Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Rohingya refugees can pursue education soon in IIUM, thanks to Qatar's RM231 mil donation
Malaysia has RM809 bil worth of rare earth elements. Leader Energy Holding Bhd eyes RM2bil IPO, biggest in MY since 2017. US x China meeting - slow progress, but positive nonetheless.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
The US markets were closed in observation of Juneteeth.
Effective yesterday, 2 dozen Hong Kong-listed stocks, including Alibaba and Tencent, will be traded in yuan and the HK dollar, under the Dual Counter Model programme, in a bid to boost China’s currency in the global finance arena.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
Good news to Coldplay fans (and Singapore’s tourism sector and broader economy) - the British band is adding another day of show on 30 Jan on top of the existing four days (23, 24, 26 and 27 Jan 2024). This comes after more than 200,000 tickets to the original four shows were snapped up on Monday during the pre-sales period. More than one mil virtual queue numbers were issued to purchase the tickets.
Scientists in China, led by the country’s largest oil producer China National Petroleum Corp, have begun drilling a hole over 10,000 meters deep into the Earth’s crust, making it amongst the deepest ever drilled. The project, expected to take 457 days, aims to explore the unknown territory of Earth, reaching the Cretaceous system consisting of rocks dating back up to 145 mil years. The deepest hole ever drilled is the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia, which reached 12,262 meters in 1989 after 20 years of drilling.
USD5.3 tril is sitting in money market funds (MMF) now after it experienced a surge in inflow as interest rates soared due to the regional banking crisis in the US. MMF assets currently represent just 13% of the US stock market capitalisation. If this is any indicator of a pre-bull market, waiting for these funds to flow back into the stock market — be prepared to be disappointed. 13% is nothing compared to 46.9% in Feb 2009 and 24% in Feb 2003 — two periods after crises that saw the stock market stage multi-year rallies.
MMF can be an alternative to parking your funds in FD. It’s a kind of unit trust that invests in highly liquid, short-term instruments such as cash equivalent securities, high-credit rating, debt-based securities etc. Check out some MMF in Malaysia here. #notfinancialadvice.
Read: Money market funds: what they are, how they work, pros and cons.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysia has over RM809 bil worth of rare earth elements deposit
Natural Resources Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad told the Parliament that the country has over RM809 bil worth of rare earth elements (NR-REE) reserve spread across ten states in Peninsular Malaysia. The minister mentioned that the country has the opportunity to become one of the significant NR-REE exporters, given that the appropriate standard operating procedure (SOP) is followed and subject to the approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
Rare earth elements are used in the components of many devices used daily in our modern society, such as the screens of smartphones, computers, flat-panel televisions, the motors of computer drives, batteries of hybrid and electric cars and new generation light bulbs. China by far holds the largest NR-REE reserve, with more than a third of the global deposits.
View infographic: Where in the world are all the rare earth metals?
Not wanting to miss the bandwagon, Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah stated that the Kelantan government is preparing itself to commercially exploit its rich NR-REE, which quoting him, is valued to the tune of RM125 bil. Amar said that Kelantan will no longer depend on logging trees in the future and will switch to the mining of NR-REE instead (guess they didn’t do their homework that this mining is just as bad for the environment). How nice, after they cleared the forest due to logging, now they can dig out the cleared land for some rare earth elements? Who needs industrialisation to advance the economy when you can exhaust the existing natural resources?
More good news to Kelantan as PM Anwar Ibrahim, during his visit to the state on Sunday, announced that the Federal Government has allocated an additional fund of RM500 mil to solve the water crisis in Kelantan, on top of the RM1 bil mentioned by Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi previously.
Telegram finally agrees to work with the local authorities
Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil told the media after an hour-long meeting attended by representatives from Telegram and senior officials of Bukit Aman that the messaging app has finally agreed to work with the local authorities. Moving forward, Telegram will work closely with the police and other enforcement agencies to suppress any illegal activities such as scam investments, pornography and others. According to Fahmi, from January 2020 until May 2023, Telegram scams had swindled at least RM45 mil away from Malaysians.
PSA — you can report any illegal activities through the app or by email to email@example.com
Another PSA - scammers’ are getting creative with a new scam tactic using wedding invitations as a guise. DO NOT download any wedding invitation via Whatsapp that prompts you to install an APK (Android Package File)., which ‘hijacks’ the user’s phone.
Several measures were announced to put the stock market on steroids
PM Anwar Ibrahim announced several measures on Monday, intending to boost the stock market. Among the measures announced are:
Reducing the stamp duty rates from 0.15% to 0.1% of the contract value, subject to a ceiling of RM1,000 per contract.
An initial public offering (IPO)’s process reform to make it more convenient and faster to list new stocks on Bursa Malaysia.
When asked, PM Anwar stated that these announcements are not part of the measures to strengthen the Ringgit. Separately, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan said the PM will make an announcement on the country’s current financial situation and the situation of the shrinking RM.
PM Anwar Ibrahim told the Parliament that the MACC had concluded that Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali did not partake in any alleged criminal offence. Previously, Nazlan was accused of violating the Judges’ Code of Ethics and a conflict of interest while presiding over Najib Razak's RM42 mil SRC International case.
Thanks to an RM231 mil donation from the Qatar Fund for Development in 2020, Rohingya refugees in Malaysia will have the opportunity to pursue their respective tertiary education at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) soon.
As of May 2023, there are 181,300 refugees and asylum seekers registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and about 58% of them are Rohingyas from Myanmar. Armed attacks, massive-scale violence, and serious human rights violations forced thousands of Rohingya to flee their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
Selangor’s ruler, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, consented to the dissolution of the Selangor state assembly effective this Friday, 23 June, to make way for the state election. Only Terengganu has yet to announce its dissolution date.
The Malaysia-based energy company Leader Energy Holding Bhd is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) in the country and is looking forward to raising as much as RM2 bil. If this IPO materialises, it will be the biggest first-time share sale since 2017 and surpass MR DIY Group (M) Bhd’s IPO of RM1.5 bil in 2020.
Mah Sing Group Bhd has inked a deal with Petaling Garden Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of SP Setia, for the purchase of 500 acres of freehold land in Semenyih for a price tag of RM392.04 mil (RM784k / acre). The acquired land will be developed into an integrated township development dubbed Glengowrie Estate with a projected gross development value (GDV) of RM3.3 bil.
The used cars marketplace players continue to get the attention — Carsome announced it raised USD200 mil in a mix of equity and debt financing. Carsome’s competitor and myTukar owner Carro announced that it is making a strategic investment into Driven Communications, the media company that runs multiple sites, including paultan.org, carbase.my and oto.my. Deal terms were not disclosed.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
US x China meeting - slow progress, but positive nonetheless
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Chinese President Xi Jinping following his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. In a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement, Xi said it was “very good” the US and China had made progress in stabilising bilateral ties between both countries. He also said agreements have been reached on some specific issues without elaborating. Blinken said Washington had achieved its objectives for the trip but cautioned that progress was not straightforward. Nevertheless, he hoped to have better communications and better engagement going forward. No major breakthroughs but at least small progress towards a stabilising relationship - the rest of the world has nothing to gain with both superpowers fighting each other.
Pakistan mourns after Greece boat tragedy
Pakistan observed a day of mourning yesterday after hundreds of its nationals are feared to have died when a refugee boat sank off Greece last Wednesday, making it one of the worst disasters of its kind this year. Hundred of Pakistanis and along with dozens of Egyptians, Syrians and Palestinians, were among an estimated 750 people on the boat. Nearly 100 people have been rescued, and 78 bodies have been retrieved from the sea.
Pakistan authorities have arrested 10 alleged human traffickers for their roles in luring, trapping and sending locals abroad after extracting thousands of dollars from them. Every year, thousands of young Pakistanis embark on the dangerous journey to enter Europe without proper documents in search of a better life.
The UN has called for an investigation into Greece’s handling of the disaster and BBC has obtained evidence challenging the Greek’s coastguard account of the incident. Greek officials maintained that those on board did not want help and were not in danger until the boat sank.
Another accident in the sea related to the Titanic
A submersible used to take tourists to view the wreck Titanic some 3,800m under the ocean, has gone missing in the Atlantic Ocean. A search and rescue operation is underway. It is unclear how many people were on board. According to OceanGate Expeditions, the operator of the submersible, the submersible can seat five people - a pilot, a “content expert”, and 3 paying guests. OceanGate Expeditions (the site was down at the point of writing) charges USD250,000 for a place on its 8-day expedition to see the famous wreck. The descent and ascent take about 8 hours.
16 y.o. high school student won USD50k for her suicide science discovery
Natasha Kuliwat has won the Gordon E. Moore Award for Positive Outcomes for Future Generations and USD50,000 for college expenses for her discovery of biomarkers or substances in the brain that might help to explain suicide. Her analysis of brain tissues between people who died of suicide vs those who died from other causes found the presence of a higher amount of inflammatory cytokines, which then led to a higher level of claudin-5, a specific protein in the brain.
Why this matters? Suicide risk usually is determined by subjective tests and psychological factors. This discovery opens up the possibility of using a biomarker to identify suicide risk through the elevated level of claudin-5 in the brain and creating medication to target this substance.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
A “golden halo” captured at Gurkha Hut, one of the peaks of Mount Kinabalu, by climber Daverond Gurading. He said the occurrence was genuine and has recorded a video to prove it - watch it here.
Zach King (26 mil followers on IG) is an internet personality who makes videos that appear to look like magic. He shares the behind-the-scenes and tricks he used in making these videos.