☕️ UM loses at least 30 "best and brightest" medical grads to SG each year - former UM medical faculty dean
Batang Kali landslide death toll hits 30, final victim yet to be found. Apple to allow other app stores, complying with new EU law. Best Smartphone Camera 2022 decided by 21.1 mil votes.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
1,333 IPOs - the number of initial public offerings in 2022, down from a record high of 2,436 or 45% in 2021, according to consultancy firm EY, due to unfavourable market conditions (e.g. inflation, interest rate hikes, Russia-Ukraine conflict). Dollar-wise proceeds raised this year fell 61% to USD179.5 bil. One bright spot, though, is the energy sector, accounting for 22% (USD39.9 bil) of proceeds, up from 6% a year ago as Russia’s unprovoked war with Ukraine sparked an energy supply shock.
McDonald’s Malaysia is targeting to open up to 500 restaurants nationwide by 2026, up from over 330 operating nationwide currently, allocating an investment of RM1.35 bil for this expansion. OldTown Kopitiam targets to open 50 new franchise outlets in 2023. There are now 165 outlets in Malaysia and 19 in Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Sauces, flavoured syrups, drizzles and toppings are called modifiers in the coffee industry. Just how much can one earn selling these complementary items? For Starbucks, modifiers have become a USD1 bil business a year for the coffee giant, double from 2019. Younger consumers are driving this revenue for Starbucks.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
PNB announced an income distribution of 4.6 sen per unit for 2022
Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) depositors will enjoy an income distribution of 4.6 sen per unit, which consists of a 3.35 sen of dividend and a 1.25 sen bonus. On top of that, for the first 30,000 units held by a unit holder, ASNB will be giving an additional 0.50 sen per unit. Cumulatively, ASNB is distributing RM8.9 bil to 10.6mil unit holders. PNB president and group CEO Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn stated that Malaysian companies were the most significant contributor to returns for the entity. The income distribution rate this year is lower than last year’s (5 sen per unit) and the second lowest for the past five years.
Batang Kali landslide death toll: 30
The search and rescue operation that had entered its seventh day accumulated a melancholic death toll of 30 people after four more bodies were found on Thursday, with only one more victim remaining to be found. The authorities also revised the number of victims from 94 to 92 after multiple checks were conducted on the campsite’s registration and missing person police reports lodged by family members.
While the relevant authorities are still scouring the site in search for the final missing victim, the ‘pointing finger’ game has begun over the tragedy. Father’s Organic Farm (FOF) stated that the landslide did not originate from the campsite but instead from government-owned land situated 2-3km from the campsite. Regarding the licensing for the campsite, FOF told the media that multiple government agencies, including the Agricultural Department, told FOF that no such thing as a ‘campsite license’ exist.
Responding to FOF’s statement, Agricultural Department said that there was no discussion held with FOF regarding the campsite operations as the department has no authority to issue permits, licences or advice for campsite operations.
On top of that, Selangor exco Ng Sze Han stated that FOF did receive approval to construct a resort — not on the actual site of the campsite, but on a plot nearby the campsite.
No climate emergency declaration is needed yet to address the floods, the home minister said
Home minister Saifuddin Nasution told the media that there is no need to declare a climate emergency over the floods that have displaced more than 70,000 people in several states and claimed at least five souls. Saifuddin mentioned that the whole situation is under control and the flood operation is running well. Another disappointing statement by Saifuddin, after a similar unsympathetic tone, expressed the migrant detention centres’ situation in Sabah.
Terengganu’s state disaster committee deputy chairman, Hanafiah Mat, basically confirmed that the Terengganu Menteri Besar, Ahmad Samsuri, is currently out-of-state (rumoured to be in Auckland, New Zealand) while Terengganu is presently facing one of its worst floods in history. In 2014, even Najib Razak cut short his holiday to attend the flood response in Kelantan.
Brain drain is the result of a failing public healthcare system, says former dean of University Malaya’s medical faculty
Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, former dean of Universiti Malaya (UM)’s medical faculty, shared in a Twitter thread that every year, from UM alone, at least 30 crème de la crème doctors go to Singapore to work. According to Dr Adeeba, this brain drain problem is a severe issue for the long-term future development of this country and short-term financials, as it is estimated that RM1 mil is needed to train one student. Much of the blame goes towards the lack of posts and clear training pathways for doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
You can see below why Singapore (and other first-world countries) is the clear choice for healthcare professionals. Patriotism won’t pay the bills at the end of the day.
A civil servant is believed to be involved in a prison drug racket
A man on trial for a drug case in the Johor Baru court complex was found with nine small, tightly-wrapped tubes of drugs hidden in his underwear at about 10.30am last Thursday (Dec 15). Following the man’s arrest, the police arrested six more suspects after five raids around Johor Baru. One of the men arrested is a civil servant. The drugs are believed to have been given to the prisoner in the complex at certain transit points.
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has decided to terminate and wind up Alpha Real Estate Investment Trust (Alpha REIT), where EPF is the sole unitholder, as part of its annual portfolio rebalancing exercise. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2021, Alpha REIT has generated more than 6% yield with RM428.6mil of total assets under management.
To safeguard depositors against financial scams, OCBC Bank Malaysia has introduced the OCBC Kill Switch, which enables customers to freeze their bank accounts and cards immediately. To activate the kill switch, the customers need only to call the bank’s contact centre and press the number 8, given that the bank staff has verified the customers’ instructions.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Apple to lose monopoly grip over its App Store
Apple is in the works to allow alternative app stores for customers to download third-party software to their iDevices without using the company’s App Store in a major overhaul to comply with European Union requirements coming in 2024. For app developers, this will be a massive boost to their revenue as they can bypass Apple’s commission, which is as high as 30%. However, these changes will initially go into effect just in Europe unless regulators across the world impose similar requirements in their jurisdictions.
The new EU law that Apple has to comply with, the Digital Markets Act, requires tech companies to allow the installation of third-party apps and let users more easily change default settings. The law applies to these companies with a market cap of at least EUR75 bil and a minimum of 45 mil monthly users within the EU.
Read summary: The Digital Markets Act: ensuring fair and open digital markets
Indonesia’s big budget plan to promote electric vehicle (EV) adoption
Indonesia is planning to allocate IDR5 tril (US320.4 mil) in its budget for next year to incentivise EV purchases as it targets 20% of overall car sales in 2025 to be EVs. Though details of the scheme are still in the works, a senior minister indicates that buyers could get an IDR80 mil (USD5,136) discount for EVs made in the country and is also extended to hybrid vehicles and electric motorcycles. The incentive is not limited to private EVs as the government is also considering subsidising electric bus sales.
The FTX fraud updates
Disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been extradited from the Bahamas and landed back in the US, escorted by FBI agents.
FTX co-founder Gary Wang and former Alamde Research (hedge fund owned by SBF) co-CEO Caroline Ellison have both pleaded guilty to federal charges and are cooperating with prosecutors. Both individuals face up to 50 years and 110 years in prison, respectively. As for SBF, he could be facing 115 years in prison if convicted of all charges against him.
FTX’s new management informed its creditors that it has identified more than USD1 bil in cash assets and is in the process of accessing and consolidating them. Meanwhile, for crypto assets, there are “ongoing efforts” to identify the company’s international crypto assets and move them to cold wallets.
Brazilian football legend Pele is undergoing treatment and is hospitalised as his cancer has progressed. He had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021. The 82-year-old legend has won the World Cup 3 times.
Finally, betting against Tesla by shorting its shares is paying off. Short-sellers are sitting on a collective gain of USD15 bil in 2022. Tesla shares have fallen by 61% in 2022. Not so lucky for short sellers in 2020 and 2021 as similar short-sell trades on Tesla led to a staggering USD51 bil losses.
Nepal is to release 78-year-old Charles Sobhraj, a serial killer known as “The Serpent” and “The Bikini Killer”, as he served 19 years in prison in Nepal. The life sentence is 20 years in the country. He is to be released on medical grounds, and the law allows for the compassionate discharge of bedridden prisoners who have already served three-quarters of their sentence. He has admitted to killing at least 20 young Western backpackers in Asia, but his 2004 conviction in Nepal was the first time he was found guilty. BBC and Netflix made a series based on his life called “The Serpent”.
Long read for the long weekend
99 uplifting news that you probably missed in 2022. It has been a rough year, but it wasn’t all bad.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Blind Smartphone Camera Test - after 21.1 million votes later, the internet has chosen the best smartphone camera of 2022!
Siti Nurhaliza is undergoing a temporary career change. The singer was invited by MetMalaysia as its' ‘weather girl’ to present weather reports.
FIFA is investigating how celebrity chef Nusret Gokce or more famously known as Salt Bae (IG page here, 49.8 mil followers), gained “undue access” to the pitch at the end of the World Cup final. Various moments captured on video showed how he tried to be in the moment with the Argentinian team as though he was a part of it — lots of cringe. This video here of Messi shrugging him off is painful to watch.
For those of you celebrating Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas. Enjoy your long weekend everyone!