☕️ Former PM Najib on 'winning' streak - after being allowed to travel, tax case now on hold

Malacca state election to cost RM46 mil and PN to go up against BN. PayPal in talks to acquire Pinterest for USD45 bil. Crypto exchange FTX raised USD420 mil from 69 investors - caught the meme?

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

RM46 million — the projected cost of the Malacca state election by the Election Commission. Will the four assemblymen who caused the fall of the Malacca government foot the bill?

Another clear sign the pandemic did not affect the wealthy — the cost of renting in London’s most affluent districts jumped by an annual 11.7% in September and have now returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Buy Malaysian Products Campaign (KBBM) registered sales of RM3.3 billion in 2020, involving more than 326,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) for the retail sector. Meanwhile, the online marketplace portal recorded a sales value of more than RM145 million.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Selangor, Putrajaya, Sarawak and Negri Sembilan have been registering a worrying uptick in Covid-19 cases after interstate travel has been allowed. The war isn’t over. We need to adhere to SOP at all times.

  • If your parents are over the age of 60 and were fully vaccinated with Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine, Health Ministry will use Pfizer vaccines as booster doses.

  • Pfizer BioNTech’s Covid-19 booster shot is 95.6% effective against symptomatic infection during a period when Delta was the prevalent strain.

  • Sawadee ka and Sawadee krabMalaysia is among the 46 countries to which Thailand has opened its borders. Fully vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine from Nov 1, 2021, onward. They must also test negative for the virus before the flight.

  • National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, suggests states establish councils to speed up post-Covid-19 recovery. YB, you’re no longer running the country — you don’t need more people to bolster your cabinet.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Malaysia’s very own Centre for Disease Control (CDC) will be completed by the end of 2025, costing RM284 million. Located in the Enstek Industrial area, the CDC aims to integrate and strengthen disease control and prevention activities in the country.

  2. First, his passport got released — now, his tax arrears have been put on hold. Former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak must be one of the happiest men in 2021.

    The Court of Appeal allowed the applications Najib Razak and his son Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin for an interim stay of the summary judgment obtained by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) for them to pay more than RM1.7 billion in tax arrears.

    Untung lah this Keluarga Malaysia.

  3. Former Melaka Exco Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee will not be fielded as a coalition candidate by Pakatan Harapan for the Melaka state election (PRN). DAP will not accept Norhizam, who won the Pengkalan Batu seat in 2018 under the party but defected to Perikatan Nasional (PN) government February 2020 last year.

    PN’s chief, Muhyiddin Yassin, signals go ahead for 3-cornered fights in the state election as UMNO doesn’t seem keen to work together.

  4. Two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) enforcement officers, Amir Isham Shahak and Wan Kamarul Za'im Wan Mansor were charged at the Johor Baru Sessions Court after being accused of deceiving an individual to give them RM40,000. Both officers promised the victim they would revolve a MACC case.

    In nicer terms, “deceiving”, but in harsher terms, bribing. Malaysia’s finest hour — anti-corruption officers allegedly taking bribes. Two of them trying to escape the media’s attention.

  5. The Hong Kong Consumer Council said yesterday that high levels of cancer-causing substances were found after testing 60 samples of biscuits and crackers sold in Hong Kong — three Malaysian brands were listed in the report.

    The Health Ministry will investigate the issue as the Malaysian makers of the biscuit brands were certified and practised strict food safety controls.

  6. Johor police caught eight Macau scam trainers aged between 21 and 43. They were suspected of acting as trainers who taught fraud techniques, involving disguising as enforcement officers, to new employees.

    Why do people want to become macau scammers? Monthly salary of RM3,000 with 3% of commission for each score. That’s RM30,000 for a RM1 million scam.

Business

  1. Supermax Corporation Bhd has been accused of using forced labour in its manufacturing operations. As a result, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against Supermax Corp and its subsidiaries. During its investigation, CBP found 10 of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labour.

    Supermax’s share price closed down 20 sen to RM2.05 yesterday, with a market value of about RM5.33 bil. Analysts expect the WRO to have a significant impact on Supermax’s earnings.

    It took Top Glove Corp Bhd more than a year to resolve the allegations by CBP last year.

  2. Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd’s net profit for 3QFY21 ended Sept 30, 2021, fell 50.4% QoQ to RM528.2 mil. The company declared a third interim dividend of 12 sen per share, ex-date is Nov 8.

    Despite the demand for gloves having eased and gradually declining average selling price (ASP), Kossan is still optimistic as the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), including protective gloves, has increased significantly due to the pandemic.

  3. Troubled London Biscuits Bhd, which is now in liquidation, was publicly reprimanded by Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd for contravening the exchange’s Main Market listing requirements. Its former CEO and executive director (ED), Datuk Seri Liew Yew Chung, was also fined RM200,000.

  4. Lawyer Datuk Sreesanthan Eliathamby settles the Securities Commission charges for insider trading by agreeing to pay RM900,000 disgorgement of profits.

    Sreesanthan was charged in July 2012 for insider trading involving Sime Darby, Maxis Communications, UEM World and VADS’ shares between October 2006 and September 2008 and was found liable by the High Court on Nov 4, 2020.

    He was ordered to pay the SC a sum of RM1,989,402 in disgorgement, a civil penalty of RM1 million and barred from holding directorships of publicly listed companies for 10 years, effective 18 November 2020. 70% discount, Malaysia year-end sale.

  5. Group managing director and chief executive officer of Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd Datuk Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah have disposed of his entire holding of 55.9 million of the group’s warrants — representing about 6.34% of the group’s total warrants. The warrants closed at 7.5 sen yesterday.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. The Kremlin has announced that Russians will take a paid week off from work from Oct 30 to Nov 7 to combat the Covid-19 crisis ravaging the country, as the number of daily deaths from the virus hit its highest level since the start of the pandemic. 

    On Thursday, it reported a record-high 36,339 new infections and 1,036 fatalities bringing total deaths to 227,389 and 8.1 ml infections. The rising number is largely due to a significant portion of its population remaining unvaccinated, with close to only 36% fully vaccinated. 

  2. New Zealand has become the first country to pass laws requiring financial institutions including banks, insurers and investment managers to report the impacts of climate change on their business

    About 200 of the largest financial firms in NZ, including banks with total assets of NZD1 bil (USD719 mil) will have to make disclosures and explain how they would manage climate-related risks and opportunities based on standards from NZ’s independent accounting body, the External Reporting Board (ERB). 

  3. Deals:

    1. PayPal is in talks to buy social media platform Pinterest, according to people familiar with the matter for USD45 bil. This would be the biggest acquisition of a social media company, surpassing Microsoft’s USD26.2 bil purchase of LinkedIn in 2016. 

      The deal comes as internet shoppers increasingly buy items they see on social media and acquiring Pinterest would allow PayPal to capture this area of e-commerce growth. The USD45 bil is equivalent to 62x of Pinterest’s EBITDA in the past 12 months. 

    2. Cryptocurrency exchange FTX said it has raised USD420,690,000 in new funding round from a total of 69 investors including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Singapore’s Temasek, BlackRock and Sequoia. Note the numbers “420” and “69” - a nod to meme culture. This funding came just three months after FTX raised USD900 mil at a USD18 bil valuation. 

      The exchange handled nearly USD13 bil average daily trades this month, making it the world’s 3rd largest crypto exchange by volume. 

    News in Brief:

  4. Just two days after trading, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF already has USD1 bil in AUM, making it the fastest ETF ever to eclipse the USD1 bil mark and the second-largest ETF launch ever. The Bitcoin ETF topped the prior record-holder, The SPDR Gold Shares ETF, which hit USD1 bil in assets in 3 days when it launched in 2004. 

  5. With rising material costs, Tesla is changing the battery chemistry it uses in all its standard-range electric vehicles to a version with a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathode, instead of the Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide (NCA) cells that it previously used for Model 3 sedans. The downsides: less energy-dense and more affected by cold weather. 

  6. Grab Financial Group has launched GrabMerchant Commerce, a website builder platform targeted at small and medium businesses across Southeast Asia. The pilot programme was launched in Singapore with more than 500 merchants signing up and will go live in Malaysia and the Philippines in 2022. Would this solution fare better than the giant Shopify?

  7. The Syrian government has diverted USD100 million worth of UN aid donations by manipulating the value of its currency, according to a new analysis. Syria since 2019 has made the UN use the central bank’s exchange rate of between 2,500 and 1,500 Syrian pounds to USD1 when it funneled its poverty relief aid, as compared to the unofficial, black market used rate of 3,500 Syrian pounds to USD1.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Malaysia Corrupt Free Country by Zunar

  2. How does a gun silencer work?

Enjoy your weekend! #TGIF