☕️ 'Want to terminate, terminate lah' - Tajuddin

In the past decade, Malaysians grew poorer in purchasing power terms. Yung Longping-the passing of a hero that saved 70 million people during China's worst famine. Bad loan buyers for Malaysian banks.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD1.93 bn — the amount Ethereum miners made thus far in May 2021 according to The Block Research.

RM600,000 — Raja Petra Kamarudin (aka RPK) is ordered by High Court to pay the aforementioned amount to Lim Guan Eng as aggravated and general damages for defamation.

Malaysia’s purchasing power declined by 16.7% over the past decade. Purchasing power in urban areas decreased by 17.1% compared to 14.7% in rural areas.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has asked Malaysians to prepare for the worst as new Covid-19 infection breached 7k cases on May 26 2021 since the pandemic started.

  • Covid-19 infections among children revealed a startling figure of infections involving children — 48,261

  • Another 10,827 did not show up for their vaccination in Kedah between April 19 and May 22 2021.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Genting Malaysia Bhd (GENM) reported another bleeding quarter with net loss of RM483.59 million for 1QFY21 ended March 31 2021 due to the temporary closure of the group’s businesses in Malaysia and the UK. The light at the end of tunnel is getting dimmer as there seems to be no end in sight for the pandemic.

  2. Aiqon Capital Group Sdn Bhd, the largest NPL-acquiring firm in Malaysia says local banks are showing interest in selling a portion of their non-performing loans (NPLs) to clean up their balance sheets due to Covid-19 but would only likely carry out the transactions in 2022. Aiqon’s CEO Ibrahim Hussain said the banks are in no hurry to sell these assets as they are reasonably well-capitalised. In simpler words, this company buys bad loans from banks.

  3. Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CIFT) said over 956,609 AstraZeneca shots were taken within an hour after registration opened at 12:15pm on May 26 2021. However, most Malaysians were left fuming as they were unable to get a slot due to the technical glitches on the website with many questioning the RM70 million spent on building these platforms.

    Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) has urged Khairy Jamaluddin to reveal the contractor behind the subpar website.

  4. Prasarana chairman Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has been fired by the Minister of Finance effective immediately after Tajuddin’s disastrous press conference addressing the reports on the unfortunate LRT accident on Monday, which was the worst in the LRT’s operating history.

    Tajuddin’s nonchalant attitude during the press conference is an embarrassment to himself and the people of Malaysia.

    • He did not wear a mask during the PC which is dangerous to the reporters who have yet to receive their vaccination.

    • While victims are fighting for their lives in ICU, he said the two train cars “kissed” each other.

    • He was racist towards a reporter from a Chinese Broadcasting company, Phoenix TV.

    • Oh the best part — he doesn’t care about being fired.

    And today’s post wouldn’t be complete without Fahmi Reza’s art.

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News in brief

  1. Global cybersecurity company, Kaspersky said Asia Pacific (APAC) region remains one of the top targets for ransomware attacks.

  2. Mr DIY Group (M) Bhd is likely to be replacing Supermax Corp Bhd as a constituent of FBM KLCI in the upcoming semi-annual review of FTSE Bursa Malaysia Index Series.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Yuan Longping, one of China’s greatest heroes, has died at 90 due to multiple organ failure. He is known as the father of hybrid rice’ for creating the world’s first high-yield hybrid rice strain. During Mao Zedong’s rule in the 1960s, China suffered a disastrous famine. The situation serves as a catalyst to Yuan to research rice. His breakthrough is able to produce 20% more rice per acre. In China, the annual planting of hybrid rice exceeds 16 mil hectares, 57% of the total planting area, helping feed an extra 70 mil people a year in China. 

    In 2019, Yung was awarded the Medal of the Republic, the highest honour in CHina. Yung was given a hero’s farewell, and global organisations (ie. UN), leaders and nationals have expressed their condolences and paid their respects. Outside China, Yung’s creation has led to annual growth area of 8 mil hectares in countries like India, Bangladesh, Brazil, the US with each hectare on average producing about 2 more tonnes than local strains. 

  1. In its regulatory filing for the period until Mar 31, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a stock portfolioworth USD270 bil revealing a rather concentrated portfolio with the top 5 stocks accounting for USD203 bil or 75% of its holdings. Buffett repeatedly trumpeted the power of a concentrated portfolio. In Berkshire’s 1996 shareholder meeting, Buffett said ‘diversification is a protection against ignorance’.

    Berkshire’s market cap stands at USD655.3 bil. Its top 5 holdings as follows:

    1. Apple - USD108 bil (40%)

    2. Bank of America - USD39 bil (14%)

    3. American Express - USD21 bil (7.9%)

    4. Coca-Cola - USD21 bil (7.8%)

    5. Kraft Heinz - USD13 bil (4.85)

    During the same period, Berkshire has over USD140 bil in cash and short-term investments, of which ‘USD70 or USD80 bil’ that Buffett said he wishes to put to work, or acquiring another company.

  2. Sinch, a competitor to the USD57.7 bil Twilio, based out Sweden that provides a suite of services to companies to build communications and customer engagement services through APIs has announced a massive USD1.1 bil fundraising round with 2 notable investors being Temasek and Softbank. Sinch is a listed company on the Swedish stock exchange Nasdaq Stockholm with a market cap of USD11 bil. Temasek invested USD252 mil and Softbank, which previously invested USD690 mil at  a USD8.2 bil valuation back in December, is investing an additional USD110 mil

    In January, it acquired Inteliquent for USD1.4 bil, taking it closer to Twilio’s home turf in the US. Sinch is profitable, active in more than 40 markets in its previous quarter, it handled 40 bil mobile messages on its APIs that work across channels like SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc. 

  3. WhatsApp is suing the indian government over its new regulations that could allow authorities to trace people’s private messages and conduct mass surveillance. India is WhatsApp's largest market. In its lawsuit,  it says the ‘traceability’ requirement which would require the app to help the government to identify the originator of a particular message violated citizens’ constitutional right to privacy, breaking the end-to-end encryption on its app.  WhatsApp explains here in a blogpost what traceability is and why it opposes it. This lawsuit is a separate legal case, in which the Indian government is suing Facebook over its new privacy policy.

    WhatsApp’s move to initiate a legal action against the government is considered unusual as no companies have sued the Indian government for asking for information. Last year, Indian banned 200 chinese apps, including TikTok which counts India as its biggest overseas market, but none of the Chinese firms sued the indian government. 

    News in Brief:

  4. Amazon has confirmed that it will be acquiring MGM Studios for USD8.45 bil to beef up its Amazon Studio content library with additional 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows from MGM. This would be Amazon’s second-largest acquisition, after its USD13.7 bil purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.

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  5. A real-life mob boss, Sedat Peker, has electrified Turkey with a series of YouTube video levelling an array of allegations including murder, rape, rampant corruption and drug trafficking agains the administration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prominent figures in the government. Malaysia doesn’t seem that bad relative to Turkey, though it still isn’t any better having to deal with stupidity in times of crisis. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)

  1. Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s termination letter from MoF for your viewing pleasure.

  2. The world’s first gym machines were first designed by Dr Gustav Zander of Stockholm in 1857.