☕️ KL, Selangor & Putrajaya to enter NRP Phase 2 on 10 Sep
Selangor govt to regazette Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR). Taliban Interim govt consist of individuals on FBI and UN Wanted List. Warren Buffet's stake in Apple - a record USD139 bil.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Toyota Motor Corp intends to spend as much as USD13.7 bil (¥1.5 trillion) on the supply and development of batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030, in anticipation of greater demand. The World’s No.1 car marker doesn’t want to be left in the smog (pun intended).
As many as 48,000 civilians have been killed by US airstrikes since 9/11 according to a report from the independent monitoring group Airwars.
USD20 mil — the expected cost to move a 180-foot-tall statue of Chinese warrior god Guan Yu is located in Jingzhou, China, to a spot that is 8km away.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
UPDATED SOP: Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced Klang Valley (Selangor, KL and Putrajaya) will be moving to Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan on Sep 10, 2021. No more roadblocks!
Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said walk-ins for Covid-19 vaccination in the Klang Valley to cease from Sept 15. Those in KV who have yet to get their jabs can do so at selected health clinics from Sept 16 onwards.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has confirmed those in the 12-17 age group are set to receive the Pfizer vaccine and the vaccination exercise in Klang Valley will commence soon.
Newly minted Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu threw a jab at Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Twitter, asking why are cinemas allowed to open while gyms & outdoor sports remained prohibited in the updated SOP. KJ responded saying his ministry is in the midst of coming up with ventilation guidelines with the National Security Council.
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4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
Malaysia Cabinet’s Top Chef Datuk Ahmad Maslan has been nominated by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government as its sole candidate for the position of Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker. Ahmad Maslan’s RM2 million money laundering trial has yet to conclude but I think you can draw your own conclusion. Oh, why Top Chef?
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the state government will stop the proposed development plans for a portion of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR). The state government will regazette KLNFR.
Only 104 acres out of a total of 1,326 acres (of the KLNFR) will be degazetted to complete the land ownership to Busut Baru Orang Asli village to resolve issues that have been pending since 2006. The supposed replacement area of Sungai Panjang, Ampang Pechah, and Bukit Broga will retain its status as a Permanent Forest Reserve.
The Appeal Board has cancelled approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Penang government’s ambitious sea reclamation to build three artificial islands (4,500 acres). State executive councillor Zairil Khir Johari said the state government may apply for a judicial review against the Appeal Board’s decision.
A contract supervisor at the Pengerang Integrated Complex, Mohd Zahazan Zainon, has been sentenced to three years in jail, a fine of RM16,000 and two strokes of the rotan by the Kota Tinggi magistrates’ court after he deceived two colleagues to obtain RM8,357 in donations by claiming his family members died of Covid-19. Zainon is believed to have received RM91,000 in donations after claiming 14 of his family members succumbed to Covid-19 on social media.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is currently under quarantine from Sept 1 until 10 after coming into close contact with a Covid-19 positive person, causing his corruption trial involving the Penang undersea tunnel project to be postponed. Surprise, surprise. The trial will resume on Sept 22.
AirAsia Group Bhd reported a lower net loss of RM580.06 mil for 2QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, compared to RM992.89 mil a year earlier. AirAsia said the group continued with its cost-containment measures. Revenue for the quarter increased by 160.8% YoY, driven by better cargo revenue.
AirAsia said the group has used the crisis as an opportunity to accelerate its digital transformation into a travel and lifestyle digital company which has been completed according to CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes. AirAsia expects the digital portfolio to contribute 50% of revenue to the group in five years’ time.
Malaysia’s palm oil is being favoured by India’s refiners as they seem to have been put off by the heavy export tax and levy imposed by Indonesia. In 1H2021, India imported 1.75 mil tonnes of Malaysian palm oil compared to 1.72 mil tonnes imported from Indonesia. The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India executive director Dr B. V. Mehta said palm oil accounts for approximately 40% of India’s edible oil consumption.
Eleven Malaysian publicly listed companies have made it to Forbes Asia’s 2021 Best Under A Billion list. The list comprises 200 top-performing publicly listed small and midsized companies in the Asia-Pacific region with sales under USD1 bil.
Genting group wants a slice of the digital banking pie via its plantation arm, Genting Plantations Bhd as the latter is slated to become a 10% shareholder of PUC Bhd. PUC Bhd has recently formed a consortium with Sabah and Pahang state governments to bid for a digital banking licence under Bank Negara Malaysia.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Payment giant PayPal has agreed to acquire Japanese “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) startup Paidy Inc for about USD2.7 bil in cash. This acquisition adds to a flurry of activity in the BNPL space. Square acquired Australia’s Afterpay for about USD29 bil and Affirm entered a partnership with Amazon to offer its BNPL services.
Paidy pioneered the BNPL solutions in Japan and has more than 6 mil registered users. PayPal has more than 400 mil consumers and merchants in more than 200 countries. In its Q2, PayPal handled more than USD300 bil in payments for the first time in its history.
The US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, a Wells notice, a letter sent by SEC to an entity when it plans to take enforcement action. SEC plans to sue Coinbase should it release its lending product, Lend, as it is considered to involve a security, without further elaborating how it arrived to that conclusion.
Brain Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has publicly responded on Twitter to SEC, calling out SEC’s “sketchy behaviour”. The company has for the past 6 months “proactively engage” with the regulator to ensure its Lend programme complied with the law. Probably not a good idea to call out the regulator as ”sketchy” publicly.
The South Korean military conducted its first successful underwater test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), intensifying missile development race with its neighbour, North Korea. This makes South Korea only the eighth country to possess such capabilities, joining peers such as the US, UK, China, Russia, France, India, and North Korea.
It’s believed that the test launch involved a ballistic missile with a range of 500 km. The strategic significance of possessing SLBMs can’t be overstated as underwater launches are difficult to detect. The South Korean defense ministry refused to confirm the reports, citing national security reasons.
Warren Buffett’s Apple stake climbed to a record USD139 bil on Tuesday, as Apple stock price closed at a new high of USD157. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway spent about USD36 bil between 2016 to mid-2018 to amass more than 1 bil Apple shares, adjusted for its 4-to-1 stock split last year.
Had Buffett not cashed out some, the stake would be worth USD158 bil today. Berkshire’s 5.4% stake in Apple makes it the group’s 2nd-largest shareholder after Vanguard, the index-fund giant. It receives an average of USD776 mil in yearly dividends for the past 3 years.
News in Brief:
ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, is in talks with Wall Street to borrow more than USD3 bil to refinance its debt, taking advantage of the currently low-interest rate. In 2019, ByteDance secured a loan of USD1.3 bil maturing in Apr 2022 from a syndicate of 12 banks including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citi and Bank of China.
The Taliban announced an interim government on Tuesday. For start, it clearly did not include any women given the Taliban’s treatment towards the female gender. Its prime minister, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund is on the UN’s blacklist and its interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List with a USD10 mil bounty.
How do you capture Russian war criminals? By luring them with offers of fake, USD5,000-a-month jobs. Ukraine security services posed as a Russian security company looking to hire Russian mercenaries for jobs guarding Venezuelan oil facilities. Many that took up the job offers and proffered illuminating details including documents, military IDs and proof about their past work. The arrests took place at a halfway house these men are staying before they were to travel to Venezuela.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Viral photo of an Amazon warehouse in Mexico surrounded by deteriorating shacks.
What happens when Queen Elizabeth II dies? Operation London Bridge will be activated.