☕️ The many forms of corruption in Malaysia: bribery, extortion, embezzlement, fraud and favouritism

First mega centre, PPV cluster outbreak-204 medical workers infected. Chinese companies own land globally equal to 20% the size of Malaysia. Bang Si-hyuk - the billionaire that Kpop boyband BTS made.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD5.84 bil — the revenue of Egypt’s Suez Canal despite the blockage crisis. The waterway which carries 10% of global maritime trade recorded its highest revenues for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021.

As many as 30.95 million viewers in the UK watched the Euro 2020 final according to combined figures from both BBC and ITV, the highest since the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

USD1.56 mil — the price of a mint copy of the 1996 video game Super Mario 64. Video game collectable firm Wata rated the cartridge at 9.8 A++ rating for its near-perfect condition and seal is intact and “like new”.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) will be upgraded to function like a government hospital now from a low-risk Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre. Outrageous.

  • 2,779 healthcare workers in Malaysia have been infected with Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated but the majority are in Category One and Two, with mild or no symptoms.

  • IDCC Shah Alam had to be closed yesterday due to 204 of its staff tested positive for Covid-19 but they did not show any symptoms and have a “low viral load” as they have been vaccinated. Khairy advised all those who were vaccinated at the centre from 4pm last Friday (July 9) onwards to monitor themselves for 10 days to see if they develop symptoms. Mega centres, to begin with, is a bad idea for precisely this risk.

  • The federal government has set up ‘Greater Klang Valley’ task force to make quick decisions for the Covid-19 cases in KV.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin visited Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in Klang to see the dire situation at the hospital. However, HTAR’s administration requested for the emergency department wards to be cleared and admissions to be directed to the contract doctors’ hostel.

    During his visit, he announced that the government will spend an additional RM1.1 bil to increase healthcare capacity in the Klang Valley. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the PM has approved an allocation of RM100 mil for the outsourcing of health services in KV.

  2. Carsome and Catcha Group team up via the acquisition of 19.9% of iCar Asia Ltd in a transaction worth more than USD200 mil. In exchange, Catch Group will become a shareholder in Carsome Group. Carsome and Catcha Group have made a joint proposal to the independent directors of iCar Asia to acquire the balance of 80.1% of iCar from its shareholders.

    The proposed integration between the two is targeting USD1 bil revenue for 2021 and should have the largest automative data set with 100,000 cars transacted annually with over 10 million monthly unique visitors visiting the platforms.

  3. Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng’s graft trial begun yesterday as the first witness testified that Lim arrived at businessman Gnanaraja’s house at 2am to discuss ‘confidential matters’ with Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli.

    Lim is facing four charges, two of which are framed under the MACC Act 2009 and the other two under the Penal Code.

  4. Pelikan International Corp Bhd has decided to distribute a special dividend of 20 sen per share to its shareholder after the disposal of its logistics centre in Germany for a cash consideration of RM399.33 mil. The exercise is expected to take place within six months after the completion of the proposed disposal.

    The special dividend represents a 41.6% yield as of yesterday’s closing price. In simpler terms, that is about 20 years’ worth of FD interest.

News in brief:

  1. After being fined RM2,000, Tan Sri Annuar Musa decided to call out UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s alleged SOP violation when he dined out with two other MPs. What’s intriguing is the two MPs are Anwar Ibrahim's trusted lieutenants, namely Saifuddin Nasution and Johari Abdul.

  2. Former Prasarana chairman Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has fallen out of favour as UMNO’s deputy president Mohamad Hasan aka ‘Tok Mat’ has been appointed as the party’s elections director with immediate effect.

  3. 57-year-old technician from Nilai lodged a police report on July 9 alleging he had been cheated of RM470,000 by individuals impersonating police and tax officers. We’ve put together an infographic recently on Things to look out for in a Macau Scam, check it out and stay informed. Prevent yourself from becoming a victim!

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5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. 2020 is a banner year for sovereign wealth funds across the world. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek, reported its highest gains in 11 years of 25% in its fiscal year ended Mar 31 thanks to a rally in global equities compared to a decline of 2.3% in the year prior. Its annualised 10-year return rose to 7%. Its net portfolio value stands at SGD381 bil (USD282 bil), up from SGD306 bil a year earlier. 

    China remains its biggest market, with investments making up 27% of its portfolio, followed by Singapore at 24%. Temasek’s investment in the Chinese tech sector is facing headwinds as Beijing clamps down on the tech giants. It is an investor in Didi Global, which saw its share price plunged right after listing due to Beijing’s investigation and in Ant Group, which IPO was postponed. 

  2. Chinese companies are actively buying up land in Asia and Africa to meet growing domestic demand from China’s economic development. It is estimated that the combined area purchase or leased by these Chinese companies over the past 10 years equal to the total land area of Sri Lanka or Lithuania and much larger than acquisitions by its counterparts in the US and other major countries. For context, Sri Lanka is one-fifth the size of Malaysia.

    Between 2011 to 2020, Chinese companies have amassed control of 6.48 mil hectares of land devoted to agriculture, forestry and mining around the world, dwarfing the combined 1.56 mil hectares by British companies, 860,000 hectares by American companies and 420,000 hectares by Japanese companies. 

  3. Hybe Co. (fka Big Hit Entertainment), the agency by the famous K-pop boyband BTS, has seen its shares rose by 131% since its IPO back in October. Its founder, Bang Si-hyuk has a stake of 34%, bringing his wealth to USD3.2 bil. Each of the 7 members of BTS, all in their 20s, has identical shareholdings valued at USD18.5 mil each. Its USD1.05 bil acquisition of Ithaca Holdings, the US media group behind the careers of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande further propelled its stock, signalling its global ambitions. 

    Founded in 2005 after Bang’s career as a music producer, business was quiet for and nearly went bankrupt in its early years. BTS debut album in 2013 was the turnaround moment for the agency. In its IPO prospectus, Hybe disclosed that its business is heavily reliant on BTS, with almost 88% of its revenue in H1 2020 derived from BTS. 

    News in Brief:

  4. The world’s largest food company, Nestle SA, is planning to enter the cultured meat market to accelerate the growth of the nascent technology and bringing it closer to the mass market. The market is estimated to be USD630 bil by 2040, or about 35% of the USD1.8 tril meat market by then. Nestle is developing the product together with Israeli cell-based startup Future Meat Technologies. Cultured meat involves blending meat cells developed in bioreactors with plant ingredients. 

  5. Istanbul announced it would bid to host the 2036 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the first Muslim majority nation to host the event if successful. This would be its 5th attempt after losing to Tokyo for the 2020 event. Olympics 2024 will be held in Paris, followed by Los Angeles in 2028 and Brisbane is expected to be announced as the venue for 2032 at a meeting in Tokyo next week. 

  6. Swatch Group, the maker of Longines, Tissot and Omega, returned to profit in the first half of 2021 with sales jumping more than 50% from the low point of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, it made a net profit of CHF270 mil (USD295 mil) compared to a loss of CHF308 mil a year earlier on revenue of CHF3.39 bil (USD3.7 bil), up 54.8% from CHF2.19 bil in the year before. 

    Sales of Swiss watches have improved thanks to demand from China and the US, but the value of Swiss watch exports was still 3% below 2019 levels. 

  7. Japan nears its homegrown Covid-19 vaccine as Daiichi Sankyo plans to begin Phase 3 trials for its coronavirus vaccine this autumn.], which is developed using the same mRNA technology as Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)

  1. The multiple forms of corruption in Malaysia.

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