☕️ Forbes 35th record-breaking world's billionaire list despite the global pandemic crisis

Ex-AG that allegedly abetted 1MDB scandal shed tears in court. Grab potential listing through SPAC merger valuing it at USD35 billion. Nasper's 731,400% ROI on its Tencent investment.

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93.51% — Malaysia’s 4G coverage as at March 2021 according to MCMC.

USD108.6 billion — BNM’s international reserves as at March 31, 2021.

USD900 billion — the incremental amount consumers across the globe spent online in 2020 as Covid-19 kept people at home.

USD85 million — the cost of Ingenuity, NASA’s Mars Helicopter.



  1. Forbes’ billionaires list has few new entrants from Malaysia with the following estimated net worth:

    • USD1.8 billion — Tan Yu Yeh of MR DIY Group (M) Bhd

    • USD1.1 billion — Tan Yu Wei of MR DIY Group (M) Bhd

    • USD1.7 billion — Tan Sri Gnanalingam of Westports Holdings Bhd

    • USD1.1 billion — Tan Eng Kee of Greatech Technology Bhd

      Lots of Tans.

  2. Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd has invested RM150 million to set up a plant-based meat manufacturing facility in Malaysia, the first in ASEAN. Nestle looks to partner with local restaurants and hotels to launch meat-free menu that will cater to a wider customer base.

  3. Moody’s expects Malaysia’s forecasted GDP growth of 6% could see further upside if the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme rolls out faster than anticipated.

  4. Caterham Cars Ltd which is owned by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun has been sold to Japan-headquarted automotive group VT holdings.

  5. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) has called on Putrajaya to disclose the details of the new costs of financing the realigned East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project which is expected to cost RM50 billion. The total amount and T&Cs of the loan from Export-Import Bank of China including the interest rate were kept mum from the public.

  6. Ex-Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali shed tears in High Court yesterday while testifying in his defamation suit against veteran politician Lim Kit Siang whose article claimed the former had abetted the 1MDB Scandal. Apandi claimed Kit Siang’s lawyers failed to appreciate how busy the role of an AG is.

    Meanwhile, the disruption to DS Najib Razak’s SRC appeal live feed was due to internet outage according to Federal Court registrar.


  1. Grab, the ride-hailing and food delivery giant and Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup is set to be the largest merger of a private business with a SPAC/blank-cheque company that will value it at USD35 bil as reported by the Financial Times. However, no deal has been finalised yet. Grab will merge with one of Altimeter Capital’s SPACs, raising USD2.5 bil of which USD1.2 bil will be funded by Altimeter. Altimeter Capital is a Silicon Valley-based firm that has more than USD15 bil in public and private tech investments, and is well known for backing companies on the cusp of their public debuts. 

    Grab, still loss-making, has raised USD12 bil so far and has USD5 bil in its reserves, with its most recent private valuation of USD16 bil. Anthony Tan, the founder of Grab will own about 2% of the listed entity. 

  2. Forbes just released its 35th annual world’s billionaires list. Some of the highlights:

    1. Record number of billionaires tracked - 2,755, 660 more than a year ago.

    2. 493 new billionaires were added to the list - roughly one every 17 hours, of which 210 (42.6%) of them are from China and Hong Kong.

    3. 86% of them are richer than a year ago.

    4. Cumulatively, they are worth USD13.1 tril, up from USD8 tril from the year before.

    5. The youngest billionaire is an 18-year old teenager from Germany. 

    6. US has the most billionaires, with 724, followed by China (including HK + Macau) with 698.

    7. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is ranked the richest with a net worth of USD177 bil, for the 4th year running.

    8. Asia’s richest is Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries with a net worth of USD84.5 bil, ranking 10th globally.

    9. 8 out of the richest people in the world are from the US. 

    Now with all this money, how can these billionaires help the world suffering from the pandemic and ease the plight of many that are economically affected? 

  3. Coinbase, amongst the largest crypto exchanges in the world, released its Q1 2021 estimated quarterly results (keyword: estimated*) ahead of its direct listing this coming Apr 14. Its private valuation has been trading close to USD100 bil and with its newly disclosed figures partly justified its valuation to its investors - its Q1 2021 revenue alone is 1.4x its entire revenue in 2020, and unlike most tech companies that went listing, Coinbase is expected to be profitable too. 

    *subject to review by independent registered public accounting firm according to Coinbase

    Some highlights:

    1. Total users: 56 mil 

    2. Monthly Transacting Users (MTU): 6.1 mil

    3. Assets on platform: USD223 bil (USD122 bil (54.7%) from institutions), representing 11.3% of crypto asset market share

    4. Q1 trading volume: USD335 bil

    5. Estimated Q1 revenue: USD1.8 bil (FY2020 revenue: USD1.3 bil)

    6. Estimated net income: USD730 - 800 mil

  4. Nasper, Tencent’s largest shareholder will be cashing out USD14.7 bil worth of Tencent stocks. Nasper’s investment in Tencent ranks amongst the most lucrative returns in tech investing. In 2001, Nasper invested USD34 mil for a ⅓ stake in Tencent before it went public. Tencent is now China’s most valuable public listed company with a market cap of USD775 bil, and at one point a few months ago, was inching close to USD1 tril. This sale will reduce its stake from 30.9% to 28.9%, freeing up capital to invest in growth ventures. 

    Nasper’s first sale of its Tencent investment came 17 years after the investment was made in Mar 2018 when it sold off USD10 bil worth of Tencent stocks. It made a commitment not to sell any more for the next 3 years. After its latest sale announced on Wednesday, Nasper once again renewed its commitment not to sell its shares for at least another 3 years.  After the sale, Nasper’s stake in Tencent will be worth about USD224 bil. Adding the proceeds from its 2 sales of USD24.7 bil, Nasper has turned an investment of USD34 mil into USD248.7 bil - an enormous 731,400% ROI any investment firms will kill for. 

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