☕️ AirAsia's digital business now a 'unicorn'

Anwar Ibrahim upgraded by PM to status with ministerial-level amenities. The story of 'Farm Fresh'. Rare red 'sprite' seen from ISS - a lightning that shoots upwards, instead of to the ground.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

13th — Malaysia’s passport ranking in 2021. Malaysia’s passport can travel to 179 visa-free destinations.

23,992 cargo units — the capacity of the world’s largest container ship, the Ever Ace. Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) officially became the first port in Southeast Asia to welcome Ever Ace.

7,448 units of Youth Transit Housing (RTB) will be built by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) in an effort to help ease the burden of young people who live in the Klang Valley.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


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4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has received confirmation from the PM, upgrading his status with ministerial-level amenities. The request is part of the MoU on Transformation and Political Stability signed on Sep 13, 2021.

    The facilities for the Opposition bloc in Parliament will also be upgraded to be on par with the prime minister’s, as confirmed by DAP’s Anthony Loke. The bilateral meetings between the government and the opposition will take place once every fortnight.

  2. The High Court has set Dec 14, 2021, for the hearing of MUDA’s application to challenge the Home Minister and Registrar of Societies (RoS) in rejecting MUDA’s appeal to register as a political party.

  3. Only in Malaysia, you can buy a promotion to Superintendent with money. The price? RM100,000. Two suspects have been arrested for allegedly intimidating a woman who lent RM100,000 to a police officer, a Deputy Superintendent, for his promotion.

    The police in question has yet to be arrested.

  4. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob once again assured the proposal to introduce an equity safety net framework in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) will not take away the rights and interests of other races.

    He added that the framework would be introduced to ensure that the sale of shares or companies by Bumiputera-mandated agencies would only be offered to qualified Bumiputera consortiums, companies or individuals.

  5. The gerrymandering issues will likely persist in Malaysia for the upcoming general election. Undi18 will bring an influx of young voters in the country, but the redelineation exercises will only happen later — Sarawak would be in 2023, Sabah in 2025 and other states in 2026.

    Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the number of voters in a constituency is more or less the same after considering factors such as communication, transportation, demographics and geography.

Business

  1. AirAsia Group Bhd’s digital businesses have achieved unicorn status with a valuation of over USD1 billion in less than two years, according to Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes. The statement came after Credit Suisse’s report identified AirAsia Digital as one of three ASEAN unicorns based in Malaysia.

    While it was cited in Credit Suisse’s report, the USD1 bil valuation came about after AirAsia acquired Gojek’s Thailand opposition. The actual valuation is anybody’s guess.

  2. Lion Industries Corporation Bhd’s (LICB) Amsteel Mills Sdn Bhd is disposing of its 100% stake in Antara Steel Mills Sdn Bhd to Singapore’s Singapore’s Esteel Enterprise Pte Ltd for USD122mil (RM509.96mil). The disposal would improve LICB’s financial position as it allows LICB to realise a substantial gain of approximately RM403.10 mil.

  3. How did Amanah Raya Bhd (ARB) lose money? Worse than an amateur investor, the investments made by ARB have no benchmark. Investments were also made without the approval of the Investment Committee. These were the findings by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). PAC further found ARB does not have a complete investment policy and the board has no control over the investments made.

    Case in point — ARB invested in Keppel Bay, Singapore, where the gross development value (GDV) was insufficient to cover the investment cost, causing ARB to lose RM114.34 million.

  4. Dewan Rakyat passes amendments to the Windfall Profit Levy Act 1998 (Act 592). The Windfall Profit Levy (Amendment) Bill 2020 was mooted to develop existing provisions and introduce new provisions to improve the administration of the windfall profit levy.

  5. Three Tune Talk Sdn Bhd shareholders seek Axiata to be prohibited from including 5.25 million Tune Talk shares (representing a 35% stake) registered in the name of Celcom Axiata in the proposed merger with Digi.com Bhd.

    Axiata Group Bhd, Celcom Axiata Bhd and Celcom Mobile Sdn Bhd have applied to strike out the said lawsuit. The High Court has fixed Jan 5, 2021, to hear the striking out application.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. LG Electronics has agreed to reimburse General Motors (GM) up to USD1.9 bil to recall and fix all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles since production began in 2016 due to fire risks caused by faulty batteries provided by the South Korean supplier. The faulty batteries have caused at least 13 vehicles to catch fire, according to GM.

    The reimbursement will allow GM to recognise an estimated recovery in Q3 that will offset USD1.9 bil of USD2 bil charges associated with the recalls. The manufacturing problems occurred at LG Battery Solution’s plant in South Korea and Michigan. GM says that the “rare manufacturing defects” in the Bolt EVs are a torn anode tab and folded separator that, when present in the same battery, increase the risk of fire. 

  2. Yieldstreet, a site that democratises access to alternative investments, has agreed to a multi-year sponsorship deal with the American football team, New York Giants, worth about USD1mil. Founded in 2014, the platform offers users access to nontraditional investments usually reserved for institutions like hedge funds and wealthy family offices. These assets typically are private loans in sectors including real estate, shipping, art, finance and aviation. 

    The company said it has returned more than USD1 bil in principal and interest and currently has over 300,000 users on its platform. In June, the company raised USD100 mil at a valuation of USD800 mil and counts George Soros as an early backer. The company expects to reach USD100 mil in revenue in 2021 and is planning to go public via a SPAC merger. 

  3. Just how fast Chinese EV carmakers are producing cars? Xpeng and Nio took about six years to produce 100,000 vehicles, half the time Tesla took to reach the milestone. Tesla took 12 years from launch to produce 100,000 vehicles in 2013. To be clear, Tesla is still much larger in comparison. It crossed the one-millionth car mark back in Mar 2020. In September, Tesla sold a record 56,006 China-made vehicles since it started production in Shanghai about two years ago. 

  4. Cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network has raised USD400 mil in its latest fundraising round, valuing the company over USD3 bil - a 2,400% increase from its previous fundraising round last year that valued it at USD120 mil. The round was led by WestCap, a New York-based growth equity firm and CDPQ, a global investment group. 

    As of Oct 2021, the company reported that it has crossed the USD25 bil threshold in total assets with more than one mil registered users. In just three years, it has paid more than USD850 mil in interest to users

  5. Thomas Pesquet, an astronaut onboard the ISS, captured a “very rare occurrence” of a “sprite” above Europe. Sprites are red flashes that last for milliseconds and are made of lightning that shoots up toward space rather than down to the ground. Pictures of a sprite are so rare, and little is known about it. The first image was captured in the late 1980s. 

  6. The Chinese government is proposing new rules that would ban news reporting by outlets not directly funded by the Communist Party, further blow to freedom of speech in the country. The proposal prevents private capital from funding newsgathering, broadcasting and distribution, including social media. It is not clear if foreign news outlets operating in China would be impacted.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. We did a thread on Farm Fresh! Quite a remarkable story.

  2. Where in Europe are you more likely to get robbed?

  3. A flooded Thai restaurant becomes a hit with local diners.