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Slaughtering Pigs, Singapore Influencer: Saturday Asia Briefing

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(Bloomberg) — Bulls and bears make money, pigs get slaughtered, says the old market maxim, referring to the fate of investors who take on too much risk. It’s the porcine element that we will concentrate on this week.

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An “atmosphere of optimism” has broken out across China, the People’s Daily reports, though it doesn’t seem to have permeated the stock market, which had another nervous week. And while the Communist Party mouthpiece says “the people’s sense of gain” has been “significantly improved,” money seems to be flowing out of the country at an alarming rate.

Still, there has rarely been a better time to enjoy a delicious siu yuk, what with the the year of the dragon almost upon us and pork prices at rock bottom in China. But it’s a miserable time for the world’s biggest pig-meat market.

An entirely different form of “pig-butchering” is also evolving. The term here refers to a scam that originated in China and blew up during the pandemic, where criminals cultivate fake relationships with victims through dating apps and lure them into phony crypto investments. Now the dark web is offering villains ready-to-go kits.

Greece’s iconic Cyclades islands are among the latest list of European cultural sites that are under threat. That may be another indication of how the nation’s economy has coming roaring back from its financial crisis a decade ago.

Singapore invoked its controversial 2021 foreign interference law for the first time against a naturalized citizen, after deciding that 59-year-old Chan Man Ping Philip had shown susceptibility to be influenced by foreign actors.

Japan faces Iran and hosts Qatar play Uzbekistan today in the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup to decide who will join South Korea and Jordan in next week’s semifinals.

Finally, Chinese carmaker Geely launched 11 low-Earth orbit satellites today, expanding its capability in a field dominated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, as automakers prepare for a coming generation of satellite-connected driverless vehicles.

Have a hog-wild weekend.

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