☕️ Bitcoin breaks USD20k first time ever

Major study shows tax cuts for the rich leading to growing inequality. New BNM funding for SMEs in hi-tech sectors. Another possible side effect of Pfizer and Moderna's vaccine.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD4.2 billion was donated by MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to those affected economically by the pandemic through 384 organisations in the US from food banks to relief funds. Her net worth is approximately USD60 billion attributed to her 4% stake in Amazon, making her amongst the richest women in the world. In July, she donated USD1.7 billion to 114 organisation and made it all back 2 days later when Amazon share price rose.

2.3 million children are cut off from humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

USD500,000 (GBP378k) - price paid for a handwritten note by Sir Isaac Newton in a Sotheby’s auction earlier in December. The note is badly damaged from fire. Story goes that his dog knocked over a candle and set his notes on fire.

4,200 square kilometres is the size of the world’s largest iceberg. Named Iceberg A68a, it is also larger than 66 countries and territories, nearly as big as Luxembourg.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

Malaysia overtakes China (86,770) after 1,295 new Covid-19 cases reported yesterday.


4. IN MALAYSIA

  1. Eligible SMEs under BNM’s High Tech Facility - National Investment Aspirations can obtain financing up to RM1 million for working capital and RM5 million for capital expenditure. From pharmaceuticals to IR4.0 related technologies, the fund is quite expansive. Hooray!

  2. Regulated short selling (RSS) in KLCI will be back beginning 1st Jan 2021. However, the suspension intraday short selling (IDSS) and intraday short selling by proprietary day traders (PTD short sale) will be extended till 28 Feb 2021. You can find the list of approved RSS securities here.

  3. 427 workers at Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd’s facility in Klang test positive for Covid-19. The glove maker expects less than 2% impact to its bottom line.

  4. Malaysia is ranked 62 out of 189 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) 2020. The country saw increase in average life expectancy to 76.2 years (76 years previously) and in Gross National Income per capita of RM111,554 (from RM110,310 previously).

  5. CGS CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd expects more volatility in stock market in 2021 and Malaysia’s 15th General Election should be held in the 2H2021 in a note today. The Election Commission will have more polling centres if it’s held in the new “normal” to encourage more people to come out to vote.

  1. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has given green light for an emergency to be declared in Gerik (Perak) and Bugaya (Sabah) thus postponing the by-elections in the two seats.


5. AROUND THE WORLD

  1. Bitcoin breaks USD20,000 first time ever, extending year-to-date return to 185%. Probably the best performing asset class in 2020.

    Another institution, a British investment fund Ruffer Investment Management has confirmed its investment of USD745 million into Bitcoin. This constitutes 2.7% of its AUM of USD27.3 billion. What’s more pertinent is that Ruffer sold some of its gold and replaced it with Bitcoin, which is often compared as the digital gold.

  2. After its IPO unravelled by the Chinese government, Ant Financial is ‘looking into the mirror, finding out our shortcomings, and conducting a body check-up’ according to its chairman, Eric Jing, in his speech at the 4th China internet Finance Forum. 

  3. The next tech company to go IPO, Wish, an e-commerce app, will be raising USD1.1 billion giving it a valuation of USD17 billion. Its last funding round in Aug 2019 saw it raising USD300 million at a valuation of USD11 billion.

    It has 150 million items listed on its platform, selling 2 million items per day according to its S-1 filing. FY2019 revenue stood at USD1.9 billion and no surprise, that it is not profitable.

  4. Japan, the world’s 3rd largest economy and an export powerhouse reported 24th straight month of decline in its export, due to weaker US and China-bound shipments, risking Japan’s economic recovery as it relies heavily on external demand to boost factory production and broader corporate activity.

  5. US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended observing people who got Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine shots for possible cases of Bell’s palsy

    Moderna: 4 cases of Bell’s palsy amongst more than 30,000 clinical trial participants

    Pfizer: 4 cases of Bell’s palsy amongst 43,000 participants. 

    That said, the FDA said that there wasn’t enough data to conclude that this was caused by the vaccine shots.

    Bell’s palsy causes a sudden freezing or weakness in a person’s facial muscles that is temporary for most people, according to Mayo Clinic

  6. StockX, originally launched as a marketplace for sneakers and now including other categories like streetwear, luxury goods, collectibles, raisedUSD275 million in its Series E round, valuing it at USD2.8 billion. The round was led by Tiger Global

    Since launch in 2016, it has recorded over 13 million transactions in over 200 countries - 50% which came in the last 12 months and has surpassed a lifetime Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of USD2.5 billion. StockX averages 25 million visitors per month. 

  7. Tax cuts for the rich do not lead to employment and economic growth, instead causing widening wealth inequality, with little ‘trickle down’ effect according to a huge study on 50 years of tax cuts in 18 countries like Japan, US, UK, France etc by academics from the London School of Economics and King’s College London

    Back in July, 83 millionaires including Ben & Jerry’s co-founder and a Disney heiress have signed a letter requesting for higher taxes on the super-rich to support Covid-19 relief. 

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