☕️ KPMG agrees to pay RM333 mil to settle 1MDB woes behind it

It'll take 43.5 days for an average Malaysian to buy iPhone 13 Pro Max 256GB. Najib Razak advocating for cryptocurrency. SpaceX launched the first-ever all-civilian crew on a 3-day mission.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

227 environmental activists were murdered in 2020, according to a report from the human-rights watchdog group Global Witness. That’s a staggering 4 people per week.

€541,680 (RM2.65 million) — the additional income Paris Saint Germain’s Neymar gets from his club every month as an ‘ethical bonus.’ He needs to do a few things to get it — being courteous, punctual, friendly, available to fans, and not criticising PSG in public.

1,520 travellers flew to Langkawi under the tourism bubble pilot project yesterday.

An average Malaysian will take 43.5 days to buy the newly launched iPhone 13 Pro Max 256GB.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

Phases in National Recovery Plan (NRP) will be referred to as P1, P2, P3, and P4 and the SOP updates are effective Sep 17, 2021.

  • SOP UPDATES: More businesses are allowed to open in P1. Businesses in P2 can operate at higher tiers when more employees are fully vaxxed. Face to face work meetings are allowed for fully vaccinated individuals in P2, P3 and P4. Graveyard visitations will be allowed, SOP to be released by National Unity Ministry. Cruise ships can operate at 50% provided all passengers and crew are fully vaxxed.

  • MORE SOP UPDATES: Terengganu to move to P3. Kindergarten & child care centres to reopen for working parents in P1 and P2.

  • EVEN MORE SOP UPDATES: Friday prayers at mosques in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are allowed to be held with up to 500 congregants. Nothing about VIP cutting queues though.

Aside to KJ, where is the simplified SOP that you’ve promised?!

  • About 30,000 civil servants have yet to register for the Covid-19 vaccination. Cuepacs has ‘urged’ them to sign up.


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4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa strongly believes the cabinet will look into the matter with the spirit of the Malaysian family and the voices of Malaysian mothers must be heard. Wonder if he knows that there are only 9 women in the cabinet (12.8%) out of the 70 ministers — severely underrepresented.

    Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin clarified not all Malaysian mums can automatically confer nationality as the country doesn’t recognise dual citizenships.

  2. The women, family and community development minister Rina Harun was cleared of corruption in her million debt settlement to a Paris-based production company. She was served a bankruptcy notice by French production company Novision for owing RM1,340,642.02 as of Nov 2020.

    Based on her asset declaration as of July 2020, she earned a monthly income of RM34K with a net worth of less than RM1 mil. Opposition MPs questioned how she raised RM1.3 mil to settle the debt in less than 6 months.

    Our guess? She probably bought glove makers’ call warrants last year.

  3. During Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s official visit to Sabah yesterday, he announced the federal government would increase the solidarity fund (BWI) for households usually affected by the stormy weather. Roughly 39,1000 households in the peninsula's east coast, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, will receive RM1,000 each.

    Sabah Natural Disaster Management Agency for Sabah will receive an allocation of RM18,241,250 to assist in disaster management.

    The PM has also assured issues affecting both Sabah and Sarawak will be resolved through negotiations under the Special Council on MA63 that is chaired by him, involving Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak together with eight federal ministers.

  4. Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) seized 50 units of what is believed to be rhino horns worth over RM30 mil near KLIA in Sepang. As a result, two Malaysians are being investigated under the Wildlife Conservation Act, which carries penalties of up to a RM100,000 fine or three years in jail or both.

Business

  1. AirAsia Group Bhd’s flights from KL to Langkawi yesterday recorded 100% flight load, sparking optimism for domestic air travel. AirAsia has arranged 90 weekly flights to Langkawi from various airports in the country. AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said more than 200,000 seats to Langkawi were sold in less than a week.

    While skies are still looking gloomy for AirAsia X Bhd, the carrier has been granted an extension to hold its creditor meeting, which was supposed to be held by the latest this month, to March 2022. There are 14 different creditors in total which AAX owes RM63.5 bil in total. At the outset, AAX proposed that it shall acknowledge and settle only up to RM200 million of debt due and owing to scheme creditors — mere 3 sen per RM1 owed. Now everyone kena fried.

  2. KPMG has agreed to pay RM333 mil as 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s suit settlement to resolve all claims related to its fiduciary duties on auditing of 1MDB accounts from 2010 to 2012, according to the Finance Ministry. The ministry added the amount is 800 times the audit fees earned by KPMG.

  3. Malaysian affiliates abroad are flourishing as they generated revenue of RM335.2 billion in 2019, an increase of 70% from RM197.6 billion almost a decade ago, in 2010.

    Malaysia affiliates abroad are those companies controlled by Malaysian companies owning more than 50% of equity in the former. 

  4. MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd (MSM) said its shareholders have approved the disposal of the entire equity interest in its wholly-owned subsidiary MSM Perlis Sdn Bhd to FGV Holdings Bhd for an initial consideration of RM175 million in cash.

    The disposal is part of the group's operation rationalisation strategies to consolidate the production capacity to the new refinery MSM Sugar Refinery (Johor) Sdn Bhd (MSM Johor). The refinery in Johor is expected to turn profitable in 2022 once the utilisation factor breaches 50%, which is currently at 30%, with a production volume of 300,000 tonnes.

  5. Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants to tax the rich by proposing a 2-year temporary two recovery tax such as windfall tax, inheritance tax, stock market trading tax, and a few others to bolster government coffers. YB, please settle your RM1.69 billion first.

    He added that the government should look into the lucrative cryptocurrency market and cooperate with more international cryptocurrency trading platforms to make it easier to allow foreign cryptocurrency holders to bring their assets into the country as soon as possible.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. SpaceX has successfully launched its first all-civilian crew from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The mission, known as Inspiration4, consists of a billionaire high-school dropout, a geoscientist, a physician assistant and an engineer. The mission is funded by billionaire Jared Isaacman who is commanding the crew. 

    The mission will last for 3 days and the crew will be conducting scientific research. They have undergone training for a little over 5 months. Through this flight, Isaacman aims to raise a total of USD200 mil for St Jude for pediatric-cancer research by asking for donations online and auctioning items the crew is taking to space. That is in addition to the USD100 mil he has donated himself.

    Netflix has released a documentary of this mission. Watch it here.

  2. Probably the first incident of insider trading in the NFT world. Opensea, the “ebay of NFTs” admitted that one of its employees traded NFT on its platform using insider information. A top executive at the company was accused of front-running sales on the platform, purchasing pieces of NFT collections before they were featured on the homepage. 

    The expose was made by a Twitter user, @ZuwuTV, by tracing transaction receipts via the public blockchain. In the process, the employee made a profit of 18.875 ether or about USD67,000 at the current price. Opensea does not have any rules in place to prevent employees from using confidential information to trade NFT on its platform and has now implemented such policy. The platform did a record USD3.4 bil in transaction volume last month. 

  1. Deals:

    1. Canva, the design platform, is now valued at USD40 bil after raising USD200 mil in a round led by T. Rowe Price, making it one of the most valuable private tech startups. It has more than 60 mil monthly active users across 190 countries, with big-name companies on its enterprise plan such as Salesforce, Marriott International, and PayPal. The company expects to exceed USD1 bil in annualised revenue by the end of 2021. 

    2. Goldman Sachs, the giant investment bank, has acquired GreenSky Inc, a specialty lender for USD2.2 bil. GreenSky provides alternative loans for big one-time purchases like construction projects or cosmetic surgery. It works with thousands of merchants from Home Depot to doctors, and dentists and pitches its loans as cheaper and more responsible than credit cards.

    3. Online marketplace Carousell Pte Ltd has become Singapore’s latest unicorn after raising USD100 mil, valuing it at USD1.1 bil led by South Korean private equity firm  STIC Investment. 

  2. The US, Britain and Australia have forged a “historic” security, known as AUKUS, an alliance to strengthen military capabilities in the Pacific, allowing them to share advanced defence technologies and giving Australian forces nuclear submarine technology. Announced on Wednesday, it extends Washington’s drive for military cooperation that has angered China.

    Asked whether the alliance was meant to counter China’s military growing might, the US said the move “is not aimed or about any one country”, adding that “it’s about advancing our strategic interests, upholding the international rules-based order and promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific”. Sure, sure - very noble goals they have.

  3. Indonesia’s elite counterterrorism squad, Densus 88, has arrested 123 members of the Southeast Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiah (JI) since last month, according to a report by the Indonesian authorities. It has also detained dozens of members of an Islamic State-inspired group known as Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) across 10 provinces.

    The mass arrests were made as Indonesian security and intelligence officials have stepped up preventive action against militant networks after the Taliban seized Kabul during the US withdrawal of troops last month.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Meet the Ray-Ban x Facebook glass

  2. Why 90% of Asians are lactose intolerant