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Your Week in Asia

China GDP, South Korea's first rocket and potential Evergrande default

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

All eyes are on Evergrande, whose balancing act on the edge of a default precipice is expected to become more difficult next weekend.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

The week opens with several key data releases from China that will shed light on the condition of the world's second-largest economy. Quite a few companies in the country are struggling through financial woes. Property developer Evergrande Group faces a debt default deadline on Saturday. Earlier in the week, debt-laden HNA Group will meet creditors to seek approval for a restructuring plan that would divide the group into four independent entities.

Get the best out of our coverage on these events and much more by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.


Chinese economic data

China's third-quarter GDP announcement will provide a clearer view of the economy's direction heading into 2022. Earlier data releases showed a growth slowdown on the back of weaker manufacturing activities and disruptions caused by power shortages. This also comes amid rising concerns over the impact of Evergrande's debt crisis on the country's property and financial markets, and a decline in exports due to the recovery in other major economies from COVID-19 lockdowns.

Foxconn showcases EVs

Key iPhone assembler Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics maker, will host its annual Hon Hai Tech Day in Taipei. The Taiwanese company has been stepping up efforts to catch booming electric vehicle business opportunities since chairman Young Liu took the baton from founder Terry Gou in mid-2019. Foxconn will showcase three EV prototypes during the day, and Gou is scheduled to drive one of the EVs to the venue to kick off the event.

Sinic $246m bond due

Shanghai-based developer Sinic Holdings is set to miss a $246 million bond repayment. The company joins a growing list of Chinese developers, including Evergrande, that are not meeting bond maturities or coupon payments. The companies have been hit by Beijing's regulatory clampdown on additional borrowing, years of debts building up and falling sales.

Background: In a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing last week, Sinic said it doesn't expect to repay the bond, a move that could trigger cross-default on its two other notes. It has $694 million in dollar bonds outstanding.


More regulations on Chinese tech giant?

The standing committee of China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, will meet for five days to review new bills and amendments to existing laws. Discussions on the Anti-Monopoly Law will be aimed at casting wider control over unilateral practices that include those by internet-related businesses. Meituan last week became the latest Chinese technology giant to be fined for monopolistic behavior.

China Overseas Land results

State-controlled China Overseas Land and Investment reports third-quarter earnings. The company's results come amid a slump in demand and fears over the broader financial health of the leveraged Chinese real estate sector.

Background: Contracted sales by the country's top 100 real estate companies plummeted 36% in September from a year earlier, according to China Real Estate Information Corp. Sales at China Overseas Land plunged 42% last month. In recent months, however, the company has been among the most active bidders for land in China as other companies withdrew. Developers applied for only 16 of 43 residential sites in the second batch of centralized land bidding in Beijing earlier this month.

Singapore reopens to U.S., U.K. travelers

Singapore will allow fully vaccinated people traveling from eight additional countries -- Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. -- to enter the city-state without having to quarantine upon arrival, a major step for its economic reopening. Since Singapore is home to regional headquarters of many multinationals, the easing will facilitate more business travel among those corporations' executives and in turn provide a lifeline to the ailing aviation industry.


China's property sales data

China releases September's housing index, which measures home prices in 70 major cities. It will be the latest gauge of demand for new and secondhand properties, which has weakened in recent months following government policy measures to stabilize prices.

Restructuring votes by HNA creditors

China's debt-laden HNA Group and its subsidiaries will hold meetings with creditors to seek approval for a restructuring plan. The decision was postponed from the end of September to provide creditors more time to consider claims they have acknowledged add up to $170 billion.

Background: Bankrupt HNA's chairman and CEO taken away by Chinese police


South Korea launches first homegrown rocket

South Korea launches Nuri, its first space rocket, from the Naro Space Center in Goheung. If all goes smoothly, South Korea will become the 10th nation to send a satellite into space with its own technology.

Huarong shareholder vote on bond plan

Embattled China Huarong Asset Management, which received investment from state-backed companies earlier this year, will hold its annual shareholders meeting. It will seek approval to issue bonds, transfer its stake in its securities unit to "external parties" and issue additional shares. The distressed asset manager, which revealed a $15.9 billion loss for 2020, has said it will discuss issuing bonds worth as much as 70 billion yuan ($10.9 billion) at the meeting.


Q3 results of Chinese SOEs

A number of major Chinese listed state-owned enterprises from various sectors are scheduled to release third quarter results.

For China Telecom, this will be the first earnings announcement since its lackluster Shanghai A-share listing on Aug. 20. The results of China Shenhua Energy, the country's largest coal miner, will help measure the scope of the ongoing energy crunch. The miner is expected to be one of the major beneficiaries.

Sinopharm Group, manufacturer of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, and Kweichow Moutai, brewer of sorghum-based hard liquor and the most valuable company listed on the mainland, are expected to announce their Q3 results as well.


Evergrande grace period expires

Evergrande, which has missed three dollar-bond interest payments worth $277 million since Sept. 23, is staring at a default deadline as a 30-day grace period to make a first-round payment expires. The company has a further $543 million in coupon payments due this year and $7.7 billion in dollar bond maturities next year. It is fast running out of cash and is counting on asset sales and attracting new investors to ease its crisis.

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