☕️ German chambers wrote a scathing letter to PM over SOP confusion

A weekend of SOP-breaking by ministers. Azmin Ali got whipped on social media. Japan Airlines to launch flying taxi business in 2025. Richard Branson flew to space and returned.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

RM8.75 bil — the amount of unclaimed monies managed by the Accountant General’s Department of Malaysia (AGD) as of the end of 2019. Unclaimed monies can come from your dormant bank accounts or your employers, insurance, stock market and many more. SAYS put together a 12-step guide to retrieve your unclaimed money, check it out to see if you have any!

1,339,080 — the number of cars sold by BMW Group globally in 1H of 2021, an all-time high and it is a 7.1% increase compared to pre-Covid 1H 2019. The Rolls-Royce marque, which is under BMW Group as well sold 2,989 vehicles — 91.6% increase y-o-y. The rich still has money to spend!

Microsoft’s ex-CEO Steve Ballmer (pictured below) joined the USD100 bil net-worth club, briefly becoming its ninth member, driven by gains in Microsoft’s stock. His wealth grew by USD20 bil this year alone. Ballmer joined Microsoft back in 1980 as its 30th employee.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) wrote a letter to Prime Minister Tan Sri Mahiaddin Yassin and schooled him. MGCC has asked him to clarify the confusion related to SOPs and ramp up the vaccination drive to ensure German firms’ survivability in the country.

    MGCC questioned why are firms who have followed the SOPs not allowed to operate and asked the government to change the MCO approach. MGCC stated some firms would have to relocate if the situation is prolonged, leading to job losses. Read the letter here.

  2. The government of Malaysia, its Ministry of Finance (MoF Inc), 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and various subsidiaries have filed a UDS5.64 bil suit against KPMG Malaysia’s 44 partners of the firm when it was 1MDB’s auditors. The suit entails alleged breaches of contract and negligence in the audit and certification of 1MDB’s financial statements for financial year March 31, 2010 (FY10), FY11 and FY12.

    Though the scoop of damage Goldman Sachs had caused was different from KPMG, they played a massive role in facilitating the perpetrators. Yet, relative to KPMG, they got off easy with a USD3 bil settlement.

  3. Woman, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun apologised for breaking protocol during her publicity stunt when she hand-fed the blind daughter of the drummer of Fendi Caliph Busker. Why did we say it was a publicity stunt? Just count the number of cameras in the photo below.

  4. “Free parking” minister Annuar Musa tweeted about his two-hour lunch with former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah, clearly violating the EMCO SOPs. However, he quickly deleted it after an uproar from social media users.

  5. Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz has been appointed as the coordinating minister for Malaysia’s National Recovery Plan. Come on, his ministry couldn’t even coordinate the delivery of laptops to underprivileged kids. Tun Dr Mahathir said the finance minister gave him a call to meet him to discuss the NRP.

  6. Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali claims several companies have expressed interest to invest in Malaysia during his Trade and Investment Mission (TIM) in Vienna to explore growth areas for bilateral trade and investment. Since he had recently disabled comments on his social media, netizens flocked to his Austrian counterpart, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Dr Margarete Schramböck post to embarrass him.

  7. Applications for i-Citra withdrawal for members below 55 years of age can be made from today (July 12) onwards according to Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Applications can be made through its website icitra.kwsp.gov.my.

  8. Six teens were immediately issued compound notices for RM5,000 each violating Covid-19 SOPs by throwing a birthday party. What happened to Rashid Hasnon’s durian party investigation?

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5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Japan Airlines is planning to enter the flying car business in the fiscal year 2025 by starting a passenger transportation service connecting airports and tourist destinations in Mie Prefecture and further developing it into a business carrying people around various locations like a taxi does.

    It will use the aircraft from Volocopter, a German electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) startup that developed a 2-seater aircraft in which JAL invested in 2020. It has a cruising range of 35 km and a flying speed of up to 110 km/h. JAL has signed an agreement with Mie Prefecture to conduct trials and commercialise the service. It will experiment with flights within a 20 km distance before considering a medium distance of 50 - 150 km that connects local cities. 

  1. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines were developed using mRNA technology. In the case of Covid-19 where its application is for preventative purposes, mRNA technology has found its application in the treatment of cancer - a therapeutic purpose. Even before Covid-19, the technology had been under R&D to fight cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases. This approach is currently under phase 1 and 2 trials to assess its efficacy, tolerability and safety of therapeutic mRNA vaccines to treat various forms of cancer. 

“One of the beauties of this technology is it can be used in people agnostic to their cancer type—it doesn’t matter if it’s a breast cancer or lung cancer as long as you can identify its mutations. One of the exciting things is the adaptability of the technology based on a given cancer and the underlying biology of that cancer.”

- Van Morris, physician and assistant professor of gastrointestinal medical oncology, leading phase 2 clinical trial  on personalised mRNA vaccines for colorectal cancer

  1. What goes up when the economy recovers? The demand for jeans. Levi Strauss & Co, the jeans maker, says shoppers are stocking up on jeans in new sizes and styles in the US and China as both countries emerge from the pandemic. A trend that is observing now: tight-fitting pants are trending out of style with consumers flocking to loose-hanging, wide-leg and flared jeans. 

    For the quarter ended May 30, Levi’s revenue surged 156% to USD1.28 bil from USD498 mil from the year before, with a profit of USD65 mil from a net loss of USD364 mil. 92% of its stores are reopened and global e-commerce sales up 75% year-on-year, representing 23% of its total sales. Levi’s is listed on NYSE with a market cap of USD11.4 bil.

    News in Brief:

  2. Stamps.com, the online postage company, has agreed to be acquired for USD6.6 bil in cash by PE firm Thoma Bravo, a purchase price of USD330 per share or  67% premium to its closing price on Thursday. The company has a 40-day “go-shop” agreement for it to seek a higher offer. 

  3. Temasek, the SGD306 bil (USD226 bil) sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, has long been an external investor. It has taken on a new strategic initiative to go upstream, incubating and launching its own startups like Affinidi, a digital health tool that authenticates flyers’ Covid-19 test results used by Singapore Airlines and Istari, a cybersecurity company. From SWF, this initiative will evolve it into a “sovereign wealth enterprise”. 

  4. Chinese companies seeking to list overseas will be subjected to regulatory screening by Beijing authorities if they have more than 1 million users with registered personal information.

  5. Italy claimed the first European Championship since 1968 as England lost to Italy in a dramatic 3-2 penalty shootout. Looks like England has to wait for another three years for it to “come home.”

  6. Sir Richard Branson has successfully flown to space to a height of about 250,000 feet (90km)  and landed safely through the VSS Unity spacecraft built by his rocket company, Virgin Galactic.

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

  1. The USD164,000 (RM687,000) Audemars Piguet watch in collaboration with Marvel’s Black Panther.

  2. The state of America’s finance. How would the US ever repay its debt load? In the USD we trust still?

    1. SpaceX’s droneship, that is deployed to land and capture returning Falcon 9 rocket.