Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Two-thirds of "Brain Drain" Malaysians reside in SG
MYAirline in talks with 15 potential investors. The US has been pressuring MY to label Hamas as a terrorist group. Messi won his 8th Ballon d'Or.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
28,420 — the number of centi-millionaires (with investable assets worth at least USD100 mil) in the world, according to the 2023 Centi-Millionaire Report by wealth and investment migration advisors Henley & Partners. This number is a 12% increase from last year and more than double the count from 20 years ago. Most centi-millionaires (or ‘centis’) are concentrated in the United States (US) with 38%, followed by the large emerging markets of China and India. That’s the allure of the American dream.
According to a 2020 study by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), about 1.8 million Malaysians live abroad for various reasons, including work and studies. They are part of the “brain drain”. Take a guess where two-thirds of them are located. The land of 3.5 — Singapore. Yes, 1.2 million Malaysians reside in Singapore. Apart of the favourable exchange rate, Malaysians like working in Singapore due to higher salaries, better opportunities and bigger increments.
Argentina and Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi, 36, won his 8th Ballon d'Or, the most coveted award in football. The Ballon d'Or recognises the best footballer of the year and is voted for by 100 journalists globally. Messi’s recognition comes because he helped his country win the World Cup in Qatar last year and played a key role as Inter Miami won their first trophy — the Leagues Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo, who wasn’t shortlisted this year, is the closest to Messi, having won it five times.
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3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs received three démarche notices from US Embassy
Malaysia has received three démarche notices from the US Embassy concerning its stance on Hamas, the Palestinian organisation as revealed by PM Anwar Ibrahim during the Prime Minister's Question Time (PMTQ) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. The US expressed unease over Malaysia’s reluctance to label Hamas as a terrorist group. These notes were delivered on October 13 and 30, with another directed to Malaysia's ambassador in Washington.
Démarche notices are a way for one government to officially tell another government or international organisation what it thinks about a particular issue.
MYAirline in talks with 15 potential investors to solve financial woes
MYAirline is in discussions with 15 potential investors to resolve its financial issues, which includes refunding RM22 mil to ticket-holders. The good news is they are making progress and are close to sealing the deal with at least two investors. MYAirline has made it clear they've responded to aviation authorities’ inquiries, ensuring that they are playing by the book. The airline also set up an internal ‘Tabung Ihsan’ to assist employees who might be facing financial strains. Additionally, they've coordinated with the Employee Insurance Scheme (EIS) to provide financial relief during this trying period.
“If a far-sighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favour by shooting Orville down.”
- Warren Buffett on the airline business in his 2007 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter. Clearly, he isn’t a fan, but he still did invest in some airlines. The collection of all shareholder letters written by Buffett since 1977 can be read here. Warning - the website feels like the 90s.
Ministry of Health and Pharmaniaga Bhd plays the blaming game
The Public Account Committee (PAC) said the Health Ministry and Pharmaniaga Bhd have been blaming each other over the 104 faulty ventilators from China. The Health Ministry believed Pharmaniaga should be responsible for the ventilators as they were ordered through the company — but the latter is of the opinion that it is merely the consignee. Pharmaniaga chief operations officer Mohamed Iqbal Abdul Rahman said the procurement of the ventilators should be between the Health Ministry and suppliers.
The former transport minister Wee Ka Siong’s name was mentioned 72 times in the report — here. Based on the report, Wee secured contacts for ventilators from China and arranged for the emergency transport of the ventilators. It seems like Wee was merely assisting in sourcing the ventilators to help the nation at that point in time.
Alternative perspective — In the PAC’s report, the deliberations were hectic — because at that point in time, the world was panicking. We (the country) were desperate for ventilators — it was a matter of who has the ventilators and how fast they can it be supplied to Malaysia. The administration at that point in time was scrambling to get ventilators. It was indeed a chaotic time — that we mustn’t forget.
Khazanah accumulates RM5.44 bil from dividends and stake sales in first 10 months
Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund, cashed in a hefty RM5.44 bil in the first ten months of this year. Khazanah received RM3 bil from dividends handed out by 10 public-listed companies in which they hold a 20% stake or more. CIMB takes the lead as the largest contributor, offering RM763.12 mil in payout. Tenaga and TIME dotCom aren't far behind, chipping in RM620.67 mil and RM620.78 mil, respectively. Khazanah also cleaned up its portfolio by selling shares in Tenaga, CIMB, and TIME dotCom for a total of RM2.45 bil. As for the rumour about Khazanah selling its stake in IHH Healthcare — not happening. They're sticking with their 25.94% ownership, making them the second-largest shareholder.
View table: Khazanah’s portfolio stake, dividends received and stake offloaded
Gamuda's hydropower venture in Sabah set to boost order book to RM27.8 bil
Malaysia's construction giant, Gamuda Bhd, is making waves with its hydropower joint venture in Sabah. This project will boost Gamuda's order book by between RM1.8 bil and RM3 bil, which means they're on track to hit their RM13 bil target by the end of 2024, according to the analysts. A partnership comprising Gamuda and Kerjaya Kagum Hitech JV Sdn Bhd will be the turnkey contractor for this project, with Gamuda taking a leading role in the consortium with an estimated 60% stake. The project's construction will cost about RM3 bil to RM3.5 bil, and that's going to add RM1.8 bil to RM2.1 bil to their order book.
CIMB and J Trust vying for Indonesia's Bank Commonwealth, say sources
Malaysia's CIMB and Japanese finance company J Trust are in the running to acquire Indonesia's PT Bank Commonwealth in a deal estimated to value the bank at USD400-USD500 mil, according to Reuters. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) primarily owns Bank Commonwealth, holding a 99% stake. While there has been no official comment from CIMB, J Trust, CBA, or Morgan Stanley, which is overseeing the sale, the acquisition coincides with Indonesia's expected economic slowdown, as merger and acquisition activity in Southeast Asia dropped 34% for the first nine months of this year. CIMB has a presence in Indonesia through CIMB Niaga.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Palestine-Israel conflict updates:
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reluctant to call for a cease-fire while the humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza as he believes it would only allow Hamas to regroup and restock on weapons. Starting on Tuesday or Wednesday, a greater amount of supplies will be allowed in from Egypt, according to an Israeli minister who spoke to Bloomberg.
There is a political rift happening in Israel as well. Political leaders slammed Netanyahu for playing politics over the weekend while the country was in the midst of a difficult military campaign inside Gaza. Netanyahu posted on X
More troubles brewing in China
China’s economy is in need of support as the official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index slipped to 49.5 this month from 50.2 in September, according to a statement from the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. The 50 level separates growth from contraction. The PMI numbers partly reflect seasonal factors due to an eight-day holiday at the beginning of October (Golden Week), but it also shows market demand remains weak. China’s post-pandemic recovery has been hindered by weak consumer confidence, declining export demand, and an ongoing property crisis.
From the biggest developer in the world to the most indebted property developer — Evergrande now has five weeks to come up with a deal to satisfy its creditors and shareholders in two of its units. Evergrande’s lawyer has mentioned that the company is developing a revised plan to "monetise the value" of its two Hong Kong-listed units, Evergrande Property Services Group and Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group. According to sources familiar with the matter, this plan may involve allowing Evergrande creditors to exchange their debt for equity and bonds linked to these units. It’s a tough hill to climb — Evergrande was barred by mainland regulators from issuing new dollar bonds and some 75% of creditors voted against a restructuring exercise.
Apple’s “Scary Fast” event saw the launch of 3nm M3 chips
The most valuable company in the world took the wraps off of some brand-new Macs that come equipped with the latest version of the company’s in-house chip. In the typical Apple fashion, the virtual event saw the company use plenty of superfluous words to describe the “first personal computer chips” made using the more efficient 3-nanometer process — M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max. These are only available on MacBook Pro and iMac for now. By the way, a maxed-out MacBook Pro costs only RM30,799 - that’s just 4.9x of Malaysia’s median household income of RM6,338 in 2022.
Saudi Arabia to host 2034 World Cup as Australia drops out
FIFA had invited bids from Asia and Oceania for the tournament by Oct. 31, but Australia dropped out at the last minute to focus on bids for the 2026 Women's Asian Cup and the 2029 Club World Cup. Australia’s decision not to proceed with the bid leaves Saudi Arabia as the sole bidder.
X’s value more than halved since Musk took over
Based on a memo on the company’s employee equity compensation plan sent to staffers on Monday, the company said it was awarding equity, or restricted stock units, to employees at USD45 a share, which gives the company a valuation of around USD19 bil. This new valuation comes a year after Elon Musk purchased the platform for USD44 billion.
The South Korean giant reported a net income of USD4.1 bil in the Q3 of 2023, more than double the expectations of USD1.86 bil, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. But — there is a one-off income tax gain of USD1.41 bil. Samsung executives said artificial intelligence is driving demand in the tech industry, and memory chip inventories are rapidly declining after peaking in May. The company expects the price of memory chips to rise in the current quarter.
Inflation in the eurozone hit a two-year low
The European Central Bank’s interest rate hikes seem effective as inflation in the eurozone hit a two-year low a month after its economy began contracting, data showed on Tuesday. Prices rose by just 2.9% in October, their slowest pace since July 2021. However, the price to pay is the contraction — the eurozone economy shrunk by 0.1% in the three months to September 2023. A recession could be on the horizon.
Learn: How to define a recession
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Top 30 stocks on Bursa as of 31 Oct 2023 — taking the first spot is Maybank at RM108 bil. Taking the top 3 spots were the banks with a total market cap of RM250.3 bil. Interestingly, MRDIY is worth more than AmBank, although the latter’s profits are a lot greater than the former.
Literacy of the world’s population has improved tremendously over the past two centuries. Basic education is defined as receiving some kind of formal primary, secondary, or tertiary (post-secondary) education. No doubt, there is still a 13% gap — but we have come far. Things will only get better!