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The Week in Numbers: 2018 World Cup Kicks Off

This week will most certainly be remembered for the first meeting between a sitting American president and the leader of North Korea. The meeting, which was held at Capella Hotel in Sentosa, ended with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreeing to his nation’s “complete denuclearisation”. On Trump’s part, he promised to halt the “provocative” joint military drills with South Korea.

The amount raised from initial public offerings by Singapore issuers for the first six months of the year rose 78% year-on-year. In total, there were 12 listings raising US$459 million. This compares to just 10 listing in the same time frame last year. Domestic capital raised by Singapore issuers rose 64%, while cross-border listings went up 166% in value.

As anticipated, the US Federal Reserve raised the benchmark-lending rate to a range of 1.75 and 2.0%. This is the second increase of the year, and the Fed signalled intentions for two more hikes in 2018 and four more in 2019. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has now upped its median forecast to 3.1% at the end of 2019, from 2.9%. FOMC forecasts United States GDP growth of 2.8% in 2018, 2.4% in 2019 and 2% in 2020.

China posted its slowest investment growth in over 22 years in May. Fixed-asset investment growth slowed to 6.1% in January to May, its slowest pace of growth since 1996. Industrial output in May rose 6.8% year-on-year, slower than April’s 7%. Retail sales increased 8.5%, its slowest in 15 years. Despite the deceleration in growth, China’s economy is still expected to expand by around 6.7% in the second quarter of 2018.

Lastly, the World Cup in Russia commenced on Thursday, with 32 nations competing over 64 matches. There are a total of 11 host cities and 12 venues with two located in the capital, Moscow. It is estimated that a total of 2.37 million tickets have been sold as of the beginning of May, with around 46% sold to Russians. Tickets for international tourists, however, don’t come cheap with the cheapest ticket priced at S$134.

Analysts are estimating around 1 million tourist arrivals to Russia, with another 3 billion viewers on television. The preparation for the World Cup cost Russia around S$15 billion, with 11 airports upgraded, 31 railway stations reconstructed and 728 additional train services to transport fans. Around 30,000 volunteers have already signed up to help stage the event.

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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 contributor Jeremy Chia doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.