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Your Week in Asia

Sinovac review, Nintendo results, Taiwan cybersecurity

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

A man receives the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine in Thailand. The Chinese-made shot is up for review by the World Health Organization this week.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

Japan's COVID-19-restrained Golden Week holidays go through Wednesday, but Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will begin the week in London for the first in-person Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting in two years.

After the holidays, three Japanese companies whose fortunes diverged in 2020 will post their annual earnings. Australia's central bank meets on Tuesday, followed by Thailand's on Wednesday and Malaysia's on Thursday.

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

MONDAY

G-7 foreign ministers meet

For the first time since 2019, foreign ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. will meet in person. The three-day meeting in London will cover equitable vaccine access, global education targets for girls, climate finance and food insecurity.

ADB annual meeting

The Asian Development Bank will hold its 54th annual board of governors meeting from Monday to Wednesday. Finance ministers from ADB member economies will gather virtually with high-profile development experts to discuss emerging Asia's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which the bank expects to be uneven.

WHO starts Sinovac review

China's Sinovac vaccine is up next for review at the World Health Organization, which last week began assessing another Chinese vaccine, from Sinopharm, for an emergency-use listing. The WHO has approved only three vaccines -- from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson -- for endorsement to national regulatory agencies.

South Korea short-selling ban ends

South Korea's 14-month ban on short-selling ends on Monday, allowing investors to bet that stocks will fall in the Kospi 200 and Kosdaq 150 indexes. Retail investors protested against shorting, saying the practice hurts their interests, but regulators decided to allow reintroduce the practice due to concerns over bubbles and waning foreign investment.

TUESDAY

Taipei cybersecurity conference

Taiwan will host the annual Cybersec 2021 expo on Tuesday, with speeches from President Tsai Ing-wen and a representative of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy.

Hot topic: The rising number of cyberattacks on Taiwanese suppliers for Apple, HP and Dell.

Background: Taiwan probes alleged cyberattack on top Apple supplier

WEDNESDAY

Thailand rates decision

The Bank of Thailand will hold a monetary policy meeting on Wednesday amid a third COVID-19 wave. The government's renewed restrictions to fight the virus have hit the economy, causing the central bank to downgrade its 2021 growth forecast to 3% from 3.2%. A further downward revision may be in store, but many analysts expect the policy rate to stay at an already record-low 0.5%, citing the stable baht and limited maneuvering room.

Former Hong Kong chief justice talks judiciary

Geoffrey Ma, the former chief justice of Hong Kong, will discuss the city's judiciary under the sweeping national security law at a legal conference Wednesday. Many legal experts deem the law a threat to Hong Kong's independent common law system, a legacy of British colonial rule, as Beijing exerts more power over courts and the interpretation of laws.

THURSDAY

Nintendo annual results

Nintendo will report earnings for the year through March, when pandemic-fueled demand for the Switch console boosted sales and profits. The gaming giant will also reveal its forecast for the year through March 2022 with analysts paying attention to whether Nintendo will come out with a strong sales target for its console.

FRIDAY

Japan Airlines annual results

Japan Airlines will also post full-year results on Friday. The carrier has suffered a steep decline in passengers from early last year and expects to see a consolidated net loss of 287 billion yen ($2.6 billion) for the year ended March, slightly less than the previous forecast of 300 billion yen.

Nippon Steel annual results

On the same day, Nippon Steel will announce results for the fiscal year ended March. The company in February projected its full-year sales at 4.8 trillion yen, down 18% from a year earlier, after halting operations at five blast furnaces last year. Steel production in Japan dropped 16% to 83 million tons in the 12 months through March, the lowest production volume in 50 years.

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