☕️ The moving goal post of NRP Phase 1: Dine-in, selected sports and recreation activities allowed for fully vaccinated

PN's 'conditional' support for Sabri as PM - how to maintain a stable govt? MRDIY on track to open 175 new stores this year. Amazon gobbling up offline retail pie - to open departmental stores.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

977,813,000 — the projected number of leftover vaccine doses hoarded by the G7 nations by the end of 2021, according to a science analytics company Airfinity. These vaccines would be sufficient to help protect the 30 least-vaccinated countries, the majority of which are in Africa.

SGD 225,000 — the compensation to a 16-year-old boy who suffered a cardiac arrest after his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP). Fortunately, he is recovering steadily.

RM293.3 mil — the worth of smuggled goods across the country seized by Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) for the period of January to July 2021.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • According to a study by the University of Oxford, Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines still offer good protection against new Delta variant infections, but effectiveness is reduced compared with the Alpha variant.

  • Caretaker PM has announced more social and economic freedoms for fully vaccinated individuals in states under Phase 1 of the National Recovery Programme (NRP), including dining at restaurants and opening of sports, recreation and leisure activities without physical contact and non-group activities (outdoors). This will take into effect today (Aug 20, 2021). You are only considered fully vaccinated 14 days (for 2 dosage vaccines) or 28 days (for single dosage vaccines).

  • We urge all Malaysians to remain prudent and take the necessary precautions and avoid dining out despite the relaxation. The country breached another all-time high number of cases (22,948) yesterday and the positivity rate (new cases/number of individuals tested) is 13.34% which is still well above WHO’s recommendations of 5%. The country is not testing enough and the number of Covid-19 cases could be higher than currently reported. Please stay safe.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. UMNO sec-gen Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan claimed that Bera MP Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has the majority with the support of 114 MPs after the audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) yesterday. However, YDPA has yet to appoint Ismail Sabri to lead the new government.

    The Malay rulers will meet today at Istana Negara where the King is most likely to share the decision of the 220 Members of Parliament in choosing the prime minister.

  2. Did the “caretaker PM” just broke the law? Every MP is supposed to provide unconditional support to the 9th PM candidate but Perikatan Nasional’s media statement says support for YB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is conditional. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the cabinet must not include any ministers that are facing criminal charges.

  1. Police arrested attendees of #Lawan candlelight vigil in remembrance of Covid-19 victims at Dataran Merdeka tonight last night without reading them their rights. A team of over 30 police officers dragged the attendees (video) into Black Marias and transported 17 men and 15 women to the Dang Wangi Police District Headquarters.

    They were detained for an hour without lawyers and subsequently released at 11:15 pm after they were fined RM2,000 each for violating Regulation 10 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (National Recovery Plan) 2021.

  2. The flash floods and landslides that happened in Yan, Kedah on Wednesday has claimed as many as four victims with two other still missing according to the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department. Our condolences to the victims’ families.

    Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), in a joint statement with the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) claiming the incessant clearing of parts of Gunung Jerai caused the mud floods in Singkir, Yan. The green group showed satellite pictures of hill clearing in two reaches of the Gunung Jerai range. MB Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor refuted SAM’s claims, saying the satellite pictures were “over four years” old.

    Will Kedah MB Sanusi attend to this environmental disaster urgently or will be spending time checking out cars and making jokes about morgues?

Business

  1. S&P Global Ratings has lowered its growth forecast for Malaysia to 3.2% in 2021 from 4.1% earlier due to weak domestic demand from the ongoing lockdowns. The rating agency did not the relatively high vaccination coverage (52%) would enable a gradual re-opening of the economy over the next several months.

  2. MR DIY Group Bhd is confident of achieving its target to open 175 stores nationwide this year, having already opened 93 in the first half of 2021 — are they trying to emulate 99 Speedmart’s model? The home improvement retailer has over 800 stores nationwide according to its 2QFY21 financial report.

  3. Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has inked Large Scale Solar (LSS) photovoltaic power purchase agreements (PPAs) with nine special purpose companies (SPCs) incorporated by the successful bidders in the competitive bidding exercise for the LSS Phase 4 project (LSS4) — these 9 projects are located in Perak, Perlis, Penang, Pahang and Kedah.

  4. Oil & Gas player Dialog Group Bhd recorded a lower net profit of RM138.54 mil for 4QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, compared to RM156.58 million a year ago due to higher operating expenses and lower revenue. The group has proposed a final dividend of 1.9 sen.

  5. Sunway Construction Group Bhd’s (SunCon) net profit more than tripled to RM8.24 mil for 2QFY21 ended June 30, 2021, from RM2.19 mil a year ago. SunCon’s improved performance was due to better contribution from its business segments as the duration of MCO1.0 last year and MCO3.0 implemented on June 30, 2021, was different. Its shareholders will get a first interim dividend of 1.25 sen, to be paid on Sept 29.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has struck a partnership with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan’s largest bank, to offer its services to MUFG’s 34 mil domestic customers through their existing bank accounts. The discussion has been ongoing since MUFG became an investor in Coinbase 5 years ago.

    Coinbase also announced that its Japanese subsidiary has obtained permission to operate in the world’s 3rd biggest economy by Japan’s Financial Services Agency, entering a fiercely competitive market with 31 officially licensed crypto exchanges in Japan.

  2. Just 5 months after raising USD90 mil, the Shopify of Brazil, Numvemshop, announced it has raised USD500 mil in a round co-led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global Management. The deal values Nuvemshop at USD3.1 bil and brings the Sao Paulo-based startup total funding in the last 10 months to more than USD620 mil. 

    Numveshop helps entrepreneurs to easily set up an online storefronts, instead of selling on marketplaces. It serves a wide range of businesses from startups to established brands like Billabong, PlayMobil etc, with more than 90,000 merchants across Brazil, Argentina and Mexico using its platform. That’s up 4.5x from 20,000 merchants at the start of 2020 and 80,000 since March. 

  3. After just becoming the largest retailer in the world ex-China, overtaking Walmart in terms of sales, Amazon is extending its boundaries into physical retail. Amazon is reported to be in plans to set up departmental stores, with the first few to be in California and Ohio about 30,000 sq feet in size. The e-commerce giant has already established itself in the grocery front through its acquisition of Whole Foods and runs 20 book stores across the country. An interesting direction Amazon is taking as departmental stores have been struggling over the decades. Once contributing 10% of retails sales, it is now estimated to contribute just 1% this year. 

    News in Brief:

  4. Livestreaming website OnlyFans will begin prohibiting sexually explicit content starting in October. Nudity is still allowed provided if the creators post in accordance with the site's acceptable use policy. The change is being made at the request of the site's banking partners and payout providers.

  5. Semiconductor manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has surpassed Tencent to become Asia’s most valuable company by market cap, at USD579 bil versus Tencent’s at USD557 bil. TSMC share price has soared as global demand for chips has surged whilst Chinese tech companies are facing regulatory onslaught leading to depressed share prices. 

  6. Singapore is uplifting border restrictions for visitors from Macao and Hong Kong, with entry application to commence from Aug 26 and will also be opening vaccinated travel lane with Germany and Brunei in September, only for fully vaccinated travellers where quarantine can be avoided. 

  7. The US SEC charged 3 former Netflix employees and 2 close associates involved in insider trading that made more than USD3 mil through obtaining confidential subscriber growth information and trading the stock ahead of multiple Netflix earnings announcements. 

  8. If you purchased a Toyota recently, expect some delays. Toyota announced it will slash global production for September by 40% due to a global chip supply crunch, mainly affecting its plants in Japan and North America. It will cause at least 140,000 fewer vehicles to roll off the assembly line during this time.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. If you are interested to know more about Mega First Corporation Bhd, don’t forget to join the discussion with Stockbit & FIRL guys today at 5pm! Click here to register.

  2. Where cryptocurrency is taking off across the world. See the methodology here. Curious how Vietnam got so high up in the ranking, way ahead of India in the second position.

  3. A guest at a reptile centre saved a staff member pulled in by an alligator