Latest COVID-19 Cases

    United States29,314,254 cases
    58,910 new cases
    up 0.20% on yesterday
    527,226 deaths
    reported to date
    United Kingdom4,182,009 cases
    5,455 new cases
    up 0.13% on yesterday
    122,953 deaths
    reported to date
    Hong Kong11,033 cases
    13 new cases
    up 0.12% on yesterday
    200 deaths
    reported to date
    Singapore59,956 cases
    8 new cases
    up 0.01% on yesterday
    29 deaths
    reported to date
    India11,124,527 cases
    12,286 new cases
    up 0.11% on yesterday
    157,275 deaths
    reported to date
    Brazil10,589,608 cases
    38,349 new cases
    up 0.36% on yesterday
    255,836 deaths
    reported to date
    China89,923 cases
    11 new cases
    up 0.01% on yesterday
    4,636 deaths
    reported to date
    Australia28,986 cases
    11 new cases
    up 0.04% on yesterday
    909 deaths
    reported to date
    Globally115,035,145 cases
    45,506 new cases
    up 0.04% on yesterday
    2,551,386 deaths
    reported to date

COVID-19 News

  • Hong Kong reported 13 new transmitted COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (March 2). Among the cases, 7 cases were locally transmitted and 3 of them were untraceable.
  • The European Commission will present a proposal in March on creating an EU-wide digital COVID-19 vaccination passport that may allow Europeans to travel more freely over the peak summer holiday period. The "digital green pass" would provide proof that a person has been vaccinated, results of tests for those not yet vaccinated and information on recovery for people who have contracted COVID-19.
  • Malaysia announced that it will ease COVID-19 restrictions and reinstate the conditional movement control order (CMCO) for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang. Meanwhile, the states of Kedah, Kelantan, Negri Sembilan, Sarawak and Perak will remain under CMCO.

Global News Highlights

  • China has become the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world in 2020 for the second consecutive year. China filed 68,720 applications last year while the US filed 59,230. The rate of increase was higher for China with a 16.1% year-on-year increase versus 3% for the US.
  • The European Parliament welcomed an action plan for a more sustainable economy in a plenary session in February. The EU Commission’s new action plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products, targeting for example their design, promoting circular economy processes, fostering sustainable consumption, and aiming to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.
  • The US government asked Google to share granular information on how its search engine works and makes money, seeking to prove that the internet giant is a monopoly. The US Department of Justice and several state attorneys general are seeking comparable data on US search results and related ads from February 2 to 8, 2015 and from February 3 to 9, 2020, according to a legal filing Monday.

Asia News Highlights

  • Hong Kong is exploring whether to allow Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) to list in the Asian financial hub, according to a government statement, indicating that a largely US phenomenon could be going global. SPACs have raised $60 billion in the first two months of 2021, Dealogic data showed, which is more than 70% of 2020’s annual deal value.
  • China's top banking and insurance regulator expressed wariness of the risk of bubbles bursting in foreign markets, and said Beijing is studying effective measures to manage capital inflows to prevent turbulence in the domestic market. Global markets are starting to see side effects of fiscal and monetary policy steps in response to the pandemic, said Guo Shuqing, head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
  • South Korea is drafting an extra budget of 15 trillion won (US$13.38 billion), it said on Tuesday, to boost support for small businesses and safeguard jobs as the resurgent COVID-19 forces the government to retain social distancing curbs. The finance ministry said total government spending would increase to a record 573 trillion won this year, up 11.9 per cent from last year, while expected tax revenue is seen growing just 0.3 per cent.

World 2.0

  • Hang Seng Indexes Co. will boost the members of its Hong Kong stock benchmark to 80 and cap the weighting of any one company as it implements the biggest changes to the gauge’s 51-year-old history, in a bid to embrace the new economy. The wide-ranging overhauls to the Hang Seng Index include increasing the number of constituents from 52 and limit a stock’s weighting to 8%. The revamp also shortens the listing history requirement for a company to be included into the gauge. Implementation of the changes will begin as early as its May index review and go through mid-2022.
  • Microsoft has named a young Chinese executive as its new chairman and chief executive for the Greater China region amid increasingly complicated tech relations between the US and China. Hou Yang, a former executive at Qualcomm, will take the helm from Alain Crozier starting in July, according to the company’s announcement on Monday. Hou is the first Chinese-born executive appointed to the role in nearly a decade.
  • Volvo Cars set an ambitious goal to only sell battery cars by 2030, accelerating its plans after sales of electric vehicles surged. The Chinese-owned Swedish brand is rolling out a new line-up of electric cars and will unveil its second battery-only model later Tuesday. Going one step further than recent rivals’ decisions on EVs, Volvo’s electric vehicles will be available for sale only online.