☕️ PM Sabri's logic: appoint the arsonist to put out the fire he started

The magic of cheap money - every 1 in 5 days S&P500 closed at record high. Auto Bavaria's cheeky social media ad. Thai Prime Minister survived his 3rd no-confidence vote.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

Over 1.6 million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine are to be called in Japan due to ‘foreign substances’. The Japanese Health Ministry suspended the use of approximately 1.6 mil of doses of Moderna’s vaccines produced in Spain as a precaution last week.

50,000 on-street EV chargers will be installed by Shell’s Ubitricity unit in the UK by 2025, for drivers who don’t have private parking. The UK has banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, paving the way for electric vehicles.

54 - the number of times the S&P500 closed at a record high in 2021 so far. There are 252 trading days in 2021 - every 5 days, the S&P500 closed at a record high on average.


2020 Tokyo Paralympic Medal Count

The 2020 Tokyo Paralympic concluded yesterday and Malaysia won 5 medals — 3 gold and 2 silver. Congratulations!


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • The interstate travel SOPs are being finalised according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ), before presenting it to the National Security Council (NSC/MKN) for approval.

  • KJ said he is working with several other ministers to level the “mountains of pages” of SOP being used by the NSC and replace them with a public-friendly version. He quipped there are too many sectoral SOPs that are too specific. Who was in charge of the SOPs previously? His current boss.

  • Covid-19 vaccination for those aged below 18 in Sarawak is expected to begin on Sep 8, 2021.

  • No such thing as a RM1,500 fine for those who did not ‘check out’ on their MySejahtera app to indicate them leaving a location or premises, as clarified by the Health Ministry.

  • Individuals who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination abroad need to get a digital certificate on MySejahtera from the nearest district health office.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been appointed the chairman of the National Recovery Council with minister status voluntarily without any remuneration.

    No disrespect Tan Sri, but we don’t really want your service even when it’s free. Malaysians have been gamed once again by the government that we did not elect — birds of a feather flock together.

  2. Attorney-General Idrus Harun said a vote of confidence is no longer necessary as Yang di-Pertuan Agong had already appointed Ismail Sabri Yaakob as prime minister as per the Federal Constitution. AG said the motion would undermine the king’s powers.

    Did the AG miss this piece of news? Back on Aug 18, 2021, Yang di-Pertuan Agong issued a reminder to the yet-to-be-appointed 9th PM to undergo a confidence vote in the Dewan Rakyat once it is confirmed.

    If you know the AG, tell him to subscribe to The Coffee Break because we definitely covered that news!

  3. Former Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) board member Datuk Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid’s 29 corruption charges were withdrawn by the prosecution based on facts confirmed from further investigation according to the Malaysian Anti -Corruption Commission (MACC).

    After the accused submitted a representation and statement of defence under Section 62 of the MACC Act 2009 during the trial, MACC investigated further and said all the transactions made as stated in the charges were advances that have been repaid. Why was this overlooked before he was charged?

  4. A paedophile was arrested in Lundu, a small town in Sarawak after joint efforts between Malaysian and Australian police. The suspect, Alladin Lanim, has been active since 2007 and was linked to more than 1,000 images and videos of sexually abused minors. Four children aged nine to 14 have been rescued following his arrest.

    He pleaded guilty to 18 counts of molesting five boys and was sentenced to a total of 18 years, six months’ jail and 15 strokes of the rotan.

  5. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin promised he will work out the best possible solution on the contract doctors issue within the 100-day set by his boss.

  6. A win for Malaysian youths as the Kuching High Court has ordered for the government to implement lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 by Dec 31 at the latest. The five youths representing Undi Sarawak named the Prime Minister, Malaysian government and Election Commission (EC) as respondents in their May 3 application.

Business

  1. Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz is proposing to raise the statutory debt limit to 65% from the current 60% of the gross domestic product (GDP). The finance minister also said the government would not borrow in foreign currencies for now. When he was asked about the re-introduction of GST in the upcoming budget, he said the government is focusing on reviving the economy and the timing is not right to bring back GST.

  2. IGB Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)’s upcoming listing does not seem enticing as the REIT has fixed 71 sen as the price for the institutional portion of its initial public offering (IPO), notably lower than the indicative price of 83 sen apiece set for its book-building exercise.

    IGB Bhd shareholders were offered RM2 for five of the REIT’s units, representing 40 sen each — almost 44% discount over the institutional price of 71 sen.

  3. The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has identified a potential clone of rubber glove manufacturer Top Glove Corp Bhd named Top Gloves Investment. The regulator said Top Gloves Investment is a possible clone operating an illegal investment scheme and included the entity in its updated Investor Alert List.

    The first pointer in The Coffee Break’s how to spot an investment scam guide was identifying fictitious entities. Check it out and share it with your friends and family.

  4. Technology firm NetX Holdings Bhd had entered into a share sale agreement to acquire the entire stake in Sungei Wang Plaza Sdn Bhd (SWP) and Sungei Wang Holdings Sdn Bhd (SWH) for RM20 but there’s a caveat. SWP owes Ambank RM38.2 million comprising the repayment and late payment charges. NetX expects the proposed acquisitions to be completed by 4Q2021. Will the firm’s bet on the property market pay off?


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Solar bonds are in hot demand. Investment firms in the US are snapping up record amounts of such bonds, debts that are issued to help US individuals to finance the purchase and installation of solar panels to power their homes. Sales of solar bonds hit around USD2 bil in the first 6 months of the year, about double the levels during the same period in 2020 and 2019. 

    For homeowners, savings from power consumption and falling capex are usually the main primary reason to install this power system. A growing motivation is environmental awareness as recent violent and unpredictable weather patterns have served as “large scale advertising for the product” according to GoodLeap LLC, the largest issuer of solar bonds. 

    As for investors, investment in solar bonds is a perfect ESG investment as required by their clients. Besides, the credit quality of solar bonds is deemed to be good as the borrowers must own their homes and have good mortgage track records to qualify for these solar loans. 

  2. The US is expected to take in at least 50,000 Afghans that have fled the Taliban, according to the Department of Homeland Security. As of Wednesday, more than 23,000 Afghans have arrived in the US since evacuations began in Kabul in August. 

    Each Afghan will receive up to USD2,275 to support resettlement needs such as food, housing, and other necessities like schooling. Upon arrival, they have up to a year to apply for a  permanent visa. 

    News in Brief:

  3. SoftBank will begin offering AI-based sign language translation using a smartphone app as early as 2024. The technology allows people to translate sign language into Japanese in 1 second or less and will translate 5,000 signed words in the first stage. 

  4. Reddit has begun the process of IPO by seeking to hire investment bankers and lawyers. It plans to list early next year with a targeted valuation of USD15 bil. Just last month, it raised a new round at a valuation of USD10 bil.

  5. Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha survived his third no-confidence vote on Saturday with critics mostly focusing on his poor handling of the country’s Covid-19 crisis. The first no-confidence vote was in Feb 2020 and the second a year later since returning as a prime minister after the 2019 general election. Something Malaysian Prime Ministers need to learn to test their legitimacy. 

  6. Current and former executives of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies LLC has come to a tax settlement with the Internal Revenue Service that will see them paying up to USD7 bil in back taxes, interest, and penalties, perhaps making it the largest in history. Renaissance Tech is amongst the top performing, if not the best, hedge fund that has pioneered quantitative trading even before it is known as quantitative trading. Despite charging a 5% management fee and 40% profit share, investors flock to invest in their fund. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Auto Bavaria’s (left) cheeky social media ad over the weekend. Cycle & Carriage comeback (right) was a tad weak, to be honest.

  2. Spotify still leading in the music streaming wars.

  3. A truck dedicated to creating rainbow? Based on a comment by Twitter user, it is a sanitary truck spraying water to get rid of dust in the air to improve air quality.