Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Zahid Hamidi: No personal problems with PM Sabri as long as GE15 held this year
MINDEF, military conflicting dates on LCS delivery dates. Funeral service provider Nirvana seeking buyer for USD2 bil. Patagonia billionaire donated entire stake to fight climate crisis.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
4 mil people on Kyushu Island in Japan have been told to evacuate as Typhoon Nanmadol approaches the region. Strong winds and heavy rain have caused electricity blackouts and paralysed ground and air transportation. Starting in the south, Nanmadol is forecast to turn east and reach Tokyo on Tuesday.
The oldest known evidence of amputation was found in a 31,000-year-old skeleton of a young adult unearthed in a cave in Indonesia. The discovery suggests hunter-gatherers had sophisticated medical knowledge of anatomy and wound treatment.
At least 15 bee-related startups have raised more than USD165 mil in funding (no money, no honey) to provide technology and solutions to the bee industry ranging from AI robotic beehives to biotherapeutics for ailing bees and even vegan honey. Bees are crucial to the environment as it is the primary pollinator globally.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
missing littoral combat ships’ (LCS) delivery dates are still a mystery.
Malaysiakini reported that the Malaysian Armed Forces and Defence Ministry had cited conflicting timelines for the delivery of the littoral combat ships (LCS) to the navy. In an interview with several media organisations last week, Armed Forces chief Affendi Buang said the five of the six LCS would be delivered as early as Jan 2026 until Sept 2028 — (6 more years to complete the remaining ~43%)
The timeline is definitely different than the defence minister’s, Hishammuddin Hussein, promise of delivery within the next year or two. News reports of Affendi’s timelines have since been removed.
Information on the (additional) budget and the delivery dates have also been vague.
Barisan Nasional (BN) will happily wade through the flood if the GE15 was destined to happen when floods hits.
BN’s Chairman, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said the campaigns will go on if the 15th general election is held by the end of the year despite knowing the possibility of floods during the monsoon season. Zahid added he has no personal issues with our Prime Minister Ismail Sabri as long as GE15 is held by this year.
Did he forget what happened last year? 52 lives were lost due to the floods in December 2021. We certainly hope Malaysians don’t forget when they head to the polling stations.
Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) weapon to win 30% of Malay votes — an application named “CISTA”.
PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli is relying on a campaign oriented mostly through the application. The campaign method is unorthodox as it is a data-driven campaigning method that Rafizi declared could revolutionise how election campaigns are run — by targeting non-partisan but indecisive voters. Rafizi is confident Pakatan can get up to 30% of the Malay vote after sensing a shift in Malay voter sentiment.
Death is a RM9.07 billion dollar business.
The Edge Markets reported that private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is selling Malaysian funeral service provider Nirvana Asia Ltd in a deal that could fetch up to USD2 billion (RM9.07 billion). CVC bought the business back in 2016 for a cool USD1.1 billion.
Just how lucrative is the funeral service industry? In my personal experience — very. A couple of months ago, my family and I were looking for bereavement services (pre-planning for the future) — the price of a plot of land for a two-person burial starts at around RM80,000. I still cannot fathom how the industry became a commodity.
Tun Samy Vellu passed away on Sept 15 at the age of 86.
The former MIC president garnered respect from both sides of the political spectrum. Former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik said the late Samy Vellu was a man of many talents. DAP national chairman Lim Guan Eng said Samy Vellu never got personal despite they fought ferociously in Parliament.
Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd’s woes continue while Eco World Development Group Bhd hits sales target earlier than expected and SC approves of Celcom and Digi’s merger.
The High Court struck out a stay application by Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd (SDHB) and three of its subsidiaries to temporarily stop the appointment of Victor Saw of PwC Malaysia as an interim liquidator. SDHB had been ordered to pay RM500,000 of total costs incurred by its lenders.
Eco World Development Group Bhd’s president and CEO, Chang Khim Wah, said the group has managed to hit 98% (RM3.44 bil) of the group’s full-year sales target (RM3.5 bil) in just 10 months of the financial year ending Oct 31 (FY22). For 3QFY22 ended July 31, the developer made a net profit of RM46.4 mil and declared a dividend of 1 sen per share.
Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has approved the merger of Celcom Axiata Bhd with Norwegian Telenor Group’s unit DiGi.Com Bhd. The next approvers — are Bursa Malaysia and shareholders of both companies.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)’s solution to the flash floods — walls. Mayor Mahadi Che Ngah said the flood wall construction for flash flood hotspots in KL was to replace sandbags. The flood wall is expected to prevent the overflow of strong currents during heavy rains.
Shortly after Selangor stripped off Najib Razak’s state title, Penang followed suit. In 2009, Najib was awarded the Darjah Utama Pangkuan Negeri, which carries the title “Dato' Seri Utama”. The title has been revoked, effective Sept 15. Najib still holds state titles from eight more states.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Patagonia billionaire founder un-billionaire himself
83-year-old Yvon Chouinard, the billionaire founder of outdoor apparel brand Patagonia, announced that he and his family would be donating all their shares in Patagonia to 2 non-profit entities, ensuring all of Patagonia’s profits will go towards addressing climate issues. Chouinard, an avid rock climber started from a humble beginning, founded the company in 1973 and started selling his brand from the trunk of his car and survived on discounted cat food. Patagonia today is worth USD3 bil and generates roughly USD100 mil in profits annually. Despite his immense wealth, he still drives a beaten-up Subaru, “wears raggedy old clothes” and “does not own a computer or cellphone” according to an interview with The New York Times.
“I was in Forbes magazine listed as a billionaire, which really, really pissed me off. I don’t have $1bn in the bank. I don’t drive Lexuses.”
- Yvon Chouinard’s interview with The New York Times
Some interesting remarks from his statement:
Earth is now our only shareholder.
I never wanted to be a businessman. I started as a craftsman, making climbing gear for my friends and myself, and then got into apparel.
Instead of “going public”, you could say we’re “going purpose”.
Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.
Growing humiliation for Putin
The recent meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin with India’s Narendra Modi and China’s Xi Jinping during the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Uzbekistan are adding to Putin’s humiliation, on top of Ukraine’s rapid successful counteroffensive to reclaim its land from Russia.
India’s PM Modi told Putin that “today’s era is not an era of war” during his face-to-face meeting with Putin, reiterating that this was spoken on the phone before. With China’s President Xi Jinping, Putin surprisingly acknowledged China’s “questions and concerns” on the Ukraine war, although Xi made no public remarks on Ukraine.
Putin, of course, had to humbly reply - India and China are backstopping its economy by absorbing its exports.
Roger Federer — another tennis legend retires
Federer announced his retirement from tennis with the Laver Cup in London next week to be his final ATP event. The 41-year-old Swiss native referenced his injuries and surgeries in his announcement, saying he knows his “body’s capacities and limits”.
Some highlights of his career:
20-time Grand Slam champion.
Record holder for the most consecutive weeks at No.1 — 237.
Oldest player to rank No.1 at 36 in 2018.
Played more than 1,500 matches.
Third-most aces served, with 11,478 aces (ace is the first serve not touched by the receiver, winning the point).
Watch Federer announcing his retirement below.
Hungary voted no longer a democracy by the EU.
European Union (EU) lawmakers have voted its member nation, Hungary, to no longer view it as a democracy but “ a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy” for the first time in the EU’s history. Hungary’s far-right PM Viktor Orban has cracked down hard on Hungary’s media, judicial system and academic institutions, attacking the liberal elements of society. Orban has a US fan — Donald Trump. Trump endorsed Orban’s re-election in 2022, returning a gesture Orban made in endorsing Trump in 2020.
Adobe announced that it will acquire Figma, a competitor in the collaborative working space, for USD20 bil, making it Adobe’s largest deal after its acquisition of Marketo for USD4.75 bil in 2018. The deal will be in half cash and half stock.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has shortlisted Amazon, one of the five companies shortlisted from a pool of 54 applications, to develop a prototype for a digital Euro.
Uber announced that it is investigating a “cybersecurity incident” (a nicer way to say it got hacked). The 18-year-old who claims to be the alleged hacker announced it on the company’s internal Slack system and said he or she breached Uber for fun. Uber employees initially thought it was a joke, responding to the message with emojis.
Giphy, the GIF giant, has said that GIFs are “out of fashion” and claiming that younger users think GIFs are “for boomers” and “cringe” as it experienced fewer uploads in the past 2 years.