☕️ Air Selangor - under promise, over deliver!

UMNO ditching PAS in Malacca state election. IMF: Global debt at record high of USD226 tril in 2020. How to profit from forest lands without exploiting it? See carbon offset credits.

1. MARKET SUMMARY

KLCI ended strong yesterday, closed at 1,600.38. Banking heavyweights mainly supported the rise in the benchmark index.


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

111 million users watched Squid Game in its first 28 days. Squid Game knocked Bridgerton (82 mil) off the top as Netflix's biggest ever series launch.

Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities expects wooden furniture exports to rise to more than RM13 bil in value this year from the RM12.8 bil recorded in 2020.

SGD92 mil — the indicative selling price of the House of Tan Yeok Nee, a national monument of Singapore. The property sits on freehold land spanning 26,321 sq ft.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. UMNO will fly solo in the upcoming Malacca state election under the Barisan Nasional (BN) banner instead of using its political cooperation with Islamist PAS, according to the party’s president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

    The Election Commission (EC) will hold a special meeting next Monday to discuss the implementation of the Malacca state election.

  2. MP Rozman Isli will be charged by the MACC at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009 related to the offence of abusing one’s official position to seek gratification for oneself, a relative or an associate.

    Rozman was a two-time MP for Labuan, becoming an Umno lawmaker for the constituency in 2013 as well as in 2018 before jumping to Warisan after the 14th GE.

  3. The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) seeks to strike out Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s counterclaim that the tax suit against him was mala fide (in bad faith) due to his legal representation of Najib Abdul Razak in the former prime minister’s 1MDB-linked criminal cases, among other cited reasons.

  4. Selangor’s MB Amirudin Shari brought some positive news yesterday — the maintenance work is ahead of schedule. So some folks in Klang Valley should see taps flowing from 5pm today.

    Let us know so we can find a place to shower. I’ll belanja kopi la. Because some of you generous folks have bought us coffee, we can belanja kopi in exchange for a shower. Thanks!

  5. Not only does Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor love luxury bags, but former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis also love it too!

    Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran said the couple spent over RM1.3 million at luxury stores like Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton and Hermes in just two years during the Ahmad Zahid’s corruption trial. Raja Rozela added Ahmad Zahid also used Yayasan Akalbudi’s monies to pay road tax and insurance of 20 vehicles — none belonged to Yayasan Akalbudi.

Business

  1. Affected B50 borrowers who earn a gross household income below RM5,880 a month will be given a three-month interest exemption under the financial resilience and management programme (URUS), announced by PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday.

  2. The crude palm oil (CPO) futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed at a new all-time high yesterday — the benchmark palm oil contract for December 2021 is RM5,021 a tonne. India’s government announced a reduction in net payable import duties on palm oil from 24.75% to 8.25% and tight stocks are the main catalysts.

  3. Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz shed light on the RM11 bil 5G contract in response a question from Lim Lip Eng (Pakatan Harapan-Kepong). Tengku Zafrul said the initial estimated budget of RM7.5 billion only considered the cost of network coverage, without any other investments.

    He added the collective implementation of the 5G network by all existing mobile network operators is likely to cost more than RM30 billion for the country as a whole.

    Good anchoring technique. What is anchoring? Listen to Laurie Santos explain in this 5 minutes video.

  4. MyKris International Bhd has entered into a deal to dispose of its high-speed wireless and wired network services unit, the company's core business, to Maxis Bhd for RM157.5 mil. MyKris would need approval from at least 75% of shareholders. It would be Maxis Bhd’s largest acquisition to date. The move represents the foundation for future 5G readiness from private network to 5G fixed wireless access.

  5. Solarvest Holdings Bhd, a clean energy specialist, completed its transfer of listing status to Bursa Malaysia’s Main Market, the first pure-play solar company to do so. With the transfer, group chief executive officer Davis Chong Chun Shiong hopes more institutional funds would invest in the company.

  6. A Malaysian founded Singapore based agriculture tech (Agtech) startup, Fefifo has closed a total of more than USD3.1 million (RM12.9 million) in early-stage funding. Fefifo aims to empower smallholder farmers and agriculture graduates to easily kickstart their own modern commercial farming businesses, starting in Malaysia. Malaysia’s RHL Ventures and Korea’s KB Investment are its latest venture capital backers.

    While we are encouraged by Mosti’s lofty goals to create five unicorns by 2025, we cannot help but ask why so many Malaysians base their companies in Singapore?


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. In IMF’s Fiscal Monitor report released on Wednesday, it says global debt levels increased to a record USD226 tril in 2020, a USD27 tril jump in just 1 year that far exceeds the USD20 tril cumulative gain seen over the 2 years during the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. About 90% of the increase came from advanced economies, plus China, with emerging and developing economies having far less accessibility to the financial markets. 

    The pandemic has exacerbated the “already considerable” financing gaps faced by these poorer countries before the crisis. Global government debt has stabilised at a record USD88 tril, just below 100% of GDP. The report estimated that 65-75 mil more people would fall into poverty by the end of 2021 than would have been the case without the pandemic. 

  2. How do you monetise a million acres of forest land without exploiting it (i.e. mining, logging)? Leave it untouched and sell carbon offset credits against it. Oak Hill Advisors, an investment firm with USD52 bil assets under management, is hunting for millions of acres of forest lands to generate these carbon credits to sell.

    On Tuesday, it announced a USD500 mil joint venture to purchase woodlands in North America that would otherwise be used for timber and sell them as carbon offsets. Microsoft and BP are amongst businesses buying up these tradable assets to prove that they are working towards their climate goals. The carbon credit market was worth just USD300 mil in 2018, and one analyst estimated it could be worth USD100 bil by the end of the decade. 

  3. China is preparing to test thousands of blood samples in Wuhan to uncover the origins of Covid-19. Chinese officials have kept up to 200,000 samples from 2019 at the Wuhan Blood Centre in case they needed evidence against any lawsuits related to the donations. The 2-year waiting period passes for Oct and Nov 2019 samples - which is when experts think the virus first infected humans. 

    News in Brief:

  4. Researchers from Trinity College in Dublin took a look at data-sharing habits on some popular variants of Android OS, including those developed by Samsung, Xiaomi and Huawei and discovered that it still tracks the users even when they have opted out. 

  5. Volkswagen’s CEO, Herbert Diess, told a supervisory board meeting that the company could lose 30,000 jobs if it transitioned too slowly to electric vehicles. Competition from new entrants to Germany’s market, like Tesla, has pushed the company to speed up its transformation, Diess is said to have told the attendees. 

  6. Whilst supply chain shocks have rocked various industries, Apple seemed to be immune to it and could secure chips it needed for its latest product range - until now. As a result, it is now likely to slash projected iPhone 13 production targets for 2021 by as many as 10 mil units


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Amazing photos taken from drones. See the collection at Drone Photo Awards 2021 here.

  2. Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) has officially launched the new Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo in Malaysia with three variants available. Price starts from RM645K for the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo (OTR without insurance). The century sprint will take a commendable 5.1 secs, with a range of 437 km.

  1. Just how deep are the oceans?