☕️ EPF millionaires - 67,919 individuals totalling RM116.1 bil in savings
The man behind 'Malu Apa Bossku' now a 'national embarassment'. USD3.7 tril in global stock market value wiped out last week due to Omicron. Visa launches cryptocurrency advisory services.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Netflix’s latest blockbuster, “Red Notice”, recorded 328 million hours of playtime over its first three weeks in release. Netflix says it is the most-watched movie in company history. The star-studded movie is a sign the streaming service wants to make slightly fewer movies — but more large ones.
USD3.7 trillion of the value of global stock market capitalization evaporated last week due to Omicron fears, according to Nikkei Asia. Thanks, Covid.
Imagine spending 150 days a year in quarantine. It’s what some Cathay Pacific pilots had to go through as Hong Kong has the strictest coronavirus regulations in the world. In an interview with the BBC, two pilots said the quarantine requirements affect their mental health and put a strain on their personal lives. The worst part of their ordeal is the restrictions apply when the aircrew are overseas — they cannot roam. Once they land, they must go to their room and remain there until they fly out.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
The Omicron variant can partially evade protection from two doses of Pfizer BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine. However, virologist Sandra Ciesek of the University Hospital Frankfurt painted a somewhat bleaker picture — the ability to mount an antibody response to Omicron in people who had three shots of BioNTech/Pfizer was up to 37 times lower than the response to Delta. However, the paper hasn’t been published.
On the other hand, the two companies — Pfizer and BioNTech — said three doses of their vaccine are effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant and two doses can fend off severe disease.
Omicron is now in as many as 57 countries and the number of patients needing hospitalisation is likely to rise as it spreads.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
The Court of Appeal yesterday rejected former PM Najib Razak’s appeal against his conviction and sentence for misappropriating RM42 mil belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd and dismissed his conduct as a “national embarrassment” rather than an act of national interest. In the press conference after the verdict, Najib said he is “very disappointed with the statement” of being a national embarrassment.
Again, he was granted a stay of execution, avoiding serving his jail sentence. The show is not over — Najib will file an appeal with the Federal Court. Even if he fails then, there is still a possible royal pardon as his “get out of jail” card.
The High Court postponed Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial in connection with the solar energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak as her MySejahtera status showed that she had close contact with a Covid-19 case.
A 50-year old female teacher in Malacca has fallen victim to a Macau Scam, losing close to RM200,000. She was contacted by an individual claiming to be a police officer accusing her of being involved in a money laundering case totalling RM2.8 mil.
Are you an EPF millionaire? In 2020, there are 67,919 or top 0.46% of 14.89 mil members with at least RM1 mil in EPF savings. They collectively own RM116.1 bil or 12.4% of RM936.26 bil of funds saved with EPF. How about deca-millionaire? 248 of them have at least RM10 mil saved up, amounting to RM4.3 bil. The youngest EPF millionaire is a single individual, between 20-24 years old, with RM2.01 mil savings - that’s a really high starting pay at this age!
Petronas Gas Bhd said its board has approved a final investment decision amounting to an estimated RM460 mil for the construction of a new gas compressor station in Kluang, Johor. This new capacity will be able to increase demand in the southern region and provide security of supply to existing gas users in the region.
Credit-reporting agency CTOS Digital Bhd has acquired an additional 3.5% stake in bond-rating firm RAM Holdings Bhd for RM7.61 mil from Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd, bringing its total shareholding to 8.1%. This transaction values RAM at RM217.4 mil. In FY2020, RAM generated revenue of RM40 mil and profit after tax of RM8.4 mil.
Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd will be fully transitioning to renewable electricity across all its operations on 1 Jan 2022, beating its earlier target to have 100% electricity coming from renewable sources by 2025. This will allow the group to reduce CO2 emissions by 75,000 tonnes per year.
Loss-making Sapura Energy Bhd has acknowledged that it is facing short-term cash flow and liquidity issues and reiterated that the company is still a going concern in a statement issued to clarify recent news reports about the group. The company said it has taken decisive actions to address the liquidity issue such as expediting claims and commercial settlements with clients, discussing with vendors, and negotiating with lenders.
On Dec 2, global energy news portal Upstreamonline said Sapura Energy has failed to qualify for Petronas' prized Kasawari phase two front-end engineering and design contract, with the group's financial woes said to be a determining factor.
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5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Digital mortgage lender Better.com’s CEO and co-founder Vishal Garg apologised to his current employees for the company's mass lay-offs last week. In a video call, Vishal laid off about 900 employees, making up 9% of its 10,000-strong workforce. The move came after it had received a cash infusion of about USD750 million. Apparently, the company has too many people in the wrong places. The company is expected to go public at a USD6.9 billion valuation.
Visa wants to be cooler than its competition by launching new consulting and advisory services to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies. The payment network hopes its crypto consultancy can help further mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Visa processed USD3.5 billion in digital currency transactions through its crypto-linked card schemes between Oct 2020 to Sept 2021.
Social Democrat Olaf Scholz is Germany’s new chancellor, ending 16 years of conservative ruling under Angela Merkel. Scholz, 63, who served as vice-chancellor and finance minister in Merkel’s outgoing government, got a clear majority of 395 votes from lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament.
An international coalition of more than 300 scientists published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, asking the Meta CEO to share access to Meta’s research on the effects of Facebook and Instagram on child and teen mental health. No official response from Meta or Mark on the matter.
On another note, Meta will ban all Myanmar-military-controlled businesses from having a presence on its platforms.
Evergrande Group's shares hit a record low (HKD1.72) on Wednesday as it failed to make coupon payments due on Nov 6, 2021. The 30-day grace period is over, but Evergrande has not announced if the bonds have formally defaulted.
Another developer from China, Kaisa Group Holdings’ shares were suspended on Wednesday after a source with direct knowledge of the matter said it was unlikely to meet its USD400 million offshore debt deadline on Tuesday.
When it rains, it pours.
SpaceX’s first space tourist, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will hand out as much as USD27 million while orbiting the earth via an app he made to spread his wealth. The 46-year-old fashion magnate blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday. The 12-day trip on the Russian Soyuz MS-20 is estimated to cost more than USD88 million for Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano. Chum change as Maezawa has an estimated net worth of USD3.4 bil.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Most Malaysians (most likely not The Coffee Break readers with critical thinking)
Interesting street art concept. Click the image below to view more of it.