The DailyBrief

Tuesday February 14, 2017

North Korean leader’s half brother has been murdered in Malaysia after two female agents injected him with poison, government sources say. Reuters are quoting South Korea’s TV Chosun, a cable television network, saying that Kim was poisoned at Kuala Lumpur airport by two women believed to be North Korean operatives, who were at large, citing multiple South Korean government sources.

This Valentine’s Day, a Singaporean company is offering broken heart insurance as a one-off 24-hour promotional campaign. Poo Yee Kai writes that the free insurance hopes to bring holders “a little smile” to ease their despair and includes an offer of movie tickets to anyone exhibiting one of seven lovesick symptoms, including “feelings of anger, unstoppable crying and a desire to drink, as long as you are residing in Singapore.”

China’s inflation continues to rise beyond expectations and investors are left wondering just how the central bank will keep growth on track but avoid another ramp-up in real estate prices. Steve Wang reports that the latest price report came just days after Beijing said its foreign trade surged in January, with imports notably climbing 16.7% versus a year ago, led by substantially higher unit cost paid for incoming shipments of iron ore, coal and crude petroleum.

An Asia forex reserve story by Bloomberg could play into fears that China and Japan’s massive Treasury holdings could be used to politically blackmail the US government. Uwe Parpart explains how there is no detectable relationship between the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities for foreign central banks and US yields.