☕️ Munchy's to be acquired by Universal Robina for RM1.95 bil
Petronas CEO issued stern warning against corruption in video message. The new Covid-19 variant — B.1.1.529, officially named Omicron. Ikea is renting out 107 sq ft apartments for ¥99 per month!
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD217 mil presidential helicopter wasn’t reliable in emergency missions; hence Biden's first flight was pushed back. The aircraft is part of a USD5 billion 23-aircraft program to replace the current fleet.
A 72-year-old former tax lawyer based in Los Angeles, Mr Chan, claims to have dined at least 7,812 restaurants across the US. If you visit one per day, it will take more than 20 years to reach Mr Chan’s tally. His food journey started as part of a search for his identity as a Chinese American.
23,000 charges have been filed against 25 suspects accused of masterminding the 2019 Easter bombings in Sri Lanka. The trial has called 1,215 to testify. The bombings, which targeted three hotels and three churches, killed 267 people and injured about 500. The trial is expected to drag on for years.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
As the news of the Covid-19 variant — B.1.1.529, officially named Omicron — battered the markets last Friday, it is still unclear how significant a threat the variant poses. Several countries, including Malaysia, have closed their borders to foreign travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
However, the variant seems widespread as cases have been detected in Hong Kong, Israel, Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia.
South Africa is unhappy that it is being punished instead of applauded for the discovery of Omicron. An African Union (AU) official blames developed countries for the emergence of the variant as the rich nations are hoarding vaccines.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
Ex-PM Najib Razak lodged a police report on Saturday calling for an investigation if there was any concealment of material evidence related to his 1MDB and SRC trial cases. This came after MACC confirmed last week that bank accounts linked to the immediate family of a former central bank BNM governor received funds reportedly linked to Jho Low and 1MDB.
Such convoy to the police station necessary? Curious if this convoy is paid for by the government (i.e. us).
Former education minister and Bersatu supreme council member Maszlee Malik has officially joined PKR as a member. He was an independent MP in November last year after serving several months with Tun M’s Parti Pejuang.
Malaysia Association of Borrowers and Consumers Solution (4 PM) warns that many people in the country aged between 30 to 45 will go bankrupt next year when most of the government aid packages end, pushing many to borrow from loan sharks to survive.
“I’m receiving bankruptcy calls everyday nationwide. If 30 calls per day, that’s 900 per month and 10,800 per year. That’s just me though I haven’t included my officers yet,”
- Rosland Mohd Arif, President of 4PM
Malaysia has agreed to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Protocol 29, which is the protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, as a testament to the government’s commitment to eradicate forced labour.
Had the government been serious about this issue, they wouldn’t even need to ratify this protocol and would have acted on their own initiative - forced labour has been a persistent issue in Malaysia. How would Malaysian companies compete now that forced labour will be less ‘accessible’?
Johor will amend its state Constitution to allow those aged 18 and above to be candidates in state polls, according to Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.
Private equity giant KKR is acquiring a minority stake in Taylor’s Schools. No financial terms were disclosed. Taylor’s Schools owns and operates six international schools - Garden International School, Nexus International School Malaysia, Australian International School Malaysia, Taylor’s International School Kuala Lumpur and Taylor’s International School Puchong.
Philippines’ Universal Robina Corp is acquiring Munchy Food Industries for RM1.925 bil, on a cash-free and debt-free basis from CVC Capital Partners. URC, via its subsidiary URC Snack Foods (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, will acquire 100% equity interest in Crunchy Foods Sdn Bhd.
CVC Capital Partners acquired Munchy in 2018 for RM998 mil - a nearly 100% return on investment in about three years.
Petronas Nasional Bhd president and group CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik has issued a stern warning to its staff against corrupt practices in a video message circulated on the heels of a corruption probe that saw the sacking of 9 company officials.
We aren’t able to find the video. If you do have the link, we would be grateful if you could share it with us, and we will share it with our subscribers.
Pharmaniaga Bhd and Selgate Healthcare Sdn Bhd have secured financing totalling RM360 mil from Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB) for the procurement, production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
The ATA IMS Bhd (ATA) crisis deepens as a former ATA worker told Reuters last Thursday that ATA officials took him to a police station in June, where he was questioned about sharing information on conditions of the factory with activists and then beaten by police. The police department in Johor said it had not received any reports on the matter but would conduct an investigation on the matter.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Apple and Google have been fined €10 mil each by Italy’s competition and market authority (AGCM) for violating the country’s consumer code. The two tech giants were accused of not providing their users with clear enough information on commercial uses of their data. AGCM also accused the pair of deploying “aggressive” practices to push users to accept the commercial processing. Apple and Google will appeal.
In 2015, Uganda borrowed USD200 million from the Export-Import Bank of China to expand the Entebbe airport. The East African nation is seeking to amend a loan agreement it signed with China to ensure the government doesn’t lose control of the nation’s only international airport. The spokesman for Uganda’s aviation regulator and China’s director-general for African Affairs denied that the Chinese lender had taken over the airport.
Netflix may be temporarily suspended in Russia as the public commissioner for protecting families accused the streaming company of violating a “gay propaganda” law. The country's laws do not allow the distribution of “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relations” among under 18s. The commissioner claimed that some Netflix content with LGBTQIA+ themes was rated suitable for 16 and older, breaking the aforementioned laws.
Furniture manufacturer Ikea is venturing into the real estate market in Japan. Ikea is renting out 107 sq ft apartments in Shinjuku for ¥99 (RM3.70) per month! The apartment will come decked out in Ikea furniture while the tenant will pay for utilities.
Troubles may be brewing for technology giant Tencent in China as the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has ordered to stop the rollout of new apps and temporary suspension of updates to the products. The move came after Beijing started to implement its Information Protection Law from the beginning of November. The law is meant to regulate how technology firms handle their users’ data.
Where can you find the happiest Children in the world? In the Netherlands. A UNICEF report found that children in the Netherlands had the highest sense of wellbeing among 41 high-income countries. How did they do it? Three key things:
Focus on developing a passion for learning
Culture of togetherness
New Zealand MP Julie Anne Genter cycled to the hospital while in labour yesterday only to give birth barely an hour later. It’s not the first time she cycled to the hospital to give birth, she did it before in 2018.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Odeleite Dam, the river of the Blue Dragon in Portugal
BTM Resources Bhd is involved in the business of logging, sawmilling, kiln-drying operations, timber moulding and lamination boards, and manufacturing and sales of biomass wood pellets. The company has been embarking on a mission to turn around its business and make its mark in renewable energy. Join the guys from Stockbit and BTM Resources Bhd’s executive director Datuk Woo Thin Choy to learn more about the business TONIGHT at 8:30 pm!
The number of bikes produced in the EU in 2020. Portugal is the highest, having made 2.6 million bikes!