☕️ Parliament Day #1 - Entertaining and Comical
Sources:Insurer AIA Group to invest in TNG Digital. Eternerva - the startup that turns your deceased loved ones into diamonds. Tobacco maker Philip Morris to stop selling cigarettes in UK in 10 years.
As avid readers, The Coffee Break team loves the feeling of finishing a really good book — The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. We’ve read it recently and shared some of our favourite parts of the book with our Twitter (@breakmycoffee) followers. Check the tweet out and follow us for more original content and memes.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
2.5 bil tons of food waste are generated globally as a result of food lost on farms or wasted by retailers or consumers, double than previously thought according to research by World Wildlife Fund and U.K. retailer Tesco Plc. Food lost on farms are food that may not be harvested because of damage by weather, pests and disease.
AUD 5 mil — the fine imposed on Australian activewear firm Lorna Jane for claiming its clothing “eliminated” and stopped the spread of Covid-19.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has set the target for all adults to be fully vaccinated by October 2021 and is expecting that most states will transition to Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) as early as October 2021. During his statement on NRP, he also mentioned the government ordered 79.9 mil doses of vaccines, of which 25.2 mil doses have already arrived.
The Covid-19 situation in Malaysia seems to be getting worse despite the lockdowns with as many as 1,009 Covid-19 patients in ICU, with 524 requiring respiratory support. The country had also recorded the most Covid-19 fatalities within a single day, with 207 deaths.
OLYMPIC MEDAL TALLY
4.1 IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾 [MY Comedy Club Special]
Where do we even begin with yesterday’s fireworks in the Parliament’s special sitting which begun yesterday?
Federal Government has decided based on Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution to revoke all Emergency Ordinances made during the nationwide state of emergency, which started on Jan 12 this year. Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim gave a low blow to the government — asked why wasn’t this announced but for PM’s diarrhoea, a PDF was issued. LOL.
UMNO supreme council member Datuk Seri Azalina Said Othman gave credit to UMNO’s president for his relentless pressure on the government to revoke the state of Emergency. Hold up — let’s not forget the day when UMNO said they want PM to step down, the PM went to gave two UMNO veterans important posts in the cabinet.
PM escaped the Q&A session in yesterday’s evening parliament session, leaving Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz to answer questions on his behalf. Apparently, he escaped through the same door he used to enter, the backdoor.
Our beloved Azmin Ali showed a few placards to explain the figures behind National Security Council’s decision to allow certain sectors to operate but that didn’t go down well with the opposition.
4.2 IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾 [Actual News]
Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd has nominated Nexia SSY PLTS as its new external auditor for the financial year ended June 30, 2021, after KPMG PLT resigned a month ago. Nexia SSY PLT is an independent member firm of Nexia International, currently ranked as the eighth largest accounting firm in the world by the International Accounting Bulletin Survey 2021.
KPMG PLT has also resigned as the external auditor for Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd (SCIB) effective immediately. SCIB is a related co to Serba Dinamik via a major shareholder, Datuk Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah.
The Hartal Doktor Kontrak movement received support from government doctors nationwide with many of the doctors staging the walkout peacefully, donning black attire. The protest is to push for reform of the system which, they claim, hinders their career progress and offers no job security.
While there was police presence at various government hospitals and Dang Wangi police chief Mohamad Zainal Abdullah said an investigation would be opened on the strike, lawyers say the doctors did not break any laws as walking out of a job isn’t legally tantamount to a criminal offence.
In an attempt to pacify the situation, the government has agreed to extend the contracts of about 14,000 medical doctors, dentists and pharmacists for another two years, which is expected to cost RM1.2 bil.
Insurer AIA Group is investing in TNG Digital via participation in the latest round of capital raising, which values TNG Digital at about US$700 million or approximately RM3 bil according to sources. Touch 'n Go declined to comment on the matter.
RHB Banking Group is exiting the asset management business in Indonesia as RHB Sekuritas Indonesia will sell its entire 98.62% equity interest and 1% equity interest in RHBAMI to AllianzGI and Allianz Life Indonesia respectively. The proposed transaction is expected to be completed by 4Q of 2021.
1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has dropped its US$1 bil civil suit against law firm Wong & Partners and its partner Brian Chia Hock Gee over their advisory work in relation to 1MDB. The suit was filed back on May 7, 2021.
Legal and constitutional experts said efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic have been carried out under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act and are not affected by the revocation of the state of Emergency. Hence, the entire series of movement restrictions and compound notices which have been issued so far are valid.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The 3-way battle for Indonesia’s tech industry and digital economy is heating up between Singapore-based Sea, GoTo, the company born out of the merger between Gojek and Tokopedia and Singapore-based Grab. Grab has formed a strategic alliance with Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek for short), a major Indonesian media conglomerate.
Monday’s announcement confirmed that Grab and Emtek have invested in each other’s businesses. Grab took a 4.6% stake in Emtek back in Mar when it made a IDR9.3 tril (USD642 mil) private placement, whilst Emtek has invested USD374 mil for a 5.8% stake in Grab’s Indonesian unit. Emtek is the largest shareholder in Bukalapak, one of Indonesia’s largest e-commerce platforms which is going seeking a USD1.5 bil public listing in Indonesia.
German drugmaker BioNTech, the company behind the Covid-19 vaccine together with Pfizer, announced its plans to develop an mRNA-based (Messenger RNA) vaccine to prevent malaria, a life-threatening disease caused by mosquitos. It aims to begin clinical trials by end 2022. Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines are the first time mRNA has been cleared for human use.
There were an estimated 229 mil cases of malaria and at least 409,000 deaths in 2019, according to WHO. The majority of the cases were in Africa, and children under 5 are the most vulnerable group.
Eternerva, the Austin-based direct-to-consumer brand startup in the end-of-life-space, announced a USD10 mil Series Around led by Tiger Management, with participation from Mark Cuban, amongst other investors. Cuban first became an investor when the company appeared on Shark Tank (watch the pitch below)
The 4-year old startup creates diamonds from the cremated ashes or hair of people and pets. An unusual business, but it seems to be resonating with people seeking a way to keep a piece of their loved ones after their death.
Embark Veterinary Inc, a genetic startup that seeks to increase dog lifespans, has raised a USD75 mil funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, valuing the company at USD700 mil. The company’s technology hopes to increase canine lifespans by 3 years towards the end of the decade.
It currently offers tests that screens for more than 200 health risks and its dog database will top 1 mil in coming months. Embark’s revenue surged by 235% in 2020 and is set to exceed USD100 mil this year. It has helped its clients to lengthened their dogs lives by avoiding certain drugs, altering diets or making other changes based on Embark’s data.
Embark found that avoiding inbreeding, which can cause allergies and maladies, is a simple way to extend 2 years to a dog’s life.
News in Brief:
World Bank is projecting Myanmar’s economy to contract by 18% this year amidst political turmoil since the Feb 1 military coup and the third wave of Covid-19. This would leave the country’s economy 30% smaller than it would have been in the absence of Covid-19 and the military coup.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker is in preliminary assessment to build its first European semiconductor plant in Germany. TSMC is already building a USD12 bil chip facility in Arizona and considering constructing its first-ever wafer plant in Japan.
Marlboro maker and tobacco maker Philio Morris International said plans to stop selling cigarettes in the UK in 10 years’ time. Interesting to see how the firm pivots its business away from cigarettes. For a start, it plans to acquire Vectura Group, a British pharma company for USD1.2 bil that specialises in inhaled medicines for conditions like asthma. 8 mil people, including second-hand smokers, are estimated to die every year according to WHO.
Jeff Bezos offers to cover USD2 bil in NASA costs in exchange for a contract to build a lunar lander to land astronauts on the Moon. Bezos said Blue Origin will waive all payments up to USD2 bil from NASA in the current and the next 2 government fiscal years. NASA back in April awarded Elon Musk’s SpaceX a USD2.89 bil contract of similar nature.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)
A robot shooting basketball. 100% accuracy.
The higher the GDP per capita, the lower the hours work. In order words, people in poorer countries tend to work longer hours.
What Azmin Ali’s placard was really showing