☕️ The most valuable startup in US - USD95 billion Stripe

Volkswagen AG's USD29 billion plan to unseat Tesla. You go fun ride, you breach SOP. Minister go fun ride, minister no breach SOP. See Beijing covered in sandstorm from Gobi desert.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD62 bil got wiped out from Tencent Holdings Ltd as shares fell on a second day. The antitrust regulator on Friday fined the company, along with some of China’s other tech behemoths, for not seeking prior approval for earlier investments and acquisitions.

28 Grammy awards - the number of awards Beyonce has won in her career, equalling Qunicy Jones’ record. The highest is 31 awards and that belongs to Sir Georg Solti.

11.8% of Kelantan’s population registered for the vaccination exercise using the MySejahtera app. Terengganu and Pahang only recorded 16.3% and 17.1% respectively.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Comfort Gloves Bhd’s 4QFY21 ended Jan 31, 2021 recorded net profit of RM137.87 million, almost 12.5x higher than the same quarter in FY20 underpinned by higher sales volume and average selling prices. However, the glove counters have been on a downtrend as of late. Sell on news?

  2. The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) has failed to take FGV Holdings Bhd private as it only had 81% equity interest in the plantation group as the offer closed at 5pm yesterday. The takeover offer requires Felda to acquire 90% of the shares to trigger compulsory share acquisition to take FGV private.

  3. After being slammed for imposing harsh fines for violation of SOP, the government will spell out offences which are subject to a RM10,000 compound under the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 to clear any confusion on its implementation.

    Under current CMCO, mass activities that involve the gathering of large crowds that makes it difficult to practice social distancing (e.g: marathons, fun runs) are prohibited. Over the weekend, housing and local government minister Zuraida Kamaruddin did not breach SOP as the cycling event was not a ‘fun ride’.

  1. Up to 80% of local Chinese businesses and industries have insufficient cash flow to cover operations and could be forced to fold by June if conditions fail to improve.

  2. Umno’s lawyer Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh said the prosecution failed to prove RM114 mil seized from Pavilion Residences linked to 1MDB. Umno is claiming the money which is part of a forfeiture suit filed by the government against Obyu Holdings Sdn Bhd.

  3. The federal government gave notice yesterday that it will appeal against last week’s High Court ruling that non-Muslims can use the world “Allah” in their religious education and books.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Stripe, the payment processing giant from Ireland has announced a new fundraising round of USD600 mil at a monster valuation of USD95 bil, to further expand its business Europe and beefing up its global payments and treasury network. It raised a similar amount in Apr 2020 at a valuation USD36 bil, 2.7x to its valuation in less than a year. Stripe has long been tight lipped on its user numbers, revenues and profit. Amongst the investors in this round includes 2 insurance giant, Allianz and AXA.

    This makes Stripe the most valuable startup from Silicon Valley, beating out Elon Musk’s SpaceZ (USD74 bil) and Instacart (USD39 bil). On a global scale, Stripe’s valuation surpassed that of Didi Chuxing (USD62 bil), the private Chinese ride-hailing giant but behind Bytedance’s Tiktok (USD180 bil) and Jack Ma’s Ant Financial (USD300 bil, had they IPO-ed).

  2. Tesla made a weird, but not surprising filing to the SEC - Elon Musk, the CEO and Zack Kirkhorn, the CFO will change their titles effective Mar 15 2021 to Technoking of Tesla and Master of Coin (nod to Game of Thrones?) respectively. They will still retain their respective positions of CEO and CFO. This is not a joke. 

  3. Whilst Tesla made a non-material filing on the change of titles of its CEO and CFO, Volkswagen AG made a more serious and impactful announcement and one that could be potentially harmful to Tesla - it is ramping up efforts to unseat Tesla as the dominant EV maker with a plan to build 6 battery factories in Europe and expanding and investing globally in charging stations that will costs some USD29 bil. By 2030, VW plans to make 26 mil fully electric cars. It detailed its plans with a dedicated battery event called ‘Power Day’, emulating Tesla. 

    These 6 battery factories will have a total capacity of 240 gigawatt-hours. VW will invest EUR 400 mil (USD477 mil) by 2025 to grow the charging infrastructure in Europe. Fast-charging in Europe will grow 5x to 18,000 stations, through cooperations with BP in the UK, Iberdola in Spain and Enel in Italy. In North America, VW will be adding 3,500 stations this year and 17,000 points in China by 2025. Hope VW achieves their goals legitimately, given the emission scandal it was embroiled with in 2014.

  4. According to the People’s Vaccine Alliance, most of the world’s poorest countries have not administered a single shot of Covid-19 vaccine dose and as of Mar 4, 47 of the world’s 79 lowest-income countries had not vaccinated any of their population. WHO Head, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in February that the rich countries with only 16% of the world’s pop[ulation had purchased 60% of available vaccine supplies. 

  5. Beijing suffers its worst sandstorm in a decade, blanketing the capital of China in yellow haze and causing widespread disruption and air pollution levels to spike. The sand is being blown from the Gobi desert in Inner Mongolia causing the AIr Quality Index to a ‘hazardous’ 999 rating. For comparison, Tokyo is given a ‘good’ rating of 42 and New York a ‘moderate’ rating of 50. 

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