☕️ CMCO - Confusing Movement Control Order?

Fitch downgrades Malaysia. Grab en route to becoming a bank. Adolf Hitler Uunona won an election.

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Commentary

It goes without saying that we have featured Top Glove multiple times in our newsletter, for better or worse reasons. They have been making aggressive share buybacks to the tune of >RM1 billion whilst facing Covid-19 outbreak amongst their workers due to reported poor living conditions. An ethical investing framework, known as ESG which stands for Environmental, Social and Governance is making its way to socially conscious investors.

Given the treatment of their migrant worker, Top Glove seems to have underperformed in the ‘S’ pillar. Last week, Tropicana Corp Bhd, a listed property developer in which Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, the founder of Top Glove has a 11.07% stake, announced that they purchased RM78.5million worth of Top Glove shares. Tropicana justified the share purchases based on Top Glove’s bright prospects, even though its balance sheet seems a bit shaky given a slow down in its core business. Even more glaring, this happened a week before Top Glove’s quarterly results announcement. Although, LWC abstained in the decision-making of this purchase, it’s really hard to see how he would not have any influence. Would his other public listed company which he is a major shareholder in as well identify this opportunity and joined the party? Here, the ‘G’ pillar scored a negative.

So far so good for the ‘E’ pillar. For the sake of our society, the environment and country’s image and of course, Top Glove’s own share price (no, we are not shareholders), let’s hope that Top Glove wouldn’t mess up this aspect as the glove manufacturing process is known to discharge effluent. They wouldn’t want to achieve this trifecta.


1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD2.1 trillion - US companies largest cash pile ever as at 30 June. This came from cut in share buybacks and capital expenditures and fuelled by debt-raising activities of more than USD2 trillion as at 30 Nov.

RM25.65 million - Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim’s divestment of his remaining 70% stake in law firm Messrs Zaid Ibrahim & Co (ZICO).

260% increase in active e-wallet users between August 2019 and 2020 according to BNM.

3,600 employees in Penang will be affected as Sony Corp plans to close a factory in Malaysia in 2021.


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3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA

  1. The CMCO is being extended for some states or districts for two weeks but it can get confusing. Bottom line is the police will no longer carry out roadblocks from December 7 onwards unless it is an EMCO district or area. You can now travel interstate from today onwards!

  2. BNM in final stages of developing digital banking license framework. Meanwhile in Singapore, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has granted 4 licenses to four firms: Grab-Singtel, Ant Group, Sea (owner of Shopee) and Greenland Financial Consortium. 21 firms applied, including Tiktok-parent company ByteDance.

  3. If your raise next year is more than 5%, consider yourself lucky! Mercer Malaysia’s recent surveys projected an average increment of 4.5%, marking the lowest average salary increase in Malaysia since 2016.

  4. Alibaba International Invest, are they related to Jack Ma’s Alibaba group? Think twice as Securities Commission (SC) has just added the company into SC’s investor list of unauthorised websites, investments products, companies and individuals.

  5. Malaysia’s long-term foreign currency issue default rating (IDR) has been downgraded by Fitch Ratings to ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-’, with a stable outlook. Fitch cited country’s fiscal burden (Government’s debts) and lingering political uncertainty cause concerns. The country may see capital outflows and weakening Ringgit as a result.

  6. Perak’s Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal has resigned following the motion of vote of confidence against him during the State Assembly last Friday (4 Dec 2020). Shockingly, DAP is willing to work with UMNO to resolve the crisis.

  7. A wild boar visited a shopping mall in Putrajaya. No individuals nor the wild boar was harmed.


5. AROUND THE WORLD

  1. Argentina’s Congress has approved a one-off tax levy of at least 2% on the country’s top 0.8% population to fund Covid-19 relief activities. This will impact those with assets above USD2.5 million or about 12,000 people, generating about USD3.3 billion in extra income for the government. Argentina’s economy has been struggling and mired in economic recession for the 3rd straight year whilst facing a debt pile of USD323 billion.

  2. China is taking its central planning activities to the next level - to expand its experimental weather modification programme to cover an area more than 5.5 million square kilometer (1.5x the size of India). China will be able to create artificial rain and snow and suppress hail which will aid disaster relief, agriculture production, fighting forest and grassland fires and responding to unusually hight temperatures and droughts. 

    This is known as ‘geoengineering’. Scientists warned that artificially influencing weather in one area might affect weather in other areas and China’s neighbouring countries. Between 2012 to 2017, China has spent USD1.34 billion towards this effort. 

  3. The major countries have started distributing Covid-19 vaccine China has rolled out its Covid-19 vaccination programme to more than 1 million high-risk people, especially health care workers. too has started its vaccination programme using the Russian-made Sputnik V. UK will begin its programme this coming 8 Dec.

  4. The incoming Biden administration is planning to electrify the EV industry in US by adding 500,000 electric vehicle charging cords by 2030, up from the current 90,000 public charging plugs at 28,000 US stations. This would come at a cost of USD5 billion.

  5. Trump seems depressed due to the ‘rigged’ US election results and only spends time pursuing his election fraud claims, neglecting his other responsibilities towards the Americans. Meanwhile, US Covid-19 cases are hitting’  record high daily. Not done with his claims, Trump is planning to preemptively pardon 20 associates.

  6. Adolf Hitler Uunona won a local election in Namibia. Despite the name, he has no association with the Nazi leader and that his father probably did not understand the significance of this name.

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