☕️ MIT study: 60 feet or 6 feet of social distancing indoors, Covid-19 risk remains the same

AirAsia spreads its wings into fintech with 'airasia money'. Victoria's Secret, the lingerie brand, looking to sell for >USD2 bil. 1st private immunisation centre in Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

Malaysia has attracted RM81.9 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) from 240 companies thus far in 2021. But, the economy doesn’t feel like it had any boost in investment.

£4 billionthe price the Glazers is asking for Manchester United. The American Glazer family paid £790 mil in 2005 and subsequently listed it on NYSE since 2012.

30% of 18 to 29 year olds judge Trump as the ‘the worst president ever’ according to a new Harvard Institute of Politics poll.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • 498,504 individuals have completed both doses of Covid-19 vaccination as of April 24 2021.

  • 268,800 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine has been delivered on April 23 2021.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Maxis Bhd’s net profit fell by 6.4% to RM334 million for 1QFY21 ended March 31, 2021 and declared a first interim single-tier-tax-exempt dividend of four sen per share for FY21 payable on June 30. Average revenue per user (ARPU) for both prepaid and postpaid services fell to RM38 and RM82 respectively.

  2. The marketing arm of Petronas, Petronas Dagangan Bhd has budgeted RM500 million of capital expenditure for its retail segment in 2021. The allocated budget will be spent on renewing some petrol stations, acquisition of new strategic sites, and enhancing non-fuel business. There are currently over 1,000 Petronas stations and 800 Kedai Mesra nationwide with the company aiming to add 1% yearly.

  3. AirAsia Bhd is not resting its laurels on its digitalisation plan with the launch of “airasia money” in partnership with financial comparison platform RinggitPlus. The super app will now provide financial products and services ranging from credit card and loan application services to best personal finance news based on the user’s immediate needs.

  4. Graphic designer Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin was detained on Friday (April 23 2021) for police investigations over a playlist of songs he compiled on popular music streaming platform Spotify and Apple Music. He was released on Saturday after magistrate gave just one-day remand over the probe instead of four as requested by the police.

  5. The nation’s first Covid-19 private immunisation centre as part of the National Covid-19 Immunisation programme would be the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre. The centre is expected to vaccinate 1.8 million people in Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Subang Jaya over the next 10 months.

  6. The power of social media has allowed a 17 year-old secondary school student to call out a physical education teacher for making jokes about rape. Former education minister Maszlee Malik has urged the principal to take the matter seriously and open an investigation into the student’s claim.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Looks like social distancing does little in curbing the spread of Covid-19 in an indoor environment, challenging existing guidelines. According to a new study by researchers in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the risk of being exposed indoors is as great at 60 feet as it is at 6 feet even wearing a mask. They developed a method of calculating risk exposure to Covid-19 in an indoor setting that factors in a variety of issues that could affect transmission such as time spent indoors, air filtration and circulation, immunization, variant strains, mask use, and respiratory activities such as breathing, eating, speaking and singing. 

    “The distancing isn’t helping you that much and it’s also giving you a false sense of security because you’re as safe at 6 feet as you are at 60 feet if you’re indoors. Everyone in that space is at roughly the same risk, actually,”

    - Martin Bazant, MIT Researcher

    Existing guidelines by regulators like CDC and WHO do not take into account the amount of time spent indoors, which increases the likelihood of transmission the longer someone is inside with an infected person. The key thing is to have proper air ventilation and transmission to ensure that the infected air is blown away and not recycled. 

  2. L Brands, the owner of Victoria’s Secret (VS), is reportedly putting VS back on the market for sale after a deal with a PE firm fell through last year. It is seeking a valuation of between USD2 - 3 bil, at least doubled what was offered by Syracuse Partners, the PE firm that initially agreed to buy a 55% stake for USD525 mil, valuing it at USD954 mil. After several years of declining performance, VS’s business has been revived through management changes and rebranding of its image and marketing. L Brands CFO, Stuart Burgdoerfer commented in a Bloomberg interview that sell-side analysts have valued VS as much as USD5 bil

  3. Due to global travel limitations, the voracious demand from China for luxury goods has led to Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainao, to establish direct cargo flights between Singapore and China’s Hainan island to supply luxury goods. Prior to the pandemic, Chinese shoppers bought most of their luxury goods abroad during their shopping trips. It is estimated there is more than USD110 bil of luxury spending trapped on the mainland. 

    China’s luxury good market grew by 48% in 2020 as travel disruptions boosted local spending. Bain & Co expects China to be the largest market for luxury goods by 2025. Asia is increasingly becoming an important market for luxury brands. LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate, derived almost half of its revenue from Asia in its first quarterly earnings report. 

  4. Citi Group is expected to fetch as much as USD6 bil from the sale of its retail banking units in 13 markets across the Asia Pacific region as it seeks to exit these markets. It has started the process of seeking for buyers in each of its current markets with Australia being furthest along the process. It will retain its corporation and private banking clients  in these markets. These 13 markets contributed USD4.2 bil in revenue in 2020 to the group. 

  5. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has granted permission to US embassies to fly the Pride flag before May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and keep the display on through June. The Biden administration stance towards the LBGTQ community is a drastic opposite over his predecessor, which rejected requests to fly the Pride flag and promoting anti-gay views and supported anti-LGBTQ legislations. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)

  1. Mercedes-Benz flagship EQS electric sedan to take on Tesla

  2. SpaceX 2nd operational crew mission for NASA has sent 4 astronauts into space and arrived at the International Space Station safely on Saturday morning. The ISS now is ‘crowded’ with 11 astronauts after the new arrival. Speaking after the launch, Elon Musk thinks sending astronauts to moon by 2021 ‘is actually doable’.

  3. India reported more than 314,000 new Covid-19 cases, the world’s record for a single-day rise in cases. Grim images here of the worsening pandemic in India.