The DailyBrief

Tuesday March 7, 2017

SoftBank tech fund: Japanese technology tycoon Masayoshi Son’s new US$100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund promises to pour money into up-and-coming new technologies and undervalued technology companies worldwide. Doug Tsuruoka writes that fund contributors already include Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Apple and Qualcomm with many saying that its only a matter of time before investors from China are also involved.

China’s exchange reserves: The PRC’s stockpile of international currency unexpectedly rose above the US$3 trillion level, according to the People’s Bank of China, reports Steve Wang. The rebound in reserves adds weight to the efforts of Chinese authorities to curb outflows through tighter surveillance of capital flows in the banking system that follows seven straight months of declines in the forex treasure chest with a drop of US$41 billion in December and US$12 billion in January.

North Korea missiles: Pyongyang has said its launch of four missiles on Monday was a training exercise for a strike on US bases in Japan and was supervised by leader Kim Jong-un, reports Agence France-Presse. Three of the four missiles came down provocatively close to Japan, in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone, and Washington and Tokyo are pushing for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and this is now likely go ahead on Wednesday.

HK horse racing: Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira raced eight and won eight at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin racecourse on Sunday. Yet, writes Ben Kwok, many of Hong Kong’s famously fervent horse racing fans were left disappointed because Moreira – who is known in Brazil as the “God of Thunder” – brought not just a new domestic win record but also drastically reduced odds and, correspondingly, much lower betting returns.

Belt and Road: In the past three years, China has invested more than US$50 billion in international projects aligned with its One Belt, One Road economic and diplomatic trade initiative, writes the Asia Times with Beijing saying these investments are yielding better than expected results. National Development and Reform Commission Chairman He Lifeng said this week that China has started 120 “Belt and Road” projects with 50 of these based on intergovernmental cooperation agreements and 70 signed with international organizations.