☕️ Controversial Malaysian rapper, Namewee winning major US award for his video promoting Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

A safe haven asset better than gold-Hermes bags. The USD1 billion US ETF that invests exclusively in weed/marijuana companies. Credit rating agencies unfavourable outlook of MY economy and 5G rollout.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

36% of Malaysians lost weight during MCO.

USD8 million - the threshold to make the cut to be the richest 1% in Monaco. In Singapore, it takes USD2.9 million.

110,000 seating capacity in the world’s largest cricket stadium.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has received the first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine as the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme begun yesterday!

  2. Battle between Moody’s Analytics vs Finance Minister Tengku DS Zafrul Abdul Aziz on the country’s economy. The former says the MCO puts the economy recovery at risk while Finance Minister says the recovery is on track with the vaccine roll out. Whose side are you on?

  3. Rubberex Corp Bhd recorded its highest quarterly net profit on record of RM59.44 million for 4Q20 ended 31 Dec 2020, 15 times the RM3.88 million it made back in 4Q19. However, with rapid roll out of vaccination across the globe — is the glove party finally over?

  4. Automotive LED maker D&O Green Technologies Bhd net profit surged 119% to RM30.32 million for 4Q20 ended 31 Dec 2020 as compared to RM13.85 million in 4Q19. The growth in revenue is attributed to its automative sector, which reported 41% growth as auto industry continues to recover.

  5. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah issued a statement that the Parliament can convene during the emergency order. The move to suspend the parliament through an emergency order has been deemed by many as a desperate move to cling on to power by PM Muhyiddin Yassin.

  6. Controversial Malaysian artiste, Namewee, became a major winner at the US Arpa International Film Festival 2021. His tourism video to promote Kaohsiung, a city in Taiwan, ‘Gateway to Kaohsiung’, won Best Music Video at the annual festival from the US. Whilst Malaysian leaders tend to condemn for his creativity, Taiwan capitalised on his talent to promote their city and gained world recognition.

  7. Last week, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the MyDigital initiative and would spend RM15 billion in the next 10 years to expand 5G across the nation via special purpose vehicle. Research arm of Fitch Group — Fitch Solutions isn’t optimistic on the state-led 5G roll out citing potential corruption as the SPV lacks transparency. The lack of private sector involvement causes concern too as contracts might now follow open tender processes. We’ll need to keep a close eye on this one.

  8. The founder of Sugarbook, Darren Chan has been charged under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for publishing the post containing “Top 10” universities in Malaysia with the intention to cause public fear.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is the first US ETF to focus solely on American companies  that are directly involved in the legal production and distribution of cannabis. Launched in Sep 2020, its assets have grown from USD2.5 million to now USD1 billion in a span of 6 months. It returned 110% since its inception, with 37% returns alone in 2021. 

    The inflow signals growing interest by investors and the decriminalisation campaign against it by the Biden administration. 

  2. According to documents published by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot Covid-19 vaccine appeared to be safe and effective in trials. The FDA approving panel comprising of independent experts will meet this Friday to decide whether to approve the shot. 

    J&J’s vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against the multiple variants of the coronavirus in a global trial involving nearly 44,000 people. Its effectiveness is a mixed bag - 72% in the US, 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa, though the vaccine was 85% effective overall in preventing severe cases. 

  3. An unexpected safe haven during the pandemic and the past decade turns out to be a bag, not gold. A bag of Hermes, the French luxury handbag icon, outperformed other luxury items last year, according to a report by property consultant Knight Frank. It rose 17% last year compared to wine (13%) and collectible cars (6%). Over the past decade, the group’s bags have risen 108% beating gold’s 29% return. Hermes International has a market cap of EUR99 billion (USD1212 billion), trading at a lofty 51x forward earnings. Will its shares store value just as good as its bags? 

  4. England’s biggest airport, Heathrow Airport suffered a GBP2 billion (USD2.8 billion) annual loss in 2020 after passenger numbers collapsed to levels seen in the 1970s. It lost its title as the busiest airport in Europe to Paris last year. 2020 passenger figures collapsed by 73% to 22 million, with half of these people travelling in Jan and Feb before the pandemic shuts down global travelling. 

    It suffered GBP2 billion losses on revenue of GBP1.18 billion, down 62% from a year earlier. Thankfully, it still has GBP3.9 billion in liquidity to sustain it until 2023. 

  5. Didi Chuxing, China’s ride-hailing giant, plans to expand into Western Europe that could include the UK, France and Germany by the first half of the year. The Softbank-backed startup operates in 13 countries outside China, mostly in Latin America. Apart from slowing growth in its home market, its geographical expansion plans are likely due to the Chinese government growing effort to curb the influence of tech companies with recently unveiled anti-monopoly regulations targeting internet companies.

  6. Stunning images taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover of Mars. Also, it captured some audio on Mars - listen for yourself below.

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