Singapore Budget, Unstable Stablecoins: Sunday Asia Briefing

(Bloomberg) — With China out for the weeklong lunar new year holiday, attention turns to corporate earnings in Japan and Australia and to Indonesia’s election, with Singapore’s budget wrapping up the week on Friday. Here’s what to expect.

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The big data. Quarterly GDP numbers could help the Bank of Japan decide whether to hike rates for the first time in 17 years, while the Philippines is debating whether to go the other way. India’s inflation may ease and Australian employment may bounce back a bit after December’s drop.

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The big link. The Fed is getting more worried that stablecoins could become a ticking bomb for the broader financial system.

The big result. Despite being jailed and having his party barred from the election, Imran Khan still had a strong influence on Pakistan’s election, with candidates running as independents winning the most seats. That means potentially weeks of political bargaining by rival parties to form a government.

The big vote. Coming up next, Indonesia holds its the first three-way ballot in 15 years to choose the successor to President Jokowi Widodo, a ballot that will be watched closely by the nation’s wealthy elite. 

The big budget. On Friday, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong is due to deliver this year’s budget statement. Meanwhile, local authorities are poised to allow lender DBS to sell some of the luxury properties seized in the nation’s $2.2 billion money laundering probe.

The big pickle. Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka explains why she’s investing in women’s soccer and pickleball.

The big earnings. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Wesfarmers and Telstra report this week, offering a broad snapshot of how Australian companies are faring in an environment of high interest rates. In Japan, Sony, which is reported to be spending $600 million for rights to Michael Jackson’s music catalog, may explain what it plans to do in India after calling off a $10 billion deal with Zee Entertainment. 

The big upgrade. In the US, with earnings season around two-thirds done, a slew of better-than-expected results is persuading Wall Street to raise profit forecasts for the year. 

And finally, record bets, Taylor Swift, $7 million ads and private equity money are just some of the elements for Superbowl LVIII tonight, which is hosted by Las Vegas for the first time.

Have a dragonian week.

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