China Stocks Hope, Cheap Singapore Flats: Saturday Asia Briefing

Something for the weekend.

(Bloomberg) — New Yorkers donned their masks again, this time against Canadian smoke, the Shanghainese raised umbrellas to shield themselves from the heat, and across Asia air-conditioner sales executives are celebrating the prospect of a long and unpredictable El Nino summer. As the mercury rises, here’s a tour of the region, from the beaches of the Maldives to the rice fields of Japan and the skyscrapers of Singapore. But first…

At the start of the year, most equity strategists on Wall Street predicted a big rally in Chinese stocks in 2023. Instead, they slumped almost 20% in a $1.5 trillion rout. Now analysts at Nomura, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are suggesting a much more modest and drawn-out recovery, and traders are looking to the government to bring back the market mojo. Here’s how Beijing may help.

In the US, which crossed into a bull market this week, traders have a different dilemma. With each jump in the S&P 500, the cost of being wrong about a potential recession is getting bigger.

The heatwave and a moribund market are two of the immediate problems China faces at the moment. A longer-term one is energy and especially oil, which the nation is having to import in ever-larger volumes. At a shipyard the size of Monaco, state-owned Cnooc is developing drilling technology to rival Shell and Chevron so it can push into deeper waters in the South China Sea in its search for new supplies.

Following on the heels of Taiwan’s self-proclaimed luxury carrier Starlux Airlines, more startups are jumping in to offer premium-service planes, including BeOnd, operating from the Maldives, and BermudAir, linking the British Overseas Territory to cities in the US. Charging business-class prices, can they compete with traditional airlines?

Want to find a cheap apartment to rent in Singapore? Good luck. With the city-state jumping up the rankings of least-affordable cities for expats, here’s what you can still get for under $2,200 a month. 

“It’s just rice fields.” Here’s what happens when you try to build a brand new semiconductor global mega-hub in the middle of a rural Japanese farming community.

It may be time to update your LinkedIn profile. A survey showed that over 80% of employers believe they should hire based on skills rather than degrees, yet more than half say they are still hiring college grads because it feels less risky. The professional networking platform is betting that’s all about to change.

Tonight, though, the action is in Istanbul, where, after spending billions of Abu Dhabi petrodollars on players and facilities, Manchester City can show it is now the dominant force in European football if it beats Inter Milan in the final of the Champions League. Yet, it could all have been so different.

Have an affluent weekend.

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