Welcome to Nikkei Asian Preview.
This is set to be an eventful week for the tech industry, with Apple, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics each set to report results and rival Huawei Technologies convening a multiday online conference. The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong will begin showing off its new lineup of Chinese technology stocks with a new index just as Huawei’s event begins.
Later in the week, ChinaJoy, formally the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference, will bring together thousands of gamers and cosplayers in Shanghai in different masks this year even as similar events including the Tokyo Game Show is to be held online in September and the Electronic Entertainment Expo in the U.S. has been canceled over COVID-19 concerns.
Ahead of the show, other companies targeting Asian consumers, including Nissan Motor, Yum China, Prada and Hang Lung Properties, will report their latest financial results, giving insight into how much the coronavirus pandemic is eating into profits.
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Duterte’s state of the nation address
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his fifth and penultimate state of the nation address. The 75-year-old leader will speak at the House of Representatives’ plenary hall to a much smaller audience than usual due to the pandemic
He is expected to spell out his government’s priorities during the last two years of his six-year term, including his plans for economic recovery. Outside the congress, online and street protests have been planned against the recent passage of a contentious anti-terrorism law and the shutdown of ABS-CBN, the country’s largest broadcaster.
Huawei’s Better World Summit
The Chinese telecommunications equipment maker’s three-day online event will focus on how technology can be used in the fight against COVID-19 and to revive business activity. The summit, featuring keynote talks by executives including rotating Chairman Guo Ping, could also shed light on the company’s carrier business development and business outlook.
Meanwhile, a court in Vancouver will open a hearing into what evidence should be made public in proceedings on whether to extradite Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the U.S. to face charges of bank fraud and other allegations.
Hang Seng Tech Index launches
Hong Kong gets a new bench mark that will track Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings and 28 other companies which boast a combined market capitalization of $1.6 trillion, or almost a third of the value of all stocks listed on the Hong Kong market.
The Tech Index starts amid a rush of new primary and secondary listings by Chinese technology companies in the city. The index, created by a unit of Hang Seng Bank, is intended to serve as a basis for the creation of new funds and derivatives and comes just two trading days after the launch of the STAR 50, a new index to track the STAR Market, Shanghai’s showcase for domestically listed tech companies.
AIIB presidential election
It is election day for the leadership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the China-led development institution. Members at the Beijing-based lender’s fifth annual meeting will meet behind closed doors to decide whether to give a second term to Jin Liqun, a former Chinese finance minister who has led the bank since its founding, with the outcome in little doubt as Beijing controls nearly 30% of the institution’s voting rights.
Najib Razak hears court verdict in 1MDB case
The Kuala Lumpur High Court will convene at 10 a.m. local time to deliver a verdict on seven corruption and money laundering charges facing former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in relation to SRC International, a former subsidiary of scandal-ridden state fund 1Malaysia Development.
If found guilty, Najib faces years of imprisonment and millions of ringgit in fines for each offense but the former leader still faces more than 30 other criminal charges.
Nissan Motor results
Investors are watching for progress in Nissan Motor’s efforts to trim costs as the Japanese carmaker seeks to revive pandemic-depressed sales after posting a net loss of 671 billion yen ($6.2 billion) for the year ended March 31. The financially battered automaker is seeking to restore its brand globally with the newly unveiled electric model Ariya, which will go on sale next year.
Indian carmaker Maruti Suzuki, majority owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor, will publish quarterly results the next day. India’s top-selling brand already reported that sales declined 81% in the April-June quarter from a year before, to 76,599 vehicles.
Consumer brands report results
Brands including beer maker Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC, fashion label Prada, and airline ANA Holdings will give a reading on how much Asian consumer demand has returned since the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Budweiser’s update will reveal how much drinkers are buying while many bars and nightclubs remain closed or relatively quiet in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which saw the brewer’s sales drop 42% in the first quarter from a year before. Yum China, the largest fast food operator in the country with KFC and Pizza Hut among its brands, which has seen its revenues fall 24% then, will disclose its updates on Thursday morning.
IMAX China, a unit of the Canadian widescreen cinema operator, which will be releasing its results on Tuesday, has already signaled that it expects to record a net loss of $34 million to $36 million for the six months to June. Japan’s ANA, which has been busily raising new capital, has said its domestic operations will operate at 88% of normal capacity in August, almost double that in July, but only 10% of international services will take to the skies.
Hong Kong Q2 GDP
Hong Kong is set to extend its recession as the city grapples with the effects of a China-imposed security law on top of the pandemic’s deep impact on its tourism, logistics and retail sectors. In the January-March quarter, output plunged 8.9% from a year before but economists from the University of Hong Kong forecast that the decline narrowed to 6.4% in the latest period.
Nomura financial update
The Japanese investment bank’s quarterly results are expected to show how wealth managers are struggling to sell financial products through telephone and video-based conversations rather than face-to-face consultation. Investment banking activity remains lackluster amid heightened uncertainty about the global economy.
Samsung and Apple report results
“Frenemies” Samsung Electronics and Apple will each report April-June financial results to investors, giving a window into the intense rivalry in the smartphone market between the two companies which are also linked by a supplier/customer relationship for components.
Apple is rushing suppliers to resolve production hurdles for its new 5G iPhone models while Samsung is counting on higher sales of server chips amid the increase in people working from home. Smaller rival LG Electronics will also give a quarterly update.
Singapore Exchange update
Singapore’s securities market, which will report results for the fiscal year ended June 30, has seen higher trading volumes due to pandemic-driven volatility, with total turnover rising 74% in June from a year before. Yet the exchange is also scurrying to fill an emerging hole in its derivatives business after losing its license for most MSCI index-related products to rival Hong Kong.
Hitachi presents accounts
The Japanese industrial conglomerate is hoping that strong demand for factory automation and remote operation systems as well as other high-tech solutions can cover weakness in its industrial businesses due to the pandemic, which has shuttered railway and elevator plants in Europe and China and slowed demand for production equipment from automakers, as it presents its April-June results.
Hong Kong developers report
Two of Hong Kong’s largest property developers, Hang Lung Properties and Wharf Real Estate Investment Co., will report results showing how much the pandemic is affecting their shopping malls and office buildings. Both have warned that they are expecting to record a net loss for the first six months of the year.
While dozens of trade shows have been canceled around the region so far this year, the exhibition business has been reviving in China and will get a boost from this four-day annual gaming and entertainment exhibition in Shanghai.
Required masks may jar with cosplay outfits but the organizers are insisting on tight controls to reduce COVID-19 risks. Digital entertainment, already a multibillion-dollar industry in China, has gained momentum with millions stuck at home during the pandemic.
Taiwan Q2 GDP
After managing to sustain economic growth in the first quarter, Tawan’s output likely contracted by 0.5% in the April-June period, according to a consensus of economists surveyed by FactSet. Societe General economists expect activity to move up once again in the current quarter.
Government officials will provide a new annual forecast while reporting the latest figures. They last projected in April that the island’s economy would expand 1.7% for the full year. Efforts to boost consumption are seen as potentially boosting output further.