Business & Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition November 18, 2019

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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50 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
in brief

The chances that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives will emerge victorious in the general elections next month have improved: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said he won’t contest seats the Tories won in 2017, leaving Johnson free to concentrate on winning districts held by Labour. Severe wildfires continue to burn across New South Wales. The two-year Australian drought has increased the risk of blazes in the state even before the start of summer, with isolated fires reaching Sydney, the country’s biggest city. “The violence has far exceeded the call for democracy, and the demonstrators are now the people’s enemy.” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam deplored the increasingly violent protests shaking the city. Police continue to fire tear gas to disperse protesters; they’ve responded by setting cars on fire and dropping heavy objects…

1 min.

▶ A Pickup Truck for the Electric Age On Nov. 21 in Los Angeles, Elon Musk unveils the latest addition to Tesla’s growing fleet of models: the electric Cyber Truck, a pickup with a design like something out of the Blade Runner movies and more power than Ford’s popular F-150. ▶ At the Nov. 22-23 CDU conference, Angela Merkel will shore up support for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, her chosen successor as party leader. ▶ On Nov. 20 the European Central Bank releases its semiannual financial stability review, an assessment of potential risks facing the euro region. ▶ Bankers and government officials meet in Frankfurt starting Nov. 18 for Euro Finance Week. They’ll discuss banking strategy, tax reform, and compliance. ▶ South Africa’s Naspers reports earnings on Nov. 22. Its fortunes are closely linked to those…

2 min.
make vaping expensive

The number of high school students who vape has risen 135% in just two years, and the government deserves more than a little blame. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has dragged its feet on regulation, and lawmakers have resisted reforms to make e-cigarettes less appealing to children. Government inaction has jeopardized one of America’s greatest public-health achievements of recent years: the drastic decline in teen smoking. The House of Representatives can help put this right. It’s about to consider a tax on e-cigarettes—a policy that’s long overdue. E-cigarettes aren’t safe, though it took a mysterious outbreak of a lung ailment linked to 37 deaths to grab the country’s attention. On Nov. 8 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified “one very strong culprit of concern” in its investigation into…

10 min.
where have all the wahhabis gone?

The vast halls of the Dhahran Expo in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province tingle with youthful excitement. One 28-year-old would-be entrepreneur named Zaid, wearing an immaculate white traditional thobe, says he wants to start a business making sandboards for tourists to hurtle down desert dunes. Female university students stop visitors to show off projects for an innovation class. In fluent English, Shahad Sonbul explains how a floating chair allows the disabled to use swimming pools. Next to her, a group of five seeks funding for a credit card case secured by fingerprints. Financial markets may be obsessed with the initial public offering of Saudi Arabia’s national oil giant Aramco, which will begin selling shares on Nov. 17 in a potentially record-busting opening of the country to outside investors and the world.…

5 min.
how nike started a sneaker arms race

Last month, elite marathoner Eliud Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles in less than two hours, breaking a barrier some thought impossible. The following day, fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered the women’s marathon record. The common thread for both performances: the shoes on their feet. Kipchoge was running in a prototype featuring Nike Inc.’s latest Vaporfly technology. Kosgei was wearing an earlier version of the same shoe, which retails for $250. Their runs reignited a debate that’s simmered since Nike unveiled this class of shoes in 2017. The sneakers have a carbon fiber plate, lightweight foam, and a stiff forefoot that rocks you forward. Nike says they’re proven to decrease effort by at least 4%, helping you run faster on the road and recover quicker afterward. “Out of the box, you are 4%…

6 min.
lagos is facing its bottle problem

With 21 million residents whose growing needs have far outpaced the supply of basic services such as electricity, water, and roads, Lagos, Africa’s most populous city, has plenty of unique challenges. But there’s one it shares with megacities around the world: a worsening plastic waste problem. The amount of plastic bottles used in Nigeria has doubled in just the past three years, to an estimated 150,000 metric tons annually, with half of them consumed in Lagos, according to the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA), a trade group. Four-fifths of the containers are never reused or recycled, and during even a modest rain, the city’s streets can flood because litter—much of it plastic trash—blocks drainage lines. That’s why informal collectors such as Mary Alex could be key to the city’s sustainability…