Welcome to Your week in Asia.
It will be a slow start to the week for Hong Kong, which is enjoying a five-day weekend. But expect to make headlines on Wednesday, when pro-democracy activist Andy Li faces trial on collusion under the National Security Act. On Friday, the fintech backed by Tencent Linklogis will debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Australia’s central bank meets on Tuesday, followed by India on Wednesday. Taiwan’s monthly trade data is due Friday.
Follow our reports by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.
LG board assesses future of smartphones
The board of directors of South Korean company LG Electronics will discuss on Monday the future of its smartphone business, which has lost billions of dollars in the past six years. Analysts say LG could shut down the handset as talks collapsed with potential buyers, including Vietnamese Vingroup and the Russian sovereign wealth fund.
IMF raises global economic forecasts
After an optimistic forecast in January of global growth of 5.5% for 2021, a further upward revision is expected Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund. Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva teased the new forecast last week, highlighting the U.S. stimulus package and the global vaccine rollout. But the IMF will continue to warn of risks stemming from an uneven recovery, inequitable vaccine distribution and new variants of COVID.
G-20 Finance Ministers Meeting
Business leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies are meeting virtually on Wednesday for their second meeting this year. Expect an update on the group’s action plan for the COVID crisis when Italy’s finance minister and central bank governor, the meeting chairs, hold a press conference.
Lawsuit for missing Hong Kong activist
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Andy Li will appear for the first time on Wednesday on charges of collusion under the National Security Act, after serving seven months behind bars on the mainland and being handed over to Hong Kong at the end of March. Li is one of a group of 12 Hong Kong protesters captured by the Chinese Coast Guard as they tried to flee to Taiwan by speedboat. An attorney representing Li appeared in court last week, but his family said they had not appointed this attorney.
Seoul elections threaten Moon Jae-in
Ahead of Wednesday’s mayoral election, Oh Se-hoon of the opposition People Power party leads the polls against Park Young-sun of the ruling Democratic party. Oh, a former Seoul mayor promises to ease housing development regulations to tackle the housing crisis, while Park seeks to make Seoul a global digital city.
Why is this important: A win for Oh would turn President Moon Jae-in into a lame duck sooner than expected in his only five-year term, analysts say.
Uniqlo Parent half-year results
Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing will report its results for the September-February half of the fiscal year on Thursday. In addition to strong sales in Asia amid the pandemic, expect CEO Tadashi Yanai to be asked about the recent arson attacks on supplier factories in Myanmar and how production and delivery delays will affect the retailer’s annual results, expected in August.
Linklogis debuts on HKEX
The public debut of Linklogis, a financial technology company backed by Tencent, will be closely watched after recent bids for Baidu and the AI platform Bairong in Hong Kong fell. Linklogis, which focuses on fintech for supply chains, valued its shares at HK $ 17.58, just above the midpoint of the original price range, to raise $ 1.02 billion. dollars when it went public.
China Telecom votes on Shanghai listing
China Telecom shareholders will meet on Friday to decide on their listing in Shanghai. The Chinese telecom operator is currently traded in Hong Kong. A listing in Shanghai would open a new fundraising channel for the company, whose New York listing was suspended in early January.
Context: China Telecom was one of 44 Chinese companies designated by the US Department of Defense as having military ties. China Mobile and China Unicom, the other two state-owned network operators, were also delisted by the New York Stock Exchange.
Constitutional referendum in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyz voters go to the polls on Sunday to vote on sweeping changes to the constitution that observers say will concentrate power in the hands of the president at the expense of parliament.
For President Sadyr Japarov, the expected adoption of constitutional revisions will cement his spectacular rise to power. Before the unrest last October over a rigged parliamentary election, he was serving a long sentence for kidnapping. In just a few days, he was released from prison and quickly propelled into the top post.
For Kyrgyzstan, the revisions would represent a return to the strongman rule that prevailed in this poor Central Asian country before a revolution in 2010 led it to become the first country in the region to adopt a system of parliamentary governance. .
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