☕️ Eclipse is magical. Imagine 3 eclipses at one time - only on Jupiter
PM Sabri to announce new 'old' cabinet today at 11 am. Highest unemployment rate in the world: South Africa @ 44.4%. Indonesia's ex-minister jailed for 12 years for pandemic aid bribes.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
44.4% — South Africa’s unemployment rate for the second quarter of 2021, the highest in the world on a global list of 82 countries monitored by Bloomberg. The unemployment rate, which includes people who have stopped looking for work.
100,000 Starlink internet terminals have been shipped to global buyers, according to Elon Musk, which is now serving 14 countries. Starlink's website showed that Starlink is targeting internet coverage in Malaysia in 2022.
Apple’s stock has gone up by 1,022% since Tim Cook became the CEO of Apple Inc. 10 years ago. Apple was worth USD349 bil when Cook took over, and now it is worth USD2.45 trillion.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Former health minister Dr Dzukefly Ahmad pointed out that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin did not listen to his health adviser, Dr Jemilah Mahmood, to carry out mass testing for Covid-19 during his tenure as the PM. Dr Jemilah Mahmood, in an interview, mentioned that Malaysia’s lack of mass testing is the weakest link in its pandemic management strategy. Well, he was busy shuffling his cabinet.
A study in the UK showed the effectiveness of Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca against the coronavirus fades after four to six months of full inoculation. However, Alexander Hammers, a professor of imaging and neuroscience at King’s College London, said it was already known from other coronaviruses that immunity against the disease didn’t tend to be lifelong. So don’t be too alarmed — it is normal for vaccines’ effectiveness to wane over time.
Record high deaths (393) & record high new cases (24,599), how we feel:
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
PMO office has clarified prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Yaakob Sabri will present his cabinet line-up at 11 am today after presenting his proposed list to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan, Pahang, yesterday morning. The swear-in ceremony will happen on Monday (Aug 30, 2021).
What’s your prediction? We’re predicting former PM Najib Razak to be the Finance Minister since he knows where the 1MDB funds are so he can expatriate it back.
According to the 2019 Auditor-General’s Report, five tourism centres in Perlis are not managed efficiently by three State departments directly involved in managing and maintaining them — State Agriculture Department, Veterinary Services Department and Forestry Department.
From 2017 until 2019, only three of the total 12 establishment objectives set for the five tourism centres were fully achieved — only 25%, definitely lower than the passing mark in exams. Furthermore, there was a wastage of RM17.24 million due to non-operational and idle development projects.
Sabah-based party Upko has officially joined Pakatan Harapan as announced by Harapan chief secretary Saifuddin Nasution Ismail in a statement yesterday. Upko was previously a Barisan Nasional component party. Upko has one MP in the Dewan Rakyat, its president Wilfred Madius Tangau.
The Immigration Department has smashed a syndicate specialising in forging travel documents — forged visas and passports — and the syndicate used social media to look for customers, set up meetings and perform other transactions. The department arrested three Pakistani men.
Malayan Banking Bhd’s net profit for 2QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, more than doubled to RM1.96 bil from RM941.73 mil during the same period last year. The banking group’s loans continued to grow, with net interest margin (NIM) expanded from a more cost-effective funding mix and lower impairments compared to last year. Maybank also declared a first interim dividend of 28 sen per share to its shareholders.
Maybank group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the group doesn’t need a digital banking licence as Maybank technically is a digital bank.
Glovemaker Supermax Corp Bhd’s net profit dropped below the RM1 bil mark for 4QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, after breaching the mark for the two previous quarters. Supermax posted a respectable net profit of RM958.71 mil in 4QFY21, 140.4% higher YoY, but average selling prices are on a downtrend as more glove supply becomes available in the market. As a result, Supermax declared a special dividend of 15 sen per share for FY21, to be paid on Sept 30.
The world’s largest glovemaker, Top Glove Corp Bhd is still pursuing its plan to list in Hong Kong with the proposed RM4.17 bil initial public offering.
IGB Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust’s (REIT) units under restricted offer for sale (ROFS) for IGB Bhd shareholders under the REIT's listing exercise is undersubscribed by 21%. IGB Commercial REIT has set the indicative price for the institutional portion at 83 sen apiece, a 17% discount from its ROFS price of RM1. Are you going to participate in this upcoming IPO?
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The Bank of Korea becomes the first major central bank in Asia to raise its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% on Thursday, lifting the rate from a record low level in almost 3 years. This move aims to cool an overheating property market. Cheap money has also created a boom in the country’s IPOs.
Only 1 of the 6 board members on the BOK’s board voted to keep rates steady. The BOK’s governor, Lee Ju-yeol, maintained his hawkish tone and suggested the bank could further tighten policy as data showed Asia’s 4th largest economy to be overheating.
eToro reported a 125% increase in its revenue to USD362 mil from a USD161 mil a year earlier for its Q2 results. The numbers clearly showed eToro was a big beneficiary of the crypto bull market.
Interestingly, 73% of its total trading commission came from crypto assets
The company recorded USD264 mil in trading commissions from crypto, up 22.6x from USD11.2 mil in the same quarter in 2020 with crypto only contributing 7% of its total trading commissions
Added 2.6 mil new registered users in the quarter, compared to 1.2 mil a year ago
Executed 127 mil trades, up 72% from 74 mil YoY
Bitcoin is the most traded crypto asset, at 20% of its volume but contributing just 7% of commission.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, will be collecting his 10th and final tranche of his pay deal as the CEO of the company since he took over the top job 10 years ago. This final tranche consists of 5 mil shares worth roughly USD750 mil. Part of the payout is contingent on Apple’s stock return over the past 3 years surpassing at least two-thirds of companies in the S&P 500 - a threshold which it cleared by a wide margin.
Apple’s soaring stock price and collecting payouts year after year has made Tim Cook a very wealthy man. In fact, it made him a billionaire employee with an estimated net worth of USD1.5 bil according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
News in Brief:
Indonesia’s ex-social affairs minister, Juliari Batubara, has been sentenced to 12 years in jail after being convicted of taking USD1.2 mil in bribes linked to food aid for low-income families hit by the pandemic. He was also ordered to pay the equivalent of USD1 mil in restitution or face an additional 2 years in jail. Wonder how many politicians and ministers in its neighbour country will be sentenced to jail for similar crimes?
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, will be raising prices by at least 10% for its most advanced chips and 20% more for its less advanced chips used by customers like automakers. The higher prices will take effect towards the end of this year or next year, arising from a global semiconductor shortage.
Listed Singapore gaming company, Razer, will shut down its e-wallet business by the end of September as the high costs of user acquisition arising from intense competition has claimed another victim. Razer Pay, first launched in Malaysia in 2018, has about 1.1 mil users in total. In Malaysia alone, there were 53 providers as of October last year, of which 47 were non-banks.
Blackwater, the controversial military defence contractor and a Republican operative, is planning to charge USD6,500 per seat on a chartered evacuation flight out of Kabul, Afghanistan. This fee covers entry to the airport and flight out. Need a pickup service from the city to the airport? Extra charges to be paid. The company has been condemned by Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, for profiting “off of people’s agony and pain”.