☕️ Undi18 and automatic voter registration to be effective Dec 15
'East Malaysia' will be known as 'Borneo States'. Malaysia internet economy to reach USD35 bil in 2025. The EU announced a EUR300 bil global investment plan to counter China's influence.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Malaysia recorded 3,146 new HIV cases in 2020 or 9.31 cases per 100,000 population, a drastic drop compared to 2002, which recorded 6,978 cases. It’s a bit cheeky of the Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to pick an outlier. He could have chosen 2019 as a comparison year, which recorded 3,564 new HIV cases.
USD50 billion — the amount of money required to vaccinate the world and end the Covid-19 pandemic, according to OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone. It’s a much lower price tag than USD10 trillion needed to support the economy going through the pandemic.
Forgot your NFTs or cryptocurrency — a Massachusetts man struck gold when he purchased an unassuming sketch of a mother and child for USD30 at an estate sale. After an authentication process that took two years, leading experts believe the sketch was found to be a previously unknown work of German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. The sketch could be worth as much as USD50 million. 1.67 million times return.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed the procurement prices for the vaccines from various portfolios paid by the government were found to be reasonable. The premium price paid by the government to purchase some of the Sinovac vaccines were due to Pharmaniaga’s delay in delivery in 2Q 2022.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla expects the company’s Covid-19 treatment pill, Paxlovid, to be effective against Omicron. In addition, Bourla added Pfizer has started working on a new vaccine, which could be available in less than 100 days.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
The government has gazetted that Undi18 and automatic voter registration for anyone above the age of 18 effective Dec 15. This comes three days before the Sarawak state election on Dec 18 and it is unclear whether 18 to 20-year-olds will be allowed to vote in this upcoming election.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) urged the government to take over the operations of the MySejahtera app from the developer at no cost, instead of paying as it was initially offered as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) effort.
The 1-year CSR term ended on 31 Mar 2021 and the government has started paying since then. However, the PAC has raised concern over this as the CSR concept has been used as a workaround to bypass the proper contract procurement procedures in this case.
Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said carbon trading at the domestic level would be implemented in phases beginning at the end of next year. The ministry is working along with the Finance Ministry and Bursa Malaysia to get buy-ins from the state governments as well as attract investments from potential carbon credit buyers.
Sabah and Sarawak will no longer be known as “East Malaysia” but as the “Borneo States” following amendments to the Federal Constitution, which is expected to be passed in the current Parliament meeting.
Federal Territories Minister Shahidan Kassim declared this Friday, 3 Dec a public holiday for Putrajaya, Labuan and Kuala Lumpur following KL City FC victory in the Malaysia Cup football tournament after beating Johor Darul Takzim FC with a score of 2-0 - its first win of the cup in 32 years.
Such a sudden holiday isn’t great for productivity for the economy. Besides, the country already has too many public holidays.
Penang state government is considering investing in fixed income instruments such as bonds and Sukuk to increase revenue for the state. At present, the state has shareholdings in 7 companies listed on Bursa acquired at a cost of RM233.96 mil and currently valued at RM297.78 mil.
Dear chief minister Chow Kon Yeow - perhaps you should consider investing in Bitcoin.
Malaysia’s internet economy is expected to reach USD35 bil in 2025, according to Google, Temasek and Bain & Company’s latest edition of the e-Conomy SEA Report. In 2021, Malaysia’s gross merchandise value is expected to rise 47% YoY to USD21 bil, driven by significant growth of 68% in e-commerce from USD8 bil in 2020 to USD14 bil in 2021.
Read the e-Conomy SEA Report here.
Plenitude Bhd is acquiring a 14-storey hotel in Osaka, Japan for RM97.57 mil bringing its total of hospitality assets to 10. The hotel is currently leased by Hakata Hotels Inc and was operated as a OneFive brand and named ‘The OneFive Osaka Midosuji Hotel’. Plenitude current market cap is RM404.4 mil.
Bintai Kinden Corp Bhd has entered into a MoU with Charter Built Sdn Bhd to jointly develop36 hectares of industrial land near KLIA. The project will have a gross development value of at least RM700 mil.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city to live in, according to the latest findings of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Israel’s capital topped the ranking for the first time, leap-frogging Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore and Paris tied for second, followed by Zurich and Hong Kong at 4th and 5th spot respectively.
Technology firms in China usually use a loophole to raise capital from overseas investors through variable interest entities (VIE). However, China is planning to close that loophole to address concerns over data security. China’s new overseas listing rules are being drafted and may be finalised as soon as this month. However, the China Securities Regulatory Commission has denied a media report stating its plan to ban VIEs.
The European Union (EU) announced a €300 bil global investment plan to challenge China’s influence. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the Global Gateway scheme should become a trusted brand and a “true alternative” to China’s Belt and Road strategy.
While China has been criticised for providing “predatory loans” in what is labelled “debt-trap diplomacy”, the EU had emphasised it wants to create links and not dependencies.
News in brief:
Famous toy retailer Toy R Us is making a comeback at retail in the US by opening a 20,000 sq ft flagship store in New Jersey. On top of selling a variety of toy brands and gaming merchandise, the store will have an ice cream store, a cafe and offer experiences for kids, including a two-story slide.
Cathie Wood's Ark Invest snapped up 1.11 million Twitter shares, worth nearly USD49 million, to take advantage of the slide in the stock after Jack Dorsey announced he stepped down as Twitter’s CEO.
PayPal saw the use of its buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) payment service increase by 400% on Black Friday. According to Adobe Analytics, the same was true for other BNPL platforms, too, as the total volume of orders increased by 438% from 2019. It’s a worrying trend.
Croatia’s largest supermarket chain, Konzum, now accepts crypto for its online store after partnering with a local crypto payment processor Electrocoin. The retailer plans to expand the payment option across its 700 physical stores in the near future. Which retailer in Malaysia do you think will be the first to accept crypto?
Nissan has announced its massive USD17.7 bil push into electric vehicles and aims to launch 15 new all-electric vehicles by 2030. In addition, the carmaker unveiled four concept cars to give a taste of its future vehicle lineup.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Sometimes achievement or success boils down to being in the ‘lucky sperm club’, in the words of Warren Buffett.
The tallest buildings in the world and future projects. Merdeka 118 Tower is not in it!