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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition April 13, 2020

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

Tallying China’s Lockdown Fallout China releases key economic data for the first quarter on April 17, with economists predicting GDP to contract by more than 5% after the coronavirus froze large parts of the country’s industrial production. JPMorgan Chase opens the earnings season on April 14, and Wells Fargo files on the same day. Bank of America, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs disclose on April 15. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank hold their spring meetings April 14-17 to discuss ways out of the global economic crisis. On April 14, the Bank of Indonesia decides on interest rates. It lowered borrowing costs for the second straight month in March to shore up the economy. The health ministers of EU member states hold a videoconference on April 15 to exchange strategies on the region’s fight…

4 min
ev makers in china could use a jump

This year was supposed to be a watershed for electric vehicles, with BYD, Daimler, General Motors, Tesla, and other titans set to roll out new models and open manufacturing plants in China, the technology’s largest market. Then the coronavirus hit, short-circuiting demand for cars of every sort and leaving EV makers with, at best, a dream deferred. Because of the pandemic and its accompanying economic meltdown, 2020 is on track to be the third straight year of declining sales in the world’s biggest auto market, jeopardizing multibillion-dollar expansion plans by EV makers. Tesla Inc. in January began deliveries from a new factory in Shanghai after co-founder Elon Musk spent years courting Chinese leaders, only to temporarily shut it weeks later when the government imposed a lockdown that kept workers and buyers…

4 min
in brief

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 1.5 million. The U.S. reported the highest number, more than 400,000. But new infections showed their first signs of slowing in France, Italy, and Spain, Europe’s hardest-hit countries, where lockdowns have lasted for more than two weeks. China said it didn’t have any new deaths for the first time since the pandemic began. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent the previous week quarantined with a coronavirus infection, was taken to a hospital on April 5 and transferred to an intensive-care unit to receive oxygen after his health deteriorated. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab took over most of his duties. Rolls-Royce eliminated its dividend, the first time the biggest U.K. manufacturer won’t make a payout to shareholders. The stock rose a record 18% on April 6 after the aircraft engine maker…

5 min
the bankruptcy trap

Bankruptcy laws were written to help individual companies. They don’t work so well when many get into trouble at once. The companies’ balance sheets are interdependent: Reducing what one owes will weaken its creditors, making it impossible for them to pay their creditors, and so on. Businesses that could have bounced back are forced to liquidate as their court cases drag on. This is called systemic bankruptcy, and it’s the nightmare scenario for the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Steps can be taken to avoid it, but it’s not clear whether governments and central banks in the U.S. and around the world will take them in time. The best way to avoid debt gridlock is to use government support to keep the number of bankruptcies below the tipping point at which…

5 min
covid-19 provides cover for hackers

Hackers silently entered the computer network of London-based banking software maker Finastra in mid-March as the company was focused on developing emergency plans for operating amid the emerging coronavirus pandemic. Moving with precision and speed, they captured employee passwords and installed backdoors in dozens of servers in critical parts of Finastra’s network. Although hardly a household name, Finastra Group Holdings Ltd. is an essential part of the global financial system, its software and services running everything from banks’ websites to the back-office systems they use to manage their own money. Its more than 8,500 customers include 90 of the world’s 100 largest banks. For about three days the attack went unnoticed, but the hackers’ activity on one of Finastra’s cloud servers set off a tripwire that alerted the company’s security team and…

1 min
keep clothes chemical-free

Toxins can linger in the fabrics you wear as well as in the air you breathe. Formaldehyde—a mild carcinogen known to irritate the eyes, nose, throat, or skin—is often used as a wrinkle reducer in permanent press fabrics. And sure, you won’t be getting your clothes dry-cleaned much during isolation, but even new clothes that are warehoused along their trade routes require pesticides and chemical treatments to combat mildew. Fear not—simply laundering your clothes, especially before first use, is highly effective in reducing exposure to these toxins. For the more delicate garments you love, the LG Styler (from $1,200), a new 6-foot-tall standalone system, can steam clean and gently sanitize as many as 15 different fabrics—including denim, wool, and sequins—in as little as 20minutes. It’s certified by the Asthma and Allergy…