Singapore Draws, HK Holds, China Splits: Saturday Asia Briefing

Something for the weekend.

(Bloomberg) — It’s been an eventful week. Chinese tourists shunned cinemas in favor of travel during the weeklong holiday, with the casinos of Macau seeing numbers almost back to pre-Covid levels. The rest of the world, meanwhile, endured a wild ride in the markets. Here’s how the bets fell.

While China’s markets were shut, 10-year Treasury yields hit the highest level since 2007, oil and gold slumped, and US hiring surged, pushing the Fed toward another rate hike. “Something is likely to break,” warns Mohamed El-Erian. Not so far though.

Don’t forget that after decades of near-zero rates, there’s a lot of debt out there — more than $300 trillion by one estimate. And in the new 5%+ environment, that could mean a world of pain. 

Closer to home, the perennial rivalry between Singapore and Hong Kong is drawing the rich to Southeast Asia’s wealth hub, while bankers are sticking with Hong Kong.

Amid the increased financial risks, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank hold their annual meetings next week in Morocco, a month after the country’s deadly earthquake. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is expected to meet with senior Chinese officials and to push for reform of the World Bank.

A month later, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation moves its summit to San Francisco. City titans from Google to Ripple, the Fisher family and the Pritzkers donated hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the biggest donor is a Native American tribe.

A visit by US senators to China, led by senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Mike Crapo, may be another step toward repairing relations between the top two economies. Here’s a trader’s guide to reading the signs.

Wondering about those nuclear sub secrets Donald Trump is accused of revealing to Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt? These are the details.

Indonesia has the smallest equity market in Southeast Asia relative to the size of its economy, yet in a 20-week span this year companies there raised $2.4 billion from IPOs, almost as much as Hong Kong and Singapore combined. The reason? EVs.

The FTX court drama has begun, with co-founder Gary Wang testifying that he and Sam Bankman-Fried committed a multibillion-dollar fraud with customer funds. Follow the trial in the Spellcaster podcast series.

Rare properties in two of the world’s major financial hubs are up for sale, testing demand from the uber-rich. The Hong Kong house above has an asking price of $70 million, nearly $20 million more than one of only two mansions on London’s Park Lane.  Or, for even less, you could get this six-kitchen hideaway…

On the subject of high living, the small French winemaker behind Jay-Z’s “Ace of Spades” champagne is laying down bottles of a new luxury brand that could go on sale within a couple of years. Read how celebrities are adding sparkle to France’s premier fizz. 

Finally, congratulations to Narges Mohammadi for winning this year’s Nobel peace prize. Have an irenic weekend. 

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