☕️ DBS: Malaysian Ringgit 'remarkably undervalued'

Iran alarming nuclear activity 'almost weapons grade'. Parliament Deputy Speaker calls for Parliament to reconvene. A startup that creates robotic for rock/stone-picking raised USD25 mil.

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USD1 mil is offered as lottery prize each to 5 lucky winners by the state of Ohio in the US to encourage its people to vaccinate. 2.75 mil people have registered for this opportunity.

200,000 Powerwalls have been installed worldwide according to Tesla’s twitter. Tesla’s Powerwalls is like a home’s equivalent of smartphone powerbank.

274,097 health workers were given psychological first aid in the first four months of 2021.


  • After the encouraging number of sign ups for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, Khairy Jamaluddin says it will no longer be an opt-in choice and will be used as part of the national immunisation programme. Malaysians may be able to choose their vaccine soon on MySejahtera.

  • Additional 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has been placed, raising the total size of Malaysia’s order to 44.8 million doses — covering 70% of Malaysians.


  1. Media Prima Bhd returns to the black for 1QFY21 ended March 31 2021 with a net profit of RM5.25 million from a net loss of RM29.54 million a year ago, supported by driven by higher revenue and lower operating expenses. No dividend was declared for the latest quarter.

  1. DBS Group Research said the Malaysian ringgit is “remarkably undervalued” based on its own foreign exchange fair value exchange rates (DEER) valuation derived from purchasing power parity (PPP), productivity differentials and terms of trade. The RM has some potential upside for long-term investors if there’s further clarify on Malaysia’s fiscal position and improvements in the Covid-19 situation.

    But once factoring for the political risk and competency of the nation’s current leadership, maybe Ringgit is ‘fairly’ priced.

  2. Field day for Khairy Jamaluddin after major announcements on the vaccination’s availability for the public. He further commented the RM70 million is actually the maximum allocated budget for all the IT infrastructure related to the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme ranging from MySejahtera app, vaccine logistics system to daily reporting dashboard and of course, the infamous website.

  3. Deputy speaker MP Azalina Othman Said has called for the Parliament to reconvene in order to the MPs to assist in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. In her open letter, she has laid out eight suggestions to avoid the current government’s biggest fear — being toppled. The Penggerang MP proposed for the forging of a bipartisan “interim emergency government” and a specific ordinance to allow Parliament to reconvene without a motion of no-confidence being tabled.

  4. Another week, another local celebrity gets fined to breaching SOP. Popular local singer Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza and her husband Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa were fined RM10,000 each for violating SOP during the tahnik ceremony for their second child — failure to maintain physical distancing.

News in brief

  1. Ex-CEO of MRT Corp Sdn Bhd, Datuk Wira Azhar Abdul Hamid will be appointed at its chairman effective May 11 2021.

  2. Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) saw an increase in net profit by 16.7% y-o-y to RM2.39 billion for 1QFY21 ended March 31, 2021.

  3. AirAsia Group Bhd reported loss of RM767.42 million for 1QFY21 ended March 31, 2021.


  1. Klarna, the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) fintech startup and Europe’s most valuable private startup. Is said to finalising a new fundraising round led by Softbank, raising about USD500 mil according to sources and could value the company between USD40 - 50 bil. It raised USD1 bil back in March at a valuation of USD31 bil. To date, it has raised USD3 bil.

    Klarna lets shoppers spread out their online purchases across interest-free instalments and has thousands of merchants integrated with its service. It has 90 mil users globally, and is booming in the US with 60 mil users. Unlike most startups, it posted a net operating income of USD1.09 bil in 2020, up 40% from a year earlier, helped by the shift to online shopping and boosted by the pandemic. Its BNPL service is coming under heavier scrutiny by regulators as it is seen to be promoting an unhealthy consumer lifestyle amongst the younger generation.

  2. With the pandemic causing intensified competition from e-commerce and convenience stores, major Indonesian retailer Hero Supermarket Tbk PT announced that it intends to close most of its hypermarket outlets over the next 2 months. The company operates 19 supermarkets under the Hero brand and 75 large Giant hypermarkets. It intends to convert 5 Giant outlets into IKEA stores and close the rest by the end of July but is also considering converting some Giant outlets to the Hero brand. Hero is the franchisee of IKEA in Indonesia, having opened its first IKEA store in 2014, with a fourth and latest one coming up soon this year. 

    Its Q1 2021 revenue fell 32% yoy to IDR1.76 tril (USD118 mil) with losses of IDR2 bil (USD140k). It also runs 300 over Guardian drug stores outlets in Indonesia with plans to open 100 new outlets by 2022 and 4x its IKEA outlets. Hero Supermarket has a market cap of IDR 5.79 tril (USD400 mil). 

  3. The head of UN’s nuclear watchdog and director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, has expressed alarm over Iran’s nuclear programme, that the situation is ‘very concerning’ as Iran’s nuclear programme has grown more sophisticated over the past 2 years. Iran announced that it has enriched uranium to a purity of 60%, which Grossi said is ‘almost weapons grade’ when commercial enrichment is only 2-3% and ‘only countries making bombs are reaching this level’. Iran denies repeatedly that it is making nuclear weapons and its purpose is for medical and research purposes.

    In 2015, an Iran nuclear accord was established to address Iran’s nuclear activity but since former President Trump pulled out from the accord in May 2019, Iran has ramped up its nuclear activity in retaliation to Trump’s action. Despite that, it still continues holding talks with the accord’s other signatories - Germany, France, UK, China and Russia. President Biden has said his administration would rejoin the talks. Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is 10x the 300kg limit agreed in the accord earlier.

    News in Brief:

  4. Melbourne, Australia, is to enter a 7-day lockdown effective Thursday after identifying 26 new Covid-19 cases and 150 sites where people may have been exposed to the coronavirus. The city is on high alert as the highly contagious Indian variant has found its way to Melbourne.

  5. Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon, will be stepping down on July 5, as it's sentimental for him since it was the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994. 

  6. Rock-picking is a big problem to be solved in the agricultural industry as it’s difficult to move and could cause damage to farmers’ equipment. TerraClear, an agricultural robotics company that builds automatic solutions that is capable of picking up 400 rocks per hour and picking and moving rocks up to 300 pounds, announced that it has raised a Series A round of USD25 mil, after its initial fundraising of USD6 mil in 2019. 


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