Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Teenage rape victim allegedly raped by investigating police officer
MY 5G Network coverage - almost 50% of populated areas. Hextar Tech Solutions Bhd - stock hit record high, almost 780% return in past year. HD - the startup bringing Airbnb/Uber model to healthcare.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
33 years jail — total jail time 77-year-old Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is to face after further sentencing of 7 years in prison. In the final five charges she faced, she was found guilty of corruption as she did not follow regulations in renting a helicopter for a government minister. She has been under home arrest since the military coup in Feb 2021. The UN Security Council has called for her release in its first-ever resolution on the turmoil in the country.
The Japanese government is offering each family 1 mil yen (RM33.7k) per child if they opt to move out of Tokyo, up from the existing 300,000 yen per child. The condition — they must live in the new region for at least five years while being employed. This move is an attempt by authorities to disperse the dense population in Tokyo, improve declining birth rates and diversify the ageing population in more rural areas.
The Ministry of Local and Government Development will establish a task force to address 381 “sick” private housing projects, comprising 69,179 housing units involving 28,530 buyers (interestingly, that’s an average of 2.42 houses per buyer). It would be good to know the value of these housing projects affected. A “sick” project is defined by a delay of more than 30% compared to its scheduled progress or whose sales and purchase agreement has lapsed, according to the National Housing Development.
Table: Statistics of sick housing projects by states in Peninsular Malaysia.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysia is off to the semis
In the final match of Group B, the Harimau Malaya successfully brushed off its bitter rivals, Singapore, in a game that can also be dubbed the causeway derby. The game ended 4-1, with Malaysian Stuart Wilkin scoring a brace to confirm the Malaysian spot in the semi-finals, where the national team will face Thailand on Saturday for the first leg of the semi-finals. Another step closer to
public holiday victory!
Tragic experience of teenage rape victim - keluar mulut harimau, masuk mulut buaya
Police were supposed to be the guardian of the community and not the ones wreaking havoc. Last Wednesday, a teenage girl came to a police station in Kedah to lodge a report that her stepfather was raping her. Unfortunately, a 30-year-old police inspector investigating her case, under the pretext of finding evidence of the rape, instructed the child to lie naked on a bed and then raped her for 30 minutes. It took the teenage girl three days to reconcile and muster enough courage to lodge another police report against the police inspector that raped her. Law minister Azalina Othman was enraged with this whole situation and stated that she was taking this case seriously and no one is above the law.
Putrajaya will finalise its review of the 5G network rollout
Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil mentioned that the government will finalise its view on the 5G network rollout by this quarter to avoid any delay in the rollout of the high-speed network. At the moment, Malaysia needs to catch up with our regional peers, such as Thailand and Indonesia, in deploying our 5G network, mainly due to political instability.
While Putrajaya is still reviewing the whole 5G plan, state-owned 5G rollout custodian Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) stated that Malaysia's 5G network had achieved 50% coverage of populated areas (COPA). DNB has been working with mobile network operator (MNO) partners to increase the 5G adoption rate in the country rapidly.
Bung Mokhtar, his wife allowed by court for another stay of the corruption trial
In Kinabatang Bung Mokhtar’s RM2.8 mil bribery case when he was the Felcra’s chairman, the High Court allowed an application to stay over the trial for both Bung and his wife, Zizie Izette, until the Court of Appeal decides on the duo’s appeals. Earlier, both Bung Mokhtar and his wife had filed their respective appeals after judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid rejected their mode of challenging the prosecution’s order for them to enter a defence.
Latest update on the other hot news in town:
Volleyball coach that slapped his players
Although the coach had apologised to the affected students, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek told the press that the issue is far from over. No police report has been lodged on the incident, but the Education Ministry has been conducting its own internal investigations and met with the parents of the affected students. According to Fadhlina, the ministry viewed the issue seriously as it involved matters of discipline and integrity.
Another fire at Jakel’s branch in Shah Alam
After an earlier fire that led to almost 80% of the three-storey building being destroyed, the same building caught fire again on Tuesday morning. This time around, the fire was believed to start from the curtain storage situated on the third floor. Authorities are not ruling out arson and embers.
In a piece of unrelated news, Jakel Group’s investment arm, Jakel Capital, is expected to be the single largest shareholder in renewable energy company Cypark Resources Bhd via the take-up of a whole block of Cypark’s private placement exercise, according to a source. They have fire to fight first (no pun intended).
Within the four corners of the corporate suite:
Gamuda is looking to initiate an RM3.3bil gross development value (GDV) extension of the existing 810-acre Gamuda Gardens. To realise this Gamuda Gardens’ extension, 532 acres of land next to the township will be acquired from Kundang Properties for RM360mil. A mixed development was proposed on the said land and the land acquisition will be funded internally by generated funds and borrowings.
The hottest stock in town, Hextar Technologies Solutions Bhd, has appointed former Bank Negara governor, Muhammad Ibrahim, as its new independent non-executive chairman. Another banker, Eddie Ong Choo Meng, was also announced as its group CEO. Both of these appointments may or may not lead the company’s stock to achieve an all-time high (ATH) on Tuesday, gaining 16% and closing at RM19.84, which consequently gave the company a market capitalisation of RM2.55bil. Whoever held this stock in the past would be making a killing — it’s up by nearly 780%!
The counter, however, was thinly traded, with only 502,800 shares exchanging hands. For the sake of simplicity, say the average trading price is RM19 - it took only RM9.55 mil (RM19 x 502,800 shares) to create roughly RM350 mil in market value! Financial engineering in action.
Read more on Eddie Ong, the new corporate tycoon controlling 9 public-listed companies (PLC) and minority stakes in 30 other PLCs, with a combined market capitalisation of over RM8 bil.
It has emerged that PM Anwar’s former political aide, Farhash Wafa Salvador, will be replacing the son of Vincent Tan (who is also the major shareholder of 7-Eleven Malaysia), Robin Tan Yeong Ching as the chairman of 7-Eleven Malaysia. Robin Tan stepped down from the position to pursue other interests.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
New Year’s celebration turned crowd crush tragedy in Uganda
At least 10 people died in a crowd crush tragedy (different from a stampede) in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, which occurred at a shopping centre after the fireworks display. The victims died from suffocation and at least four were identified as minors between 10 to 17. Partygoers thronged a single exit, causing people to get stuck and crushed as they went back into the mall. An estimated 500 people were at the venue when the incident took place.
The high-profile event organiser Abbey Musinguzi (aka Abitex) has been arrested as he did not follow guidelines, ordering four other exits to be shut and might be facing murder charges.
Russia’s turn to freeze assets
A Russian court has ordered to freeze USD488 mil worth of assets of German industrial gases company Linde after it suspended work under the contract due to EU sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. RusKhimAlhyans, the Russian joint venture (50% owned by Russia’s Gazprom) building a gas complex at Ust-Luga, alleges that the sanctions ban supplying equipment for the liquified natural gas (LNG) plant but do not cover equipment required for another part of the Ust-Luga complex - a gas processing plant.
In energy-related news, nuclear power is back in vogue - the UK is allocating GBP75 mil (USD90.5 mil) fund to boost domestic production of nuclear fuel for power plants to reduce reliance on Russian uranium supplies. Businesses involved in converting uranium metal to nuclear fuel will be awarded these grants. Russia currently owns 20% of the global uranium conversion capacity.
Busy news day for Elon Musk & Co.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) is raising USD750 mil in new fundraising, valuing the company at USD137 bil. Renowned VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (aka a16z) is said to lead the fundraising round. A16z also did participate in Elon Musk’s USD44 bil buyout of Twitter.
Tesla reported that it delivered 405,278 vehicles in Q4 of 2022, hitting a record number of deliveries, but fell short of Wall Street’s expectations of 420-425,000. In the same quarter, it produced 439,701 vehicles. For the full year, this brings Tesla’s total deliveries to 1.31 mil (up an impressive 40% year-on-year) and total production of 1.37 mil.
Meet Tom Zhu - the newly promoted US head of assembly plants and sales operations and the now second-highest profile executive after Elon Musk. He will retain his responsibilities as chief of Greater China. In November, Tesla board member James Murdoch said the company had identified a potential successor to Musk without naming the person.
In South Korea, Tesla has been slapped with a 2.8 bil won (USD2.2 mil) fine for violation of advertising law. The company falsely promoted and exaggerated the driving range and charging speed of its electric cars. The company also was slapped with a fine of 1 mil won.
Elon Musk, personally
Musk holds the record for the most money lost (at least on paper). He lost an unprecedented USD200 bil (RM878 bil) in wealth since Nov 2021 - he was reportedly worth USD340 bil 14 months ago and now is left with (just) USD137 bil. His wealth, primarily tied to Tesla with a more than 13% stake, took a huge hit. Tesla stock had its worst year ever in 2022, down 65%, wiping out more than USD700 bil in market cap.
iPhone City is back to 90% capacity after a Covid turmoil caused by staff upheaval - just in time for the Chinese New Year shopping season. Foxconn Technology Group, Apple’s biggest leading production partner, is now operating its plant in Zhengzhou, the world’s largest iPhone plant, with roughly 200,000 workers, which is back to its normal staffing level. Apple lost six million units of iPhone production at one point due to the staff upheaval.
A senior doctor at one of Shanghai’s top hospitals estimated that 70% of the megacity’s population of 25 mil people, or 17.5 mil people, may have been infected with Covid-19 during China’s recent huge surge in infection. Experts predict infections to peak in early 2023 as the country braces for a new wave due to the surge in travelling during the Lunar New Year.
The sharing economy meets hospitals — HD, a startup based in Bangkok, is applying the Airbnb/Uber model to healthcare in Southeast Asia. HD runs a platform that helps three parties meet: surgeons with private practice, patients seeking to have their surgeries done cheaper, and hospitals with vacant surgery rooms. Since its founding four years ago, HD has served around 250,000 patients and has seen its sales grow by 7x since the pandemic erupted.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The revenue and profit of luxury giants — LVMH, L’Oreal, Hermes and Kering.
Spanish La Liga football club Real Betis’ annual Christmas tradition that started in 2018 of throwing thousands of soft toys onto the pitch for disadvantaged children