☕️ Natural Resource Minister: Kedah's Gunung Jerai landslide an "act of god"

76,786 couples divorced since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Evergrande USD300 bil debt - China's financial ticking time bomb. Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs of All Time - first refresh in 17 years.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

Indians are currently going through the K-fever, having consumed 178% more Korean instant noodles (ramyun) thus far in 2021 than they did in 2020.

6x more Muslim couples divorced since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic until August 2021, compared to non-Muslim couples, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

As the latest census is ongoing, we used DOSM’s 2010 data, which showed 61.3% of Malaysians are Muslims. Should that figure remain similar in the 2020 census, it looks like Muslim couples are more prone to end up in divorce than non-Muslim couples.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

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4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan insisted the recent landslides at Kedah’s Gunung Jerai as an “act of god” after Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim criticised him for making such irresponsible remarks.

    Anwar Ibrahim said God should not be blamed when humans caused the problem before Dewan Rakyat Speaker muted him. Takiyuddin Hassan said no illegal logging activities had taken place.

  2. In his money laundering trial, Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah did not produce proof the RM9.5 million he received from Najib was for legal services rendered upon request by a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer.

  3. Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi argued the RM6 mil from Datasonic Group Bhd director Chew Ben Ben was a political donation. Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah interrupted Zahid Hamidi by asking, “Why money meant for political donation had been banked into Yayasan Akalbudi (Zahid Hamidi’s charitable foundation)?

    To which Zahid Hamidi responded, “The businessman who gave the money viewed political donation and charity to mean the same thing.

    Shouldn’t Zahid Hamidi, as a senior politician, know better?

  4. According to Bukit Aman, cosmetics entrepreneur Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman, better known as Nur Sajat, has been detained in Thailand. Comm Abd Jalil said the suspect is wanted for multiple offences in Malaysia, including criminal intimidation and preventing civil servants from performing their duties.

    However, Nur Sajat fled the country because she was trying to escape religious authorities after being charged by Shah Alam Syariah Court with insulting Islam by cross-dressing at a religious event.

  5. Royal Malaysia Police (PRDRM) captured seven individuals suspected of being involved in a drug syndicate. In addition, PDRM seized 174 sacks of drug-processing chemicals worth over RM50 mil.

Business

  1. Malaysia maintained its October export tax for crude palm oil at 8% using a reference price of RM4,472.46 per tonne for October.

  2. According to a statement by the courier service company, DHL Express Malaysia will be increasing the price of its services by an average of 4.9%, effective Jan 1, 2022. Do you think the others will follow suit?

  3. SOCAR Mobility Malaysia (SOCAR) may just be the next unicorn in the making after it has closed a covenant-based investment round of up to US$55 mil (RM221 mil) in its recent Series B funding exercise.

    SOCAR will see both equity and capital injection from South-Korea based EastBridge Partners as well as an investment by Malaysian multinational Sime Darby Bhd. The outfit at USD213 mil (RM885.7 mil).

  4. e-Wallet player, Boost has partnered with Great Eastern General Insurance (Malaysia) Berhad to launch CarProtect, car insurance that provides comprehensive coverage for private cars.

    Until Dec 31, the first 5,000 users to purchase their car insurance with Boost will receive RM100 cashback in the Boost partner wallet, whereas subsequent users will receive RM50 cashback.

  5. Consumer credit reporting company Experian has launched TrackMyID, an identity theft monitoring tool, to help Malaysian consumers track their digital identities to see if they have been compromised or sold on the dark web.

  6. Once KLSE’s beloved but now unloved, Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd reported a net loss of RM21.89 mil for 2QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, because of higher operating costs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Vessel utilisation declined to 51%, impacting quarterly revenue, which fell to RM159.69 mil from RM170.95 mil a year ago. However, the group said its order book remains strong with an estimated RM2.3 billion worth of jobs.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Flippa, an online marketplace to buy and sell online businesses and digital assets, has raised its first venture-backed round since its founding in 2009, an USD11 mil Series A with OneVentures leading the round. The platform facilitates exits for millions of online businesses owners, such as e-commerce marketplaces, blogs, SaaS and apps and recently Shopify storefronts. Its CEO, Blake Hutchinson, describes Flippa as the “investment bank for the 99%” of small businesses. 

    Some highlights on Flippa:

    1. 600,000 monthly searches from investors looking to connect with business owners

    2. Proprietary valuation product, processing over 4,000 valuations each month and matching algorithm to connect with qualified buyers

    3. 3 mil registered users, with 300,000 new registered users added in the past 12 months

    4. Transaction volume grew by 100% YoY

  2. Global stocks slid on Monday as concerns over the escalating crisis of Chinese property developer, Evergrande, could cause a global contagion leading to China’s version of Lehman Brothers during the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis.

    Evergrande is China’s second-largest property developer and has a debt load of more than USD300 bil, which is unlikely to meet its interest payments, leading to a potential default. The company is due to pay USD83.5 mil interest this Sep 23 and another USD47.5 mil on Sep 29. Should the interest not be paid within 30 days of the scheduled payment, it would be deemed as default. This is on top of the principal amount in the billions that are due in the coming months. 

    Evergrande’s fallout would have significant consequences for China’s economy and potentially the world as well. It owes money to 171 domestic banks and 121 other financial firms and more than 1.5 mil home buyers have paid their down payments on yet-to-be completed projects, which is unlikely to be completed by the looks of things. 

    How far will the Chinese Communist Party go to rein in on the situation? To ensure its ‘common prosperity’ goal and the possible widespread consequences beyond financial impact, there might be a collective bail-out with the CCP compelling the tech giants and larger conglomerates to donate to the CCP and indirectly saving Evergrande. Prior to this incident, Alibaba was donating USD15.5 bil to aid Xi Jinping’s ‘common prosperity’ vision. 

  3. Breakthrough Energy, a non-profit founded by Bill Gates in 2016 to invest in green technology, has raised a significant amount from 7 large US companies. The amount was undisclosed but reportedly amounted to over USD1 bil. These seven companies are Microsoft, BlackRock, General Motors, American Airlines, Boston Consulting Group, Bank of America and ArcelorMittal. 

    The money raised will fund its “Breakthrough Energy Catalyst”, a project launched early in the year that aims to finance, produce, and buy the new solutions that will help underpin a zero-carbon economy. The programme will focus on direct air capture, green hydrogen, long-duration energy storage, and sustainable aviation fuel. 

  4. France has recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia for the first time ever as retaliation towards the US-UK-Australia strategic military alliance where US and UK will share advanced defence technologies and is giving Australian forces nuclear submarine technology. France accused the US and Australia of “lying” to its officials. 

    Australia announced last week that it was terminating a USD50 bil contract with French-owned firm Naval Group to build its new fleet of submarines and will be replaced with domestically built ones with the help of the US and UK. Apart from this financial blow, France finds itself excluded from the Indo-Pacific pact between these 3 nations, as its submarine deal with Australia was a way to bolster France’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. 

  5. The first time in 17 years, Rolling Stone has updated its list of Top 500 Songs of All Time with participation from more than 250 artists, writers and industry figures to refresh the list. Songs from Nirvana, Missy Elliot and Outkast actually made it into the top 10. Check it out here.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Ini semua “Act of God” by @kuasasiswa

  2. Here are the 13 tips for surviving wild animal attacks, including sharks, crocodiles, hippotamus, lions, elephants, and many more.