☕️ AirAsia now available on land: launched e-hailing AirAsia Ride

Berjaya's subsidiary is the largest hotel operator in Iceland. Up to 80 mil in Asia pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 due to pandemic. Airbnb to house 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates up to 80 million people in emerging Asian economies fell into extreme poverty last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Extreme poverty is defined as living below USD1.90 per day.

42 initial public offerings (IPOs) in Shanghai and Shenzhen were put on hold by China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), China’s market regulator, after starting a probe into an investment bank, a law firm, and other parties involved in the deals.

5,467 commercial passenger jets are in storage according to Rob Morris, global head of consultancy at Ascend by Cirium, an aviation and data analytics company. Thanks to the pandemic and the subsequent collapse in air travel, these jets are either parked at airports and storage facilities while their owners decide what to do with them. Some will never fly again.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Pfizer’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine has received full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The approval is expected to trigger vaccine mandates by employers and organisations across the country.

  • National Recovery Plan (NRP) updates — Labuan will enter Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) where all business sectors are allowed to open and Negeri Sembilan will move to Phase 2 of the NRP on Aug 26, 2021.

  • According to Education Ministry, some 1,517 schoolchildren have lost at least one parent to Covid-19 since the pandemic began back in March last year. The ministry has formed a ministry-level special taskforce to care for the welfare of these students.

  • National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has suggested for the government to use schools as Covid-19 vaccination centres for students to reduce the risk of students contracting Covid-19 at the existing vaccination centres (PPVs).


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. The Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal by Rewcastle-Brown and two others to set aside a High Court’s decision in exempting The Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah from testifying in her RM300 mil defamation suit against them. The Court of Appeal said Sultanah Nur Zahirah has to testify to prove her defamation suit.

  2. Fahmi Reza’s #dengkike sedition case over a satire featuring the Raja Permaisuri Agong’s portrait in a Spotify playlist has been dropped. The prosecutors decided there would be ‘no further action.’

  3. Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi could not attend his graft trial yesterday after suffering from a fall according to his defense team. The UMNO president had to go through a pain intervention procedure yesterday morning. Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah issued a subpoena to Zahid Hamidi’s doctor to explain the medical condition.

  4. UMNO sec-gen Datuk Seir Ahmad Maslan pleaded not guilty in the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday to judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh on the charges of money laundering for failing to declare RM2 mil received from Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and giving a false statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

  5. According to sources from UMNO & Bersatu, Azmin Ali is poised to be the DPM of the 9th PM’s new cabinet. We’re not surprised at this point because in Perikatan Nasional the people who failed their job would get promoted. Will the UMNO grassroots folks agree to this?

  6. Only 200 out of the 300 eligible contract medical officers that were offered permanent posts this month under the government’s new appointment scheme took up the offer. The remaining 100 did not report for duty and will not be given a second chance according to the Ministry of Health. The 100 vacancies would be filled immediately by other eligible medical officers.

Business

  1. Conglomerate IOI Corp Bhd reported a net profit of RM359.4 mil for 4QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, 50.82% higher than a year ago, due to higher contributions from the plantation and resource-based manufacturing segments.

    The group said the plantation segment profit for 4QFY21 grew 75% as higher crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK) realised prices during the period offset the lower fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production. The group declared a second interim dividend of six sen per share, to be paid on Oct 5, 2021.

  2. If you are in KL, you can now order an e-hailing service AirAsia Ride via AirAsia Group Bhd’s super app. The service is expected to be launched in Selangor, Penang, Johor, Kelantan, Sabah, Sarawak by end-2021. AirAsia Ride has about 1,500 registered drivers currently, with 5,000 more to come on board in the next six months.

    Get RM3 OFF for your first ride when you use the service - AARIDE3, valid between Aug 24 to Sep 30, 2021. Uncle Tony, don’t be so stingy la — give RM10 OFF, more steady.

  3. Lynas Rare Earths has been granted another extension to build a permanent disposal facility by March 2, 2022, by the previous administration. The extension was given due to Covid-19 constraints. Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) said the firm must construct the PDF in order not to violate the conditions of its three-year license which is set to expire on March 2, 2023.

  4. Berjaya Corp Bhd’s subsidiary Berjaya Land Bhd is now the largest hotel operator in Iceland with 1,471 keys across 14 hotels in Iceland under various brands. Fortunately, the group’s Iceland hotels are bouncing back very quickly as the Covid-19 quarantine restrictions are removed.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Airbnb, through its associated nonprofit, Airbnb.org, will house up to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide by matching them with hosts who are offering their homes for free or at a discounted rate. The company said it is working with resettlement agencies that are in touch with Afghans looking for a place to stay. 

    Since Aug 14, White House officials said that the US had evacuated, or facilitate the evacuation of 37,000 people the day before the Taliban entered Kabul, though it did not provide the breakdown of Afghan nationals amongst these 37,000 people. 

  2. Samsung Group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, unveiled a KRW240 tril (USD206 bil) expansion plan that will see it hiring 40,000 people over 3 years and expanding its footprint in next-generation technologies like biopharma, AI, semiconductors and robotics in the post-pandemic era. This is to ensure its leadership position, especially in the chip-making industry as Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest memory chip maker. 

    75% of the plan is allocated for its home country alone. Samsung Group has 59 affiliates with assets totalling KRW457 (USD392 bil). The investment plan comes just over a week since its leader Jay Y Lee was released from jail on parole following convictions for bribery and embezzlement. 

  3. A former senior executive of the world’s top drone manufacturer is bringing his expertise to producing hair dryers. Wang Mingyu, previously VP of R&D of China’s DJI, has founded Hong Kong-based Fresh & Clean Technology and is set to roll out the new Zuvi Halo hair dryer in Japan, the US and China next month. 

    Priced at around USD500, Halo is taking aim at the high-end segment occupied by the likes of Dyson and Panasonic. The hairdryer is 4x more efficient, using just 290 watts versus 1,200 watts for a conventional one. It features motors and technology for air control and energy efficiency that leverages Wang’s experience in building drones. 

    Weirdly, although it’s reported that the dryer will go on sale next month, it’s nowhere to be found online an image of Zuvi Halo nor the company’s website. 

    News in Brief:

  4. TikTok announced that it will further expand its partnership with Shopify established last October and pilot testing TikTok Shopping amongst select Shopify merchants in the US, UK and Canada in weeks to come. Shopify merchants with TikTok accounts will be able to add a new “Shopping” button tab on their TikTok profile and syncing their product catalogue to create mini-storefronts on their profile.

  5. China’s President Xi Jinping renewed call for “common prosperity” and redistributing wealth that has become overly concentrated in the hands of small number of people has darkened the sentiment for luxury brands such as Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Their share prices took a hit last week falling at least 8%. High-end car makers Porsche and Ferrari took a hit as well, with their share prices falling by 10% and 6% each, respectively. 

  6. Scientists have identified an ‘eighth’ continent, known as Zealandia, hidden under New Zealand and the surrounding Pacific. 94% of it is submerged is about half as big as Australia or about 2 mil sq miles. It’s about 1 bil years old - twice as old as initially estimated.  Although it was declared as a continent in 2017 by a team of geologists, not all researchers are convinced that this landmass can be considered a continent as there is no set definition of a continent. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. KYM - Know Your Mushrooms

  1. Incarceration rate per capita by country