☕️ Voltswagen - VW's rebranding to live up to its EV ambitions

Music band Coldplay is 'helping' Malaysia to clean its rivers. PayPal enabling new feature - 'Checkout with Crypto'. Bytedance, Tiktok owner, now valued at USD250 bil in secondary market.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD89 billion of disaster losses have to be born by insurers (in the US) in 2020, the fifth-costliest year for the industry in data going back five decades.

RM25.65 billion worth of houses were sold as at end-Feb 2021 under 2020/2021 Home Ownership Campaign (HOC).

RM1.55 billion — Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd’s total income payout of the financial year ending March 31, 2021.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. The Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Kelantan, Penang and Sarawak has been extended for another two weeks until April 14, 2021. Sarawak’s CMCO is extended until April 12, 2021. Interstate travel is still not allowed. Stay safe all!

  2. FTSE Fixed Income Country Classification Announcement for March 2021 showed that Malaysia will retain its membership in the FTSE World Government Bond Index (WGBI). The index provider commended Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) on its ongoing initiatives to address the concerns of foreign investors when accessing the Malaysian government bond market.

  3. Gamuda Bhd’s net profit fell by 30% y-o-y to RM123.12 million for 2QFY21 ended Jan 31, 2021 mainly due to Covid-19. Gamuda expects the 2nd half of FY21’s performance will improve, mainly supported by overseas property sales in Vietnam and Singapore and continued progress of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Putrajaya Line.

  4. Aluminium extrusion manufacturer LB Aluminium Bhd’s net profit for 3QFY21 ended Jan 31, 2021 more than tripled to RM14.88 million y-o-y due to increase in sales volume and better margins from aluminium segment.

  5. Back in Jan 27, 2021 the Court of Appeal has quashed the Taman Rimba development order after a challenge was filed by the residents in the area. DBKL with developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and Pertubuhan Penduduk Perumahan Awam Bukit Kiara, Dewan Bandaraya, Taman Tun Dr Ismail have posed close to 30 questions of law in their appeal over the development. The Federal Court has fixed hearing on June 14, 2021.

  6. The Interceptor 005 - a watercraft designed by the Dutch non-profit The Ocean Cleanup to remove plastic rubbish from Malaysian rivers is actually sponsored by British band Coldplay! They will fix us indeed.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Bytedance, the owner of Tiktok, is getting more valuable by the day with its latest valuation hitting USD250 bil in the secondary market. This is a 78% surge from its previous fundraising round last year which it was valued at USD140 bil. This makes it more valuable than Exxon Mobil (USD241.5 bil) and Coca Cola (USD228.7 bil). Its revenue is estimated to have doubled in 2020 to USD35 bil. 

  2. Volkswagen’s grand ambition to be the leader in EV is now reflected in its name. Volkswagen Group of America unveiled its official change of its US brand name effective May 2021 from Volkswagen to Voltswagen of America. Got it? See the press release here

  1. In its effort to increase gender equality and attracting talent, Volvo Cars will offer its 40,000 employees worldwide the right to 6 months of paid parental leave. Effective Apr 1, employees that have worked for at least a year will be entitled to this benefit at 80% of their salary. 

    This policy is inspired by Sweden’s national parental leave policy, one of the most generous in the world , with 480 days (about 1 year 4 months) to be shared by both parents at 80% of their salary up to a ceiling of USD4.5k a month. 

  2. Banks around the world are estimated to take a hit of more than USD6 bil loss from the downfall of Archegos Capital, the family office of Bill Hwang that has rattled the market arising from its overleveraged positions. Japan’s largest investment bank, Nomura, warned of a possible USD2 bil loss while Credit Suisse is expected to see losses between USD1 - 4 bil. With just USD10 bil in assets, it was able to levered up to USD50 bil and a fall in some of its positions set off a series of massive block sales after Archegos failed  to meet its margin call. 

  3. PayPal announced the launch of its new payment feature - ‘Checkout with Crypto’, where its users will be able to check out at millions of its online merchants using cryptocurrency. Starting today, its US customers can start making payments with Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash where users will sell their cryptocurrencies through PayPal at checkout for US Dollars to complete the payment.

    In months to come, this service will be made available to all its 377 mil active users and 29 mil of PayPal’s global online businesses. PayPal late last year has enabled its users to purchase cryptocurrencies through its platform and now allowing users to make payments is a natural step forward (though not entirely a good idea to spend something that has a potential to significantly appreciate). 

  4. Singapore startups raised a total of SGD5.5 bil of funding in 2020, despite the pandemic. The figures, shared by Tan See Leng, Second Minister for Trade and Industry, is lower than previous years - SGD8.5 bil in 2019 and SGD14.3 bil in 2018 but nevertheless 3x more than 5 years ago.Despite the fall, the minister said that this demonstrates the resilience of Singapore in weathering the pandemic. 

    Singapore accounted for more than half of the total aggregate value of VC deals in the Asean region since 2014. There are about 190 incubators and 3,600 tech startups based in Singapore. 

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