☕️ MOF Zafrul confirms Najib asked for RM100mil piece of real estate

Potentially first female head of state government - if PN wins Malacca polls. Oxagon - Saudi Arabia's floating city mega futuristic project. Grammarly, AI auto-editing tool - USD13 bil valuation.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD56 bil — the market size of luxury-branded non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by 2030, an estimate by Morgan Stanley. The metaverse could dramatically increase the demand for luxury NFTs, said the investment bank. As a whole, NFTs could grow to roughly USD240 bil market by 2030.

Green Bay Packers is offering 300,000 shares through Feb 25, 2022, for its fans to purchase. The fans get a certificate of purchase and the ability to say they own a piece of a professional football team. USD300 per share for bragging rights as the shares don’t appreciate or provide dividends. If all are sold, the team will raise USD90 mil.

RM100 million — the price of real estate that the convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants. He had invoked a little-known act that gives special privileges and allowances to former prime ministers, including the ownership of properties and land belonging to the government. He believes he has not done anything wrong in asking the government. Malu apa bossku!

Anyways, what would you do with the money?


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, also the chairman of the Bumiputera Prosperity Council (MKB), said bumiputra-owned businesses would be given priority in strategic locations such as shopping malls and tourist hotspots to increase the community’s participation in the economy. The government intends to review the management of shopping centres owned by GLCs to be managed by local companies. Why though? Because it’s in line with the ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ agenda.

    GLCs and GLICs will continue to support the involvement of Bumiputera companies in their procurement.

    Doubt this would alleviate the issue of depleting retirement funds amongst bumiputra EPF members, but okay, this will win votes.

  2. Another month, another U-turn. Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said Chinese medicine halls and convenience stores in the city could sell liquor if they meet conditions set by relevant agencies.

  3. During the Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s winding up of the Supply Bill 2022, he quipped the government would provide an additional RM100 mil for efforts towards improving governance, efficiency and transparency in the management of its finances and budget. If only the RM100 mil could be gotten from elsewhere.

    The finance minister also added that the federal government is allocating RM210 mil to the state of Melaka for next year.

    The Dewan Rakyat approved Budget 2022 at the policy stage.

  4. Perikatan Nasional (PN) confirms its chief ministerial candidate — Tanjung Bidara candidate Mas Ermieyati Samsudin if they win in the Malacca polls this weekend; and provided if she wins her seat.

  5. Pakatan Harapan chairperson Anwar Ibrahim wants to review the “understanding” with the government after the revelation of former PM Najib Razak’s request. Awakening for the opposition leader.

  6. Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor can sleep soundly as the government will not go through with an appeal against his acquittal in a corruption case. The Edge said it had “reliably learnt” that the prosecution (Attorney-General’s Chambers, AGC) had since withdrawn its appeal. TGIF!

Business

  1. Malaysia and the US want to begin discussions on a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) on the supply chain issues. MITI and the US Department of Commerce planned to collaborate on semiconductor supply chain transparency, security, and resilience with industry partners. The MoC will be signed in early 2022.

    US Secretary of Commerce Gina M Raimondo visited the country and co-hosted a semiconductor roundtable with International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali.

  2. KNM Group Bhd missed principal and coupon payments on bonds issued in Thailand worth 2.78 bil baht (RM352.57 mil) yesterday. The group blamed the Covid-19 pandemic and the unfavourable operating conditions of its subsidiary Impress Ethanol Co Ltd (IECL), in Thailand for the missed payments.

    KNM said it is in an advanced stage of discussions with several financial institutions to secure new financing for the repayments of the bonds. Still, unfortunately, they were not approved before the payments were due.

  3. Sime Darby Plantation Bhd reported a healthy net profit of RM635 mil for its 3QFY21 ended Sept 30, 2021, more than tripled the RM190 mil of the net profit it reported a year ago. The more robust performance of its upstream segment was supported by the high crude palm oil (CPO) prices and mitigated the financial impact of the labour shortage.

    The company did not declare any dividend for 3QFY21.

  4. Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to invest RM22 bil between 2022 and 2024 under the Incentive-Based Regulation (IBR) framework, subject to government approval. The investment would enable a smart grid that remains reliable, resilient, smart with digital technology and flexible in meeting the country’s energy transition needs.


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5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. In another round of asset sale, Evergrande announced that it would be selling its entire 18% stake in HengTen, China’s Netflix, for USD273 mil. The sale represents a discount of about 24% to HengTen’s close on Wednesday and Evergrande said it expects to incur a loss of about USD1.1 bil from the sale

    Evergrande’s founder, Hui Ka-yan, has already used about RMB7 bil (USD1.1 bil) of his own money raised from selling art and calligraphy from his collection and pledging two luxury properties in Hong Kong to keep the company going. Big money, but with USD300 bil in liabilities, it hardly moves the needle. 

  2. Grammarly, the popular AI auto-editing tool, has raised USD200 mil at a USD13 bil valuation from new investors, including Baillie Gifford and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, among others. This is a massive jump in valuation, when it last raised USD90 mil back in Oct 2019 at a valuation of over USD1 bil. 

    The company, which has over 600 team members and is profitable, says it has attracted 30 mil users and 30,000 teams to date. In 2020, it delivered 1.2 tril writing suggestions. 

    Thanks to Grammarly, typos and errors at The Coffee Break have reduced significantly! [This is not a paid shoutout]

  3. Saudi Arabia announced its latest ambitious project, an eight-sided city that would float on the Red Sea called Oxagon, which will be located in Neom, a newly-created region set to be 33x the size of New York City. Neom’s centrepiece is a smart city under construction of the same name. 

    Neom would be the world’s largest floating structure and be “home to the world’s first fully automated port and integrated logistics hub”. Neom did not say how much Oxagon project would cost or how the city would stay afloat. 

    News in Brief:

  4. Apple announces its Self Service Repair programme, which will allow customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs access to Apple genuine parts and tools. The programme will focus on the most commonly serviced modules such as display, camera and battery. iPhone 12 and 13 will be the first devices on the programme.

  5. The ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ industry is attracting a new group of ‘users’ - criminals. With BNPL growing massively in the US and Europe and generating almost USD100 bil in transactions globally in 2020, criminal gangs are exploiting weaknesses in the application process for BNPL loans. Read more here

  6. India’s biggest-ever IPO turned out to be one of the worst-ever debuts by a major tech company. Paytm, India’s largest digital payments provider with backing from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, SoftBank and Ant Group, fell 26% on its first day of trading, surprising many, including sceptics. 

  7. Amazon will stop accepting Visa credit cards in the UK effective 19 Jan 2022 as Visa started hiking charges last month for credit card transactions made between the UK and Europe from 0.3% to 1.5%. It’s enticing UK users to ditch their Visa credit cards by offering gift cards up to USD27. Visa’s stock fell by 6.7% following this news.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Most useless mega projects in the world - Forest City, Malaysia ranked #2

  2. UK Parliament Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle shows UK Prime Minister who is the boss in the Parliament.

  3. The facelifted 2022 Perodua Myvi a.k.a. King of the Road has finally been revealed. It could be yours from as low as RM46k!

Enjoy your weekend!