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Asian Markets Overview of February 13
Asian Markets Overview of February 13
Sydney, Feb 13, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Asian markets fell yesterday as investors remained sceptical and worried the deteriorating economy would not receive immediate help from the US stimulus plan. Tokyo stocks dropped 3%, led mostly by banks and exporters, as trading resumed after a holiday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 2.3%, while Shanghai Composite lost 0.6%. The major indexes in Asia are likely to remain on a downward trend today.

Asia Economy Watch

Chinese bank lending surged by a record level in January as the government push the banks to free up credit to hard-hit sectors of the economy. New loans in China surged to 1.62 trillion yuan, up from December's 771.8 billion yuan, the People's Bank of China said Thursday. Lending in January was 814.1 billion yuan more than in the corresponding period last year.

Despite the stimulus packages announced by the Indian government in November, the nation's industrial production in December 2008 was 2% lower than in the same month of 2007, the steepest year-on-year drop for any month in more than 14 years.

Today Bank of Japan Governor indicated that the central bank will continue taking necessary steps to help improve corporate funding conditions. The Bank of Japan board is set to discuss extending its measures which is already implementing next week.

Company News

It is reportedly that Nissan Motor Co.(TYO:7201) has halted preparations for a business alliance with Chrysler LLC under which the two automakers would build vehicles for each other. Under the proposed deal, Nissan was to build small cars for Chrysler, and Chrysler was to build a pickup truck for the Japanese automaker under the Nissan name. But Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press said Thursday in Chicago that the alliance is still on.

Japan's Taiheiyo Cement Corp. (TYO:5233) said Thursday that it will suffer a 28 billion yen group net loss for the year ending March 31, deeper than the 7 billion yen loss it previously forecast. Its profit in fiscal 2007 was 20.4 billion yen. Earnings are falling at the largest South Korean cement firm, Ssangyong Cement Industrial Co.(SEO:003410), which is 32.3% owned by Taiheiyo Cement, causing the Japanese firm to lose nearly 6 billion yen.

It is speculated that Bank of China (SHA:601988) has emerged as the preferred choice of the Chinese government as a potential bidder for American International Assurance (AIA), the Asian life insurance unit of American International Group(NYSE:AIG).

General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) said today it has no plans to sell shares in its China passenger vehicle joint venture, Shanghai General Motors Corp., contrary to media reports. GM operates a passenger vehicle joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp. (SHA:600104) in China.

Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (TYO:8316) and Daiwa Securities Group Inc (TYO:8601) are considering a joint bid for Citigroup Inc's Japanese brokerage.

The South Korean government plans to sell its stakes in Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.(SEO:042660) and Korea Aerospace Industries to state sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East.


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

Related Companies

Taiheiyo Cement Corporation       
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc.       
Ssangyong Cement Industry Co., Ltd.     
SAIC Motor Corporation Limited       
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd         
General Motors Corporation       
Daiwa Securities Group Inc       
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering       
Bank of China Limited        
American International Group, Inc.       

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