NPC begins with work report
China's parliament, the National People's Congress, begins its deliberations. The opening day of the meeting commences with the final work report delivered by outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao, one of his last official duties before handing the reins to Li Keqiang. The work report is a review of government activities over the previous year and a look at what the nation can look forward to in the coming year. Wen is also expected to comment on his 10 years in office.
StanChart reveals annual figures
Standard Chartered posts its annual results for the year, offering a further indication of the state of the banking industry in Hong Kong and beyond. The bank reported in December that profit last year, excluding one-off items, was expected to grow at a rate in the high single digits from 2011. Profit before tax was expected to grow at a rate in the mid-single digits, taking into account US$667 million the bank had to pay in the United States to settle money laundering charges.
Balloon crash families return home
The families of the victims of the Luxor balloon tragedy come home after identifying the bodies of the nine Hong Kong tourists who died in the tragedy. Ten family members, accompanied by a group of government officials, flew to Egypt soon after last Wednesday's accident, which claimed the lives of 19 tourists in the historic city on the banks of the River Nile.
EU ministers discuss bank bonus curbs
European Union ministers meet to discuss a potential cap on bank bonuses. A provisional agreement was sealed last month between EU national representatives and the bloc's parliament on what would be the world's strictest pay curbs, in a move that politicians hope would address public anger at financial-sector greed. The backing of a majority of EU states is needed for the deal to be finalised. Switzerland, which is not an EU member, voted in a referendum on Sunday to curb corporate pay.
Top court hears asylum case
The Court of Final Appeal begins hearings in a case that could force changes to the way the Hong Kong government handles asylum cases. At the moment, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Hong Kong is independently responsible for screening asylum seekers applying for refugee status. But the case, brought by an anonymous asylum claimant, could force the government to carry out the screening itself.
Russia marks 60 years since Stalin's death
Russia marks the 60th anniversary of Josef Stalin's death amid reports that the late Soviet leader's popularity is rising. In a survey commissioned by the Carnegie Endowment think tank, some 45 per cent of people in his homeland, Georgia, had a positive view of him. The despot also scored high marks in Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.