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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition 1/8/2018

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

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Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

1 min
macau rebounds

Still Growing In 2018 casinos from the local unit of MGM Resorts International and Hong Kong’s SJM Holdings are set to open in Cotai. That will give all six Macau operators—MGM and SJM, along with Galaxy Entertainment, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts—a presence on the strip. SPOHR: COURTESY LUFTHANSA. *MARKET SHARE ESTIMATES FROM DAIWA CAPITAL MARKETS; MAP DOES NOT INCLUDE SATELLITE CASINOS OPERATED BY THIRD PARTIES; MARKET SHARE FOR GRAND LISBOA INCLUDES ALL GAMING REVENUE FOR SJM, INCLUDING ITS SATELLITE CASINOS; DATA: MACAU’S GAMING INSPECTION AND COORDINATION BUREAU, DAIWA, ANALYST SURVEY COMPILED BY BLOOMBERG…

3 min
you’d be crazy to buy pizza with bitcoin

A little more than four years ago, Coupa Café, a caramel-macchiato joint in Palo Alto, began accepting bitcoin. This was shortly before the first big bitcoin rush briefly pushed the cryptocurrency’s price from about $100 to more than $1,000. At the time, two or three Coupa customers a week would pay their bills with bitcoin, says co-owner Camelia Coupal. Today, the number is … still two or three people a week. “It’s a really minimal part of our sales,” she says. “It’s really just a quirky thing for our customers.” That’s the story of bitcoin this past year: The cryptocurrency has made fortunes for speculators, but—for that reason and others—it hasn’t been much use as a medium of exchange. Except in countries such as Venezuela, where inflation makes the local money…

4 min
turning corn and soy into college cash

Early in Ellen Ellison’s tenure as chief investment officer for the University of Illinois Foundation, she and some staff toured a university-owned farm in Monticello, 30 miles west of the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus. Ellison was impressed by the complexity of a GPS-outfitted planting machine, which was able to track the variety of seeds used, measure their depth in the soil, and record the exact number of them planted per acre. Ellison is aiming to make farmland about 10 percent of the $1.8 billion endowment portfolio she oversees. Separately the university manages an additional $800 million, which also includes farms. That might seem like an obvious play for a big Midwestern school—similar to the University of Texas System’s getting money from oil. According to campus lore in Urbana, the undergraduate library was…

5 min
a tale of two curves

The new year in economics will be a tale of two curves that have mysteriously gone flat—the yield curve and the Phillips curve. Some economists argue that the uncurvy curves are sending a message that the U.S. economy needs more stimulus. The debate is likely to be a prime topic at the Federal Reserve when Jerome Powell takes over as chair in February, assuming the Senate confirms his nomination as expected. For all the attention they’re getting, though, there might be less to the two flattenings than meets the eye. Skeptics argue that the risk of recession remains low and the possibility inflation will pick up is still high. Says Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group LLC: “I agree they are considered big stories, but I think both are…

18 min
all the zollars in the world

Busisa Moyo can’t wait to get out the door. It’s the middle of a Monday afternoon, and the chief executive officer of Zimbabwe’s United Refineries Ltd. is striding briskly out of his crushing plant—a vast rectangular structure with red brick walls and a corrugated metal roof. In theory, this is where millions of soybeans at a time can be cleaned, heated, cracked, and pulverized to extract vegetable oil. Except today, like most days, there are no soybeans and no workers; overhead, the steel catwalks are empty, and the line is silent apart from the clatter of Moyo’s footsteps on concrete. “I don’t like to be in there too long when it’s not running,” he says. “When you’re a factory man, you want to hear the machines pounding.” Trim, 42, and dressed…

5 min
stalin’s legacy is choking the ukrainian economy

It could be a picture of rural prosperity: Workers steer grumbling trucks and red harvesters as high as houses, churning 1,400 acres of snowy farmland into thick, black mud. The early winter scene, about 250 miles west of Kiev, instead illustrates Ukraine’s failure to drag its most historically significant industry into the 21st century. Mriya Agro Holding Plc, the company hauling away the last of the sugar beet crop on the land, owns none of the wide-open field, a patchwork of 270 individual plots that it leases for three years to five years each. The landowners, who were bequeathed the property after the fall of communism, aren’t allowed to sell, so Mriya has little incentive to spend any money to increase the harvest. “If the company is the owner, it would…