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Your Week in Asia

Singapore vaccination target, Krafton IPO and Toshiba earnings

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

National Museum of Singapore is lit up in red and white during the celebration of Singapore's upcoming 56th birthday in Singapore on Aug.9.   © AP

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

Competition in the smartphone industry heats up this week as three leaders -- Samsung, Xiaomi, and Huawei spinoff Honor -- unveil their latest models. Meanwhile, Foxconn -- assembler for number four Apple -- will post earnings and make a play for the fast growing electric vehicle market.

But entering a new industry is fraught with peril, as Foxconn could learn from Rakuten. Its e-commerce and fintech success has been dampened by capital costs for its mobile business.

Rakuten is to post second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, as will Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and Cathay Pacific. Lenovo, Chinese EV maker Nio, and Cathay parent Swire follow on Thursday.

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

MONDAY

Singapore National Day

Singaporeans may rest easy on Monday's holiday knowing that 70% of their population has been fully vaccinated. The benchmark is key to vaccinating 80% of Singaporeans by September, on which reopening borders and the economy hinges. GDP figures on Wednesday are expected to show a 14.3% year-on-year rebound in the April-June quarter.

Border adjustment: Singapore will resume entry approvals for fully vaccinated work pass holders and dependents from high-risk countries on Tuesday, as well as relaxing a ban on dining in restaurants.

TUESDAY

Krafton's new battleground

The South Korean maker of popular mobile video game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, or PUBG, debuts on the Seoul stock exchange Tuesday. Krafton raised 4.3 trillion won ($3.76 billion) in its IPO, the second biggest offering on the benchmark Kospi index.

Overvalued? Krafton's CFO tried to ease concerns about the company's growth potential after South Korean regulators demanded a prospectus correction.

A Philippine rebound?

Second-quarter GDP figures on Tuesday are expected to show the Philippines' first quarterly growth since 2019, a potentially significant moment ahead of May presidential elections. The government is aiming for the economy to grow by 6% to 7% in 2021, following a record 9.6% contraction last year. But the Asian Development Bank has a more conservative estimate of 4.5% annual growth.

SoftBank's losing streak

Despite posting record annual profit in May, SoftBank Group's first quarter earnings will likely be overshadowed by headwinds for its tech portfolio. Shares in ride-hailing company Didi have fallen 40% below the June IPO price since Chinese regulators launched a data privacy crackdown, plunging SoftBank's Vision Fund billions of dollars into the red.

Go deeper: How SoftBank taught the market to love lossmaking startups

WEDNESDAY

Smartphone standoff

Samsung Electronics is expected to cut the prices of luxury models, including the latest foldable Galaxy smartphones to be unveiled on Wednesday.

Competitors are closing in on Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, with Xiaomi recently overtaking its Chinese rival Huawei for second place. On Tuesday, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun will deliver his annual speech at the company's 10th anniversary.

But Huawei hasn't given up the fight despite a stifling U.S. crackdown. Its budget brand, Honor, will launch its new Magic 3 smartphones on Thursday.

THURSDAY

Toshiba turns a leaf

Toshiba CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa will announce earnings from his first quarter of leadership, after being tasked to reconcile shareholders with management hit by past governance scandals.

Background: In June, an independent investigation found that Toshiba colluded with the Japanese government to defeat activist investors at the 2020 annual general meeting. Board chairman Osamu Nagayama was ousted after the scandal.

Opinion: The Toshiba scandal exposed the gaps in Japan's corporate governance reforms.

Li Auto's homecoming listing

Chinese EV maker Li Auto debuts in Hong Kong after its IPO raised $1.5 billion at 118 Hong Kong dollars a share. The Nasdaq-listed company is the latest "homecoming listing" of Chinese companies hedging their bets between Washington and Beijing. Li Auto's performance will be crucial for forthcoming IPOs fearing investor flight in the wake of Beijing's crackdown on tech giants.

Foxconn switches gears

At Foxconn's quarterly earnings call on Thursday, investors will listen for guidance from the iPhone assembler on its next growth engine: electric vehicles. Foxconn recently purchased a chip production plant in Taiwan, a major step toward securing a source of automobile semiconductors.

FRIDAY

CapitaLand results amid restructuring

Half-year results on Friday may show how CapitaLand will chart its future amid a corporate restructuring and portfolio shift. The Singaporean property developer is moving away from housing and commercial real estate to industrial parks, logistics and data centers in China, its largest market. CapitaLand plans to take its property development business private, and reform the newly listed real estate management company in an effort to boost shareholder value.

WEEKEND

Indian farmers protest on Independence Day

Tractors, motorcycles and bullock carts will hit the streets in various parts of the country on Sunday, the 74th anniversary of India's independence from British rule. However, the protesting farmers say there is no plan to enter the capital city of New Delhi, where a tractor rally by them on the country's Republic Day in January had turned violent.

Background: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government says three new agriculture laws will accelerate growth in the sector and attract private investment in supply chains and farm infrastructure. But farmers fear being left to the mercy of private companies, and have demanded repeal.

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