☕️ Best paying job in Malaysia: Minister - RM55k monthly salary, RM100k/year holiday allowance, RM100k/month pension

UMNO Ahmad Maslan paid a fine for money laundering, walked away a free man. USD385 bn of China's lending kept undisclosed. "Squid Game" to be Netflix's biggest non-English series all-time.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

593 employees of United Airlines who decided not to get vaccinated, would be terminated after failing to comply with the carrier’s vaccination policy. Some 2,000 United workers have requested an exemption on medical or religious grounds. Do you think the jab mandate is fair?

13,427 infrastructure projects worth USD843 bn across 165 countries received money in the form of grants or loans from China, according to the AidData research lab at William & Mary, a university in the US state of Virginia. AidData calculated approximately USD385 bn of these loans don't show up in official accounts of government debt.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Klang Valley and Malacca will be transitioned to Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) effective Oct 1. With Kedah transitioning to Phase Two of NRP effective of the same date, the country has successfully moved out of Phase One.

  • Fully vaccinated adults (18 years old and above) can attend sports and recreational matches effective Oct 1. No eating or drinking is allowed in the stadiums and spectators would be required to wear face masks.

  • China will contribute an additional one million doses of CoronaVac Covid-19 (Sinovac) vaccine to Malaysia.

  • Claims of teens died from Covid-19 vaccine side effects have been debunked by the Health Ministry. The viral video claimed the vaccine had taken the lives of five teens. Two deaths were unrelated. The other two teens had side effects and were admitted to private hospitals but no fatality was reported thus far. The investigation into the last teen in Lahad Datu found nothing.


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4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Updates to the Seri Perdana Complex renovation — the amount is higher, at RM38.5 million and it was approved by then PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

  2. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will investigate the uCustoms system worth RM397.43 million after the lapses reported in the Auditor General’s Report 2019 Series 2. The project began almost a decade ago, in 2013 and was supposed to be completed in two years.

  3. Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin denies there are data breaches at the National Registration Department (JPN). He assured the firewall of the data security control system was very secure and all information is protected.

    Chief of Defence Force Tan Sri Affendi Buang said the Malaysian Armed Forces was not involved in the leak. The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) also denied any involvement.

    Anyone has 0.2 BTC to spare to confirm?

  4. UMNO’s Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said threw shades at the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun who was absent during yesterday’s sitting.

    Azalina questioned the four-year delay in establishing the Special Criminal Court on Sexual Crimes Against Children, arguing that the facility is needed in each state due to rising child abuse cases.

  5. The sad part is — the ministers are not even attending the parliament despite being renumerated handsomely. Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Muar-Independent) detailed some of the benefits enjoyed by them.

    Syed Saddiq said ministers are granted gratuity of up to RM2 million upon their resignation, on top of their monthly salary of RM55,000 per month.

    So-called rakyat representatives. Memalukan.

  6. On Wednesday, Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan was acquitted of charges of money laundering and giving a false statement against him after he agreed to pay a compound of RM1.1 million. According to his lawyers, the acquittal is not an admission of guilt but a settlement through the payment of the compound in a bid to resolve the matter.

Business

  1. Troubled oil and gas services firm Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd reported a net profit of RM14.9 mil for its latest quarter ended June 30, 2021, on the back of RM1.21 bil in revenue. The oil and gas service provider said there would be no comparative financial information available for the financial period due to a change in its financial year to June 30 from Dec 31.

  2. Singapore Exchange (SGX)’s Catalist-listed Hatten Land Ltd plans to operate at least 1,000 cryptocurrency mining (crypto mining) rigs within Hatten Group's properties in Malaysia after signing an agreement with Frontier Digital Asset Management Pte Ltd. The installation of the rigs should begin in 4Q21.

  3. S&P Global Ratings said Malaysian banks are not directly exposed to embattled property developer China Evergrande Group.

  4. The World Bank revised Malaysia’s economic growth projection to 3.3% in 2021, down from 4.5% forecast in June. The World Bank has projected higher economic growth of 5.8% and 4.5% in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

  5. Robo advisor StashAway Malaysia has launched three thematic portfolios — technology enablers, the future of consumer tech, and healthcare innovation. The portfolios feature ETFs from some of the world’s top fund managers, including ARK Invest, iShares, Global X, and VanEck.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Beijing’s direct intervention through a bailout of China Evergrande Group is unlikely. Instead, it is asking state-owned firms and state-backed property developers to purchase some of Evergrande’s assets. Evergrande announced on Wednesday that it will sell its 19.93% stake in Shengjiing Bank Co Ltd to a state-owned asset management company for MRB9.99 bil (USD1.5 bil).  Evergrande has more than USD300 bil in liabilities on its books to regularise. 

    In Guangzhou, Guangzhou City Construction Investment Group is close to acquiring Evergrande’s Guangzhou FC Soccer Stadium and surrounding residential projects. At a cost of RMB12 bil (USD1.9 bil) to build, the lotus-shaped stadium has a seating capacity of more than 100,000, making it the world’s largest venue built for soccer by capacity. Vanke and China Jinmao Holdings, both government-backed property developers have also been asked to purchase assets from Evergrande.

  2. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned lawmakers that the federal government will likely run out of cash and extraordinary measures by October 18, unless Congress raises the debt ceiling. She noted that the government’s daily gross cash flow (excluding financing), averaged nearly USD50 bil per day and has even exceeded USD300 bil.

    The new estimate raises the risk that the US could default on its debt if the debt ceiling is not increased, which would be catastrophic, tanking markets, the economy and delaying payments to millions of Americans. 

  3. Netflix has bought a new studio - a gaming studio, its first-ever, in its attempt to diversify revenue sources amid intensifying competition in the streaming space. The studio, Night School Studio, is best known for its debut game, “Oxenfree”, a supernatural teen thriller with an eerie soundtrack. The games will be included as part of Netflix membership with no ads and no in-app purchases. 

    “Squid Game”, which was released on Sep 17 will “definitely” be Netflix’s biggest non-English series of all time according to its co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, overtaking “Money Heist”, the fourth season of which is Netflix’s sixth-biggest debut ever with 65 mil households worldwide watching in the first 28 days of its release. The biggest ever debut for Netflix is “Bridgerton”, with 82 mil households watching it in the first 28 days. If you have not watched it, check out the trailer below.

  4. Honda Motor has launched a new business unit that sells data generated by smart vehicles, joining its rivals in this new industry that is worth as much as USD400 bil a year. These cars are equipped with cameras, lasers and sensors, collecting a whole range of data from driving distances and speed. 

    Honda holds driving data on about 3.7 mil vehicles. In August, it started commercialising this data on driving conditions with a starting price of JPY4 mil (USD36k) per month. The automaker is partnering with Tokyo location data startup Nightley to analyse drivers’ behaviour with monthly subscription starting at JPY200k. The data can be used to determine consumer demands, gauging the effectiveness of advertising and for planning openings of retail outlets. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Public Service Announcement from The Coffee Break @ Jalan Maarof, Bangsar. Do keep an eye out!

  1. The camouflaging cat

  2. Drone footage shot recently over the island of La Palma in Spain shows a single house spared from flowing lava