Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Thai stock offering, $4.20 lattes in China, $25 tablets in India

November 29, 2012
November 29, 2012

Good morning, Quartz readers! 

What to watch for today:

A final German stamp of approval for Greece. The Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, is expected to approve a €44 billion package of bailout money for Greece that has been delayed since June and was finally negotiated this week.

Constitutional fallout in Egypt. Expect new demonstrations in Cairo against President Mohammed Morsi after the president’s Islamist party pushed a draft constitution through its constitutional assembly Thursday.

Asia’s biggest rights offering of the year. Thailand’s biggest publicly traded oil and gas exploration company, PTT Exploration & Production PCL, sells shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in an attempt to raise $3.1 billion in the region’s biggest equity offering so far in 2012.

A rebound for Brazil. Official GDP for Brazil, the slowest-growing economy of the BRIC countries, is likely to say the economy expanded 1.2% in the third quarter from the previous one. That puts the country on track to enter the new year with 4% annualized growth, according to its finance minister.

Aussies and Brits get new games. Nintendo launches the Wii U, a videogame console with a touch-screen controller and high-def graphics, in the UK and Australia at midnight.

While you were sleeping:

A tighter leash was proposed for the UK press. A British inquiry into the repeated bad behavior of the UK press called for tougher independent self-regulation and a way for victims of press abuses to seek redress.

Mitt and Barack lunched at the White House. President Barack Obama and his former rival Mitt Romney met for the first since the last presidential debate. According to notes from the White House press office, they discussed how to maintain American leadership in the world. What was for lunch? The menu included turkey chili and chicken salad.

Investors were kinda, sorta optimistic that the US would avoid the fiscal cliff. Stocks rose modestly after congressional Republican leader John Boehner said there had been “no substantive progress” on a deal to avoid a slew of tax increases and spending cuts that could push the country into another recession. Meanwhile, US preliminary GDP for the third quarter turned out to be not all that terrible.

Damascus was cut off from the world. Authorities in the capital of Syria cut off all internet services in hopes of quelling ongoing protests. This chart illustrates the sudden blackout.

Brinkmanship on the high seas. Somali pirates said they would start killing hostages on a ship kidnapped off the coast of Oman in March. The governments of India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh have until tomorrow to pay $2 million in ransom, the pirates said.

Quartz obsession interlude: 

Christopher Mims on the $25 tablet computer and the Mobile Web: “Six billion cell phone subscriptions are spread across five billion of the earth’s seven billion people, says Suneet Tuli, CEO of Datawind, maker of the world’s cheapest tablet computer. Yet only two billion people are connected to the internet, which means three billion people have everything they need to connect to the internet—except a suitable device.” Read more here.

Matters of debate:

The bipolar nature of the US economy. In a surprising role reversal, American businesses are pessimistic about the future of the economy while consumers are becoming more positive.

Secession is the new black. “For years, secession movements have only interested staunch nationalists, reclusive cranks, and geopolitics dorks such as this author. But for a host of economic and social reasons, secession has been creeping back into the news with interesting regularity,” writes Eric Garland.

The future of job creation lies in startups. In the US, new companies are more likely to create jobs than established firms.

What’s in a map? The recent rows between China, India and Southeast Asian nations over maps used in China’s new passports demonstrate just how political and subjective mapmaking can be.

Surprising discoveries:

There enough water on Mercury to fill up the capital of the United States. A NASA spacecraft has found enough ice on Mercury to encase Washington, DC in a block of frozen water two-and-a-half miles deep.

It costs more to buy a latte from Starbucks in China than it does in New York City. Earlier this year, Starbucks announced it would raise its prices in China on hot chocolate, fresh-brewed coffee and espresso drinks—increasing a tall latte’s cost to around $4.20, Quartz’s Lauren Alix Brown writes.

The sea has risen. Ice sheets near the north and south poles have made ocean levels rise by an average of about 11 millimeters (almost half an inch) between 1992 and 2011.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, feedback, suggestions and secession candidates to hi@qz.com.

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