☕️ ADA - Axiata's MYR unicorn clinched RM250 mil investment from Softbank

The Brooker Group-potentially 1st ASEAN public listed company with Bitcoin treasury. N2N Connect Bhd and its new substantial shareholder - Ant Group. China's population: 1.41 bil, declining birthrate.

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We will continue churning out the news for you! We will be back on May 17 2021 (Monday). Take care, stay safe! Ingat ye, we are in MCO 3.0. Follow the SOP.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

9.65 million cigarettes worth RM772,00 were seized by the Customs Department at Port Klang, the goods had unpaid excise duty of RM6.2 mil.

37% of folks in the Project Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) community are not willing to be vaccinated despite the free vaccination provided by the government according to a study by UN.

One in five cars sold in six biggest cities in China are either electric cars or hybrids.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • 290,480 doses of Sinovac vaccines filled and finished by Pharmaniaga LifeScience Sdn Bhd (PLS) are ready for nationwide roll out. As of May 10, PLS has prepared 1.2 million doses of Sinovac vaccines.

  • Public Health England’s data showed that one dose of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine results in 80% less risk of death from the disease.

  • 80% of new Covid-19 infections were now sporadic, no longer traceable to clusters — raising the need to implement the MCO3.0 according to Health DG.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. The second biggest lender in the country by market capitalisation Public Bank Berhad booked an impressive quarter net profit of RM1.53 bil for 1QFY21 ended March 31 2021, up 15.11% y-o-y. The healthy net profit were mainly supported by lower interest expense on customer deposits which offset the weaker revenue.

  2. N2N Connect Bhd, whose principal activity revolves around providing enterprise-wide integrated e-commerce securities trading solutions to local stock broking firms and banks has a new UBO (ultimate beneficiary owner) — Ant Financial.

    N2N has witnessed sharp rise in its share price in a span of 5 days, rising 21% from 72 sen on April 20 to 87 on April 27. China-based Hundsun Holdings Ltd and deemed interested company Hundsun Technologies Inc emerged as substantial shareholders with a 23.65% stake in N2N. The stake in N2N seems to be a strategic collaboration that would leverage the fintech and brokerage networks of both parties.

  3. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) remains optimistic that the country is on track to achieve forecasted GDP growth of between 6.0% to 7.5% in 2021. Recovery in domestic demand and gradual improvements in employment and considerable improvements in the external demand would be the main drivers of the growth according to BNM’s governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus.

  4. Following the suits filed by 1MDB and its subsidiary yesterday, Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali is the first one to admit receiving money from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

    The confession came after SRC International Sdn Bhd had filed a civil suit against him to recover RM600,000. Ibrahim Ali wasn’t aware that the money came from 1MDB. He said he spent all the money on “people-centric programmes in Pasir Mas.”

    The controversial figure had back in 2014 asked to burn Malay language Bibles when the Barisan Nasional government was in power. Wonder if he would have been caught under Sedition Act if the same statement was said today.

  5. A local unicorn startup has emerged after SoftBank Corp’s investment of RM250 million in Axiata Group Bhd’s digital marketing subsidiary ADA for a 23.07% stake in the company. The investment values ADA at RM1.07 billion. ADA will be established as SoftBank’s core digital and data marketing partner in Asia.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. The WHO has reclassified the highly contagious triple-mutant Covid-19 variant spreading in India as a ‘variant of concern’ from ‘variant of interest’, indicating that it has become a global health threat. The variant, known as B.1.617, spreads more easily and may be able to evade some protections provided by vaccines, though the shots are still considered effective. 

    The WHO is closely monitoring at least 10 coronavirus variants around the world. It has designated 3 other variants as ‘variants of concern’: B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the UK; B.1.351, first detected in South Africa and the P.1 variant, first detected in Brazil. 

  2. China has just announced its once-in-a-decade census, that was conducted in late 2020 involving some 7 mil census takers going door-to-door to collect information from Chinese households, making it the most comprehensive resource on China’s population. Between 2011 and 2020, the average annual growth rate of China’s population was 0.5%, down from 0.57% in the previous decade, bringing its total population to 1.41 bil

    12 mil babies were born last year, a significant decrease from 18 mil newborns in 2016. China is experiencing lower fertility rate - not a bad thing as it’s natural given China’s rapid social and economic development. China’s working population, defined as people between 16 and 59, has also declined by 40 mil as compared to the last census in 2010., though the total size remains big at 880 mil. Concern has been raised that continued drop in China’s labour force ‘will place a cap on China’s potential growth’ and any impact on China’s population, such as a decline, will have an effect felt across the world.

  1. 2020 is a good year for Mother Earth. Renewable energy resources increased by 45% in 2020, the fastest rate since 1999 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s report released on Tuesday. Wind energy took the lead with global capacity expansion of 90%, followed by solar with capacity growth of 23%. China, the US and Vietnam are credited with leading the renewables push after momentum slowed when the pandemic hit. China accounted for half of new capacity installations. 

    News in Brief:

  2. The Brooker Group, a public-listed company with market cap of USD150 mil in Thailand announced that it has adopted a Bitcoin treasury reserve policy with a holding of 122.315 bitcoin at an aggregate value of USD6.6 mil in its Q1 results, potentially making it the first Southeast Asian public listed company to make such a move. 

  3. Vice Media is targeting a listing via a SPAC, valuing it at USD3 bil, a major discount to its previous fundraising round valuation of USD5.7 bil. Vice generated USD600 mil in 2020, and turned profitable in Q4, and projected to hit a revenue of USD1 bil by 2023.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)

  1. A Japanese publishing company took out a double-page spread in three major dailies to criticise the government’s poor response on tackling the pandemic with the following quote:

"We have no vaccine. We have no medicine. Are we supposed to fight with bamboo spears? At this rate, we'll be killed by the government,"

  1. Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pays his compound for breaching SOP while chiding the government for double standards.

  2. The world as 100 people over the last 2 centuries