Best airline stock; Hong Kong share plunge: Evening Briefing Asia

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Less than three years ago, Indian budget airline SpiceJet couldn't even pay its fuel bills. Today, it's the world's best-performing airline stock: up 124 percent this year alone, with profits expected to rise further. For investors, SpiceJet has hit on a winning formula, cutting loss-making routes and aggressively adding capacity at a time when low oil prices are giving the aviation industry a helping hand. India was the world's fastest-growing aviation market last year, but there's been a surge in air travel across Asia that has led to aircraft purchases worth billions of dollars. And as Asia's middle class grows, the travel boom looks set to accelerate.— Alyssa McDonald

A new coat of paint is rocking the global shipping industry. China manufacturers make 90 percent of all containers used on ships to carry goods around the world. As part of the country's pledge to cut emissions, companies are coating containers with water-borne paints that release less toxic fumes than oil-based varieties. It's a noble effort—but about 70 percent of container production capacity in China has been shut down as manufacturers retool their factories to allow for the usage of the new paints, sending prices soaring as much as 69 percent from last year’s lows.

Hong Kong small cap stock plunge wipes out $6.1 billion in value. A string of Hong Kong stocks suddenly plunged Tuesday, with traders pointing to links between some of the companies and a brokerage that’s under regulatory investigation. These shares are "owned by the same group of people so they must be experiencing a liquidity crunch and they don’t have the money to support the share prices,” said Francis Lun, the Hong Kong-based chief executive officer of Geo Securities Ltd. The selloff is reinforcing concerns about risks in the world’s fourth-largest equity market.

China's growth looks like it's already peaked for 2017. The earliest indicators for China’s economy in June signal that the manufacturing sector may be poised to decelerate, while other challenges loom in the second half of this year. If the slowdown worsens in the coming months, the government’s resolve to curb risk in the banking sector could be tested during a period of leadership transition in Beijing.

Profit margins Amazon could only dream of. Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing's health-and-beauty chain Watsons is opening nearly four stores a day, more than a third of which will be in China. Demand for baby and skin-care products there is so high that the stores pay for themselves, on average, within a year of opening. Who says brick-and-mortar retail is dead?

The world's best place to live is looking for brainy foreigners. There's no better place on Earth than Denmark, according to a recent ranking that takes into account things like access to the Internet, affordable housing, health care and freedom of expression. But the country is facing labor shortages it will struggle to solve without foreigners. Part of the problem, the foreign minister admits, is a perception that Denmark has become less welcoming to outsiders.

Cold, hard cash remains king. Given the technological disruption that's happening everywhere, it's reasonable to expect a little Luddite pushback, writes Leonid Bershidsky. And that may explain why cash is playing an increasingly large role in advanced economies. Apple Pay may be easier to use than traditional money, but there's an old, pre-digital magic to cash. It's intriguing to think that human nature might be rebelling against the technological revolution—and that more such counterattacks may be headed our way.

Meet the $130,000 love child of a supercar and a station wagon. The Callaway Corvette Aerowagen combines the best of a lot of worlds in a strikingly unusual frame. It can hit 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, the hatchback rear will fit three large golf bags—and it costs a fraction of the price of the multiple six-figure supercars from Lamborghini, Ferrari, and McLaren with similar power. 

Best airline stock; Hong Kong share plunge: Evening Briefing Asia