☕️ Winner of the inaugural Balloon World Cup - Peru

Malacca state election set on Nov 20. Australia's largest AUD140 mil heroin shipment seized originated from-Malaysia. C.Ronaldo x Peter Lim, SG billionaire to develop digital football community,ZujuGP

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

More than 100,000 workers in the US will go on a strike, as a wave dubbed “Striketober.” The wave of industrial action comes after a rise in US union activity as Joe Biden has promised to be the most "pro-union president you've ever seen."

RM7.2 billion worth of business leads have been generated by Malaysia in the first two weeks of Expo 2020 Dubai. The Malaysian Pavilion at the expo has recorded about 50,000 visitors to date.

AUD140 mil — Australian police announced the seizure of the largest heroin shipment ever recorded in the country, 450kg shipment consisting of 1,290 packages of heroin with unique red branding. The shipment originated from Malaysia. How did it escape the country?


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Court of Appeal approved former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to temporarily release his passport to go to Singapore to accompany his daughter. She is expecting to give birth to her second child soon.

    Cuti-cuti Keluarga Malaysia as Najib and Rosmah get to reunite with their daughter.

  2. Now that Najib can travel abroad despite owing LHDN RM1.7 bil in allegedly unpaid taxes, LHDN has cut short the contract of its CEO, Datuk Seri Dr Sabin Samitah. He will be replaced by Datuk Mohd Nizom Sairi, the tax agency’s deputy CEO (tax operations).

    Najib had recently made a police report against Sabin, claiming that the latter had abused his power by working with some unnamed politicians to take action against the former premier in relation to the unpaid taxes.

  3. Mark your calendars — Nov 2, 2021. Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong vs Lim Guan Eng on cabotage policy after the tabling of the 2022 Budget. Wee said he has been in contact with local television channel TV3 over the proposed date. However, Lim wants it to happen next week — Oct 23, 2021.

    Don’t think Wee can make it since he was in London, UK, last weekend. He has to undergo home quarantine. Who is playing chicken here?

  4. Malacca state election is set to happen on Nov 20, 2021, according to the Election Commission (EC), after chairing a special EC meeting on the Melaka state election on Monday. Nomination day is Nov 8 and early polling will be held on Nov 16.

Business

  1. AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) proposed to pay just 0.5% of debt owed to each of its creditors and to terminate all existing contracts so that it can restructure RM33.65 billion (US$8.1 billion) of liabilities.

    No unicorn valuation for this company anymore as the counter closed at 0.095 sen on Monday, valuing it at RM394.07 million.

  2. An arrest warrant has been issued against Transmile Group Bhd founder and former CEO Gan Boon Aun, who has absconded overseas. He was found guilty and was sentenced to an RM2.5 mil fine and one day in jail.

    Transmile, once a darling stock on Bursa, was embroiled in an Enron-esque accounting scandal in 2007 after auditors discovered that the air cargo service provider’s results for FY2005 and 2006 were grossly overstated. 

  3. Ten months after just raising RM216 mil in placement exercise, My EG is once again planning to raise up to RM309 mil in a private placement. The previous funding was earmarked to fund the development of hostels for foreign workers, healthcare-related services, and buying fixed assets like kiosks for online renewal of car and motorcycle tax. 

    Of the RM309 mil it plans to raise, nearly half or RM175 mil is earmarked for the development of blockchain products and services (‘blockchain’ seems to be the buzzword again), RM60 mil for the development of automated driving test and training systems and purchase of hardware and another RM60 mil going to healthcare-related services and technology. In its latest quarterly disclosure ending Jun 30, it has ‘cash and cash equivalents’ of RM357.4 mil - is there a need to raise a private placement and dilute existing minority shareholders?

  4. Sunway Malls will be rolling out its e-commerce platform on Oct 27, called Sunway eMall.com, to complete its physical and digital mall presence, with the latter complementing the former’s current combined 4.5 mil sq feet of physical retail space of 7 malls.

    An initial 200 merchants with 30,000 SKUs will onboard its e-commerce platform and projects to grow it to 500 merchants with 100,000 SKUs over the next 18 months.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Rainforests, the key to slowing climate change, is being depleted at an alarming rate, as illegal and legal logging destroys more than 32 mil acres of rainforest each year. Trees trap large amounts of carbon dioxide and evaporate water, creating thick cloud cover that reflects sunlight and cools the earth below. 

    Rainforest Connection, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, is collaborating with Hitachi to build technical aural solutions to help fight deforestation by detecting illegal logging before it happens.

    Hitachi and Rainforest worked together to co-create and design a solution that collects acoustic data deep within the vast rainforest. A small custom logic board that acts as a forest listening device is placed on treetops with solar panels continuously recording the forest’s soundscape and transmitting it to the cloud for analysis. AI and machine learning will separate sounds related to logging activity from natural sounds of animals, insects, and vegetation. 

  2. Alibaba unveiled a new server chip based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuits of semiconductor self-efficiency. Known as Yitian 710, this server chip is the 3rd semiconductor introduced by the e-commerce giant since 2019. 

    Its newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by SoftBank Group-owned Arm Ltd. Beijing has made tech self-sufficiency a top national priority and Alibaba is one of several Chinese firms that have answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies and manufacturing capacities. 

  3. Deals:

    1. Deel, a remote hiring company, announced it raised USD425 mil in a funding round led by Coatue, valuing it at USD5.5 bil. This tripled its valuation from April when a funding round valued it at USD1.25 bil. Founded about two years ago in 2019, the company offers payroll and compliance tools to ease remote hiring for businesses, helping its customers to hire independent contractors and full-time employees in over 150 countries. It serves more than 4,500 customers, up from 1,800 in April and counts cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and Shopify amongst its customers. 

    2. Sony Pictures Entertainment is selling its video game studio GSN Games to mobile gaming company Scopely in a deal valued at USD1 bil. GSN Games develops mobile and online casino games based on solitaire, poker, bingo and other games and also produced a Wheel of Fortune-themed slots game. Wheel of Fortune is also owned by Sony.  GSN Games, with its focus on mobile and casino-themed games, didn’t quite fit in with the larger gaming strategy of Sony’s. 

    News in Brief:

  4. Cristiano Ronaldo is collaborating with secretive Singapore billionaire Peter Lim to build an upcoming digital community surrounding football — ZujuGP, helmed by Lim’s son. Lim, 68, bought Spanish club Valencia FC in 2014 and also is a shareholder of English club Salford City FC. Lim’s company, Mint Media Sports, owns and administers Ronaldo’s image rights.

    Watch the video below - Ronaldo dressed as an umbrella-wielding warrior  

  5. China Evergrande Group has paid an offshore bond coupon of RMB121.8 mil (USD19 mil) due Tuesday. Unfortunately, for offshore creditors, Evergrande has missed several rounds of US dollar bond coupon payments. The developer has another USD14.25 mil bond coupon payment due end of this month. 

  6. Super fast and hopefully affordable internet in the sky coming soon - Elon Musk touted SpaceX’s plan to use Starlink for in-flight WiFi, emphasising that the company is in discussions with airlines to add the high-speed internet satellite internet service. 

  1. A 60-year-old patient has died in South Korea after being hit in the head by a 60kg oxygen cylinder that was sucked into a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, police in the southern city of Gimhae said on Tuesday.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Aping - in crypto lingo, it means buying into a new coin.

  2. Against all odds

  3. Peru won the inaugural Balloon World Cup, beating out Germany. Interesting read here on one of the organiser’s (a Barcelona footballer) and how this game got its start.