Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Candy Crush IPO, Herbalife probe, Harlem explosion, celebrity Tinder

March 12, 2014
March 12, 2014

What to watch for today

New Zealand hikes its rates. The economy has steadied since earthquakes rattled Christchurch, and strong dairy exports have boosted business, so this could be the month that New Zealand’s central bank begins raising interest rates after leaving them untouched previously.

Good news for Australian workers, or at least, no worse. The country expects a bump in new jobs after a fall last month, though not by enough to budge the unemployment rate, which is at a ten-and-a-half-year high. Signs that China may be slowing down again don’t augur well for the recovery.

Lufthansa’s profits soar. Lufthansa expects to post a full-year operating profit of up to €700 million ($973.28 million), compared to €524 million in the previous year. Investors will be looking to see whether the German airline will reinstate the dividend it axed last year (paywall); some analysts expect €0.45 per share.

American spending gets back in the black. Analysts expect retail sales to have grown 0.1% last month, after contracting by 0.1% in December and 0.4% in January. As 70% of GDP is driven by consumer spending, this would be happy news for the US economy.

The pope’s anniversary. It’s one year to the day since white smoke billowed out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney, and Pope Francis will be marking the occasion with a spiritual retreat outside the Vatican. Watch out for rehashed reports about how the pope has shaken up the Church—or hasn’t.

While you were sleeping

An historic IPO got priced. King Digital Entertainment unveiled a $21- to $24-per-share price range for its IPO, meaning it could raise more than $530 million when it lists in New York. That values the company behind hit game Candy Crush Saga at $7.6 billion, making it Britain’s most valuable publicly listed internet company.

A Goldman banker was told to pay up. Fabrice Tourre, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was fined $650,000 and ordered to forgo a $175,463 bonus for misleading investors over a faulty subprime mortgage package. It’s one of the few instances in which an individual has been held personally responsible for a financial crisis case.

A building blew up in New York City. Two people were killed and 22 injured when two adjacent buildings exploded in Harlem. Authorities attributed the explosion to a gas leak, and power company Con Edison said it had dispatched two crews to the scene on reports of a gas odor.

The FTC launched a probe into Herbalife. Shares in Herbalife fell 13% after the Federal Trade Commission said it was investigating the health-products company. It’s a victory for activist investor Bill Ackman, who has claimed since 2012 that Herbalife is operating an illegal pyramid scheme.

Panasonic unveiled a smog salary. Panasonic said it would pay a premium to workers it sends to China (paywall), due to the hazardously high levels of pollution there that can increase a person’s risk of asthma, cancer or heart problems. The wage hike applies only to foreign workers in China, not Chinese employees.

Quartz obsession interlude 

Leo Mirani on what the future of in-car navigation will look like. “Carmakers have been experimenting with head-up displays (HUD) in cars since the late 1990s. But early efforts have been cautious, displaying only speed and other basic information near the bottom of the windscreen. New technologies allow them to be bolder: the authors see HUD, long used by fighter pilots, as becoming a natural part of looking through the windshield, and, in some cases, being embedded on real-world objects such as the road or buildings. It is Borges’s 1:1 map come to life.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

We talk about too many things in economic terms. That leads to paternalism, erodes morality, and diminishes personal autonomy.

What makes conference panels boring is the moderators. Panelists should be left to duke it out among themselves.

SAC Capital’s new name may be an inside joke. Point72 could refer to the “rule of 72″—a quick calculation of investment growth.

In defense of the Indian male. An infamous survey purporting to show that Indian men don’t do housework missed a whole lot of cultural factors.

A falling yuan explains pretty much everything weird going on in China. A forced devaluation by the central bank is making the whole economy freak out.

New digital news outlets are still run by white men. So much for the journalism revolution.

Surprising discoveries

The post-Millennial generation needs a name. Suggestions include iGen, the swipe generation and Gen 2K.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. As the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 continues, shares in Flyht, which makes real-time flight data recorders, are up 23%.

“Mor” is literature’s most evil syllable. Voldemort, Mordor, Moriarty, Morbius, the Morlocks… need we go on?

Dating app Tinder plans to verify its celebrity users. Now you’ll know for sure it’s Lindsay Lohan who’s flirting with you.

Solving Candy Crush Saga is officially fiendishly difficult. There’s now mathematical proof.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Candy Crush solutions, and generational name suggestions to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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