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The Week In Numbers – Shop ‘Til You Drop

It is supposed to be the busiest shopping day in China. “Singles’ Day”, which occurs on 11 November (11/11), rivals Valentine’s Day and Black Friday as one of the most commercially-hyped shopping day by retailers in the People’s Republic of China.

According to Alibaba it smashed the Guinness World Record for the highest online sales by a single company on Singles’ Day. The e-tailer reported revenues of $9.3b, which is some 62% higher than last year. Interestingly, lower-profile rival JD.com reported a 140% jump in orders in the first 10 hours of Singles’ Day trading.

The willingness of Chinese shoppers to splash the cash augurs well for President Xi Jinping’s bold strategy to rebalance the domestic economy towards more consumer spending. It could also bode well for Singapore companies that are exposed to Chinese consumers. These include Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust (SGX: RW0U) and OUE Commercial REIT (SGX: TS0U).

Staying with shoppers, commercial confidence in Singapore climbed to its highest level in three years. It reportedly hit 103 points having remained below 100 points since 2011. Consumer confidence is riding high elsewhere in South East Asia too. In Indonesia, it stands at 125 points; in the Philippines it is 115 points, while in Thailand it is 113 points.

An enquiry is under way into the power outage at Singapore Exchange that lasted 3 hours. Early indications appear to suggest that the exchange’s back-up power supply didn’t kick in when it should have.

It is obviously disappointing when a power outage happens. But it may be instructive to recall the sage words of Warren Buffett who said: “Only buy something that you would be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for ten years”. For the mathematically proficient amongst us, that works out to be 87,600 hours, which should put the 3-hour outage into perspective.

Don’t forget to pop 17 November into your diaries. That is the day when a trading link will be established between the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. The so-called Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect will let international investors trade selected stocks on the Shanghai exchange. Chinese investors will also be able to buy and sell Hong Kong shares.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.