The Week In Numbers: Up, Up And Away

There has been a slight increase in the number of passengers passing through Singapore’s Changi Airport. Passenger numbers rose 0.2% to 4.39m. The airport operator also said there had been double-digit growth in passengers to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Tokyo. What is good for Changi Airport could also be good for airport services company SATS (SGX: S58).

The US dollar hit a 12-year high against the Japanese yen this week. The greenback also strengthened against a host of Asia-Pacific currencies. Against the Singapore dollar, it rose to 1.35, which could be good news for a clutch of Singapore-quoted companies that have exposure to the dollar earnings. These could include Hutchison Port Holdings (SGX: NS8U), Fortune REIT (SGX: F25U) and Dairy Farm (SGX: D01), which are exposed to Hong Kong, where the currency is pegged to the US dollar.

The boss of Malaysia Airlines has told the world something that the world has already known for some time – the airline is bankrupt. Chief executive Christopher Mueller has decided to press the hard-reset button, which means the airline will fire 6,000 of its 20,000 workforce and streamline its fleet of aircraft.

Interest rates have fallen in India for the third time this year. The Reserve Bank of India said subdued inflation has allowed it to cut interest rates to 7.25%. It hinted that more rate cuts could be possible. However, that could hinge on the monsoon season, which could have an unwanted impact on food prices.

The bonus number this week is 50. To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence, a host of companies are offering freebies. M1 (SGX: B2F) has offered free voice call to its customers between 7 and 10 August; Great Eastern (SGX: G07) will be offering Jubilee babies free health insurance and SMRT (SGX: S53) is giving employees shopping vouchers.

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