Telenor Enters India With Unitech Wireless
Telenor Enters India With Unitech Wireless

Sydney, Mar 18, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Asian markets opened broadly firmer today after the Wall Street rally boosted by the unexpectedly good housing data in the US. Japan's Nikkei share average rose above the psychologically key 8,000 level in early trade.

Asia Economy Watch

South Korean financial watchdog Financial Supervisory Service said the banks' loan default rate rose to the highest level in more than three years in February. The figure was the highest since October 2005, when it also hit 1.67 per cent, the FSS said.

Singapore government said the nation's exports contracted at a slower pace in February compared with January. Singapore's nonoil domestic exports fell 23.7% in February from a year earlier, marking a 10th consecutive month of declines.

Company News

Norwegian telecom operator Telenor (OSL:TEL) and India's Unitech (BOM:507878) said that they have closed the deal where the Telenor will acquire a controlling stake in Unitech Wireless via fresh equity infusion.

Hong Kong listed hotel group Shangri-La Asia (HKG:0069) expects room rates to be lower after the company reported a worse than expected 51.32 per cent drop in net profit last year. But the company remained a solid long-term growth prospect and planned to spend about US$600 million this year on new development projects.

Hongkong Electric Holdings (HKG:0006) delivered a net profit of HK$8 billion last year, partly due to its newly acquired projects overseas. The company also expects earnings outside Hong Kong will be boosted further this year as a result of the purchase of a 45 per cent stake in power plants in Guangdong and Jilin provinces from Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (HKG:1038) last month.

South Korea's Hana Bank, the flagship of Hana Financial Group (SEO:086790), is seeking bolstering its presence in its key strategic markets abroad, particularly in China. Hana Bank said its Chinese corporate entity saw its total assets soar by 50 percent at the end of last year from a year ago.

China's Hua Xia Bank (SHA:600015) said today that it planned to establish a fund management joint venture with British-based F&C Asset Management Plc (LON:FCAM). Hua Xia will own 70.5 percent of the Beijing based venture, while 19.5 percent will be owned by F&C. The other shareholder to take the 10 percent stake is expected to be a state-owned Chinese company.

South Korea's Hyundai Steel Co. (SEO:004020) said Wednesday it will supply 100,000 metric tons of hot-rolled coil to India's Welspun Gujarat Rohren Ltd. (BOM:532144) in a one-year contract.

It is speculated that Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) might abandon its proposed takeover of China Huiyuan Juice (HKG:1886) after Chinese antitrust regulators indicated it would have to relinquish the brand.

Contact

Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
Tel: +61-2-9247-4344
Email: michelle.liang@abnnewswire.net


Related Companies

Welspun-Gujarat Stahl Rohren Limited      
Unitech Limited      
The Coca-Cola Company        
Telenor        
Shangri-La Asia Limited      
Hyundai Steel Company       
Hua Xia Bank Co., Limited       
Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited       
Hana Financial Group Inc.       
F&C Asset Management plc      
China Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd      
Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd.     

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