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Your Week in Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi in court, JD Logistics IPO, HSBC coal plan

Your weekly lineup of Asia's biggest business and political events

After more than 100 days under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi will appear in court on May 24.    © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

After more than 100 days under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi will appear in court on Monday as the junta levies five criminal charges against her. And with 60 days to go before Tokyo welcomes 15,000 athletes and over 80,000 Olympic guests, Japan will finally open mass vaccination centers in its two largest cities.

Singapore posts GDP data on Tuesday, and the Bank of Korea's monthly rates meeting is on Thursday.

Keep up with our reporting by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.

MONDAY

Tokyo and Osaka start mass vaccinations

Vaccination sites run by Japan's Self-Defense Forces will open in the country's two largest cities on Monday. Adults 65 and older flooded the reservation system, vying for 50,000 slots in Tokyo and 25,000 in Osaka.

Why it matters: The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics are two months away, but since April only 910,000 of the 36 million senior citizens in Japan have received a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the only one approved for use in the country.

New HKEX CEO takes over

Nicolas Aguzin, the former head of JPMorgan's international private bank, starts his new job as the first foreign CEO of Hong Kong Exchange and Exchanges Clearing on Monday. He succeeds Charles Li, who left last year after a decade at HKEX.

Boom time: Aguzin takes over just as the exchange posted record first quarter profits from a buoyant IPO market and soaring trading volume, reaping the benefits of being a gateway to China. Investors have said they want Aguzin to build on the China connection, while at the same time laying the foundation to boost offshore business.

Aung San Suu Kyi in court

Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi will appear in person for the first time at a special court near her home in Naypyidaw. Although she has appeared virtually several times, her defense lawyers have not been allowed to meet in private with their client despite repeated requests. Suu Kyi faces five criminal charges in Naypyidaw and another in Yangon, including violating Myanmar's official secrets law, accepting bribes and illegally importing walkie-talkies.

WEDNESDAY

Sony management policy briefing

Sony Group will hold its annual corporate strategy meeting on Wednesday with president and chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida set to lay out the conglomerate's mid- to long-term business goals, including financial targets and its outlooks for gaming as well as the image sensor business.

Pinduoduo quarterly results

Chinese e-commerce group Pinduoduo on Wednesday is expected to update investors on its latest strategy to fend off competitors, as it releases quarterly results. Competitors including Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings have vowed to step up investments in the coming years to seize new opportunities in the internet industry.

THURSDAY

Panasonic CEO presser

Panasonic CEO Yuki Kusumi will lay out his business strategy on Thursday, as the Japanese appliance maker transitions to new leadership this year and to a holding company structure in April 2022. As the company prepares a new three-year business plan through 2024, Kusumi's immediate focus is expected to be on completing the tasks left behind by outgoing President Kazuhiro Tsuga, such as moving the company away from its traditional hardware business and divesting low profit-margin divisions.

FRIDAY

JD Logistics HKEX debut

JD Logistics, a unit of Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com, makes its stock market debut after raising $3.16 billion at HK$40.36 a share. The opening for the share offering, which was heavily subscribed, will be keenly watched as a majority of new listings in Hong Kong since March are trading well below the trading price. A strong opening can reinvigorate the market with scores of companies at various stages in their IPO preparations.

HSBC coal financing proposal

HSBC shareholders will vote on the bank's proposal to overhaul its coal sector financing and set targets to reduce its carbon-intensive asset exposure.

What's in the plan? HSBC is proposing to phase out the financing of companies involved in coal-fired power and thermal coal mining in the European Union and OECD countries by 2030, and by 2040 elsewhere. The bank would also set short and medium-term science-based targets to align its financing with the Paris Agreement. The pledge will cover oil, gas, power and utilities in 2021, before being expanded to other sectors next year.

Another sentence for Jimmy Lai

A Hong Kong court will hand down sentences for 10 prominent democracy activists, including media tycoon Jimmy Lai and former lawmakers Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan. All pleaded guilty to participating in an unauthorized protest on Oct. 1, 2019, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The activists each face a maximum penalty of 40 months in prison.

Biden's first budget request

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration on Friday will release its first full budget request to Congress.

What we're watching: The Department of Defense is holding out for $4.68 billion to fund a new plan to counter China in Asia, called the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. A so-called "skinny budget" requested by the White House in March already included $753 billion for national security, $715 billion of which was allocated to the Pentagon.

WEEKEND

Australia-New Zealand prime ministers meet

On Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will arrive in New Zealand for two days of meetings with his Kiwi counterpart, Jacinda Ardern. Last month, after containing COVID infections, the countries opened a quarantine-free travel corridor called the trans-Tasman bubble.

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