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FirstFT: Hong Kong chief assessments optimistic for Covid after Xi assembly

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Hong Kong’s chief govt has examined optimistic for Covid-19 simply days after interacting along with his boss, President Xi Jinping of China, on the Asia Pacific Financial Cooperation discussion board in Bangkok.

John Lee was seated subsequent to Xi throughout a gathering on November 18 and in addition stood subsequent to him at an occasion the day earlier than, doubtlessly considered one of Xi’s closest recognized brushes with the virus for the reason that begin of the pandemic.

China has been following a strict zero-Covid coverage, routinely forcing tens of millions into quarantines and residential lockdowns regardless of the massive financial and psychological prices. Neither politician wore a masks on the 2 events they met.

“[John Lee is] present process isolation,” the Hong Kong authorities stated on Monday. Lee examined optimistic upon his return to the Chinese language territory on Sunday.

The information comes as confusion deepens over the way forward for China’s zero-Covid coverage, with any reopening intently watched by traders who hope it can pave the best way for an financial restoration.

1. Disney executives staged revolt in opposition to ousted chief Senior Walt Disney executives led a riot in opposition to chief govt Bob Chapek in current weeks, which resulted in his ousting and alternative with predecessor Bob Iger, in accordance with individuals acquainted with the matter.

2. Sinopec secures considered one of greatest LNG offers with Qatar The Chinese language vitality group has secured one of many biggest-ever liquefied pure gasoline offers, signing a 27-year settlement to buy 4mn tonnes a 12 months of the gasoline from QatarEnergy. The settlement introduced yesterday comes as Europe races to safe various provides of pure gasoline within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Extra vitality information: Oil costs rebounded from a 10-month low yesterday after Saudi Arabia “categorically” denied a report that Opec was weighing a rise in output that will assist to counteract the lack of Russian provides.

3. Two Estonians accused of $575mn crypto fraud Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin have been arrested and charged in reference to what US prosecutors described as a $575mn cryptocurrency fraud and cash laundering scheme. The 2 Estonian residents have been indicted on accusations of defrauding a whole lot of hundreds of victims, in accordance with the US Division of Justice.

4. Groups ditch rainbow armband plan after Fifa menace A bid by European groups to advertise inclusion in the course of the World Cup collapsed yesterday after three international locations stated Fifa’s threats compelled them to desert plans to put on rainbow-themed captains’ armbands. The groups had deliberate to put on the One Love armbands to ship a message in opposition to discrimination whereas enjoying in Qatar, the place homosexuality is illegitimate.

England’s Harry Kane wearing the One Love armband
England’s Harry Kane sporting the One Love armband in late September © Nick Potts/PA

5. Erdoğan indicators doable floor offensive in northern Syria Turkey might develop army operations in opposition to Kurdish militants in northern Syria to incorporate a land incursion, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated, threatening to escalate tensions in a area the place US and Russian troops are current. “This isn’t restricted to only an air marketing campaign,” Erdoğan stated, in accordance with a readout from his workplace yesterday.

The day forward

OECD financial forecast The group will launch its newest Financial Outlook, containing projections for the world financial system.

Astana format talks on Syria Delegations from Russia, Turkey, Iran, Syria’s authorities and the Syrian opposition will collect in Astana, Kazakhstan, to debate humanitarian, socio-economic and political points in Syria. Representatives from the UN, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq will attend as observers. 

FTX chapter listening to An preliminary courtroom listening to is about for Tuesday morning native time within the federal chapter courtroom in Delaware in entrance of Decide John Dorsey.

Be part of leaders together with Singapore’s minister of commerce and business, the deputy chair, CEO and govt director of Mewah Worldwide Inc. and extra on November 23 in Singapore at The Westin and on-line to talk about the way forward for the commodities business. Register right here on your in individual or digital cross at present.

What else we’re studying

China’s Pacific support falls wanting pledges In 2017, Papua New Guinea’s authorities introduced a A$4.1bn ($2.6bn) improve of the nation’s potholed highways, funded by growth loans from China. 5 years on, there was no progress as Beijing’s growth spending sputters regardless of efforts to construct affect within the area.

Iranians put jobs earlier than pro-democracy protests Industrial motion was instrumental within the overthrow of the monarchy in the course of the 1979 Islamic revolution. However amid one of many largest and longest-lasting demonstrations in its Iran’s historical past, spurred by the loss of life of Mahsa Amini, employees this time round have responded cautiously.

Anti-war protests stretch throughout central and jap Europe “Germany is serving as a puppet solely for American pursuits and people of Nato,” the primary orator stated to a hundreds-strong crowd. In Germany, some protests over the affect of the Ukraine battle have been organised by the unconventional left and a few by the populist proper.

The Gulf is partying whereas it might probably If you need to escape the worldwide gloom, simply take a flight from its epicentre, London, to any main capital of the Gulf, the solely area on this planet the place financial development forecasts are rising, writes Ruchir Sharma.

Large Pharma targets $50bn weight problems medicine market as demand booms The race to launch a brand new technology of medication to sort out weight problems — a illness that impacts about 650mn individuals worldwide — has induced unease amongst some critics, who warn about their potential misuse and side-effects.


From enterprise and sport to audio books, our annual round-up brings you high titles picked by FT writers and critics — in addition to FT readers’ finest books of 2022.

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