☕️ GSK's Covid-19 therapy is effective against all mutations of Omicron variant based on early studies
Fast u-turn - liquor license now not required by coffeeshops. Former PM Najib Razak absent from court, got stern warning from judges. Evergrande on the brink of becoming China's biggest-ever defaulter
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Rohingya refugees in the UK and US have sued Facebook, demanding more than USD150 bil in compensation. The refugees claim Facebook's platforms promoted violence against the persecuted minority. Meta did not immediately respond to the allegations.
RM1.565 million in compound notices were issued for the wild party in KL over the weekend, said to have been attended by a total 303 people. The crowd were in the midst of partying when police raided the renowned private club.
76% of all wealth is owned by the richest 10% of the global population, according to a major study on inequality from Paris-based World Inequality Lab. They are earning 52% of global income, too. Meanwhile, 100 million people sank into extreme poverty. The current system is not working for the other 90% of the population.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
GSK’s antibody-based Covid-19 therapy with US partner Vir Biotechnology, named sotrovimab, is effective against all mutations of the new Omicron coronavirus variant based on early-stage studies.
Effective today, international and local travellers for the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) by air and land, Langkawi International Travel Bubble (LITB) and One Stop Centre (OSC) for short-term business visitors will have to undergo the Covid-19 test for six days after arriving in Malaysia. First, they have to be tested upon arrival in Malaysia and do the RTK-Ag test on the 2nd, 4th and 6th day after arrival.
Shoutout to Belokal, an online and offline marketplace for local crafters, designers, and entrepreneurs! Get your Christmas gifts from Belokal’s Bazaar at Sungei Wang, KL, the next four weekends!
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
Another fast u-turn was made. Liquor license requirements for coffee shops to sell alcoholic beverages has now been cancelled following the Finance Ministry’s instruction to the Customs Departments to cancel the directive, according to Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong.
The authority to do so falls under mentri besars and chief ministers as decided by Finance Ministry in 1977 and as such the Customs Departments has no such authority to instruct restaurants and coffeeshops to apply for liquor licenses.
Former PM Najib Razak was absent during the physical proceedings before the 3-person Court of Appeal to adduce new evidence in his RM42 mil SRC International corruption appeal. His defence counsel was given a stern warning by one of the judges that more proof is needed to justify an appellant’s non-attendance at a criminal court proceeding.
Subsequently, Najib Razak was seen present in the afternoon through video-conferencing app Zoom. Today, the Court of Appeal will issue its verdict on Najib’s appeal to quash his guilty verdict as well as a 12-year jail term and RM210 mil fine in the SRC case. It seems like cartoonist Zunar has some inside info on the verdict?
A total of 87 individuals will receive awards, honours and medals in conjunction with the 76th birthday of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. The state government received 2,100 applications this year for the awards, honours and medals. According to Selangor state secretary Haris Kasim, all candidates have passed screenings by the Royal Malaysia Police (Security and Crime), the Malaysian Department of Insolvency and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Phase 2 of IOI City Mall by IOI Properties Group Bhd will be fully tenanted and operational for business in Q2 2022 and upon opening, it will become the biggest retail, entertainment-cum-shopping mall in Malaysia. The new phase will add an additional 1 mil sq feet of net lettable area (NLA), bringing total NLA to 2.5 mil sq feet.
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd said it has disposed of another 24.99% and 25% of its shareholdings in CGS-CIMB Securities International Pte Ltd (CSI) and CGS-CIMB Holdings Sdn Bhd respectively to China Galaxy Securities, though the prices for the stake sales weren’t disclosed. CGI exercised a call option that was included in the initial JV agreement to buy the additional stake.
CIMB sold a 50% stake in CSI, its international stockbroking arm, to CGS back in 2018 for SGD167 mil (RM517.12 mil) as part of a JV arrangement to operate a regional stockbroking business in Asia. Locally, a Malaysian JV was also set up to take over dormant stockbroking firm Jupiter Securities Sdn Bhd at the time.
Cypark Resources Bhd inked a MoU with Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Huawei Malaysia) on Dec 3 for long-term cooperation on a total of 500MW renewable energy (RE) projects in and outside of Malaysia on an exclusive basis.
Complete Logistic Services Bhd (CLSB) has received a notice of conditional voluntary takeover offer from major shareholder Datuk Ong Choo Meng and his special purpose vehicle Hextar Tech Sdn Bhd. The offer price is a premium of 9.78% to CLSB’s five-day volume-weighted average market price of up to Nov 29.
As at Nov 29, Ong holds 37.45 million shares in CLSB, representing approximately 29.11% of the total issued shares in CLSB. CLSB’s market cap stands at RM315.19 mil.
ATA IMS Bhd, the supplier to Dyson that has been alleged to mistreat its migrant workers, said nearly of its 300 workers resigned in the first week of December after the company implemented a “zero overtime on Sunday” policy. Overtime is performed solely on a voluntary basis. The company pays workers double pay for working on Sundays and triple pay for working on public holidays.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Evergrande Group is on the brink of becoming China’s biggest-ever defaulter as some offshore bondholders of the property developer did not receive coupon payments by the end of a 30-day grace period. Failure to make USD82.5 million in interest payments due last month would trigger a cross-default on the firm's roughly USD19 billion of international bonds.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd would merge its mobile and consumer electronics divisions to simplify its structure and grow its logic chip business. The electronics giant will also have new co-CEOs — Han Jong-hee and Kyung Kye-hyun.
Han is promoted to vice chairman and co-CEO. Han will lead the newly merged division and continue his existing role in the visual display business. Kyung will lead the chip and components division.
Intel has plans to list Mobileye, the Israeli autonomous driving firm it acquired for USD15.3 bil in 2017, by mid-2022 via an initial public offering of newly issued Mobileye stock. The IPO could value Mobileye as a lofty USD50 bil, higher than the market value of USD10.6 billion when Intel acquired it.
The so-called creator of Bitcoin, Craig Wright (pictured below), has been ordered by the federal court in Miami to pay USD100 million in damages over claims he cheated a deceased friend over intellectual property for the cryptocurrency. The brother of Dave Kleiman, a computer security expert who died in 2013, alleged that the late Florida man worked with Wright to create and mine Bitcoin in its early years.
Wright said he has never felt so relieved in his life — paying USD100 mil seems like a small issue. He wouldn’t appeal the verdict, which allows him to keep the cache of 1.1 million bitcoin.
China condemned the United States’ diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the US of violating “political neutrality in sport.” However, the diplomatic boycott meant that US athletes could still participate and have full government support.
Australia has said it will also join the US in the diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.
US President Joe Biden threatens to hit Russia with the toughest economic sanctions yet if the latter invades Ukraine. The sanctions are targetting Russia's biggest banks and Moscow's ability to convert roubles into dollars and other currencies. In addition, the United States wants to dissuade Putin from using tens of thousands of troops massed near the Ukrainian border to attack its southern neighbour.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will move its weekend to Saturday and Sunday starting next year from Friday and Saturday weekends. With the weekend starting on Friday afternoon and lasting until Sunday, the country will have a 4 and a half-day working week.