☕️ Global Covid-19 cases on the rise again

Saudi Aramco's (not so prudent) USD75 bil dividend, more than its profits. How sperm whales outsmarted humans. The rise and fall of Playboy.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

96 billion gloves — annual production capacity of Top Glove Corp Bhd as of March 2021, from 47 factories and 784 production line. Approximately 3,044 gloves per second.

RM40.7 billion in taxes — Royal Malaysian Customs Department’s KPI for the year 2021, about 20% higher than in 2020.

2% of world’s electricity is consumed by data centres and is on course to consume 15% of world’s electricity by 2025.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. A new star is born as the World’s No. 10, Lee Zii Jia became the second Malaysian to win the All-England men’s singles title. The 22 year old fought incredib-lee for one hour and 14 minutes to dethrone defending champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 30-29, 20-22, 21-9!

  2. The credit rating agency CTOS Digital Sdn Bhd (formerly CTOS Holdings Sdn Bhd) has submitted an application for IPO. Valuation? RM2 billion. Good pay day for Creador as the private equity firm has 80% stake in the firm.

  3. North Korean diplomatic staff and their dependents (33 people) in Malaysia left for home today, following Pyongyang’s decision to severe ties with the Malaysian government after a Malaysian court ruled that a North Korean businessman could be extradited to United States to face money laundering charges.

  4. Former prime minister DS Najib Razak says he will pay the fine for ‘forgetting to check in’ via the MySejahtera app at a chicken rice shop after he was ushered to his seat. He slyly said there is no such thing as double standard and promised to pay the compound within 7 days to enjoy the early bird discount.

  5. The Umno-PH alliance may be a formidable one according to political analysts as Umno will bring its strong rural support while PH will bring its urban support. While the rumours have been strong over the past few weeks, the white elephant — DAP still stand in its way of the alliance as noted by the political analyst Awang Azman Awang Pawi from Universiti Malaysia.

  6. IOI Corp Bhd returns over 5,000 hectares of native land in Sarawak to resolve long-standing dispute of over 14 years. CGS-CIMB Research said in a note last week that the settlement is positive for the group from an environmental, social and governance perspective.

  7. Velesto Energy Bhd has been awarded two projects worth RM85 mil from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd for the provision of jack-up drilling services. Oil and gas companies may start seeing more contracts being awarded as oil prices break past USD60 per barrel since mid-February 2021.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. According to Vox, vaccines efficacy rate isn’t the best way to judge a vaccine. The main objective is to prevent death and hospitalisation, which the major vaccines are able to! The efficacy rate of different vaccines vary due to the trial periods and countries they were in.

  2. After a temporary respite, Covid-19 cases are rising again around the world. It fell by half between Jan 11 and Feb 26, but has since risen by 30% from the low point. This is likely due to people letting their guard down too early as vaccines are being rolled out and the spread of the new variant rom UK and South Africa which are more contagious.

  1. Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s oil giant, reported a 44% fall in 2020 net income, from USD88.2 bil to USD49 bil from the previous year. Its performance was impacted by lower crude oil prices, lower volume sold and weakened refining and chemicals margins. Aramco loses its title of world’s most profitable company to Apple, as it reported USD59 bil in 2020 profit.

    Despite reporting a fall in profit, Aramco has declared a dividend of USD75 bil to its shareholders. Aramco has promised to pay USD75 bil annually to investors for the first 5 years after IPO. An expensive promise to uphold when crude oil prices are at its low. Should it have been a conditional promise? 

  1. A new research published by the Royal Society showed that sperm whales taught each other to avoid harpoons after hunting for them began 200 years ago. This is based on logbooks of American whalers that recorded details of their expeditions in the 19 century, such as the number of whales spotted or harpooned. Strike rate of whalers’ harpoons fell by 58% in less than 2.5 years after the first hunting began, instead of increasing as one would expect with more learnings and experience. One method the whales adopted were to swim against the wind allowing them to outrun the wind-powered hunters ‘ ship. 

  2. A wax statue of former president Donald Trump in Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks Museum in San Antonio, Texas, has been removed as the public reportedly been punching and scratching it. The visitors’ attack on Trump’s wax statue have been increasing since last summer as the 2020 presidential campaign gathered pace. 

  1. Founded in 1953, Hugh Hefner has grown Playboy to a popular icon but after his death, the brand has faded into obscurity. The Spring 2020 printed issue was the last printed edition of Playboy and moving forward, all its contents will be online. Watch the rise and fall of Playboy below.

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