☕️ 'Macau Scam' on the rise. Be careful.

PM Muhyiddin Yassin to be one of the first in to take Covid-19 vaccine. World's longest Covid-free streak of 8 months came to an end. Global negative-yielding bond hits record USD18 trillion.

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COMMENTARY

  1. We’ve always heard about macau scams but the number has skyrocketed in recent months and it has caught our attention. As of Oct ‘20, PDRM has opened more than 4,000 investigation papers on Macau Scams in this year alone.

  2. A quick Google search on “macau scam Malaysia” showed us five Macau Scam cases totalling at least RM8.8 million! Despite a lot of PSA being done by the authorities, there are still victims falling for macau scams.

  3. Modus operandi is straight forward:-

    • Scammer will impersonate an authority figure (police officer or bank officer) informing the victim they have been involved in financial crimes.

    • The call will then be passed to a “sergeant” (via spoofing) who will intimidate the victim with potential fines and jail time. To assist with the investigation, the victim will be asked to hand over banking and financial details including online banking account passwords. The money will be asked to transferred out to an “investigation” account.

    • Sergeant will further ask the victim not to disclose the investigation with anyone else including family members. Lastly, the scammer promises to return the money after the investigation concludes but unfortunately, this doesn’t happen.

    • Sometimes, the victim might even be asked to borrow more money to pay for legal fees or bail money. Once the tap dries out, the victim will begin to reflect what has happened and by then, it would have been too late.

  4. What you need to do is stay vigilant and do not panic when receiving such calls. Tell your family and friends and report to authorities. You can stop an ongoing macau scam from spiralling, share this story with your family and friends over Christmas weekend!

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

A$26.5 billion - the highest number of hostile and unsolicited bids for public companies in the Oceania region for the final quarter of the year.

210,000 minorities (including Uighurs) were forced by China into hard, manual labour in the vast cotton fields of its western region of Xinjiang - which supplies 20% of the world’s cotton. Very interactive read from BBC.

254,600 likes - Malaysian cat achieves internet fame as it chew off one Malaysian youth’s university degree.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA

*Yesterday’s news regarding Ku Nan’s 12 months jail time and RM2 million fine was not related to the wedding but to his graft case. If it misled you, we’re terribly sorry!

  1. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be one of the first in the country to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in order to convince the public that the vaccine is safe and effective. The first million doses from Pfizer is expected to arrive by Feb ‘21.

    However, the general public might have to wait a couple of months longer as Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there will be a five-phase evaluation process before the vaccines can be approved for public use.

  1. Meanwhile, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd reported another 563 employees tested positive for Covid-19 causing the affected plant in Klang to remain suspended until Dec 30 ‘20. Total of 990 employees affected thus far.

  2. Another glove company, Laglove Sdn Bhd in Kajang has been told to stop operations for 7 days after failing to comply with Covid-19 preventive measures. Surprise visit from Human Resource Ministry found intolerable living conditions (in shipping containers) which is in violation of the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446).

  3. Bank Negara's international reserves rose by 0.38% (US$400mil) to US$105.7bil over the two weeks to Dec 15, 2020.

  4. 8% export tax will be applied on crude palm oil for the month January 2021.

  5. Property and construction player, Jiankun International Bhd ventures into nitrile latex production. Jiankun has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Chuanplus Industries Sdn Bhd to invest a total of RM70 million to build a new plant.


5. AROUND THE WORLD

  1. Taiwan, the country with the longest Covid-19-free streak without a domestic infection has ended after 8 months long. An unidentified patient has been confirmed to have caught the virus. The last known infection in the community was Apr 12. Subsequent cases of more than 300 were imported from people returning from overseas.

    To date, Taiwan has been able to keep its total cases to 766. Taiwan is ranked #2 on Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, a measure of the best places to live in this Covid-19 era. 

  2. US Securities & Exchange Commission will be suingRipple Inc, the company behind the world’s 3rd largest cryptocurrency, XRP for violating securities law through the issuance of XRP. Ripple was last valued at USD10 billion in its funding round in 2019. XRP has a market cap of USD22 billion at this point of writing, 19.5x smaller than the biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin with a market cap of USD430.7 billion

  3. Softbank is to join the SPAC (blank-check company) frenzy, aiming to raiseUSD525 million. The company will be called SVF Investment Corp and will bridge SoftBank’s private and public investment businesses. This entity will not target companies that SoftBank has already invested in. 

    2020 is indeed the Year of SPACs. More than 243 SPAC IPOs have been launched this year and raised USD81.2 billion compared to just USD13.6 billion (5.97x) raised in 59 deals (4.1x) compared to a year ago. Some high profile companies that have gone public through this route include Virgin Galactica, DraftKings and NIkola. Since July, more than one SPAC IPO per day has been completed and last week alone witnessed 18 SPAC IPOs, according to Goldman Sachs. Raise tonnes of money not knowing what to purchase? Only in times of cheap money.

  4. Further signs of the global monetary system going haywire. A new record has been hit for the amount of negative-yielding debt in the market. - USD18 trillion. Spanish 10-year bonds are the latest to join this club since last Friday. This week alone saw USD1 trillion of bonds saw their yield turning negative. 

    The era of cheap money and heavy participation of central bankers towards the financial system has greatly distorted financial decision-making causing investors to invest in loss-making bonds and supporting zombie companies instead of allowing the market to take the natural course. 

  5. Toyota is to bring forward its ‘planned seasonal stop’, or in other words, shutting down production at its UK and French plant due to Covid-19 border chaos after the discovery of a new and more contagious strain in UK. France is to make an announcement on its border arrangements with UK and is amongst the 40 countries that have suspended travel from the UK.

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