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Sydney, Jan 29, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Asian markets are likely to post solid gains on Thursday, as U.S. stocks rallied on optimism over a fresh rescue package to help banks to remove toxic assets. The Nikkei stock average rose 1.2 percent on Thursday, buoyed by exporters such as Advantest Corp on a softer yen and after optimism about the U.S. government's rescue plan boosted Wall Street.

Asia shares ended mostly higher Wednesday, with indexes in Tokyo, South Korea and Singapore posting gains. China, Hong Kong and Taiwan still shut for the Chinese New Year.

Asia Economy Watch

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday set an ambitious 2009 growth target at 8% to maintain China's social stability. The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday predicted China's economy would grow by 6.7% in 2009, well below its average of recent years.

Japan's Finance Ministry cut its assessment on the country's economy for the fourth-straight quarter in its October-December report issued Wednesday, saying the economy was the most pessimistic since at least 1979, a finance-ministry official said. Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said he would create 1.6 million jobs over the next three years and take other steps to pull Japan out of its economic crisis.

Company News

Sliding crude prices and subsidy burden pushed down the third-quarter profit of India's flagship explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (BOM:500312) by 43%, even as the company board decided to reinstate 62 of the 64 executives who were sacked for striking work.

South Korea will put up for sale stakes in chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor Inc (SEO:000660) and a unit of power monopoly KEPCO (SEO:015760) to foreign investors via international auctions, a newspaper said on Thursday.

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.(SingTel) (SIN:Z74), which has a 31% stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BOM:532454), has received Indian government's approval to offer long-distance services in India.

LG Telecom Ltd.(KDQ:032640), South Korea's third-largest mobile carrier, said Thursday its fourth-quarter earnings plunged nearly 28 percent from a year earlier due to increased marketing costs.

Toyota (TYO:7203) said its domestic production dropped 25% in December from a year earlier following a 27% decline in November, as domestic sales sagged 18% and exports sank 25% in December.

Domestic output at Nissan (TYO:7201) slid 41% in December after a 36% slump in the previous month, as its domestic sales were down 20% and exports plunged 58% in December.

Japan Airlines Corp. (TYO:9205) and All Nippon Airways Co. (TYO:9202) said Wednesday that they would terminate or reduce service on 12 and 13 routes, respectively, in fiscal 2009.

Junior bauxite explorer Cape Alumina Ltd(ASX:CBX) has successfully raised over AU$15 million after its listing on the Australian stock exchange. Chiping Xinfa Huayu Alumina Co Ltd, China's largest private alumina producer, has a significant stake in Cape Alumina.


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

Related Companies

Toyota Motor Corporation          
Singapore Telecommunications        
Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited       
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd         
LG Telecom Ltd.       
Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)       
Japan Airlines Company, Ltd       
Cape Alumina Limited        
Bharti Airtel Limited       
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.       

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