☕️ Citigroup lost USD500 million after making an 'accidental' transfer

'Doraemon' Minister Rina Harun questionable source of funds. A publicly listed US company raising USD1 billion debt to buy Bitcoin. UK approved world-first study to inject humans with Covid-19 virus.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

US$352 billion — the expected market size of ‘buy now pay later’ by 2025, 400% surge from the US$80 billion in 2020. We don’t encourage a debt-fuelled lifestyle!

US$600 million in forgone economic activity in the world’s fashion capitals— New York, Paris, Milan and London as Covid-19 has choked the flow of spending and postponed fashion shows.

US$70,000 — monthly rentals at luxury resorts being paid by remote workers who are having “lockdown fatigue”.

RM602 million distributions has been declared by Hong Leong Asset Management Bhd to its funds.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. According to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the government is looking to sign Covid-19 vaccine procurement contract with Johnson & Johnson based on positive clinical information on the vaccine.

  2. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched education TV channel DidikTV KPM to increase access to quality education for students nationwide. The incumbent TV channel will replace ntv7 but Media Prima Bhd assured that the current ntv7’s team will continue to execute DidikTV.

  3. The Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) is 87% completed as at end 2020. SUKE begins in Sri Petaling and ends in Ulu Kelang at the MRR2.

  4. Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and Bursa Malaysia have announced additional temporary relief measures for listed issuers — one-month extension for the issuance of quarterly and annual reports for the issuers listed Main and ACE Markets.

  5. Mr DIY Group (M) recorded a stellar quarter with 19% increase in net profit to RM108.27 million for Q42020 ended 31 Dec 2020. The group also declared an interim dividend of 0.7 sen per share, payable on April 8. The increase in revenue was mainly contributed by additional 141 net new stores in 2020 and rise in average monthly sales per store.

  6. Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun has reportedly settled her debts to a Paris-based film company when she was served with bankruptcy notice for debts amounting RM1.3 million. DAP Youth vice-chief Jenny Choy has questioned the minister’s wealth declaration to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. UK will be running the world-first study on Covid-19 by deliberately injecting 90 healthy young people between the age of 18 to 30 who are at low risk of Covid-19 complications with the coronavirus. This so-called ‘human challenge’ has received ethical approval and will be run in a secure facility to contain the virus with the participants being monitored 24 hours. Varying amount of the coronavirus will be injected to determine the smallest amount that will cause an infection.

  2. Citigroup lost a legal battle to recover more than half a billion dollars that it mistakenly sent out, making it ‘one of the biggest blunders in banking history’. Citigroup, acting as the loan’s administrative agent for the embattled cosmetic company, Revlon, mistakenly wired USD893 million to Revlon’s lenders, appearing to pay off a loan not due until 2023, when it intended to transfer USD7.8 million in interest payment instead. 

    Some of the lenders returned the money but 10 asset managers refused to and Citigroup sued to recoup approximately USD501 million that these parties have received. The judge that presided over this case however placed a temporary ban on the lenders from transferring these funds, given Citigroup’s plan to appeal. At least some hope left to recoup the money.

  3. An over-the-counter traded stock, ClubHouse Media Group, a social media marketing company, has surged 1,026% since early January after being confused by investors with the buzzy conversation app, Clubhouse. Its market cap shot up from USD225 million to USD2.5 billion as the Clubhouse app rose to fame during the same period. 

  4. MicroStrategy Inc, the first public listed company in the US that kickstarted the practice of buying Bitcoin for its treasury has increased its convertible debt offering to more than USD1 billion after initially planning to raise USD600 million. The purpose? To buy more Bitcoin. Back in Dec, the company also pulled off a similar move to raise USD400 million, which it then upsized it to USD650 million given strong investor demand. 

    It has 70,784 bitcoin in its stash to date with an average price of USD16,035. At today’s price of about USD51k per bitcoin, this stash is worth USD3.7 billion, up about 225% since it started accumulating Bitcoin in July 2020. Its share price has increased by more than 660% since then and turned its founder and CEO, Michael Saylor into a billionaire with a net worth of USD2.16 billion at its current share price. 

  5. Elon Musk’s SpaceX raised a new round of USD850 million in funding, valuing it at USD74 billion. The round was priced at USD419.99 per share, which is just shy of the notorious tweet by Elon Musk on taking Tesla private in 2018 at USD420. 

    SpaceX’s valuation is up 60% from its previous round in Aug 2020 that raised USD1.9 billion at a valuation of USD46 billion. The funding will assist SpaceX to pursue its ambitious projects such as Starlink internet satellites and Starship rockets, to ferry humans to Mars. 

  6. In the quarter ending Dec 31, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway added 2 large American brands into its portfolio. It purchased USD8.6 billion of Verizon Communications, the largest US mobile carrier and USD4.1 billion of Chevron Corp, the O&G company.

    The industry has been observing how Buffett will deploy its USD150 billion cash pile during the pandemic. Instead, USD15.7 billion was spent on buying back Berkshire Hathaway’s stocks in the first 3 quarters of 2020. \

  7. One of the most influential Redditors in the GameStop short squeeze saga, Keith Gill aka Roaring Kitty aka u/DeepFuckingValue has been hit with a class action lawsuit for securities fraud. The suit mentioned Gill was actually a licensed securities professional who manipulated the market to make profit for himself. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co and its subsidiary MML Investors Services LLC are also named as defendants as Gill was under their employment until 28 Jan 2021.

    Gill is scheduled to testify today before House Financial Services Committee over GameStop’s rally, along with executives from Robinhood Markets, Citadel LLC, Melvin Capital Managementand Reddit.

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