Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ RM3.2 bil, not RM2.6 bil entered Najib Razak's accounts - former BNM governor Zeti
PRN popular votes: PH≈PN. TW: Rapist father of 2 victim daughters sentenced to 702 years in prison, 234 rotan strokes. The reality of unit trust returns. US launches USD1.2 bil carbon removal program.
1. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
PRN popular votes:
PH-BN - 3,399,473 (49.5%)
PN - 3,382,454 (49.3%)
Others - 74,417 (1.2%)
In our system, in terms of determining the winners, popular votes do not matter as the country practises the First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system, where the winning candidate is simply the person who wins the most votes. Read here on the advantages and disadvantages of FPTP and here for other types of electoral systems.
181 reports were received by the police on polling day, with 51.9% (94) of these cases involving MyKad misused to cast votes. Selangor recorded the highest number MyKad misuse incidents, with 48 cases, followed by Penang (20), Terengganu (9), Kedah (9), Negeri Sembilan (6), and Kelantan (2).
There are currently 94 Texas Chicken outlets in Malaysia, with the 100th outlets targeted by the end of 2023. Operated by Singapore-listed Envictus International Holdings Ltd, the group is expected to spend RM159-212 mil in the coming 7 years to hit 200 outlets by the end of the decade, with an average capex of RM1.5-2 mil per store opening. For the 6 months ended 31 March 2023, Texas Chicken’s revenue rose 19.4% to RM131.2 mil.
Other facts: Envictus also operates San Francisco Coffee in Malaysia, which it acquired from government-linked private equity fund Ekuinas for RM24 mil in 2015. The original name of Texas Chicken is Church’s Chicken in the US, named after its founder George W. Church Sr. Do we need to explain further why the company rebranded it to Texas Chicken in Malaysia and in some other parts of the world?
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
TW (trigger warning): Rapist father of 2 victim daughters sentenced to prison, rotan strokes
A 53-year-old cleaner has been sentenced to 702 years in prison and 234 strokes of rotan as he pleaded guilty to 19 charges of rape and 11 charges of sexual assault against his two daughters. However, he will only serve 42 years in prison as the judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently and he will also receive the maximum legal limit of 24 strokes. The accused started raping his two daughters, who were then 9 and 10 years old, in 2018 and has left one of them pregnant.
PRN Drama: Missing ballot papers count discrepancy in Sg Kandis
PH’s Sungai Kandis candidate Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni will file an election petition on the result after it was found that the official number of missing ballots reported was only 110 when it was written as 1,964 in Form 14, the official statement that summarises election results from a polling station and needs to be signed by a presiding officer. The presiding officer said that voters took home the ballot papers.
This discrepancy is significant given that Zawawi lost to PN’s Wan Dzahanurin Ahmad by a thin margin of 167 votes, and the actual recorded figure, which is nearly two orders of magnitude bigger, could have made the difference in the outcome. Watch the incident here when the presiding officer was confronted — observe the body language.
Najib Razak’s RM2.28 bil 1MDB-Tanore trial resumes. Interesting day for the Court - here’s the rundown:
Judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah, the High Court judge presiding this case, disclosed last month that former 1MDB general counsel Jasmin Loo, who is currently being investigated, was a colleague at a law firm about 10-15 years ago. Najib Razak has now filed an application to recuse the trial judge in light of this disclosure.
Also relating to this disclosure, Najib Razak now seeks to nullify this 1MDB-Tanore corruption trial. He is also seeking the Court to discharge and acquit him of all 25 charges.
Former BNM governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz is back to testifying as the 46th prosecution witness. She denied the central bank had any knowledge of the RM2.6 bil in Najib’s account before GE13 in 2013, which Najib alleged in a 2018 interview that Zeti was aware of.
Zeti, however, said there was a June 2013 letter from Najib to seek BNM’s approval to convert RM2.26 bil in his bank account to USD to purportedly return the unused donations and personal gifts to him. She added that there’s “a big difference between RM2.6 bil and RM2.26 bil”. Only after a joint raid conducted with MACC in 2015 was it discovered that actually, a total of RM3.2 bil went into Najib’s account.
Zeti told the Court that her husband Tawfik Ayman, who ran an asset management company in Singapore, was the one who alerted Singaporean authorities via a letter about the USD15.4 mil of funds linked to 1MDB held by his firm.
On sovereign wealth fund news related, Sarawak has announced the appointment of 9 individuals to the Board of Guardians for the Sarawak Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), with former Federal Court judge Sulong Matjeraie as the chairman. The fund will be seeded with an initial RM8 bil and subsequently will receive a scheduled yearly allocation. May Sarawak’s SWF prosper and benefit the people of Sarawak and not end up like 1MDB.
Sime Darby Bhd, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, will acquire Australia’s Cavpower Group, a distributor of Caterpillar industrial machines and vehicles in South Australia, for AUD500 mil (RM1.49 bil) in cash. In its latest quarterly announcement ended 31 March 2023, Sime Darby has RM2.198 bil cash, enough to pay off this deal. But let’s not forget the creditors - the company has about RM3.963 bil in borrowings.
Iris Corp Bhd, the company behind the controversial RM1.16 bil National Integrated Immigration System (NIISe), announced that the Ministry of Home Affairs had terminated its contract with immediate effect. Iris said it is seeking legal advice. Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution earlier said that the project had not achieved adequate progress as of March 2023.
Berjaya Food Bhd, the operator of Starbucks and Kenny Rogers, saw its net profit fall by 57.5% to RM 17.28 mil in its fourth quarter ended 30 June 2023 (Q4FY2023), hit by margin compression from inflationary pressure. Revenue fell by 6.7% to RM271.75 mil. This brings its full-year FY2023 revenue to RM1.12 bil, up 11.85% but with net profit down 17.13% to RM103.41 mil.
The company has also signed on as the master franchisor of the South Korean bakery Paris Baguette in the Philippines. Paris Baguette was founded in 1988 and has about 3,500 stores in South Korea alone.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Tornado capsizes boat in Thailand, injuring six
A freak waterspout tornado has capsized a boat in Thailand, leaving two people missing and six injured. The boat had just returned from a passenger whale-watching trip in the Phetchaburi Province. A video of the boat capsizing was recorded and can be viewed here (warning - graphic).
Learn: What is a waterspout?
More than 50 dead as heavy rains hit the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh
Flash floods and cloudbursts (a sudden, very heavy fall of rain) in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh have claimed the lives of more than 50 people. The heavy rains in the area have also caused landslides and destroyed temples. The region is home to the Char Dham Yatra, a pilgrimage to the state’s four holiest sites for Hindus.
Hawaii’s Maui wildfire death toll blamed on malfunctioning sirens
96 people have reportedly lost their lives due to malfunctioning sirens that failed to warn citizens of spreading wildfires in Lahaina town, the former capital of Hawaii. The island of Maui is home to more than 80 outdoor sirens tested monthly to warn residents of tsunamis and natural disasters. Hawaii Governor Josh Green reportedly told BBC News that more than 2,700 buildings have been destroyed in the historic town. The Maui fires were fuelled by a dry summer and strong winds from a passing hurricane. Watch the scale of the fire and its destruction here (warning - disturbing).
Mastercard purchases a minority stake in the fintech division of African telco MTN Group
Mastercard, the world’s second-largest payment processing corporation, is set to purchase a minority stake in the fintech division of Africa’s largest cellphone provider, MTN Group, valuing it at USD5.2 bil. MTN is said to have over 290 mil subscribers as of June 2023. For the 1H of 2023, MTN mobile money business has increased by 37% to USD 8.3 bil, executed by more than 60 mil active users.
SoftBank to acquire 25% stake in Arm from its Vision Fund 1
Japanese tech investor SoftBank Group is in talks to acquire a 25% stake in British chip designer Arm from Vision Fund 1 (VF1), its USD100 bil investment fund the tech investor raised in 2017. SoftBank reportedly owns 75% of Arm and is preparing to list the company on Nasdaq in September with a valuation of up to USD 70 bil. Sounds like a right pocket-to-left pocket kinda deal.
VF1 returned to profitability this quarter due to investor interest in AI technology. This is said to bolster SoftBank’s chances of tapping future capital. SoftBank’s move to acquire Arm this way is widely seen as providing a windfall to VF1 investors, namely Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (invested USD45 bil) and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala (invested USD15 bil). SoftBank itself invested USD28 bil in the fund and the remaining by other investors, including Apple, with a USD1 bil investment.
A new Covid vaccine will be issued next month to tackle the ‘Eris’ variant of Covid. Despite a rise in Covid cases related to the Eris variant, US health experts say that vaccine demand has dropped significantly since 2021 from the height of the pandemic. Vaccine sales are expected to only reach USD 20 bil compared to USD 56 bil last year.
The US launches the largest-ever carbon removal initiative, investing up to USD 1.2 bil for companies to suck greenhouse gases out of the air. The initiative is reported to begin in the state of Texas and Louisiana. The two facilities will remove two mil metric tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, equal to 445,000 gas-powered cars.
French football club Paris St-Germain has agreed to sell Brazil forward Neymar to Saudi Pro League Al-Hilal for about EUR90 mil (USD98.24 mil) plus add-ons. Neymar joined PSG for a world-record fee of GBP200 mil (USD253.8 mil) in 2017. He will be getting a good pay bump from the current EUR25 mil (USD27.3 mil) per annum to about EUR150 mil (USD163.7 mil), 6x more - more than good actually.
Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart says goodbye to Thailand after 30 years as it ends its franchise agreement with local partner Central Group. Its roughly 200 stores will be converted to Central Group-owned small supermarket chain Tops Daily. FM is ranked fourth in Thailand, but it’s way behind first place 7-Eleven with more than 13,000 locations, or about 80% of the market, operated by major Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Today, it’s about $$$ for your eyes
Unit trust is an RM493 bil industry in Malaysia. As big an industry as it can be, data has shown that the majority of unit trust funds have been, at best, underperforming and, at worst, losing money for their investors. Check out the infographic analysis below by doitduit.
An analysis of the top 10 highest net cash per market cap companies by stockbit.my. Net cash means the amount of cash left, assuming the company pays off all its total liabilities/current liabilities/borrowings (different methods of calculating net cash). When this net cash amount of a company is more than its market cap ratio, it indicates the company is undervalued, meaning you can buy the company for RM1 and get >RM1 in cash (in theory) and get its operating business and other assets for free. Then again, life isn’t that simple - it can be deemed undervalued relative to its cash holdings but not to its prospects and business fundamentals.