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Asian markets mostly edged higher on Thursday in the morning. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell below 9600 points level for the first time in about four months. Nikkei eased its early gains after a real estate company Tokyo Tatemono said it will issue new shares to raise up to 45.64 billion yen. The Korean market was up on Thursday led by gains in key technology companies.

Singapore market rose on the economy growth data from Singapore government. The nation's economy grew 14.2 percent on an annualised and seasonally adjusted basis in the third quarter 2009, a slight downward revision from preliminary data in October. The economy returned to growth after three quarters of annual contraction.

Company News

Japan's Asahi Breweries Ltd. (TYO:2502) and China's Tsingtao Brewery Co. (SHA:600600)(HKG:0168) have agreed to forge closer ties to tap demand and stay competitive in China's high-growth beer market. The two companies would purchase barley and hops together in order to negotiate lower prices, and would use their respective facilities inside China to brew each other's beers. They also said the companies would consider ways of working together to strengthen sales.

Chinese online game operator Inc.'s (NASDAQ:NTES) third-quarter earnings climbed 26% on strong growth of 'Fantasy Westward Journey' among other online games. But Licensing fees and higher marketing costs could weigh on the company. China's ministry of culture on Wednesday said it would require online game operators to actively screen content for violent and obscene elements and improve their product offerings.'s operation of online game World of Warcraft (WoW) could be weighed by the latest regulation.

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. (TYO:4188) has reached a final agreement to acquire Mitsubishi Rayon Co (TYO:3404). Mitsubishi Chemical plans to launch a tender offer for Mitsubishi Rayon shares by the end of March 2010, aiming to take full control of the company with expected total costs of about 200 billion yen.

LG Chem Ltd.(SEO:051910), a leading Korean maker of electric vehicle batteries, plans to start construction of a factory in Michigan, the United States, in July next year. A combined US$300 million will be spent to build the plant, which will start commercial production of batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles in 2012.

Japan's JFE Steel Corp, a unit of JFE Holdings (TYO:5411), is close to buying a minority stake in India's third-largest steelmaker, JSW Steel Ltd (BOM:500228), said Indian newspapers. JFE could supply technology to help the Indian firm make auto-grade steel.


Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
Tel: +61-2-9247-4344

Related Companies

Tsingtao Brewery Company Limited, Inc.

Mitsubishi Rayon Co Ltd.

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

LG Chem Ltd.

JSW Steel Limited

JFE Holdings

Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.

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