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Your Week in Asia

Japan PM in Southeast Asia and Europe, Australia rates, Hong Kong election

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

Security hard-liner John Lee is the only candidate to be Hong Kong's next chief executive.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

Japan and China are on holiday for much of the week, but Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will be continuing his trip to Southeast Asia and Europe. His Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, is also going to Europe to meet multiple leaders. The Russia-Ukraine war is expected to be a major topic at all of the meetings.

On Sunday, Hong Kong will hold its chief executive election, in which only one candidate has been nominated.

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

MONDAY

Kishida on trip to Southeast Asia and Europe

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is on a weeklong trip to Southeast Asia and Europe that started on April 29. After stops in Indonesia and Vietnam, Kishida is scheduled to meet his Thai counterpart, Prayuth Chan-ocha, in Bangkok. Later in the week, Kishida will visit Italy and the U.K. The Ukraine war and other global and regional matters will be key discussion topics.

Modi meets European leaders

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicks off his three-day official tour of Europe. He is due to visit Germany, Denmark and France. The trip comes against a backdrop of Western pressure for New Delhi to take a tougher stand against Moscow over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia is a longtime defense and strategic partner of India.

In Berlin, Modi will hold talks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz; he will also co-chair the sixth edition of the India-Germany intergovernmental consultations. Thereafter, Modi will travel to Copenhagen at the invitation of counterpart Mette Frederiksen and participate in the second India-Nordic summit being hosted by Denmark. The meeting will also be attended by the prime ministers of Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. "The summit will focus on subjects like post-pandemic economic recovery, climate change, innovation and technology, renewable energy, the evolving global security scenario and India-Nordic cooperation in the Arctic region," according to an Indian government statement. On his way back home, Modi will have a brief stopover in Paris, where he will meet French President Emmanuel Macron.

TUESDAY

IPI takes last roll of the dice on its Saipan casino license

Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings will fight to hold on to its monopoly license to offer casino gaming on the U.S. Pacific island of Saipan. Regulators have called a hearing to revoke the permit due to the company's failure to pay more than $25 million due for licensing and other fees. IPI's sole casino has been closed since March 2020 due to COVID, which the company argues should allow it to postpone most of its obligations to the government under the terms of its license.

Hong Kong announces Q1 GDP

Monetary policy announcements: Australia

WEDNESDAY

JD.com decides on 'special dividend'

JD.com may announce a special cash dividend. Citi analyst Alicia Yap thinks such a move would show JD.com is "confident in its business prospects and cash flow generation ability," and that it would likely suggest the company's "management and board are evaluating different ways to return value to shareholders, especially given the current uncertain macro environment." Richard Liu, the online retailer's founder, in early April handed over the CEO role to President Xu Lei.

Indian state insurer IPO set to open

The initial public offering of Life Insurance Corp., India's largest insurer, will be open until May 9 at a range of 902 rupees to 949 rupees ($11.79 to $12.40) per share. Listing is set for May 17. The Indian government has slashed the IPO's target by two-thirds to ensure that the country's largest-ever listing sails through. It faces headwinds such as the slowing global economy and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Company earnings: Kakao

THURSDAY

ADB annual meeting

The Asian Development Bank holds the first stage of its annual meeting virtually, with governors set to discuss the multilateral lender's finances. The second stage, an in-person meeting in September, will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which is currently embroiled in an economic crisis.

FRIDAY

Company earnings: Japan Airlines

WEEKEND

Hong Kong chief executive election

A new chief executive to lead Hong Kong will be picked by a group of nearly 1,500 members of an Election Committee on Sunday. Security hard-liner John Lee is the only candidate and will very likely be chosen after he was nominated to stand by more than half of the election committee members last month. Lee, in his election manifesto, said he looked forward to "leading Hong Kong into a new chapter." On Friday, he said he aimed to stem the Chinese territory's housing shortage by setting up two task forces aimed at reducing the waiting time to one year and making land available.

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