10 April – 14 April

10 April

“Blistering speech by the Japanese financial services minister” is an unusual topic of water cooler chatter, but these are unusual times. The June corporate annual meeting season is approaching, a tougher stewardship code for institutional investors awaits it and the market faces a crisis of shareholder inactivism.

China’s money supply growth narrows and widens… much as the seasons change and the tides turn. But for those who seek insight in any of those things, here’s a tale in a few brief paragraphs of why differences between narrow and broader money supply growth in China still don’t tell us very much, from Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts.

Activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors on Monday accused BHP Billiton of failing to deliver “optimal” value for shareholders, and called on the world’s largest mining group to spin off its US oil business.

There has been a rising wave of opposition to globalisation across the globe. From widespread trade protectionism to slow trade growth and tightened immigration policies, it would seem that the world is facing a backlash against globalisation.

11 April

China’s vehicle sales growth slowed substantially in March, with year-to-date sales also decelerating despite the return of a tax on the purchase of smaller vehicles returning at a lower-than-expected rate.

Exports from the Philippines grew for a third consecutive month in February as shipments of electronic products rose. Exports rose 11 per cent year on year in February to $4.8bn, coming in below economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg of a 19.4 per cent rise. Outbound shipments had risen by 22.5 per cent in January.

Singapore’s homegrown private banks pushed back vigorously against their global rivals last year in the battle for the region’s wealth. Bank of Singapore, the private wealth manager of OCBC Bank, grew its assets under management by about 44 per cent in 2016 to $79bn while adding about 80 relationship managers to its now 400-strong team, according to data from Asian Private Banker. The bank jumped four places on the regional league table.

Hong Kong-listed China Finance Investment Holdings fell 83 per cent in the space of 20 minutes in a sudden sell-off on Tuesday morning. The company, which operates financial services and invests in seeds, fell as much as 85 percent during morning trading. The company’s shares are down 74 per cent at HK$0.03 a share.

12 April

Africa is at a tipping point. Whether it continues rising or falls back depends, above all else, on whether the continent creates the conditions in which its greatest resource — its young people — can shine. Six out of 10 Africans are under 25. Between 2015 and 2050, the youth population will almost double from almost 230m to 452m.

Stock markets in the region were mixed as Tokyo bore the brunt of a stronger yen in morning trade. The Topix index was 1.2 per cent lower with heavy losses across the board. Worst off were the energy segment, down 2.1 per cent, and financials, down 1.6 per cent.

Hong Kong property stocks shuddered following an announcement that the government would close a loophole allowing first-time buyers to buy multiple flats while avoiding 15 per cent stamp duty.

Snap is contesting claims made by a former employee that the owner of Snapchat over-estimated the messaging app’s userbase and tried to encourage him to break agreements with his previous employer Facebook.

13 April

The South Korean won is eyeing its biggest one-day gain in a month after the country’s central bank upgraded its economic growth forecasts for this year and said further interest rates were less necessary than before. The Bank of Korea this morning kept interest rates on hold at 1.25 per cent, as expected.

For the past four years, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been engaged in a tormented, on-off courtship with Mrs Watanabe — Japan’s imaginary household matriarch. The deepening financial crisis at Toshiba creates an unprecedented dilemma for the Tokyo Stock Exchange that threatens to shatter the romance.

Iron ore prices tumbled more than 6 per cent to their lowest level since November, as a glut of supply in China of the key ingredient in steel weighs on the price.

In a silver lining to the slump in its smartphone sales, BlackBerry will recoup $815m in royalty payments it made to chip supplier Qualcomm, after the two companies settled a dispute over licence conditions.

14 April

India’s cash machines are running dry again, prompting accusations that the central bank is not doing enough to make money available five months after Narendra Modi summarily cancelled most of the country’s banknotes.

For a Chinese hamlet deep in the mountains, Xiatang village has a lot of mansions. Luxury cars bearing $13,000 Shanghai licence plates provide further clues that this is not your typical rural village.

India’s cash machines are running dry again, prompting accusations that the central bank is not doing enough to make money available five months after Narendra Modi summarily cancelled most of the country’s banknotes.

The green power industry has hit a milestone after the world’s largest offshore wind farm company said it would build two German schemes without any subsidies. In an advance for what has been one of the most heavily subsidised types of renewable power, Denmark’s Dong Energy said it would rely on wholesale market prices instead of extra government support for the projects in the German North Sea.