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It's Friday, and for Japan's luckiest workers that means it's party time—by strict orders of the boss. Corporations are answering the government's call to let employees out at 3 p.m. on the last Friday of each month so they can hit up the bars and paint the town red. Some are even hiring limos for their employees and handing out cash. As well as being a good way to de-stress chronically overworked staff, "Premium Friday" could boost consumption by as much as $563 million a year, according to SMBC Nikko Securities. Saturday mornings, however, may not be so pleasant. —Kristine Servando
There's no better place to make money than Hong Kong's equities market, according to China's top-performing stock fund. While Harvest Fund Management's 13.4 percent return sounds tempting, Morgan Stanley argues that the place to make real money this year is across the border, with the bank predicting China shares will leap 42 percent this year.
...And if those markets don't convince you, here's a list of countries that have seen the best returns in stocks and bonds since 1900.
A banned chemical weapon was used to murder Kim Jong Nam. VX nerve agent was found on the eyes and face of the North Korean leader's half-brother, who was killed in Malaysia on Feb. 13. Malaysian detectives say two women were trained to wipe the deadly chemical on their victim's face, and that the pair even practiced their attack move in shopping malls.
Move over, bitcoin. China's central bank is developing its own digital currency. That's good news for sellers, who will get their digital payments directly from customers, cutting out middlemen and lowering costs. And it's good news for the bank, which will will be handed "real-time, complete and authentic" data on every transaction, according to Duan Xinxing, vice president of Beijing-based bitcoin exchange OKCoin.
Saudi Arabia's about to get a reality check on oil. The country has said oil giant Saudi Aramco is worth more than $2 trillion, enough to consume Apple twice and still have room for Google parent Alphabet. The kingdom may have to settle for less. A lot less. Industry experts told Bloomberg their analysis suggests Aramco is worth no more than half that amount, and maybe as little as a fifth.
How to survive the longest flight in the world. Qantas will begin flying a non-stop 9,000-mile route next year, which will take an eye-watering 19 hours. Whether you're planning to board one of these crazy long-hauls or simply dreading your next trip halfway around the world, here are a few coping strategies from frequent fliers who rack up hundreds of thousands of miles each year.
A $100 million art mystery. Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev amassed one of the world’s top collections of 20th century art, anchored by Amedeo Modigliani nudes and Claude Monet water lilies. Now he's selling off his works at a fraction of their purchase prices, and no one really knows why.
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