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Your Week in Asia

IOC chief in Tokyo, APEC Summit, US-Taiwan ministers

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

IOC President Thomas Bach is scheduled to visit Tokyo to see how preparations for the delayed Olympic games are progressing.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

Summitry will reach its peak this week, as leaders from the member countries of BRICS and APEC hold their annual meetings virtually. Saudi Arabia will host its final major G-20 meeting Saturday through Sunday.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will receive two high-profile guests, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Olympic chief Thomas Bach. Meanwhile, Taiwanese officials will fly to DC for perhaps a final powwow with Trump administration counterparts.

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


Thailand releases third-quarter GDP

Thailand, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, contracted 12.2% year on year in the second quarter, its sharpest plunge in 22 years. Tourism remained soft in the three months ending September, but exports are picking up. Monday's figures will show whether economic-planning agency head Danucha Pichayanan was correct in forecasting that the second quarter would be Thailand's low.

Earnings from Korean game developer NCSoft

NCSoft will post third-quarter earnings on Monday, with analysts forecasting a jump in profits thanks to the stay-at-home market. The company recently launched Fuser, its first game for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, which released PlayStation 5 last week.

Console wars: Read our profiles on the CEOs of Nintendo and Sony as they plot future strategies amid the COVID wave.

Macao city head's policy address

Money is usually no worry for Macao, but as Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng delivers his annual policy address on Monday, the city continues to draw down fiscal reserves as the pandemic sinks its main revenue: gambling taxes.

Relaxed border controls with mainland China has seen an uptick in tourists in recent weeks, relieving pressure on Ho, who is expected to outline measures to promote economic diversification.

Games on: IOC chief visits Tokyo

Thomas Bach and his team of top International Olympic Committee officials arrived Tokyo to check on preparations for Tokyo's delayed Summer Games. He will stay through Wednesday for a marathon meeting with organizers and view the Olympic Village and stadium.

Who's who? The marquee event on Monday will be Bach bestowing Olympic honors on former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who played a critical role in bringing the games to Japan. Bach will also meet with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, and hold a media conference with Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori.

Why it matters: The Tokyo games seemed doomed until this month, when Olympic organizers began testing COVID-19 measures at local sports events and hosted a successful gymnastics trial with foreign athletes. News of a Pfizer vaccine with 90% efficacy has also fueled optimism.

Look back: In July, our big story delved into the postponement's impact on corporate sponsors.


Australian and Japanese PMs meet in Tokyo

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be the first head of state to meet his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga when he arrives in Tokyo on Tuesday. On the table is a defense pact that would facilitate administrative and legal procedures for joint exercises between Japan and Australia -- both members of the Quad alliance with India and the U.S.

Oppo showcases new products

Oppo, China's No. 2 smartphone maker, will showcase augmented reality eyewear, future smartphone concepts and other tech offerings in Shenzhen on Tuesday, with CEO Tony Chen scheduled for a keynote. Like Xiaomi, Oppo has been aggressively expanding its presence while its biggest domestic rival Huawei Technologies faces headwinds in the international market due to Washington's crackdown.

Hong Kong iBonds listing

Hong Kong's latest offering of inflation-linked bonds make their debut on Tuesday after drawing $4.95 billion in bids from almost 460,000 applicants, who were enticed by the guaranteed return of at least 2%. Hong Kong, which last offered the debt vehicle in 2016, will issue bonds worth 15 billion Hong Kong dollars to the investors.

BRICS leaders' video summit

Russia will host the 12th annual BRICS leaders' summit to discuss the impact of COVID on member states. Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend, along with counterparts from Brazil, India and South Africa. This year, the BRICS New Development Bank has extended $1 billion in loans to each member except Russia.

Results from EV maker Nio

Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio, which recently joined Tesla in surpassing General Motors' market value, will report third-quarter results on Tuesday. Nio's New York-listed shares almost doubled in price over the past month thanks to strong October deliveries as well as growing investor confidence in clean energy vehicles.

Sunac and Jinke IPO

Jinke Smart Services Group, a Chinese property manager spun off from Shenzhen-listed Jinke Property Group, becomes the first mainland property service to trade in Hong Kong, starting Nov. 17. The company raised $767 million after pricing its IPO at HK$44.70, the midpoint of the offered range.

Sunac Services Holdings, a unit of Sunac China, begins trading on Nov. 19. The company raised $1 billion after pricing its IPO at the midpoint of the HK$10.55 to HK$12.65 indicative range.Evergrande Property Services, a unit of China Evergrande Group, has received approval to go public, targeting $2 billion in fresh funding later this month.


Pressure on Bank of Thailand governor

Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput will participate in his first monetary policy committee meeting since taking office in October. Sethaput will have to steer the economy out of a pandemic-induced slump with limited wiggle room. The Bank of Thailand has lowered its policy rate three times this year, with the rate now sitting at 0.50%.

Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, who also assumed his post last month, called out the new governor to "manage" a rally in Thai baht to support exports. Sethaput will have to walk a tightrope, offering to cooperate while remaining independent.


Guangzhou and Macao start their engines

The Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition kicks off in the southern Chinese city following a similar event in Beijing two months ago, reflecting the importance of the auto sector to the economy. Read our Business Spotlight on why China's domestic auto producers are struggling to compete with foreign brands.

Also on Friday, Macao will start its drastically scaled-back Grand Prix. Motorcycle and Formula Three events have been canceled due to foreign racers refusing to undergo a two-week quarantine. But other races in the city center will be held, including a new Formula Four event, with most drivers from mainland China, Macao and Hong Kong.

US-Taiwan ministerial dialogue

After Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential election, the Trump administration wants to show Taiwan it cares, as economic ministers meet in Washington on Friday. Taiwan is hoping the dialogue will pave the way for a trade agreement in the near term.

Opinion: The Biden administration may force China to more strongly challenge U.S. opposition to its actions in the Taiwan Strait and other contested waters than under Trump.


Singapore-Hong Kong travel corridor opens

As the Christmas and New Year holiday season nears, Singapore and Hong Kong will launch an "air travel bubble" scheme that enables no-quarantine leisure travel, with the first flights scheduled for Sunday.

There will be one flight a day in each direction, with a limit of 200 passengers per flight. That number is still small given that Singapore had 489,000 visitor arrivals from Hong Kong in 2019, while Hong Kong received 453,000 from Singapore, but the two cities hope it will help speed up the recovery of their economies.

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