☕️ Embarrassing moment when Deputy Works Minister fell asleep on stage as a guest of honour

Alibaba record breaking USD2.75 bil antitrust penalty. Official Apple store in Malaysia potentially in 2022. Soon-to-list IGB REIT acquired RM3.16 bil of properties.

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

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

PSA - if you have kids in your family or friends with kids (basically, this pretty much involves all of us), protect them by understanding how sexual predators and paedophiles choose children to sexually abuse. Educate yourself and share.


1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

4.2 hours - the average time global consumers are spending per day using apps on their smartphones.

USD569 billion of inflows into the equities market in the past 5 months.

USD9 million — the expected price of a rare set of nine CryptoPunk NFTs that will be auctioned by Christie’s in May.

99 years old - the age of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburg, the longest serving consort in British history, was at the side of Queen Elizabeth for more than 6 decades of her reign


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA

  1. An embarrassing moment yet by another of Malaysian political leader - deputy works minister Eddin Syazlee Shith, was caught on video falling asleep on stage during a graduation ceremony. He was the guest of honour at this event. Those seated next to him took more than 30 seconds to wake him up. He has issued an apology. His reason - he was not feeling well the day before and had taken medication before attending the event.  

  1. Eateries that charge for water can spoil the dining experience no matter how great the food is. The Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has issued 84 notices against f&b premises operators nationwide for charging more than RM1 for a glass of plain water. Its deputy minister, Rosol Wahid commented that a ‘more appropriate price would be between RM0.20 or RM0.30’. The next you get overcharged for plain water, file a complaint with KPDNHEP here.

  2. Proton has started exporting its 2nd model, Proton Saga, to Pakistan after launching Proton X70 back in December. Currently, Proton vehicles are imported into Pakistan as completely built-up units (CBU), but its partner Al-Haj Automotive is set to commence local assembly operations at its new plant in Karachi by Q3 2021 with a planned capacity of 25,000 vehicles per annum. 

  3. The soon-to-be listed IGB Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has moved to purchase properties worth RM3.16 bil from IGB Bhd’s subsidiaries. 

    The properties involved as follows:

    1. Menara IGB and IGB Annexe - RM188.9 mil

    2. Centrepoint South - RM190.5 mil

    3. Centrepoint North - RM196.5 mil 

    4. Boulevard Properties - RM78 mil 

    5. The Gardens South Tower - RM391.5 mil

    6. The Gardens North Tower - RM382.1 mil

    7. Southpoint properties - RM573.5 mil

    8. Menara Tan & Tan - RM239.1 mil 

    9. G Tower - RM739.8 mil

    10. Hampshire Place - RM180.6 mil

  4. Pakatan Harapan, the coalition comprising PKR, DAP and Amanah, has agreed to appoint Anwar Ibrahim to lead the coalition into the 15th General Election as their prime minister candidate. The decision was made during a PH leadership gathering in Port Dickson last Friday.

    Meanwhile, Azmin Ali commented on the leaked audio recording that he considered it to be Anwar Ibrahim’s biggest act of betrayal and that he is confident the recording is genuine. Azmin, can you comment on your role in Langkah Sheraton? 

  5. Apple is said to be in an advanced stage of opening its first official retail store in Malaysia as early as next year at The Exchange, TRX with sources saying that Apple Retail Store representatives have visited Malaysia recently to negotiate with the management of TRX. If this materialises, Malaysia will be the 3rd country in Southeast Asia to have an Apple Store, after Singapore with 3 outlets and Thailand with 2 outlets. 


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), China’s competition regulator, has fined Alibaba a record RMB18 bil (USD2.75 bil) after it’s anti-monopoly probe found the e-commerce giant had abused its market dominance since 2015 by preventing its merchants from being using other online e-commerce platforms. 

    The fine is about 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic revenue and broke the earlier anti-monopoly fine of USD975 mil paid in China by Qualcomm, and ranks amongst the highest ever antitrust penalties globally.

  2. The UK is potentially reaching a positive Covid-19 milestone with its population set to hit herd immunity as soon as Monday. Herd immunity is achieved when a virus fails to infect a large population because of high immunity levels, either through vaccination or previous exposure to the virus. 

    According to researchers at University College London, almost three-quarters of the population will have antibodies against the virus, either through vaccination or past infection they estimated. However, other scientists think that the UK is far from herd immunity as it overestimates the strength of the vaccines, and inadequately accounting for waning immunity and new virus variants. Nevertheless, the UK is set on the right path to recovery and has already seen a drastic drop in new infections and deaths since September. 

  3. Venture funding in the US hit USD64 bil in Q1 2021, the highest amount ever raised in a single quarter and equals to 43% of all venture funding raised in 2020 according to Ernst & Young. 2021 is set to be on track to be the 4th straight year of USD100 bil in venture funding. There were at least 183 venture deals of at least USD100 mil in Q1 2021.

    Despite the pandemic plaguing the economy, investors appetite for private startup investment remain high to chase for yield in an environment when money is ‘dirt cheap’ and the market is flushed with liquidity, many thanks to US ‘Choi San’ (God of Fortune), the Fed Reserve's Jerome Powell. 

  4. The Boring Company, another of Elon Musk’s ventures, is set to launch its 1.7 mile tunnel system known as LVCC Loop this coming summer. The LVCC Loops costs USD52 mil and is built beneath  the Las Vegas Convention Centre’s sprawling 200-acre campus. It cuts a 45-minute walk across the convention center to a roughly 2-minute ride with Teslas travelling up to a speed of 35 mph (56 kmh). It has a capacity of shuttling 4,400 passengers per hour, but due to fire regulations, it can only accommodate 1,200 people. 

  1. Traveloka, the Indonesian travel tech startup unicorn, is reported to be in advanced talks to go public via the SPAC route through a merger with Bridgetown Holdings, a SPAC that is backed by Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor that wrote the first cheque to Facebook and co-founder of PayPal. The deal could value Traveloka at about USD5 bil and in the process also raise about USD500 - 750 mil.

    Traveloka, founded in 2012 by ex-Silicon Valley engineers, has seen its app being downloaded more than 60 mil times. It has an impressive list of investors - sovereign wealth funds like GIC of Singapore, Qatar Investment Authority, and giant companies like Expedia.com and JD.com.

  2. Egypt made a monumental discovery with the uncovering of a 3,000-year-old ‘lost golden city’, buried in sand, dating back to the reign of Amenhotep III, and continued to be used by Tutankhamun. The discovery is hailed as the ‘second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun’ and has been ‘untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday’. 

    The excavation started in Sep 2020 and has unearthed a city with several neighbourhoods, with 10 feet walls still intact and also a bakery with ovens and storage poultry. Known as Amenhotep the Magnificent, he was the 9th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty and his reign is considered the pinnacle of Egyptian history where its civilisation achieved new levels of artistry and international power. 


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