (RM342 mil), Grab said the figure is inaccurate.
Grab has USD5.8 bil of cash to transform itself from a tech company to a traditional company.
Alibaba injects USD845 mil into Lazada
With Sea increasing its dominance and TikTok’s rapid diversification into e-commerce in Southeast Asia, the Chinese e-commerce giant gave Lazada more dry powder, bringing the amount invested in Lazada to several billion dollars since it took over in 2016 from Rocket Internet. It seems that Alibaba decided to fund it on its own after it failed to raise at least USD1 bil last year from external investors due to valuation. Now that the regulators are off its back, Alibaba could focus on the commercial battles instead.
Shorts: Tech Giants
Netflix gained 6 mil subscribers after it cracked down on password sharing
In May, Netflix expanded its efforts to prevent password sharing beyond immediate family members to bolster revenue following a challenging period in 2022. The streaming giant now has a total of 238 million subscribers and earned a profit of USD 1.5 bil on revenue of USD8.2 bil for the quarter ended June. The streaming giant also had been removing the “Basic” plan in the US in favour of the ad tier, which costs USD6.99 per month. The company is expected to generate USD770 mil in advertising revenue in the US.
TikTok is launching its new subscription-only music streaming service
The service is available in Australia, Mexico, and Singapore, where users can sync the service to their existing TikTok accounts and enjoy listening, downloading, and sharing songs. The closed beta test for TikTok Music is available to participants with a three-month free trial. The subscription prices are AUD11.99 in Australia, MXN115 in Mexico, and SGD9.90 in Singapore.
Amazon wants to take your biometrics
Amazon's palm-scanning payment technology, Amazon One, is set to expand across the US, reaching all 500+ Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market stores by the end of the year. This biometric payment system allows customers to hover their palms above a reader device, which then identifies their unique palm signature and associates it with their payment card on file to process their purchases seamlessly.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺 + WEEKEND SPECIAL COMBO
Oppenheimer and The Age of Nuclear
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is now out in cinemas. There’s no coincidence why it is being released this week - 16 July 1945 marks an important date in human history as the Trinity Test resulted in the world’s first nuclear explosion ever to occur, as portrayed in the movie. Theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer led the Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. A short documentary below on Oppenheimer.
But, the individual that triggered the nuclear race was Albert Einstein, which he regretted later for recommending the US to start its own nuclear programme. Einstein warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 that the Nazis could develop an atomic bomb and recommended “quick action on the part of the Administration”, which kickstarted the Manhattan Project in 1942. Einstein, however, was not part of Oppenheimer’s team as he could not get security clearance due to his political ideology and the scientists involved in the project were even barred from consulting with Einstein.
Three weeks later, after the Trinity Test, the world witnessed its first and only (hope it stays this way) wartime use of nuclear weapons in history — the Little Boy atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945 and a few days later, Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 110,000 people on the low side of the estimation.
Around the time of the Trinity Test, dozens of scientists working on the Manhattan Project signed a petition to President Harry Truman, pleading with him to reconsider using the bombs on Japan. The letter (read here) said that such attacks could not be justified until Japan was told about the weapon and given a chance to surrender.
The destruction in Hiroshima could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t due to the ‘inefficiency’ of Little Boy. Of the 64 kg of uranium in the bomb, only 0.001 kg of it was converted into the energy that caused the destruction. The video below further elaborates on how the bomb was detonated (atmosphere, land, or underground), fortunately, did not turn Hiroshima into a nuclear wasteland.
Watch some nuclear tests below. These bombs are significantly way more powerful than those used on Japan.