☕️ First of its kind - Muar MP Syed Saddiq engaged Ernst & Young to audit its community programmes

MoH conditionally approved Covid-19 self-test kit, to cost <RM40. Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry causing geopolitical uproar in Israel. Zoom's massive USD14.7 bil all-stock acquisition of Five9.

Sorry! We had a typo on the July 19, 2021 issue — “from the initial target of 80% of the population being vaccinated by Q1 of 2022* is the correct year.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

US’s largest active wildfire — Oregon’s Bootleg Fire — has burned through more than 300,000 acres since July 6, 2021, forcing at least 2,000 residents to evacuate from their homes. The fire has already scorched an area larger than the city of Los Angeles.

2 months - the shortest ever recession in US history caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the deepest, which lasted from Feb 2020 to April 2020. And yet, the Federal Reserve money-printing machine is still actively supporting the market.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) clarified the walk-in initiative in the vaccination centres (PPVs) in Klang Valley beginning August 1, 2021, are for those who:

    • Could not register for a vaccination appointment.

    • Have not gotten an appointment after August 1, 2021.

    The list of PPVs under the initiative will be released later on.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Fitch Ratings affirmed Malaysia’s sovereign rating at ‘BBB+’, with a stable outlook. The country’s rating is mainly weighed down by high public debt, a low government revenue base and political uncertainty.

    Fitch forests Malaysia’s debt will reach 78.1% of GDP in 2021 from the pre-pandemic level of 65.2% in 2019. Fun fact — 1MDB’s net debt is equivalent to 1.4% of the GDP.

  2. Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has engaged Messrs Ernst and Young to audit his ‘1 Keluarga 1 Laptop and 1 Keluarga 1 Tablet’ programmes. The audit firm will also prescribe him a set of fundraising best practices, which he intends to share with fellow parliamentarians. CC: Najib Razak, Ku Nan dan kawan-kawan.

    Syed Saddiq’s experience precedes his age as he revealed during his fundraising report that he managed to raise RM1.4 mil for Muar since Dec 2020.

    You can watch the recorded live stream of his presentation on Muar’s fundraising initiative here.

  3. AMMB Holdings Bhd’s 51%-owned AmGeneral Holdings Bhd will dispose of its entire 100% stake in AmGeneral Insurance Bhd (AGIB) to Liberty Insurance Bhd (LIB) for RM2.29 bil — via cash and a 30% stake in LIB. The 30:70 local-international ownership is in line with a foreign shareholding structure supervised by Bank Negara Malaysia as recently as in 2019.

  4. Mr DIY Group (M) Bhd and Touch ‘n Go Group announced several strategic collaborations to enhance customer experience across online and offline channels:

    • Customers will be able to top up TnG Cards at all Mr DIY stores

    • Use TnG’s eWallet to make payments in-store and online.

    • TnG users will be able to browse Mr DIY’s catalogue, buy the items they want and have them delivered or ready for pick-up, to be launched in Q3 2021.

    • Personalised offerings on Mr DIY’s online and offline channels.

News in brief:

  1. CTOS Digital Bhd showed a strong debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, rising to a high of RM1.76, a 60% premium over its listing price of RM1.10. The counter closed at a respectively RM1.62. Research houses have pegged CTOS’s target prices of between RM1.25 to RM1.45. The below shows how popular CTOS IPO was amongst retailer investors.

  2. The prosecution team has filed an appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision to acquit former FT minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on charges of receiving RM2 mil in bribes from a businessman in 2016. Our judicial system is peculiar - the one receiving the bribe got acquitted whilst the one abetting Ku Nan in receiving the bribe was fined RM1.5 mil.

  3. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said strict action would be taken against those individuals who had violated standard operating procedures (SOPs) while performing the Aidiladha prayers in Seberang Perai Tengah, Penang yesterday. At the same time, Penang police apologised for failing to stop the gathering from happening.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Ben & Jerry’s, the Unilever-owned ice cream maker, had caused a geopolitical uproar when it decided not to sell its ice cream in occupied Palestinian territories as it is inconsistent with the values of its socially conscious brand. B&J has been operating in Israel since 1987 and has informed its licensee in Israel that its agreement will not be renewed when it expires at the end of 2020. After then, its ice cream will no longer be sold in Palestinian territories but continue to be sold in Israel.

    This has angered Israel, warning Unilever of “severe consequences”. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office has also spoken to Unilever CEO Alan Jope on this “glaring anti-Israel measure”, but Unilever has not commented on this matter yet. 

  2. According to the BBC, Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine cost about USD4 per dose, owing to the part that its creator, Oxford University Dr Sarah Gilbert, refused to patent it or profit from it. Dr Gilbert, 59, has been at the forefront of vaccine research against pathogens and viruses throughout her career. 

    She and other “inspirational individuals” received a standing ovation before the first match at this year’s Wimbledon. Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert was invited with colleagues to the Royal Box for the first day of the tournament and was met with applause and cheers from the crowd.

  1. Deals 

    1. Zoom, the USD103.5 bil video conferencing giant, has announced it will acquire Five9, a cloud-based customer service software provider, in an all-stock deal valued at USD14.7 bil. 

      This will allow Zoom to tap into the USD24 bil contact-centre market, which is considerably larger than the video-conferencing market which is expected to grow by 11.4% on average yearly to reach USD9.95 bil by 2028. 

    2. Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, OpenSea, a marketplace for digital art, has raised a USD100 mil Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz, valuing it at USD1.5 bil. Other investors include Kevin Hartz, Kevin Durant, and Ashton Kutcher.

      It closed a USD23 mil Series A just found months earlier. OpenSea sold USD160 mil worth of NFT last month and is expected to blow past that figure this month, according to its CEO Devin Finzer. 

    3. Swiggy, the Indian food delivery giant, has closed its USD1.25 bil Series J round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Prosus Ventures, valuing it at USD5.5 bil. India’s food delivery market is expected to grow to USD12 bil by 2022. 

News in Brief:

  1. Jeff Bezos and crew have successfully flown to the edge of space above the Karman line, the internationally recognised boundary 100km above Earth where space begins. The 4-men flight saw the richest, the oldest and the youngest astronauts in space together with a firefighter. 

  1. Toyota will not air any Olympic-related TV ads and its officials will not attend the opening ceremony, despite being a top-tier sponsor citing confusion over the event will be carried out and lack of communication with sponsors. Toyota signed a 10-year deal in 2015 with the International Olympic Committee to be a top sponsor. Other top Japanese companies have distanced themselves from the event, including Panasonic, Fujitsu and NTT.

  2. The Guardian revealed a type of military-grade spyware made by Israeli company NSO Group, a private firm that sells advanced hacking tools to clients, including governments that was used to successfully break into journalists’ iPhones and Android by sending that didn’t even need to be clicked. NSO Group strongly denied the report, claiming it contained factual inaccuracies and lacked evidence.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)

  1. Apple Tower Threatre Store in Los Angeles

  2. Video shows the Afghan president among people calmly praying on Eid al-Adha while rockets explode around them.