☕️ US approved USD1.9 trillion rescue package, pumping (printing) USD4.8 trillion in less than a year
AirAsia to commercialise flying taxis by 2022. Stamped, Singapore started acquired for USD110 mil. D&G suing 2 fashion bloggers for USD600 mil for causing 'brand damages' and 'lost sales'.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
3,244,641 Malaysians have registered with the National Covid-19 Immunisation programme as of 3pm yesterday.
USD900 million — the valuation of pre-loved goods listing app Carousell, almost unicorn.
USD28.85 billion — the average daily trading volume of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. For context, NASDAQ clocked USD287 billion in volume on March 3.
USD2 trillion — the cost of the Afghan war which has been ongoing for the past 20 years.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Health Ministry issues gag order against staff after public complaints of VIPs cutting queues on the Covid-19 vaccination — no more viral media posts. Why does the government glorify the front liners when it’s convenient and threaten them when it’s not?
AirAsia Group is living in 2030 as it ventures into flying taxis and drone deliveries. Now everyone can fly, literally. AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes expects the services to be commercialised by 2022 and they’re partnering with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry in this joint venture.
You can begin bidding for ‘UM’ vehicle registration number today at the minimum price of RM1,000 as part of the university’s initiatives to generate income. Place your bids here!
The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) which is expected to be completed by 2026 has reached progress of 21% thus far according to Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali. While it is ahead of schedule, there are still several rail blocks such as land acquisition and site clearance that needs to be solved.
Another Bitcoin mining operations with stolen electricity got foiled by the cops and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) up north in Georgetown, Penang. 322 Bitcoin mining machines were seized. To our knowledge, mining of Bitcoin is not exactly illegal but back in 2018, MPSJ or Subang Jaya Municipal Council raided 2 houses used for mining Bitcoin as such operations were deemed ‘illegal’ as they did not have business permits to do so.
The gold rush in Shah Alam’s PKNS complex saw long queues in the mall. Goldsmith Wan Shaifuddin Wan Ahmad said he’s never seen such long queues in his 25 years of business. Some customers used their i-Sinar money to buy gold at prices as low as RM214 per gram for 916 gold. Back in December 2020, 916 gold was hovering between RM240 to RM250 per gram.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The biggest investor in Japanese stock market turns out to be its central bank, Bank of Japan. It now owns about 7% of all the shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section. It does not buy directly into the companies listed on the stock exchange but through exchange traded funds (ETF) that tracks the entire Tokyo Stock Exchange.
It’s estimated that BoJ owns about 20% of the owner of Uniqlo, Fast Retailing Co. and is sitting on an unrealised gain of USD132 billion as of 1 Mar 2021. Its participation in the stock market has been criticized for distorting price signals and providing artificial to the market.
The US Senate Democrats passed the USD1.9 tril American Rescue Plan Act to combat the pandemic crisis with the main highlight being a USD1,400 stimulus check for individuals earning below USD75,000.
This is the 3rd stimulus package in less than a year, with the first being the USD 2 tril Cares Act in Mar 2020 and the USD900 bil Dec 2020 relief package. This is close to USD5 tril of stimulus the US economy will receive with the upcoming one. The magic of the US Federal Reserve through its money-printing machine to monetise the debt of the US Treasury will finance this stimulus, yet again. The debt has to be paid back one day with future generations picking up the tab.
The Congressional Budget Office projected the federal debt to almost double to 202% of GDP by 2051 at its current trajectory and estimated to be 102% by the end of 2021. Over the past 2 centuries, 51 out of 52 countries that reached sovereign debt levels of 130% of GDP ended up defaulting, either through devaluation, inflation, restructuring or outright nominal default within a period of 0-15 years or so after this point. The one exception is Japan.
The Milan fashion brand, Dolce & Gabana is suing 2 US fashion bloggers for USD600 mil for brand damage and lost sales arising from their criticism of D&G’s anti-Asian comments and culturally insensitive videos in Nov 2018. D&G has since then made a public apology, however, quietly filed a lawsuit against these 2 individuals. The bloggers run an instagram page called Diet Pradathat has 2.5 million followers and has raised USD38k for their defence. Amongst the damages D&G is seeking is EUR450 mil spent on restoring its image since the 2018 incident and EUR89.6 mil in lost sales from Nov 2018 and Mar 2019. Got to say, D&G is giving these fashion bloggers lots of credit for being able to disrupt their business.
Stamped, Singapore-based startup that lets online sellers implement loyalty programmes and manage user reviews will be acquired for up to USD110 mil by WeCommerce, a Canada-listed company with market cap of more than USD700 mil.
Stamped was founded by Tommy Ong in 2016. He launched the first version of Stamped in 2 days, helping online sellers to collect and post reviews on their websites, which helps to cultivate trust from consumers towards these online sellers. In its first year of operations, it made USD700k in revenue and by end-2020, its annualised recurring subscription revenue reached USD11 mil.
Several great apes in San Diego Zoo have been vaccinated against Covid-19 a few weeks after the zoo’s gorillas were tested positive for the coronavirus. The zoo’s bonobos and orangutans were vaccinated using doses from veterinary pharmaceutical company, Zoetis, which is intended strictly for non-human use.
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