The DailyBrief

Wednesday October 19, 2016

China’s economy is on track to meet Beijing’s growth target of 6.5% to 7.0% for 2016 following the release of third quarter numbers in that range today. But what was clear today in the GDP report is that sizzling property demand in the summer was a big part of the 6.7% growth reported. That’s raising questions about the real trajectory of China’s economy when you strip out the property boom.

Two pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers were denied the chance to swear themselves into office on Wednesday after their pro-Beijing peers walked out of the chamber in protest at the duo’s anti-China sentiment. The pro-Beijing camp had objected to the pair’s behavior during the first swearing-in attempt a week earlier.

As the clock ticks toward the November 8 US presidential election, national polls show that Republican Donald Trump has become a polarizing force for Asian American voters opposing his candidacy. A non-partisan survey found that 59% of respondents back Democrat Hillary Clinton. Only 16% favor Trump, with 26% undecided or supporting third-party candidates.

Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s threats to cancel a defense agreement with the US and Vietnam’s discreet welcome of two American navy warships are two significant events. These developments reveal the remarkable distance between the Southeast Asian nations regarding their relations with the Americans and foreign policy.

India’s travel booking portal MakeMyTrip is buying rival ibibo Group in an all-stock deal that is expected to create a leading platform for reserving hotel rooms, flights and bus tickets. MakeMyTrip says the consolidation will bring together leading consumer travel brands such as MakeMyTrip, goibibo, redBus, Ryde and Rightstay.