Welcome to Your Week in Asia.
Asia's COVID-19 cases are surging again, China is due to release inflation data and South Korea will unveil its latest monetary policy. All will help shed light on the economic state of the region during this uncertain time. The world's largest semiconductor foundry, TSMC, will also hold an earnings call, which is expected to give a new snapshot of the global chip crunch.
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Evergrande RMB bondholders' meeting concludes
Hengda Real Estate Group, a unit of China's debt-ridden Evergrande Group property company, is closing a four-day online meeting for holders of a three-year onshore yuan-dominated bond issued in Jan 2020. Bondholders will vote on whether to allow the company to push back the date when put options becomes exercisable. They will also decide whether to delay the next interest payment from Monday to six months later, on July 8.
JPX announces companies to be listed on prime market
Japan Exchange Group (JPX) is due to announce companies to be listed on the Prime Market as it reorganizes the current four markets into three: Prime, Standard, and Growth. The new markets will make their debut on April 4.
To be listed on the prime market, companies must meet stricter rules for liquidity: market capitalization in tradable shares of at least 10 billion yen ($90 million), with a tradable share ratio of 35% or more. About 1,800 to 1,900 companies -- equal to 90% of the businesses currently listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange -- are expected to be quoted on the prime market.
CNOOC, one of China's three major state-owned oil conglomerates, is scheduled to announce its business strategy for the year. The event could be an opportunity to hear from the management on the status of the company's "homecoming-listing" in Shanghai, after being ejected from the New York market last fall. The U.S. deems the company to be part of the Chinese military-industrial complex.
Hong Kong discusses copyright bill
The Hong Kong government holds an online consultation with the public on amendments to copyright legislation. The contentious bill was shelved in 2016 after opposition politicians and internet users criticized the potential implications it would have for free speech. The current proposals are similar to the previous bill. They allow the use of protected content for the creation of parody, satire and comment on current events.
The government is seeking public views on whether a judicial site-blocking mechanism is needed, and whether there should be rules to govern devices used to access unauthorized internet content. Critics say the bill should allow open-ended exemptions for user-generated content.
China inflation data
Economists forecast that China's producer price index eased in December, due to a fall in the prices of major commodities. That would continue a downward trend begun in November after the index surged to a record high in October.
Company earnings: Infosys, Wipro, TCS
TSMC earnings call
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chipmaker, hosts an earnings call for the October to December quarter. TSMC chips go into all kinds of electronics, including consumer devices, home appliances, cars and space tech. That all makes the Taiwanese chipmaker a key barometer of tech industry fortunes. TSMC is expected to provide its latest view on the ongoing global semiconductor supply crunch.
Guangzhou R&F bond due
Investors in a $725 million offshore bond issued by Guangzhou R&F Properties, a midsize Chinese developer, will learn how -- and indeed whether -- their money will be redeemed. The company has proposed to either pay back the principal with a 17% discount, or pay 50% upfront but extend the maturity for the remaining funds until July. However, R&F has recently indicated that its cash reserve may not be enough to fund either proposal.
Company earnings: Fast Retailing, Largan
Another rate hike for South Korea?
The Bank of Korea is expected to raise its key interest rate to 1.25% from 1%, following a quarter percentage point hike in November. The likely move reflects rising inflationary pressures. Economists say that macro data supports the central bank's imminent action. The COVID-19 situation is stabilizing, but political uncertainly is likely to rise sharply in February in the run-up to the presidential election on March 9.
Rare earth company lists in Hong Kong
JL Mag Rare-Earth, a Jiangxi-based magnet maker, lists its shares in Hong Kong. The price will be in the range of HK$33.8 and HK$40.3. That represents a discount of 18~32% from the Friday closing price of 40.06 yuan in Shenzhen, where it has been listed since September 2018. Even though the Hong Kong listing is not seen as large by the territory's standards, JL Mag Rare-Earth is attracting interest because its products are used for increasingly in-demand products, including electric vehicles, wind power generators, and energy-saving air conditioners.
Renewable energy assembly
The International Renewable Energy Agency holds its 12th assembly in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Titled "Energy Transition: From Commitments to Action," the two-day event will bring together stakeholders from the public and private sectors to further discussions on the energy transition held at November's COP26 international climate conference.