☕️ Air Selangor won Public Water Agency of The Year award. Yes, for real.

The world's first traditional bank-backed crypto exchange. ECB's latest EUR500 billion stimulus (more like bailout). US regulators trying to break up Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY

Brent oil surges past US$50 per barrel. KLCI closed higher 3rd day in a row, the highest it has been in 18 months.


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

US$100 billion - market valuation of Singapore’s Sea Ltd following its plans to raise US$2 billion worth of new securities in the US.

US$163 million fines were slapped by French data protection authority to Google and Amazon over cookies.

2,234 new covid cases recorded in Malaysia today, breaking the record set on the 24th of Nov 2020. Selangor once again top the list with 1,428 new cases.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA

  1. Air Selangor was highly commended as the Public Water Agency of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2020. Wait what….

  2. With Bitcoin ($BTC) rising in the recent months, the mining farms are also growing like mushrooms. A Bitcoin mining operation in Seri Kembangan has been shutdown after allegedly stealing RM90,000 worth of electricity supply.

  3. There are 11 punitive issues and 142 corrective issues in the Auditor General’s Report 2019 Series 1 as said by the AG Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid. Here are some highlights:-

    • Only one of four designated incinerator plants is operational, halting government’s plan to dispose solid waste effectively.

    • Tabung Haji failed to collect RM65.86 million from subsidiaries.

    • Inland Board Revenue has been urged to adopt Refund First Audit Later (ReFAL) concept instead of bearing arrears in compensation amounting RM38.29 million (as of 2019).

    • RM75 million was spent on doing bogus research as they could not be verified.

  4. Malaysia recorded the highest score in open data readiness amongst the ASEAN member states. The funny thing is the Department of Statistics did not define what it means.

  5. Looks like GST will make a comeback should Perikatan Nasional remain in power in the next GE as the government is mulling the idea.


5. AROUND THE WORLD

  1. The European Central Bank (ECB) is boosting its stimulus package by increasing its bond-buying programme by EUR500 billion (USD606 billion) to a whopping EUR1.8 trillion (USD2.2 trillion)  as the economic fallout from the pandemic persists and extending its asset-buying programme by 9 months to Mar 2022.

    European leaders are also set to finalise a EUR750 billion (USD908 billion) recovery fund this week.

    Will asset purchases benefit the normal European citizens, the ones that are most affected by the pandemic? Sounds like a backstop to institutions and wealthy individuals to protect their financial assets from collapsing in value. How would the EU finance its recovery fund? Money printing is just kicking the can down the road, with future generations to pick up the bill.

  2. Antitrust lawsuits are filed against the USD785.3 billion Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission of US for its abuse and dominance of market power. The FTC called for the company to be broken up, essentially splitting Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram. This sets the stage for regulators around the world to clamp down on the excessive monopoly power the tech giants has over the market. Google, Amazon, Apple - beware.

  3. AT&T, the US telco giant, is selling Crunchyroll owned by its subsidiary Warnermedia to Sony’s Funimation for USD1.18 billion. Crunchyroll is a site for fan-uploaded, fan-subtitled Japanese animation content. Crunchyroll has 90 million registered users and 3 million paying subscribers.

  4. By year end, a total of 130 billion apps will be downloaded by consumers across iOS and Google Play with spending to increase by 25% to USD112 billion according to the leading mobile data and analytics firm, App Annie.

    Some interesting figures:

    1. iOS vs Google Play app downloads: 36 billion (28%) vs 94 billion (72%)

    2. Despite contributing to only 28% of total app downloads, 65 cents of every dollar spent went to iOS.

    3. 40% of total app downloads are games

    4. Games accounted for 71 cents of every dollar spent across both platforms

    To note that these numbers aren’t entirely representative of the entire mobile apps market as it excludes third-party app stores in China.

  5. Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched a test flight of Starship, the 120m, 16-storey-tall rocket that someday will bring humans to Mars. The 6-minute test flight ended with the Starship prototype exploding whilst attempting landing (watch the sci-fi like flight and explosion below). Despite the outcome, Musk was thrilled with the results.

  6. Nestle Japan suspended the sale of Milo until Mar 2021 as it could not secure a stable supply of ingredients to make the product. Milo’s demand in Japan exploded by 7x after a Twitter user made an innocuous tweet that she felt energised and refreshed after consuming Milo for a month and was previously feeling sluggish and continuously tired due to anemia, which was improved due to Milo containing iron. Isn’t Milo loaded with sugar?

  7. US set another grim record on Wednesday - Covid-19 death surpassed 3,000, more than the deaths recorded during the terrorist attack in US on 11 Sep 2001. 

  8. Further details revealed a troubled, final few months of the life of Tony Hsieh, the former CEO for Zappos.

  9. Southeast Asia’s biggest bank, DBS Group Holdings is setting up an exchange for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies called DBS Digital Exchange. DBS CEO, Piyush Gupta claims this would be the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange backed by a traditional bank. Singapore Exchange has a 10% stake in this venture.

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