Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—GoPro’s IPO, Russian gas wars, World Cup kick-off, mellowing mafia

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

No beating about the bush for Mulberry. It’s the British luxury-bag maker’s first full-year earnings report since its CEO Bruno Guillon quit in March, and it will have to convince investors that it’s got things under control (paywall), following three profit warnings in two years and a plunging share price.

Intel hears about its fine appeal. Europe’s second-highest court will publish its decision on whether Intel’s appeal against its $1.47 billion fine is justified. The EU slapped the fine on the chipmaker five years ago after finding that it abused antitrust regulations to thwart a rival’s attempts at winning new customers.

Lululemon tries to get back in shape. This earnings report marks the one-year point since Lululemon’s CEO, Christine Day, stepped down, just a few months after the sportswear company lost $2 billion in market value when it had to recall yoga pants that were too transparent. Analysts expect a 10% rise in sales on flat profits.

UK housing gets a boost. In his annual speech at the Lord Mayor of London’s residence, UK chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce incentives for developers to build new houses in derelict cities. He will also unveil measures to crack down on rate rigging in the forex market.

The World Cup kicks off. Brazil and Croatia go head-to-head in the first match of the football tournament. This comes after months of protests in Brazil over the money that is being spent on the event rather than health, housing and education, and concerns that the country wouldn’t be ready in time.

While you were sleeping

Mitsubishi backed Siemens. The Japanese conglomerate is considering a joint bid with Germany’s Siemens for the energy arm of France’s Alstom, challenging General Electric’s $16.9 billion offer. Bringing in Mitsubishi could placate antitrust regulators worried about the combined market power of the French and German firms.

Brussels cracked down on tax avoidance. The European Commission launched a probe into whether three member states are handing inappropriate tax breaks to companies headquartered there: Apple in Ireland, Starbucks in the Netherlands and Fiat’s financial arm in Luxembourg.

GoPro filed for its IPO. The camera maker could raise up to $427 million when it lists on the Nasdaq under the ticker GPRO, selling shares for $21 to $24. At a nearly $3 billion valuation, it would compare favorably to the much bigger and more diverse Nikon. Founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman will retain a 48% stake.

Russia and Ukraine’s gas wars bubbled. Russia offered to knock $100 (about 20%) off the price of each 1,000 cubic meters of gas, but Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called it “a trap.” Since scrapping its subsidy, Russia now charges Ukraine the highest gas price in Europe.

Islamist militants made more gains in Iraq. Having conquered Mosul, the second-biggest city, on Tuesday, fighters from the al-Qaeda offshoot ISIL advanced on Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s birthplace, and took Turkish diplomats in Mosul hostage. There were some reports that they had also threatened the country’s biggest oil refinery.

British joblessness fell to a five-year low. The UK’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.8% to 6.6% after 345,000 jobs were added—the biggest jump since records began in 1971. Wage growth was weak, however, slowing to 0.7% from 1.9%.

Quartz obsession interlude

Shruti Chakraborty on Indian corner shops: Big retail can’t compare, but online grocery sites could. “Corner shops should beware, though, of the online grocery. A number of ecommerce startups are entering this space. They figure if they can deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to a doorstep, people would rather shop online rather than stepping out into heat, traffic, or pollution. The sector is especially emboldened by double-income families and the fact that women between the ages of 30 and 35 are the biggest adopters of online grocery shopping.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Most doping in sport should be legalized. Not all performance enhancement is cheating.

The tech M&A boom is a case of mid-life crisis. Older companies think they can stay in the game by absorbing fresh young startups.

Shinzo Abe is the world’s best leader. The Japanese prime minister is actually getting things done—including winning over his skeptics.

Courts should not rely on forensic science as evidence. It’s a fundamentally flawed discipline that has sent many innocent people to prison.

Surprising discoveries

JK Rowling doesn’t want Scottish independence. The Harry Potter creator donated £1 million ($1.7 million) to a campaign for keeping the UK unified.

The mafia seems to be mellowing. Mafia murders in Italy have dropped by 80% in the last 20 years.

China is World Cup crazy, even though it isn’t competing. You can even buy fake sick notes to get off work after a late-night match.

Americans don’t have the fever pitch, though. Their top answer to “what is your least favorite team” is… the US.

Handshakes are so passé. The cool young men are hugging nowadays.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, World Cup picks, and and hugging photos to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.