☕️ Covid-19 infectivity rate, R0 above 1, daily new Covid-19 cases back above 2,000

Global online marketplaces recorded 2020 GMV of >USD4 tril. 100 days until Tokyo Olympics, cancelling it 'remains an option' according to senior Japan leader. 100 kgs gold bar seized from Ah Long.

Know more, learn more. Be smarter in 3 minutes.

The underlined words are links! Click on them to the news article.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

269,162 — Ludwig broke the record for the most stream channel on Twitch after streamer broadcasted his daily life 24/7 for the past 31 days.

USD1.36 million — price of The Pixel, an image of single pixel, sold by Sotheby’s after a 90 minute bidding war. When it comes to art, provenance is a crucial in determining the authenticity of the art. With non-fungible token (NFT), the provenance can always be traced.

USD740 million — one of the Singapore’s largest-ever suspected investment fraud schemes, built on lies to investors for commodity trades that didn’t exist. The perpetrator is 33 year-old Ng Yu Zhi.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

R0 (R-Nought) in Malaysia is increasing once again at 1.14 as of April 14 2021 according to data collected by the Health Ministry. Health director-general (DG) Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham has shown in the tweet below that should the R0 continues to increase to 1.2, the number of daily cases could rise as high as 2,000 per day by end of May 2021.

Looks like we didn’t have wait until end May 2021 as the country recorded 2,148 cases on April 15, 2021. Please adhere to the SOP and stay safe. We can understand why the DG has been showing this expression.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Citigroup Inc (Citi) will be exiting retail banking in Malaysia and alongside 12 other markets Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Institutional clients in these markets will still be served. We will definitely miss the great credit cards from Citibank (not a sponsored post).

  2. Khazanah Nasional Bhd has completed a placement of 53.8 million shares in Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) of RM5.80 per share, representing 3% discount to the closing market price of RM5.98 on April 14, 2021. The placement raised proceeds of RM312 million, as part of the sovereign wealth fund’s efforts to rebalance its portfolio.

  3. CGS-CIMB Securities International Pte Ltd is targeting a mouth watering IPO of RM3 billion as it considers listing in Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia. The stockbroker had a total equities turnover of approximately RM813.1 billion in the year 2020 as retailers looked for higher returns in the low interest rate climate.

  4. RM28.55 million worth of gold bars and cash were seized from the employer who assaulted two bodyguards for fasting in Klang. Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Arjunaidi Mohamed said the employer and four others were arrested for alleged illegal gambling and loan shark activities.

  5. Former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s husband Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman was said to have spent three hours at the police Commercial Crime unit in a possible money laundering probe. His statement was taken by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)’s investigating officer Superintendent Foo Wei Min.

  6. Projek Lebuhraya Usahasama Bhd (PLUS) has issued a stern warning against vehicle owners who fail to pay tolls including being taken to court. In a statement, PLUS said several drivers from logistics companies have been deliberately evading toll payments.

  7. Immunitee, a Malaysian health passport public-blockchain based app successfully verified first live passenger in Singapore. The passenger did his RT-PCR swab test at a Qualitas clinic, and had his results electronically stored directly onto the blockchain then subsequently read and accepted by immigration in Singapore. Any experts mind sharing how is using a blockchain method more effective than a centralised database?


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Online marketplaces around the world saw explosive growth in 2020 with gross merchandise value (GMV) increasing by 29% yoy to USD4.28 tril, according to eMarketer. The top 3 players Taobao, Tmall (both owned by Alibaba) and Amazon itself dominated of the pie, accounting for USD2.67 tril in GMV. 

    Some interesting stats on these online marketplaces:

    1. The top 100 sites accounted for 95% of global sales on online marketplaces

    2. Of these top 100 sites:

      a. 5 had a GMV ranging between USD50-100 bil

      b. 12 had a GMV ranging between USD10-50 bil

      c. The most populous category was the USD250 mil to USD1 bil range with 31 marketplaces in this category

      d. North America had the highest number of marketplaces of 52, followed by Asia (22) and followed by Europe (19). 

  2. Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, will be stepping down later this year. Every year since 1997 Amazon went public, Bezos has written an annual letter to shareholders that is widely read. 

    In his final letter, Bezos summarised Amazon’s achievements, impact to its stakeholders and also the future for the company. Bezos summarised its stakeholders’ ‘bottom line’ or value creation in 2020 as follows:

    1. Shareholders: USD21 bil

    2. Employees: USD91 bil

    3. 3P Sellers: USD25 bil

    4. Customers: USD164 bil

      Total: USD301 bil

      "If you want to be successful in business (in life, actually), you have to create more than you consume."

      - Jeff Bezos, 2020 Annual Letter

    Amazon on Thursday has announced a USD250 mil venture fund to invest in Indian startups and entrepreneurs focusing on digitsation of small and medium sized businesses in its key Indian market. 

  3. With 100 days to go until the Tokyo Olympics, cancelling the event ‘remains an option’, if the coronavirus continues to worsen according to Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the Libreal Democratic Party, a senior member of Japan’s ruling party. Concerns have been amplified as Japan is bracing for a fourth wave and only 1.1 mil of its 126 mil population (less than 1%) getting vaccinated so far. If it proceeds, Tokyo Olympics which cost USD25 bil might be at risk to be a super spreader event. 

  4. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccines have been reported to have caused blood clot amongst some of its recipients, although it’s still considered a rare occurrence. Both vaccines are created using the same method and this has got medical experts wondering whether the technology itself is linked to the clotting. These vaccines are viral-vector vaccines, which introduce a coronavirus gene into the body using genetically engineered common-cold virus called adenovirus. This side effect is not observed in the vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna which uses the mRNA technology that spurs the body to produce one of the coronavirus’ signature proteins, thereby stimulating an immune response. 

  5. Dyson to hire 250 engineers and scientists in the coming 5 years in SIngapore. It currently has 1,400 people in Singapore, of which half are engineers and scientists. 

    French pharma giant Sanofi Pasteur is investing EUR400 mil over 5 years to build a vaccine production centre in Singapore and creating up to 200 local jobs. 

    Tencent launched its first data centre of its cloud services division in Indonesia and is looking to set up another one in Indonesia this year as well. To serve the Southeast Asia region, it has 2 data centres in Singapore and Thailand.

    And then, we have Malaysia: Facebook and Google to skip Malaysia for its undersea cable connecting the west coast of the US to Singapore and Indonesia due to Malaysia’s cabotage policy, potentially causing Malaysia to lose out RM12 - 15 bil in investment to build data centres in Malaysia. The tech giants Microsoft, Facebook and Google had jointly written to PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over to intervene the Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong’s abrupt change in the cabotage policy.

    **Clap clap** for Malaysia.

Hope you enjoy reading our newsletter! Share this newsletter to your friends if it made you smarter today!