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Business & Finance
Forbes Asia

Forbes Asia July 2017

Forbes Asia chronicles entrepreneurs, executives and companies throughout Asia.

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United States
Forbes Media LLC
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
drill, baby, drill

Spring 2017 was no great shakes for Asia unless you were along for the Belt and Road hype out of Beijing. True, the region wasn’t suffering the strife seen elsewhere, but tensions were rising, and the global economic uptick was playing out fitfully here as elsewhere. If anything, Europe got the buzz. Yet something pervasively positive was happening that is going to pay dividends across Asia in the months ahead: Carbon energy prices, especially oil, fell back after a winter uptick. Because nearly all Asian economies are importers of such fuel—only Malaysia has been a serious exception—this price drop following on early 2016’s lows is meaningful in terms of trade and the competitiveness of output that relies on these commodities as inputs or for power generation in factories and ships. In an…

1 min.
readers say

CONVERSATION “Dutertenomics,” by contributor Anders Corr (June, page 17) provoked pushback. Hong Kong’s Volatilian posted: “What he’s doing in this article is raising the spectre of Philippine debt which, according to his analysis—apparently based largely on guesstimates of the interest rates on loans—could reach US$450 billion. He also seems to base his ‘analysis’ on the assumption that the US$167 billion which Duterte has pledged to spend to ‘Build! Build! Build!’ over the course of his term is all coming from China. But it won’t be. . . . Th is was underscored by Benjamin Diokno, secretary of the Department of Budget and Management: ‘We do not stick to one country. We are not totally dependent on China for development, but we welcome any help.’ ” Wrote Alvin P. Ang in businessmirror.com:…

6 min.
the u.s. medicaid disaster what the gop must do now

A MAJOR CRITICISM of the GOP Senate health care proposal is that it cuts too much from Medicaid and thereby will harm patients. The charge is preposterous. Medicaid is probably the worst-designed health insurance system in the history of the Free World, ballooning in costs while providing clients with increasingly lousy care. Properly fixing this program would save substantial amounts of money and provide patients with better outcomes. Medicaid was enacted in the U.S. in 1965 to replace and beef up state programs to help the indigent get medical care. Medicaid would make all of these efforts virtually uniform—becoming, in essence, a one-sizefits- all program. The federal government would pony up half the costs, the states the other half. But even though the states shared the tab, Washington dictated the rules.…

2 min.
restaurants: go, consider, stop

Edible enlightenment from our New York City eatery experts and colleagues Richard Nalley, Monie Begley and Randall Lane, as well as brothers Bob, Kip and Tim. •Union Square Cafe 101 East 19th St. (Tel.: 212-243-4020) Though Danny Meyer’s iconic American restaurant has moved to new, stellar multilevel quarters, it remains all about the food. From chef Carmen Quagliata’s classics, such as polenta with maitake mushrooms with pesto, gnocchi with ricotta filling and a drizzle of tomato and basil, the Berkshire pork chop and the USC burger with Beecher’s cheddar and bacon on brioche, to his ten new dishes—some changing with the seasonal market— all are top-notch. Desserts are happily decadent. •Left Bank 117 Perry St., at Greenwich St. (Tel.: 212-727-1170) This is the perfect setting for a cozy, intimate dinner. The menu, though limited, is varied…

6 min.
pachyderm payoff

India’s most expensive film franchise— Bahubali—is all about scale, lavish sets and special effects. It’s been the talk of action cinema for months. Yet the bold budget of $70 million comes from a small TV production house in the southern Indian state of Telangana. Arka Mediaworks’ cofounder and 50% owner Shobu Yarlagadda, 46, started with a simple mandate: “Bahubali should awe you. It should blow your mind away.” True to that dictum, Arka created a mythological magnum opus set in the fictional kingdom of Mahismati, using the face-off between two formidable cousins as the centerpiece. The vision paid off. The second film in the two-part franchise, Bahubali: The Conclusion, is the second-largest grosser in Indian cinema, notching $265 million. (No. 1, released six months ago, is a Hindi wrestling movie, Dangal, by Aamir Khan…

1 min.

While Bahubali: The Conclusion has been making waves in India, Bollywood star Aamir Khan’s drama Dangal has become the highest-grossing Indian film—thanks largely to its success in China. It has exceeded $300 million at the box office so far—$185 million from China, where it’s still running. (Taiwan has added $6 million.) In 105 years of Indian cinema, no movie had ever crossed the Rs1,000 crore ($156 million) mark, and now Dangal is said to have hit the Rs2,000 crore. The Bahubali sequel is at $265 million. Dangal has other firsts to its credit: It’s the fifth non-English-language film to cross the $300 million mark in worldwide box-office receipts, and it’s made it to the list of the top 20 highest grossers in China. Even Chinese premier Xi Jinping mentioned to Indian prime…