☕️ Project Brazen launched by Billion Dollar Whale authors to find fugitive Jho Low
Like husband, like wife - Rosmah uses similar last-minute methods in criminal trial. Petronas paying another RM25 bil in div to Putrajaya. Grab x SingTel, SG's 1st digital bank to go live 5 Sep.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD15 bil worth of Tesla Inc. shares (1.6%) is owned by a group of die-hard retail investors in South Korea, collectively bigger than the holdings of billionaire investor Larry Ellison or investment group T. Rowe Price. Some of Tesla’s South Korean fans describe themselves as “Teslams,” a portmanteau of “Tesla” and “Islam.”
62 operators of National Service Training Programme (PLKN) campsites have either gone bankrupt or are waiting to be declared as such. Utusan Malaysia reported the operators failed to repay bank loans after investing up to RM12 million for each training camp. RM984 million was spent to build the 82 PLKN campsites in the country, but unfortunately, most are now redundant.
Mack Rutherford, 17, is the youngest person to fly solo around the world — it took him 221 hours of flying across 30 countries to get the title! His record-breaking flight covered 54,000 kilometres.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysians do not disappoint as thousands gathered at Dataran Merdeka for the National Day Parade.
Malaysians come in droves to witness the national day parade after waiting for two years to celebrate August 31st properly, greatly due to the pandemic. The turnout was so huge that Rapid KL had to temporarily bar commuters from embarking or disembarking on Platform 1 of the Masjid Jamek station. The joyous event included marches from various government agencies, processions of marching bands and exhibitions of the latest (functioning) military assets. One would say that the LCS is also included in the parade, but due to its ‘stealth’ feature, it was invisible to most.
One surprise cameo of the parade that gets the audiences excited is the infamous Milo trucks, which also took part in the event.
Rafizi Ramli to be summoned in relation to the LCS saga
After Rafizi’s bombshell expose on the LCS saga that the second wife of minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad is involved in the scandal, Abdul Latiff resorted to the legal route in his bid to clear his name by submitting a police report via his special officer. The PKR deputy president will be summoned by the police soon to assist in the investigation. Rafizi will be investigated under Section 500 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Like husband, like wife — Rosmah turns to similar last-minute methods in criminal trial.
In Rosmah Mansor’s RM1.25bil solar hybrid project’s corruption case, she filed an 11th-hour application that could possibly lead to the self-recusal of the presiding judge, High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan. This recusal application was the domino effect that came after the publication of an article by Raja Petra Kamrudin titled ‘Rosmah Mansor Will Be Pronounced Guilty on 1st September 2022’ that includes a 71-page document disclosing the judgement on her case.
Putrajaya’s favourite cash cow is being milked again
Petronas has announced an additional RM25bil dividend payment to the government, on top of the approved payment of the same amount in February 2022, making a sweet RM50bil payment to Putrajaya from the oil and gas giant.
The RM50bil dividend payment is not the biggest money that Petronas has given to the government, as they had previously paid RM54bil to Putrajaya back in 2019. Petronas CEO stated that moving forward, the company needs to spend prudently, but the company is still committed to investing in the future to future-proof its operations towards energy transition.
Possible setback in the nationwide rollout of 5G network.
Malaysia’s telco giants, Maxis and U Mobile, allegedly do not plan to participate in the state-owned 5G agency, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), after the government rejected a proposal for four telcos - Maxis, U Mobile, Celcom Axiata and DiGi - to take up the majority stake in DNB, instead of dividing a 70% pie among six telcos. The four companies stated that they could not justify the minority stake they will have in DNB without having the power to influence the decision-making of DNB.
PM Ismail Sabri is ready to break tradition and take all the limelight as he is considering to table Budget 2023. Ismail is consulting with the attorney general whether if it is permitted by the Constitution and law for a person other than the finance minister to table the national budget.
The nation’s electricity provider monopoly, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), reported a record high quarterly RM19.14bil revenue for 2QFY22, a 53.86% increase YoY. However, TNB’s net profit reduced to RM1.77bil for 1HFY22, in contrast to the RM1.78bil figure recorded in 1HFY21, mainly due to higher tax expenses, that includes the one-off Cukai Makmur.
OctaFX (the company that always features in your social media ads) is included in Bank Negara’s Financial Consumer Alert list, as the company is not authorised to operate nor approved under relevant laws and regulations administered by the central bank.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Pakistan flood damage — USD10 bil
Pakistan’s worst flooding in more than a decade has submerged a third of the country, killed at least 1,136 people and displaced 33 mil (that’s the population of Malaysia) of its 221 mil population. A preliminary estimation by Pakistan’s planning minister shows damages of USD10 bil caused by the floods.
The disaster could not have come at a worse time as Pakistan’s economy is already in free fall. Apart from international aid, Pakistan has received a USD1.1 bil bailout from the IMF to help it avoid defaulting on its debts.
Thailand’s improving tourism fortune
Thailand expects to bring in about THB400 bil (USD11 bil) in the second half of the year as foreign tourist arrivals are expected to surge following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. About 7.5 mil international travellers are expected to arrive in tourist hotspots between July and Dec - an 18.4x jump from a year earlier, bringing full-year arrivals to 10 mil.
Just how important is the tourism industry to Thailand? Prior to the pandemic, the tourism industry contributed 12% to its GDP and 20% of overall jobs. Although 10 mil tourist arrivals seem a lot, it’s a fraction of the 40 mil foreign tourists Thailand received in 2019, generating more than USD60 bil in revenue. Long way ahead for a full recovery.
Using artificial intelligence (AI) to uncover hidden swimming pools leading to higher tax collection.
Google and French consulting firm Capgemini developed software to spot undeclared private swimming pools in nine French regions during a trial in Oct 2021 by combining aerial imagery and land databases, leading to over 20,000 hidden pools discovered. Pools have to be declared under French law as it boosts property value and translates to higher property taxes. This initiative resulted in an extra EUR10 mil in tax collection.
The software is also being considered to be used to identify undeclared home extensions, which also contribute to property taxes. The software will be rolled out nationwide, and with an estimated more than 3.2 mil pools in France in 2020, this is an easy way to raise taxes, especially in a targeted manner from those who have the discretionary income to spend on pools.
Singapore’s first digital bank, GXS, going live on Sep 5th.
Grab Holdings Ltd and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd will roll out their digital banking app next week on Sep 5th. Called GXS, the bank will initially offer a savings account that offers daily interest of up to 1.58% per annum and will target younger users and gig economy workers in the Grab ecosystem. Combined, Grab and Singtel have more than three mil customers and it will go up against Shopee’s parent company, Sea, which also received the digital banking license.
First Asian to become the world’s third-richest person
Gautam Adani, a name unknown until a few years ago, has become the first Asian to break into the top 3 of Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. The college dropout with a fortune of USD137.4 bil now trails behind Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. In 2022 alone, he added USD60.9 bil to his fortune.
Adani, 60, has spent the past few years expanding his vast coal-to-ports empire, venturing into everything from data centres to cement and media. In November, Adani pledged to invest USD70 bil in green energy to become the world’s largest renewable energy producer. Adani’s exponential growth has raised concerns as it was predominantly funded with debt, and his empire is said to be “deeply over-leveraged”.
OnlyFollowers by Twitter - could have been a reality. The Verge uncovered Twitter’s plan to launch an OnlyFans copy but quietly shut it down as it could not effectively detect child sexual exploitation and non-consensual nudity at scale. This was even an idea, as Twitter already quietly allows adult content.
Only on OnlyFans, can one be a millionaire (legitly) in a matter of months or in a month.
Apple has quietly resigned from its seat on the board of directors of Didi, China’s giant ride-hailing company. Apple invested USD1 bil in 2016 and was hailed by Tim Cook as a “great financial investment”. Six years on, the investment has lost at least 80%.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
WaldoJho Low? The authors of Billion Dollar Whale, Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, launched a community-driven project — Project Brazen — to locate fugitive Jho Low. They suspect Jho Low is currently residing in China. Watch the first episode of Project Brazen below on their findings.
Leonardo DiCaprio statistically does not date any woman above 25 years old.