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Sydney, Feb 10, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Asian markets are expected to be flat today before the US stimulus package is unveiled. Yesterday the major indexes in Asia closed mixed with Shanghai and Hong Kong extended the rising after China's stimulus plan announced last week, while Tokyo and Seoul declined.

Asia Economy Watch

The Indian government forecast that the country's economy would grow 7.1% in the year ending March 31, the slowest pace in six years. This is 2 percent lower than last fiscal year due to tumble in exports and weaker domestic demand.

China's annual consumer price inflation slowed to 1.0 percent in January from 1.2 percent in December, the National Bureau of Statistics of China said on Tuesday. It is the ninth consecutive monthly drop in consumer inflation. Meanwhile, the official statistics also shows China's consumer confidence index fell to 87.3 in December from 90.2 in November as worries about the economy intensified.

Japanese government said the gross domestic product figures, which will be release next week, are likely to prompt the government to review its economic policy, as the predictions over the GDP figure are bleak. The government also hints additional stimulus measure might be needed.

Company News

Seiko Instruments Inc. will reunite with its 21.7% stake holder, Seiko Holdings Corp.(TYO:8050), amid the global economic downturn. Seiko Instruments will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Seiko Holdings by October. The two companies have been separated for many years.

Nintendo Co.(TYO:7974) said that it expects group operating profit to climb 9% to 530 billion yen in the year ending March 31, around 100 billion yen lower than previously expected but still a record high.

Baosteel Group, parent of Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (SHA:600019), has reached an initial agreement to buy a stake in Ningbo Iron & Steel Co, but the size and price of the stake are not known.

LG Electronics Inc.(SEO:066570) said it aims to reduce expenses by three trillion won this year by cutting manufacturing costs, as part of efforts to address the current global economic turmoil. But the company said it hopes to avoid cutting jobs or capital investment.

It is reportedly that Bandai Co. will expand its product offerings abroad to raise the proportion of overseas sales to 50% by 2012 from 30% at present. The Namco Bandai Holdings Inc. (TYO:7832) unit plans to make major pushes in the U.S., Europe and China.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (TYO:9432) and Microsoft Corp.(NASDAQ:MSFT) have teamed up to jointly market online ads on major Web portals starting in April.

Nissan Motor Co.( TYO:7201) plans to cut more than 20,000 jobs world-wide, shift production out of Japan and seek government assistance from Japan, the U.S. and elsewhere in a broad effort to weather the economic downturn.


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

Related Companies

Seiko Holdings Corporation      
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd         
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation       
Nintendo Co., Ltd       
Namco Bandai Holdings Inc.      
Microsoft Corporation       
LG Electronics Inc.       
Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd.         

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