☕️ Touch n' Go parking surcharge to be removed but...

LeBron James career earnings to hit USD1 billion. Former President Trump is a Russian asset, according to former KGB spy. After GameStop, r/WallStreetBets is coming for something silver in colour.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY

*The KLSE is closed today in conjunction with Federal Territory Day.


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

US$92.2 million — price of Botticelli’s ‘Young Man’ portrait, sold during a live-stream online sale.

2.98% — the GDP growth of Taiwan in 2020, outpaced China’s GDP growth for the first time in 30 years. To date, Taiwan has recorded only 899 cases of Covid-19 in the country.

1.2 million people voted in a survey conducted by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through ads in 17 prominent mobile gaming apps such as Angry Birds. 64% sees climate change as an emergency.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Supermax Corp Bhd recorded a stellar record net profit of RM1.06 billion for quarter ended Dec 31, 20 (2QFY21) from revenue of RM2 billion. That’s a whopping 50% of profit margin. Quarter after quarter, the company maintained the best is yet to come as average selling prices (ASPs) of gloves are still rising.

    Guess what? Tesla too, reported similar net profit figure of US$270 million for the last quarter of 2020. In fact, it is the company’s first profitable year.

  2. Touch N’ Go Sdn Bhd will be making two long awaited changes in 2021 according to the CEO Effendy Shahul Hamid.

    • Parking surcharges will be taken away in the Q1 of 2021.

    • You should be able to reload your physical TnG card using the eWallet by end of 2021 — the only catch is you have to get purchase another TnG card. Small price to pay for the convenience!

  3. Iris Corp Bhd has bagged RM1.6 billion contract from Home Ministry under the National Integrated Immigration System (NIIS) project. The project included elements of facial recognition using artificial intelligence & the use of big data to check travellers’ travel history.

  4. To short squeeze Top Glove Corp Bhd isn’t as easy as GameStop Corp. Few reasons why:

    • GameStop is relatively illiquid because the video game retailer only has about 50.7 million shares in free float where as Top Glove has approximately 3.95 billion free float.

    • Net short position at GameStop was as high as 138% compared to only 2.97% for Top Glove. The pressure to buy simply isn’t there.

    • Many fund houses are also cutting target price for Top Glove, putting more selling pressure on the glove maker.

  5. Singapore’s Reciprocal Green Lane arrangement with Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Germany will be suspended for 3 months beginning today. The suspension is subject to review at the end of the 3 months.

  6. General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) issued a statement saying medical and health insurance policies by general insurance companies do not provide coverage for pandemics such as Covid-19.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Thailand, the nation with one of the lowest cases of Covid-19 in Southeast Asia will be receiving the first 100,000 doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca in February. As of last Friday, it has reported 17,023 cases and 76 deaths.

    Tourism in Thailand plunged by ⅔ in the first half of 2020 to 6.69 million tourists. In all of 2019, it had 39.8 million visitors. Tourists spending accounts for 11% of the Thai GDP.

  2. Former President Trump is said to be a Russian asset, cultivated over 40 years according to a former KGB spy. Understanding his susceptibility towards flattery and his intellectual and psychological vulnerability, the Russians exploited it and played a game that they were immensely impressed with his personality and planted ideas in him to the president of the US. 

  3. Facebook and Google have long  been dominating the digital advertising industry, with easily 80% of global market share. An old economy company, Walmart is ramping up its efforts to eat into this pie. Walmart is renaming its ads business to ‘Walmart Connect’ and announcing strategic ties with an ad tech company, The Trade Desk to grow its ads business by 10x in the coming 5 years.

    Walmart boasts about its ‘massive  scale’ and ‘massive audience’ with 160 million customers visiting its stores or its websites every month. In its 2020 annual report, the ads business, along with ‘fuel and financial services and related products’  contributes to less than 1% of its total revenue, which amounted to USD524 billion.  

  4. German’s top financial regulator, Felix Hufeld, is stepping down after massive Wirecard fraud. Despite multiple warnings, the regulator failed to detect this fraud and has prompted a parliamentary hearing on this matter.

  5. LeBron James will be NBA’s top earning player for the 7th straight year, including off-court income. He’s expected to earn USD95.4 million, including an estimated USD64 million from off-court income such as endorsement, memorabilia and media, which will push his career income above USD1 billion, including off-court income of USD700 million. He will join Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the three-comma club. The average NBA player earns USD9.5 million per player per season. 

  6. Here are the winners and losers-  so far - of the GameStop war between Redditors and Wall Street. The biggest winner? 35-year old Ryan Cohen. He reportedly owns 9 million shares of GameStop bought in 2020 at a total cost of USD76 million. As of last Wednesday, his shares are worth USD3.1 billion - a 40x return on investment. Ryan Cohen is the co-founder of Chewy, an online pet product retailer that was sold to PetSmart for USD3.35 billion, making it the biggest e-commerce sale in history. 

  7. After GameStop, r/WallStreetBets is coming for silver. Yes - the commodity. This prompted silver to spike 11% on Wednesday and saw USD1 billion inflow on Friday into the Silver ETF, almost double the previous record inflow for this 15-year old ETF.

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