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Sydney, Jan 28, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Seoul shares rose on Wednesday after a holiday weekend, led by chip makers after German rival Qimonda filed for insolvency. The market is also lifted by overnight gains on Wall Street and big gains in Tokyo shares Tuesday.

Japanese stocks gained nearly 5% yesterday as exporters benefited from a weakened yen. Markets that remained closed for the Lunar New Year included Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan.

Asia Economy Watch

Two leading Senate critics of China's currency policy said they would give President Barack Obama time to persuade Beijing to move faster to a market-based exchange rate before pushing for legislation. The U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's comment that China was "manipulating" its currency has raised expectation the Obama governement would formally label China a currency manipulator in a Treasury Department report in April.

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday disappointed the market by keeping benchmark interest rates unchanged in the quarterly monetary policy. RBI also trimmed its economic-growth forecast for the current fiscal year.

Korea's latest economic indicators are plummeting faster than they did during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. Korea's output, exports and consumption was put into a downward spiral in November, and sapped jobs in December, according to data from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the National Statistical Office and the Bank of Korea.

Company News

Yahoo Japan Corp. (TYO:4689) said Tuesday that group net profit rose 11% to 19.1 billion yen in the October-December quarter thanks to robust advertising sales.

Canon Inc. (TYO:7751) is expected its operating profit tumble about 60% to around 200 billion yen in the year ending Dec. 31 as a strong yen and sluggish sales in the U.S. and Europe take a toll on its earnings.

It is believed that Nippon Yusen KK (NYK)(TYO:9101), Japan's biggest ocean shipping company, is looking to expand in Malaysia through mergers and acquisitions.

Norway's largest telcom operator Telenor ASA (OSL:TEL) said it has scrapped its proposed 12 billion-Krone (USD 1.8 billion) rights offer to fund its acquisition of 60 per cent stake in India's Unitech Wireless and will now buy into the telco with cash and debt.

China's home appliance maker, Haier (SHA:600690) saw its net profit up 20.6 per cent last year thanks to the central government's initiative to subsidize purchases by rural residents.

KT Freetel Ltd. (SEO:032390), South Korea's second-largest wireless operator by revenue, Wednesday said its fourth-quarter net profit rose 92% from a year earlier, largely because of a reduction in marketing costs and increased subscribers.


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

Related Companies

Yahoo Japan Corporation       
Qingdao Haier Co., Ltd.       
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha       
KT Freetel Co., Ltd       
Canon Inc        

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