☕️ MyHeritage 'Deep Nostalgia' - using AI to bring to 'life' long-lost loved ones

Alphabet/Google CEO most overpaid CEO by 1,085x. Kelantan state secretary officers 'queue jumping' Covid-19 vaccination. GIC, Singapore sovereign wealth fund invested in a crypto-native digital bank.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

1,468,137 Malaysians have registered for the vaccine, mere 6.1% out of the target of 80% vaccination of the population. If you’re unaware how to do it, find the guide by Klook here!

3,000 pigs to be culled after African swine fever discovery.

RM1 billion — the capital expenditure budget of Celcom for FY2021 to improve its network connectivity.

USD281 million — Google’s Sundar Pichai pay in 2020 as he tops the list of the 25 most overpaid CEOs.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan is questioned by the police yesterday for sedition after speaking out against the conviction of his website for contempt. The news portal was fined USD120,000 over readers’ comments critical of the judiciary.

  2. Tony Pua, MP of Petaling Jaya Utara complimented MoF’s settlement with AmBank Bhd and asks MoF to now go after 1MDB’s former auditors — KPMG and Deloitte Malaysia.

  3. Sime Darby Plantations Sdn Bhd (SDP) recently faced allegations of forced labour by the US Customs and Border Protection which led to the establishment of Expert Stakeholder Human Rights Assessment Commission. Third party assessor Impactt Ltd has been appointed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the group’s labour practices.

  4. Apparently, 200 members of the Kelantan state secretary office (SUK) are trying to jump queue to receive Covid-19 vaccination. The plan was foiled by Selayang Hospital Nephrologist Dr Rafidah Abdullah who harnessed the power of social media to reach out to Khairy Jamaluddin.

    KJ vows to take action against people who are trying to jump queues. If you know of any potential queue jumpers, email kj@mosti.gov.my

  5. Business Survival Group which represents almost one million business owners have warned that prolonging the ban on domestic travel will kill more businesses off. Instead, the Business Survival Group adviser Ameer Ali Mydin has asked government to implement targeted EMCO in areas which have clusters of Covid-19 cases.

  6. AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank) made RM263.83 million for 3QFY31 ended Dec 31, 2020 — down 30.96% from a year ago due to higher allowance for impairment on loans, advances, and financing. One of its main shareholders, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) will write down the value of AmBank by USD163.4 million in its books.

  7. Do you have to pay taxes on your gains from your cryptocurrency investment? Only active traders of cryptocurrency have to declare their gains to be taxed according to the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN). An active trader has an intent to profit and carries out repetitive transactions (frequency). For now, capital gains are not taxable.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Chobani LLC, the food company that popularised Greek-style yogurt in the US is planning for an IPO, that could value it between USD7 - USD10 bil. ‘Chobani’ means ‘shepherd’ in Greece and Turkish. The company was founded in 2005 by a Turkish immigrant, Hamdi Ulukaya, when he came across an ad selling a yogurt-making plant that was formerly a Krafts Food Inc. factory and funded the purchase with a close to USD1 mil loan.  It has since expanded beyond Greek yogurt to producing refrigerated coffees, creamer and oat milk. 

    In 2016, PepsiCo attempted to acquire a majority stake in the company but failed. In the same year, Ulukaya made headlines when he surprised his 2,000 full-time employees by pledging to give them a stake up to 10% in the company when it goes listing or acquired. At a USD7 bil valuation and 10% stake to be given away, each employee will average a gift of USD350,000. Chobani’s annual revenue is estimated to be around USD2 bil

  2. PropertyGuru, the Singaporean online property listing site is considering a US listing through none other than a merger with a SPAC / ‘blank-check’ company. The merged entity is expected to be worth USD1 bil. Founded in 2007, PropertyGuru is present in the major countries in Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. In 2019, it raised USD300 mil in funding from private equity giants, KKR and TPG

  3. Klarna, the Swedish ‘buy-now, pay-later’ fintech giant, announced a new round of USD1 billion funding from new and existing backers, nearly tripling its valuation to USD31 billion from its last fundraising round back in Sep 2020 that valued it at USD11 billion

    Founded in 2015, it has 90 million active consumers and 250,000 merchants using its payment service. The ‘buy-now, pay-later’ volume , or to us, simply easily accessible debt-fuelled lifestyle, is expected to hit USD357 billion in Europe by 2025. UK regulators are planning to regulate this sector as its usage explodes during the pandemic crisis and if left unregulated, it could be ‘harmful’ to consumers. 

  4. Anchorage, a digital asset bank with federal banking charter grants by US financial regulators, has closed its Series C USD80 mil funding. Interestingly, the round is led by GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore. Anchorage is a bank that is native and designed for the growing crypto asset industry. No surprise if GIC or its sister organisation, Temasek, given their propensity to invest in tech firms, announce that they hold Bitcoin in their treasury reserves. 

  5. MyHeritage, the DNA testing business, has launched a new feature called ‘deep nostalgia’. It lets users upload photos of a person and see their faces animated. Powered by AI, this feature brings to life, albeit a synthetic one, of long-lost, deceased relatives and famous people in a different era by approximating their eye and facial movement. Miss your grandma? Get her photo and upload it up here.

    MyHeritage was acquired just last week for USD600 mil. It has 62 million active users, 58 million family trees on its platform and ran nearly 5 million DNA tests for its users.

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