Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ #RESETUMNO viral poster showing Johari Abdul Ghani as president, KJ as deputy
ASEAN govts, military including MY hacked by state-sponsored 'Dark Pink'. Startup founder scammed JP Morgan to acquire her company for USD175 mil. Taiwan vs China war simulation - Taiwan wins.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Over USD1 mil — the value of the 2.9m long “Green Coffin” that dates back to the Late Dynastic Period. The artefact, smuggled through Germany into the US in 2008, has been returned to Egypt. The sarcophagus was repatriated after an investigation that lasted several years and was formally handed over by US diplomats at a ceremony in Cairo.
Rents of landed properties in Singapore increased by 10.9% in Q3 of 2022, as reported by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It was the fastest pace of growth since 2007. The top leasing transaction signed in the same quarter was for a good-class bungalow in Dalvey Estate near the Singapore Botanic Gardens with a monthly rental of SGD85,000 (~RM280K).
1,372,000 people in England and Wales identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, census data has revealed for the first time. That’s about 2.3% of its 59.6 mil population. This is the first census, which took place in England and Wales on 21 March 2021, that has asked people about their sexual orientation and gender identity. The section of the census was voluntary.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Trust me, says Zahid Hamidi to UMNO members
In response to the poster depicting Titiwangsa MP, Johari Abdul Ghani as president and Khairy Jamaluddin as Johari’s deputy, current UMNO President, Zahid Hamidi urged UMNO members to trust him in resetting the party, particularly after its humiliating defeat in GE15.
On top of that, clearly seen below that Zahid Hamidi chanted the words ‘Ready to Fight’ right after both Zahid and Khairy greeted each other at the party’s annual general assembly, indicating that there would be no proposed blockade for anyone to contest the top two positions in the party.
Malaysia was under attack on its cyber front
An undocumented state-sponsored hacker group dubbed ‘Dark Pink’ had infiltrated the Malaysian military via phishing emails and advanced malware to obtain confidential government and military data. Malaysia was not the only targetted country, as the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and Bosnia-Herzegovina were also victims of these cyber-attacks from September to December last year. So, now it makes sense why the defence ministry finally needed to formalise a military branch to safeguard us from cyber-attacks. You can view the full report on these cyber-attacks here.
Putrajaya and Razak Baginda filed an appeal against the responsibility for Altantunya’s death
Referring to the Shah Alam High Court’s verdict that Putrajaya, Razak Baginda and the two police officers were liable for the death of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, both the Government and Razak Baginda had filed an appeal against the decision that required the group to pay the deceased’s family RM5mil in compensation. Initially, the family sought an RM100mil compensation amount, but the court deemed the amount to be too excessive.
About palm oil
Jakel Group is trying to play in the big boys’ pool after the company sold its plantation assets to Main Market-listed Harn Len Corp in an RM55mil cash-plus-shares deal. After the conclusion of this deal, Jakel will hold at least a 5% stake in Harn Lern. This is not the first time Jakel has indirectly put itself in the public market game after the company just spent RM67.1mil last week to become the largest shareholder in the public-listed Cypark Resources Bhd, accumulating a 27.33% stake.
Malaysia has been mulling over whether to halt palm oil export to the European Union (EU) after the latter introduced unfair deforestation rules, which was a part of the EU anti-palm oil campaign. We were sure that this big balls’ move came right after Malaysia and Indonesia, which accounted for more than 80% of the global palm oil supply, announced that they would link arms to fight discrimination against palm oil.
The maximum price of eggs will stay
Deputy Domestic Trade and Cost of Living minister Fuziah Salleh told the media that the government was not planning to float the price of eggs according to the market price, at least for now. Putrajaya will still impose price control on eggs until the economy recovers.
Serba Dinamik is trade-able on Bursa Malaysia but just for three days
After the company finally submits its overdue 2022 annual report, the securities of the company can be traded on Jan 13. However, due to the Winding Up Order against the company, the trading of the company’s securities will be suspended on Jan 18. The counter last traded at one sen, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM37.1 mil. Apart from that, in the annual report, chairman Abdul Kadier Sahib stated that he was confident that the company will rise again like a ‘phoenix’.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
A startup founder allegedly scammed banking giant JP Morgan to acquire it for USD175 mil
JP Morgan Chase is suing Charlie Javice, the 30-year-old founder of Frank, a buzzy fintech company, for allegedly lying about its scale and success to entice the banking giant to acquire it. The startup helps students in the US to improve their student loan application process. When pitching to JP Morgan, she inflated the number of customer accounts by creating “fake customers” to the tune of 4.265 mil ‘students’ that did not exist when it only had fewer than 300,000 customers at that time. JP Morgan alleges that she paid USD18,000 to a data science professor to fabricate these accounts and even went to the extent of having them validated by a third-party vendor.
The lies caught on when JP Morgan sent test marketing emails after the deal, and the results were disastrous — only a quarter of the emails were delivered to the 400,00 Frank customers with an open rate of just 1%. Javice received nearly USD10 mil and stood to earn an additional USD20 mil in retention bonus. Javice, named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list in finance in 2019, when asked about the worst advice she ever received, she answered: “Be patient”. How poetic.
Taiwan vs China war simulation - Taiwan stops China invasion but at an ‘enourmous’ cost
The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a prominent think tank, developed a wargame report for a Chinese amphibious invasion of Taiwan and ran it 24 times. In most scenarios, Taiwan was able to defend itself, but it is highly (highly is an understatement) dependent on the support of the US and comes at “enormous” costs (i.e. tens of thousands of lives, economic damage).
Given the high costs of the invasion, the study proposed military deterrence to avoid the war altogether and for Taiwan to adopt the “porcupine strategy”, a strategy where the focus is to beef up the defence and drive up the expense of invasion so high that the invader must reassess invading before proceeding.
Read the report: The First Battle of the Next War - Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan.
Privately owned Subway is in talks to explore a sale that can value the sandwich chain at more than USD10 bil. The company has been owned by the 2 founding families for more than 5 decades. The company had around 37,000 stores around the world as at 2021 (21,000 alone in US) and generated USD9.4 bil in sales in 2021, up 13% from the previous year. Its sales peaked at USD18 bil in 2012 and the company beginning to stumble in the past decade following an aggressive expansion.
Kakao Entertainment Corp (KE) has secured USD930 mil funding from 2 major sovereign wealth funds - Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Pwarp Investment, an investment vehicle of Singapore’s GIC. KE, a unit of South Korean social media giant Kakao Corp, runs a stable of apps that publish popular animated shows and novels. Its online web cartoons, or “webtoons”, are popular at home and in Japan.
ExxonMobil will sell two-thirds of its Thai business to Thailand’s energy conglomerate Bangchak in a deal valued at THB20.1 bil (USD603 mil) and sell its remaining stake later. Under this deal, Bangchak will gain control of a major refinery and a network of 700 Esso-branded stations. ExxonMobil will still maintain its presence in Thailand through a new company selling finished lubricants and chemical products.
Bloomberg reported that Apple is working on making touch screens for its MacBook Pro laptops and is expected to be released in 2025. In 2010, Apple’s founder Steve Jobs wrote off touch screens to Macs, calling it “ergonomically terrible”.
Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX told a US court that it has recovered over USD5 bil in cash, liquid cryptocurrency and liquid investment securities and also plans to sell non-strategic investments that had a book value of USD4.6 bil.
Not so Happy Meal anymore for McDonald’s - CEO Chris Kempczinski warned there will be possible layoffs in spring. In Japan, its Japanese operator announced a third price hike in less than a year as it succumbed to inflationary pressure — inflation in Japan hit a 41-year high.
Weekend Read: The millennials in a sexless marriage
Millennials should be at their sexual prime. Why are so many couples reporting major dry spells? This generation is facing some unique – even unprecedented – obstacles to healthy sex lives.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” feature gone wrong, causing an eight-vehicle pileup, injuring nine people, including a 2-year-old child. The incident happened on the San Francisco Bay Bridge and few hours after Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a triumphant announcement on FSD achieving a “major milestone”. NFSW footage below.
The science behind why we feel so ‘geram’ when seeing cute things. This is called ‘cute aggression’.
Also, car-related incidents in China — a disgruntled hotel guest drove his car through a hotel door and drove wildly around in the lobby after arguing with staff over his missing laptop — watch here. Two days later, a car ploughed into crowds of people at a pedestrian crossing in Guangzhou killing 5 people and injuring 13 others. The driver fled the scene and video footage showed the driver threw fistfuls of cash out of the car. Watch here (warning - graphic)