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Your Week in Asia

Malaysia parliament convenes, Japan approves draft budget, Nio Day

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

The Malaysian parliament opens for the first time after last month's general elections that created a new government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's new prime minister, will convene a parliamentary session on Monday, prepared to face a vote of confidence.

The Japanese government is due to unveil a draft budget of more than 100 trillion yen for the fiscal year starting in April that will likely be the largest ever as the country battles high inflation and tries to upgrade its defense capabilities.

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Malaysia parliament convenes under Anwar

The Malaysian parliament opens for the first time after last month's general elections created a new government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. In addition to an election for speaker of the House of Representatives, there will be a vote of confidence for the new prime minister, which is expected to be passed.


Macao handover anniversary

Tuesday marks the 23rd anniversary since Portugal returned the gambling enclave of Macao to China. Celebrations will likely be muted as the city battles rising coronavirus cases. Macao, which had closely followed the Chinese government's zero-COVID policy, has been hit by a surge in infections since Beijing decided to pivot away from its harsh restrictions and move toward living with the virus.

The city on December 16 scrapped mandated hotel quarantines for arrivals. The government hopes that the easing leads to an economy-boosting rebound in tourism and gambling. Observers, however, say gambling tax revenue is unlikely to return to where it was before the pandemic because of legal changes.

Monetary policy announcement: Japan

The Bank of Japan is expected to maintain its ultraloose monetary stance during a policy meeting on Monday and Tuesday despite the U.S. Fed and European Central Bank this month raising rates by 50 basis points. An economic recovery is underway on the back of a rebound in inbound tourism, but the BOJ is likely to focus on recession risks in the U.S. and Europe in maintaining its accommodative stance.


Japan's November tourism numbers

The Japan National Tourism Organization will publish an estimate of visitor arrivals for November. The country fully reopened on Oct. 11, welcoming 498,600 visitors from abroad that month, compared to 206,500 in September. The focus will be on whether, and possibly to what extent, the country is maintaining the upward trend.


Monetary policy announcement: Indonesia


Japan decides on draft budget

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's cabinet is expected to approve a draft budget for fiscal 2023 of over 100 trillion yen, likely to be the largest ever. Japan aims to boost the country's defense budget to about 43 trillion yen ($318 billion) from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2027, an increase of over 50% from its current five-year spending plan.

Japan releases November CPI

Japanese consumer inflation is expected to post a fresh 40-year high in November, with core consumer inflation expected to come in at 3.7%. It was 3.6% in October. Price increases are spreading from energy and food to construction and dining, but the government aims to counter the uptrend with a major energy subsidy program in January.


Nio Day 2022

Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio is expected to hold Nio Day, its annual new model and technologies launching event, in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei. The premium automaker's 300,000th car rolled off an assembly line this month. Once on the brink of bankruptcy, Nio has vowed to launch five new models in the first half of 2023 to capture growing demand for EVs.

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