The Week In Numbers – Take Me Higher

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed in on a 15-year high this week. Investors seemed delighted that the Bank of Japan (BoJ) will maintain its asset-buying program, in an effort to help the struggling economy back onto its feet.

There were hopes, though, that the BoJ’s governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, might have stepped up his bond-buying program. After all, inflation is almost non-existent in the Land of the Rising Sun. But the central bank said it would continue with its original plan of pumping US$666b into the economy annually.

So you thought that oil was dead? Well think again. Oil prices might be under pressure but oil-related companies are fighting back in response. Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy oil and gas explorer BG Group for around US$70b. The consideration will be in a mixture of cash and shares.

The deal could produce an oil and gas titan with a value of almost US$300b. It would be second-largest oil company behind Exxon Mobile, which is valued at US$355b.

The Singapore Tourism Board plans to splash out S$20m on a global marketing campaign to boost visitor numbers to the Garden City. In the last ten years, visitor numbers have surged 70%. But growth in both spending and arrivals this year is expected to be muted.

The global promotion campaign, which will coincide with The Great Singapore Sale, could benefit hospitality companies such as Far East Hospitality Trust (SGX: Q5T) and Mandarin Oriental (SGX: M04). It could also boost footfall at shopping mall owners such as CapitaMall Trust (SGX: C38U) and SPH REIT (SGX: SK6U). .

Canadian insurer Manulife Financial Asia has inked a deal with DBS Group (SGX: D05) to distribute life and health insurance products. The deal, which is worth S$1.6b over 15 years, will give Manulife access to DBS’s branches in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia.

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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 owns shares in Royal Dutch Shell.