☕️ R&B star Rihanna officially a billionaire

PM (unnecessarily) appointed a special adviser, with ministership status. RM114mil cash seized returned to Najib & UMNO - war chest reloaded. USD3.2 bil cash infusion into Spanish La Liga.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD215 mil the value of NBA megastar Stephen Curry’s four-year contract extension with Golden State Warriors, which expires in 2026.

There will be 4.7 mil fewer girls over the next 10 years, due to sex-selective practices according to a new study published Monday in the medical journal Global Health BMJ. The authors noted that the skewed gender proportion may lead to elevated levels of antisocial behavior and violence, on top of marriage squeeze.

Huawei plans to invest USD100 mil over the next three years to support the APAC startup ecosystem. The company will develop four startup hubs in Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka & Vietnam.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Moderna Covid-19 vaccine registered to Zuellig Pharma Sdn Bhd and produced by Rovi Pharma Industrial Services in Spain has received conditional approval from the Drug Control Authority (DCA) to be used in Malaysia. Moderna Inc claimed its Covid-19 shot was about 93% effective through six months after the 2nd dose.

  • Ministry of Health has also said the allegations of delays in getting the Moderna vaccines were due to ‘not enough kickbacks’ are baseless.

  • National Recovery Plan’s coordinating minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said Malaysia will no longer use daily virus infections as a metric to ease curbs for states once they enter the second phase of the national recovery plan. Instead, the government will look at the Covid-19 hospitalisation rate, vaccination rate and ICU occupancy.

  • Greater Klang Valley Special Task Force (GKV STF) commander Datuk Dr Chong Chee Kheong said the number of beds in public and private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients in the GKV (Selangor, KL, N9) area will be increased by repurposing some areas of the hospitals into patient wards.

  • Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin has urged the government to adopt Selangor’s vaccination programme through Operation Surge Capacity for the state of Johor as there is an upward trend of new daily Covid-19 positive cases and deaths in Johor, with a more than 150% increase from mid-July until now.


OLYMPIC MEDAL COUNT


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics & Local

  1. The latest get-rich-quick-scheme in town — bribery! Lim Cheah Yit, 43, a senior federal counsel who accepted bribes amounting to RM700,000 on three occasions last year has been fined RM130,000 and jailed for a day by the sessions court in Butterworth, Penang. Profit margins of 81%! Pays to be a crook in Malaysia. #NotFinancialAdvice

  2. No further action will be taken against the PE teacher who allegedly made rape jokes in class according to Sungai Buloh OCPD Supt Shafa'aton Abu Bakar. Deputy public prosecutor issued a No Further Action notice to the police. No wonder he can issue a letter of demand seeking RM1 mil in damages.

  3. Ahmad Faizal Azumu, the former Perak menteri besar has been appointed as a special adviser to PM with the status of a minister. He would advise the prime minister on community relations and communications as well as socio-economic development. He was voted out of as Perak’s MB back in Dec. Given Malaysia’s pandemic situation, the PM must have been getting bad advice and will continue to receive the same for the foreseeable future.

  4. UMNO submitted its third batch of statutory declarations from its MPs to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, notifying His Majesty of their withdrawal of support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. If this is real, how can the PM keep insisting he has majority support?

  5. Tun Dr Mathathir Mohamad admitted it was wrong for him to have joined the gathering of opposition MPs at Dataran Merdeka on Friday due to the lack of social distancing at the protest. He wanted to stay and observe from his car.

  6. Some RM114 mil in seized cash and assets from a raid at the Pavilion residences on May 17, 2018, have been returned to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno as confirmed by the former prime minister’s counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

    The RM114 mil was part of the RM680 mil in cash, jewellery and other assets seized from condo units in Pavilion Residences, Kuala Lumpur, owned by Obyu Holdings Sdn Bhd, in 2018.

    Interesting timing. Najib just retracted support from PN and Mahiaddin few days ago and now Najib & Co. is RM114 mil richer.

Business

  1. Home improvement retailer MR DIY Group (M) Bhd posted a net profit of RM82.13 mil for 2QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, 34.18% lower QoQ due to the FMCO imposed in June 2021. Total transactions in 2QFY21 fell by 10.4%. It declared an interim single-tier dividend of 0.6 sen per share, to be paid on Sept 23.

  1. IOI Corp Bhd has been buying back its own shares as the oil palm plantation company’s share price descended to its lowest in over a year. Based on filings with Bursa Malaysia on Tuesday (Aug 3), IOI Corp bought another 600,000 shares in the open market at prices between RM3.65 and RM3.67 for a total of RM2.19 million.

    Following the buyback, IOI Corp's cumulative number of net outstanding treasury shares stood at  51.4 million while its adjusted number of issued shares stood at 6.29 billion, which means IOI has a market cap of approximately RM23.27 bil based on yesterday’s closing price of RM3.70.

  2. AirAsia Group Bhd has received RM239.98 mil in gross proceeds from the merger between Fly Leasing Ltd and Carlyle Aviation Partners. The corporate exercise is part of the group’s plan to raise up to RM2.5 bil.

  3. Focus Dynamics Group Bhd’s proposed one-to-three share split has been rejected by Bursa Securities in view of the group’s low adjusted share price of 1.5 sen.

    Focus Dynamics just completed in October last year a one-to-three share split during the height of the penny stock fever when its share price surged to RM2.60 right before the stock split. Following the split, the counter traded over 80 sen in November but has since lost 95% in value to settle at 4 sen yesterday.

  4. Honda Malaysia’s car sales for the period of May to July 2021 was about 5,700 units, a decline of 52% YoY compared to close to 12,000 in the same period last year. The extended lockdown, with no visibility on the business resumption timeframe, has impacted planning and overall investment of the automotive marques. Will our Japanese investors say sayonara soon?


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Robyn Fenty aka Rihanna is now officially a billionaire according to Forbes, estimating her wealth to be USD1.7 bil. This makes her the wealthiest female musician and second richest female entertainer after Oprah Winfrey. The bulk of her wealth did not come from her music career, but from her business ventures. 

    Rihanna has capitalised on her social media presence (101 mil Instagram followers, 102.5 mil Twitter followers) to build her beauty brand. Fenty Beauty, a 50-50 joint venture with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, contributes USD1.4 bil to her wealth valuing the company at USD2.8 bil. In the first year of launch in 2017, it brought in more than USD550 mil in its first full calendar year, beating out other celebrity brands like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty. 

    Rihanna has another billion-dollar brand. In February, her lingerie line Savage x Fenty raised USD115 mil at a USD1 bil valuation, which Rihanna has a 30% stake in it. However, not everything that Rihanna touches turns to gold. In February, LVMH and Rihanna confirmed that they had shut down their other venture also called Fenty - a high-end fashion and accessories house, due to the pandemic. 

  2. Spanish La Liga, one of the world’s largest European football leagues, has agreed to a EUR2.7 bil (USD3.2 bil) investment from private equity giant, CVC Capital Partners. A new entity will be created to take control of most of La Liga’s activities, with CVC having a 10% stake, effectively valuing the deal at USD32 bil. 

    The clubs, including Real Madrid and Barcelona, will receive 90% of the proceeds of which 70% will be allocated for infrastructure improvements, 15% to finance debts and a maximum of 15% on player acquisition. The pandemic has impacted many sports clubs around the world due to losses from ticket sales. CVC is no stranger to the sports world. It has been involved in volleyball, tennis, Moto GP and Formula One and back in March, it reached a deal to invest GBP365 mil in the rugby’s annual Siz Nations tournament. 

  3. South Korea will invest KRW2.2 tril won (USD1.9 bil) to become one of the world’s 5 largest Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing hubs by 2025, its President Moon Jae-in said. He would designate Covid-19 vaccines as one of the 3 national strategic technologies, alongside semiconductors and batteries, to ramp up investment, providing tax breaks and incentives to help firms localise material, parts and equipment. 

    The project will focus on developing homegrown vaccines and nurture some 200 new medical scientists, 10,000 clinical trial professionals and 2,000 bioproduction workers every year. The president added he is seeking to expand international cooperation forging vaccine partnerships with Germany, Britain and other countries, to bring in foreign investments. 

    News in Brief:

  4. President Joe Biden will set a new national target via an executive order for the adoption of electric vehicles to represent 50% of all new auto sales by 2030. This was announced during a summit on the future of electric vehicles organised by the White House. 

    Guess who wasn’t invited? Tesla. Despite being the largest EV maker in US representing about 74% of EV sales, Tesla did not receive the invitation whilst chief executives from Ford, GM and Stellantis will be present. 

  1. Netflix is making a documentary series about SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission - its first all-civilian flight that will launch on Sep 15. “Countdown: Inspiration Mission to Space” will be released in 5 parts. Unlike Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic’s recent flights to the edge of space and just spending few minutes in zero-gravity before returning to Earth, the 4 passengers in this mission, which 38-year-old billionaire Jared Isaacman leads, will orbit the Earth for 3 days to raise awareness for St Jude Children’s Hospital. 

  2. Scientists have been able to revive 33 types of ancient viruses, which are thought to have been frozen in the ice of Guliya ice cap in the Tibetan Plateau 15,000 years ago. 28 of those were unknown to science. These viruses are unlikely to be harmful to humans based on their genetic makeup, though there was an incident in Russia when a heatwave released a bacteria from a frozen reindeer carcass that was trapped under Siberian permafrost leading to the death of a 12-year-old boy and hospitalising at least 20 others. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Proton launched the facelifted 2022 Iriz and Persona yesterday, with prices (OTR without insurance) starting from RM40,300 and RM45,200 respectively with sales tax exemption. The sales tax exemption prices are valid until December 31, 2021.

  2. Olympic marathon winning times have tumbled since 1896