☕️ PM Muhyiddin out, Caretaker PM Mahiaddin in - same same but different
Najib suing Caretaker PM for defamation over court interference case. IPO of QSR Brands, operator of KFC and Pizza Hut in Malaysia back on track.USD6.84 tril - record cash held by corporates globally.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
195 appearances — Malaysia’s Soh Chin Ann has finally been recognised by FIFA as the most-capped player in the world. He earned his first cap for the national team in November 1969, at the age of 19. Finally in a long time for Malaysia to be proud of something positive.
89,200 residents left Hong Kong in the year through the end of June 2021 for greener pastures after the implementation of the National Security Law that curtailed protest and dissent.
32,340 Big Macs — the number of burgers eaten by a McDonald’s lover and he has the receipts to prove it! Donald Gorske (pictured below) holds the Guinness World Record for the most Big Macs eaten in a lifetime. How much do you love your Spicy Chicken McDeluxe?
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Negeri Sembilan state government is confident that industrial workers will be fully vaccinated by mid-September.
Caretaker Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the herd immunity goal by the end of October is still achievable if the mass Covid-19 immunisation programme runs uninterrupted. Muhyiddin also assured Malaysians that his Cabinet had ordered over 87 million doses at a cost of RM4.36bil, more than enough for all Malaysians.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet have finally submitted their resignations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) as the PM does not want to sacrifice his personal principles to remain in office. One of the best advisers of the Muhyiddin’s cabinet — Ahmad Faizal Azumu. Hired on Aug 5, 2021 — one week later, PM resigned.
YDPA has appointed Muhyiddin Yassin (also sometimes known as Bapa Perutusan) as the ‘caretaker’ PM until the formation of the new government — his role is just to maintain the status quo and keep the civil service running.
Party leaders (UMNO, PAS, Pejuang, DAP) have been summoned to prepare for an audience with the YDPA today to state their views on who should lead the next government.
Prior to Perikatan Nasional’s collapse, two DAP parliamentarians (Tony Pua and Ong Kian Ming) helped in drafting proposals with finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz that PM pushed for last Friday according to Sin Chew Daily. This was hush-hush until it was exposed by the Chinese daily. DAP sec-gen Lim Guan Eng came to the party’s defence as Pakatan Harapan gave permission for them to do so.
In Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court yesterday, the third witness of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s trial for the Penang undersea tunnel project said Guan Eng did not declare he had discussed the project with the director of the company that eventually won the tender for the project. The witness, Datuk Lim Hock Seng is a former Penang state executive councillor.
In this trial, Guan Eng is facing four corruption charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.
Najib Razak is in the midst of filling a defamation suit against outgoing prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, over the latter’s claims of demand for him to interfere in court cases. Najib has gone as far as preparing a police report on Muhyiddin’s behalf after the latter did not file a formal complaint over the allegations. Too free ke?
Fitch Solutions has revised Malaysia’s 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) growth from its earlier estimate of 4.9% to 0%. The research unit of the Fitch Group does not think Malaysia will achieve herd immunity before the end of 2021 thereby ruling out a potential economic surge at the later part of the year.
QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd’s initial public offering (IPO) is back on track as its controlling shareholder Johor Corp Bhd (JCorp) has engaged Maybank Investment Bank Bhd and RHB Investment Bank Bhd as its IPO advisers. The listing plan was postponed back in April 2019 after key potential investors deemed its valuation unpalatably high — PE ratio of 25x.
QSR currently operates over 1,300 KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Cambodia.
Pos Malaysia Bhd reported a net loss of RM121.84 mil for 2QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, as it suffered lower business volume across the board, including its courier services, as a result of Movement Control Order (MCO). To mitigate these challenging times, Pos Malaysia has introduced courier price revision for key customers to improve profitability and four more mail processing centres (MPCs) are expected to be rationalised during this financial year.
Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said the total vehicle sales in the country jumped 270% to 7,086 units in July from 1,921 units achieved in June — mainly due to sales recorded in Sabah and Sarawak, where showrooms have been allowed to operate as the two states were placed under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
The total number of sales sold in the first seven months of 2021 is 256,215 units — up 10.2% from the same period last year.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Philippines fast-food giant, Jollibee Foods, controlled by Filipino billionaire Tony Tan Caktiong, has agreed to take full control over dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan (THW). The company will acquire the remaining 15% stake in Tim How Wan from its partner Titan Dining LP for USD52.7 mil, valuing the chain at USD351.3 mil. Jollibee has been building its stake in THW for the past 3 years with the initial 45% purchased in May 2018 for USD33.1 mil, valuing the chain at USD73.6 mil. It increased its stake to 60% in 2019, then to 85% at the height of the pandemic last year.
THW operates 53 outlets, mostly franchised stores across Asia, primarily concentrated in Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong. Jollibee plans to aggressively expand THW’s China presence with a target to open 100 outlets in the coming 4 years, adding to its 3 existing stores in Shanghai. The billionaire informed shareholders that the company will spend USD242 mil this year in capex, its biggest ever, to accelerate expansion of its stores in the Philippines and its other markets.
Companies are sitting on a record cash pile amid uncertainties from the pandemic. Cash and short-term investments on corporate balance sheets globally are at an all-time high of USD6.84 tril, according to S&P Global, based on second-quarter earnings report. This is 45% higher than the average in the 5 years preceding the pandemic. Despite this, global capex is expected to slow in the coming quarters, given rising concerns of the Delta variant.
Many of these companies took the opportunity to raise high amount of debts to build cash buffer as interest costs is low - US and European nonfinancial companies raised a record USD2.4 tril. 42% of high-yield bond deals were primarily to refinance existing debt and in 28% of the deals, were to fund acquisitions.
DistroKid, a music distributor platform, has raised money from Insight Venture Partners at a valuation of USD1.3 bil. The company and the investor declined to say how much was raised and the amount of stake that was acquired. DistroKid creates tools for musicians, which includes distribution across all major streaming services and social networks and charge a flat rate regardless of how much money the musician makes.
Most importantly, the artists retain ownership over their songs, unlike major labels, leading to a decline in music distributed by major labels as artists flock to such platforms. Music released by independent labels accounted for USD8 bil of global recorded revenue in 2020, or about 35% whilst artists that released music on their own without any label grossed a record high of USD1.2 bil.
Over 2 mil acts are using DistroKid, including rappers like Ludacris and 21 Savage, with 15,000 to 25,000 songs uploaded every day, claiming that it has a hand in releasing between 30-40% of all new music, making it the largest player now.
News in Brief:
Scientists have found 2 nearly perfectly preserved cave lion cubs from the Ice Age, in east Russia, with one cub found to be 43,448 years old and another 27,962 years old based on radiocarbon dating.
With the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, Afghanistan has once again become a dangerous place for women. During Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, women were deprived of various basic human rights such as education and freedom of movement outside their home without a male companions. The situation has improved from 2001, but until few days ago, the fear and threat of Taliban towards women have been brought to life.
Sri Lanka’s president has demoted the health minister. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who publicly endorsed sorcery and magic portions to battle Covid-19. Despite the demotion, the minister still remains in the cabinet with a less important transport ministry given to her. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, air suam Adham Baba kept his job despite prescribing warm water as a cure against Covid-19 on TV. Thank god he’s no longer the health minister.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Two policemen risked themselves to save 3 people who got stranded down at Sungai Klang on Sunday. Kudos to them on their heroic actions!
Sorry - we didn’t link properly to the trampoline dance performance video. Worth watching. It’s mesmerising!
NSFW — a video of Afghans scrambling to board a plane to escape Taliban.