☕️ The billionaire that took 7 years to make USD10 billion, and just 10 days to lose USD8 billion

RM119.8 bil property transactions in 2020. Whistleblowers in US stand to make tens of millions reporting wrongdoings. Russian President Putin signed new law potentially making him 'president for life'

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD 48 million ticket sales for Godzilla vs Kong over the weekend — the best US box office opening thus far during the pandemic.

India’s market for gold lending will expand by at least 34% to 4.6 trillion rupees (US$61 billion) in the two years to March 2022, according to an estimate by KPMG. The segment’s bad-loan ratio is about 1% compared with 7.5% for the entire banking sector.

36 minutes — the amount of time Broadway reopened its doors for a performance on Saturday, more than a year after it closed because of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Brunei’s Ministry of Energy has signed a landmark unitisation agreement to establish the platform for the joint development of oil and gas (O&G) fields by Petronas and Brunei's National Unitisation Secretariat during the two day official visit by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to Brunei.

  2. According to The Edge Markets, AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank)’s recently proposed private placement is oversubscribed. The group has fixed the issue price at RM2.75, a 12.4% discount to yesterday’s closing price of RM3.14. Apparently, former CIMB chairman DS Nazir Razak’s PE firm Ikhlas Capital has subscribed the private placement.

  3. WCT Holdings Bhd’s net loss in 4QFY20 ballooned to RM227.67 mil from a net loss of RM103.67 million recorded the year before. The group said this was due to business disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Movement Control Order (MCO) and loss of a joint venture. 

  4. Video-on-demand dimsum entertainment of the Star Media Group Bhd will cease operations by end-September after a strategic review carried out by its key management team. The move is seen to stop the group from bleeding losses.

  5. Top Glove Corporation Bhd has been requested by the United States Customers and Borders Protection (CBP) to carry out additional rectification and verification work in relation to the earlier findings on the alleged forced labour issue — on identity documents to be returned to the workers and remediation for those who didn’t manage to come to work in Malaysia due to Covid-19 related lockdowns.

  6. The Valuation and Property Services Department highlighted in its annual report that Malaysia’s property market performance declined significantly in 2020, falling by 9.9% in volume and 15.8% in value. Last year in the property market, there were 295,958 transactions worth RM119.8 billion.

  7. DS Najib Razak’s bid to adjourn the appeal hearing of his RM42 million SRC International case has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal as the panel of three court judges found that there was “no sufficient reason” to warrant an adjournment. Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had requested a one-month adjournment to put in "additional evidence" in their submission.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. In the US, it pays to be a whistleblower. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rewarded more than USD700 mil to whistleblowers since the agency launched its whistleblower programme a decade ago. The highest amount ever paid? USD104 mil awarded last year. SEC is not the only agency that rewards whistleblowers.

    The IRS and CFTC too have their own whistleblower programme in place, with 9 figures being rewarded. When someone tipped off the New York State on Swedish billionaire Thomas Sandell’s tax evading activities, USD22 mil from the USD105 mil settlement was rewarded to the tipster. As lucrative as it seems, it’s a very long game and stressful one to keep waiting quietly. It’s estimated that only 1% of SEC’s whistleblower cases are eventually successful with the tipster getting paid. Still, a much better odds of becoming a millionaire than winning the lottery. 

  2. During Xiaomi’s Mega Launch event last week, founder and CEO Lei Jununveiled Xiaomi’s new logo. Xiaomi enlisted the help of renowned designer Kenya Hara, the art director of Japanese retailer Muji. According to Hara, the new logo incorporated ‘thinking from Eastern philosophy’.

    The new logo basically replaced the sharp edges with rounded corners. It’s rumoured the logo cost 2 million yuan (USD305,000). The unveiling of this new logo quickly became a butt of online jokes as many claimed that they could do it for less and one Weibo commented that Lei Jun got scammed and should call the police. Another way to look at this whole logo rebranding - a small money spent to generate a more than proportionate media buzz and virality. 

  3. Bill Hwang, the relatively unknown billionaire and founder of Archegos Capital Management, the family office that is in the middle of the major stock sell-off, causing losses to various banks, is estimated to have lost USD8 bil over a span of 10 days. It took him 7 years+ to build his family office to USD10 bil from USD500 mil. Here’s the story of how he amassed his fortune, and then how he lost it.

  4. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into a new law that will let him stay in power until 2036. His current terms end in 2024, and with the new change he will be allowed to run for another 2 more terms. His critics and opponents said he’s effectively ‘president for life’. Widely characterised as an authoritarian, he has been ruling Russian for more than 20 years since 1999. At 68 now when he signed this new law, Putin will potentially remain in power until 83, spending about half his life as the president of Russia.

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