☕️ FT Minister: hardcore poor households in KL increased by 4x

Govt budget H1 2021: brought in RM106.4 bil, but spent RM164.2 bil. Airbus unveils its next-gen 'flying taxi' - CityAirbus. Netflix acquired controlling rights to Roald Dahl's contents.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to become the highest-paid footballer for the 2021-22 season as he is expected to take home USD125 million (RM522.75 mil) before taxes.

Chip shortages could cost automakers USD210 bil in revenue this year, according to consulting firm AlixPartners. The consulting firm estimates there could be 7.7 mil fewer vehicles made this year.

Some 17,000 artefacts believed to have been taken from Iraq in recent decades would be returned by the US government to Iraq, including 3,500-year-old The Gilgamesh Tablet.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Forget about the herd immunity term, suggests Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin as the world’s health experts had now stopped using this formula and were instead focusing on vaccinating as many people as possible. The Delta variant affected the herd immunity calculation.

  • KJ also mentioned Malaysia might mirror Singapore’s circuit-breaker measures when certain locale in the country records unusually high transmission of Covid-19 infections to avoid another national lockdown.

  • Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia and Singapore are discussing the possibility of reopening their borders soon.

  • Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin revealed 56 politicians were arrested for alleged violation of the standard operating procedures (SOP) during MCOs.

    • 22 compounds were issued.

    • 25 cases are still under investigation.

    • 8 cases classified no further action.

    • 1 was charged in court.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is confident that the government will achieve its target to create 500,000 job opportunities this year. Thus far, 376,000 jobseekers have been able to secure employment between January and Sept 10.

    On another note, Human resources minister M Saravanan revealed almost 156,000 Malaysians lost their jobs since the beginning of last year due to the various movement control orders imposed since March 2020.

  2. Federal territories minister Shahidan Kassim said the hardcore poor quadrupled in Kuala Lumpur, with 4,815 households reported in this group compared to 1,109 last year. The number of households classified as poor had also more than doubled from 2,200 in 2020 to 5,617 this year.

  3. MPs from both sides of the divide will be given equal allocations for the remainder of the year as approved by the PM. The memorandum of understanding signed earlier this month between the government and Pakatan Harapan states equal funding for government and opposition MPs.

  4. Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan said his department would summon former spy chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid and three senior officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

    They will be called up to complete an investigation into the loss of case items involving USD6 mil (RM25 mil). The money belongs to the former spy chief.

  5. Kuala Terengganu Magistrate’s Court has issued a warrant of arrest against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown (pictured below) for failing to be in court to face a charge with defaming the Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

    Brown said the charges were an attempt to intimidate her and abuse of power. She added any effort to extradite her would fail because there is no such crime as "criminal defamation" under British law.

Business

  1. S&P Global Ratings affirmed its long-term ratings of A- on CIMB Bank Berhad, Malayan Banking Bhd and Public Bank Berhad and BBB+ for AmBank (M) Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd. The short-term issuer credit ratings for all five banks are A-2.

    S&P said the outlook on all the five Malaysian banks is negative as downside systemic risks for Malaysian banks are rising.

  2. Malayan United Industries Bhd’s Pan Malaysia Corporation Bhd (PMC) wants to acquire a 51% share in A&W (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd from Inter Mark Resources Sdn Bhd for RM21.04 million.

    PMC said the acquisition would be satisfied via a combination of cash amounting to RM11.57 million and a transfer of 63.11 million PMC shares.

  3. Deputy Finance Minister I Mohd Shahar Abdullah said the government revenue increased 4.6% YoY to RM106.4 bil for the first half of 2021 but fell short of the Budget 2021’s estimate of RM118.45 bil. On the breakdowns, tax revenue comprised RM80.2 billion, while non-tax revenue contributed RM26.2 billion.

    On 1H21 expenditure, Mohd Shahar said the government spent RM164.2 billion, 5.7% higher YoY. However, a massive chunk of the spending was for administrative expenses — RM117.4 billion or 71.5%.

    From the RM117.4 bil, 65.5% was for emolument expenses (RM43.2 bil), debt servicing (RM18.4 bil) and retirement payments (RM15.3 bil). Can’t say we’re surprised since PM8’s cabinet was overly bloated with over 70 ministers.

  4. The finance ministry has postponed the enforcement of a 51% Bumiputera ownership requirement for freight forwarding companies to next year, Dec 31, 2021. According to the proposed new rules, all freight forwarding companies will need to be 51% Bumiputera-owned before getting Customs licences.

    The Bumiputera policy started with the New Economic Policy (NEP) back in 1972, which sought to restructure Malaysian society and increase economic and educational opportunities for the ethnic Malay majority.

    Dr Kua Kia Soong, the human rights advisor for the NGO Suaram (Suara Rakyat Malaysia), said NEP was ineffective in carrying out its goals. He noted NEP had fostered a golden age of crony capitalism and an obstacle for Malaysia to become a high-income nation. Do you agree with him?

  5. Bursa Securities has rejected Sapura Energy Bhd’s application for a one-month extension to announce its latest quarterly results, giving the oil & gas outfit less than a week to report its results for the quarter ended July 31, 2021.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday held benchmark interest rates near zero and maintaining the size of its asset purchase but indicated that rate hikes would be coming sooner than expected. Some members of the committee expect the first rate hike to come as soon as 2022. The Fed has been buying at least USD80 bil in Treasuries and USD40 bil in mortgage-backed securities monthly to support the market since the pandemic erupted. 

  2. Airbus has unveiled its latest edition of CityAirbus, the company’s zero-emission electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle built to fly in noise-sensitive urban areas. This electric aircraft is part of Airbus’ vision for an intra-city “flying taxi” service. 

    The eVTOL can carry 4 passengers, remotely piloted, and fly up to 80 km at a speed of 120 km/h with 8 electrically powered propellers. Noise reduction is a key feature - less than 65 dB during fly-overs and below 70 dB during landing. The prototype’s first flight is planned for 2023, with certification expected in 2025. 

  3. Financial regulators in Beijing issued a broad set of instructions to China Evergrande Group to focus on completing unfinished properties and repaying individuals whilst avoiding near-term default on dollar bonds. However, there’s no indication that regulators offered financial support to Evergrande. 

    Dow Jones reported that authorities instructed local government agencies and state-owned enterprises to step in only at the last minute should Evergrande fail to sort out its affairs. Authorities have signalled a reluctance to bail out the developer. 

  4. Netflix said it has agreed to buy the Roald Dahl Story Co., the company that controls the rights to the author’s stories and characters, adding popular children’s stories like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda” to its stable.

    In addition, Netflix aims to produce animated and live-action films and TV shows and Roald Dahl’s materials will have a mass appeal to Netflix stable, with over 300 mil of Mr Dahl’s books sold globally.

  5. Under a new rule proposed by the European Commission (EC), manufacturers must create a universal charging solution, namely USB-C, for phones and small electronic devices.

    It will be at least 4-5 years before this happens, as EC hopes the directive will be enacted in 2022. Then the member states usually have two years to pass the rules into national law, and manufacturers will have 24 months to change their charging ports.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Taliban fighters enjoying themselves at Bamiyan national park - with RPG and rifle

  2. How to be a better friend or listener — avoid toxic positivity.

    Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how dire or difficult a situation is, people should maintain a positive mindset. While it’s good to keep a positive mindset, being a good listener is about empathising.

  3. 2022 Perodua Myvi — Off Road version

  4. Someone got caught littering in Putrajaya. He was called out by an officer from a speaker nearby. The man got out of his car, picked up the drinking cup and raised his hand to apologise.