Asian Market Overview of March 26
Asian Market Overview of March 26

Sydney, Mar 26, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Most Asian markets opened firmer Thursday following Wall Street's rebound overnight lifted by better-than-expected economic figures.

Asia Economy Watch

Bank of Japan said the nation's corporate services prices fell 2.6% from a year before in February. The corporate service price index stood at 92.1 against 100 for the base year of 2000.

Thailand's Prime Minister said the economy could expand in the fourth quarter, thanks to the government's stimulus measures. The government has introduced stimulus packages aimed at boosting domestic demand and investment as demand has been weak for the country's exports, its main source of income.

Company News

Hong Kong based Bank of East Asia (HKG:0023) said on Thursday it had signed a deal to buy the Taiwan securities arm of American International Group. Analysts estimated the deal would be worth $US10 million to $US20 million. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Taiwan.

Highlighting its continued commitment to deliver innovative solutions to retailers in India, SAP AG (FRA:SAP)(NYSE:SAP) today announced sustained adoption of its SAP for Retail solutions with significant customer endorsements. Over 72 leading retailers, such as DLF Retail, Khadim Jewellers, Fresh & Honest Cafe, Super Religare Laboratories and Religare Wellness Limited, Dimexon Diamonds and C Mahendra have adopted and expanded their SAP footprint to simplify business processes, reduce cost and adapt to the changing industry landscape. With approximately 82,000 customers in over 120 countries, SAP is the world's leading provider of business software.

PetroChina Co. (NYSE:PTR)(SHA:601857) said net profit was down 22% last year due to oil-price volatility and soaring costs. PetroChina expects to cut crude oil output 4.3% this year and refinery runs 1.4% in response to weakening domestic demand.

South Korea's Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. (SEO:004550) said it plans to sell 30 per cent of its 76 per cent stake in Woori Capital to increase its liquidity.

It is reported that Fuji Electric Holdings Co Ltd (TYO:6504) and TDK Corp (TYO:6762)(NYSE:TDK) planned to merge their uninterruptible power supply operations in October, forming a venture larger than the UPS operations of current market leader Mitsubishi Electric Corp (TYO:6503). Fuji is expected to take a majority stake in the venture, which would have 400 to 500 employees at the outset.

Shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398)(SHA:601398) surged significantly after Goldman Sachs said it would not sell 80 percent of its nearly 4.9% holding in ICBC before April 2010.

China Shipping Container Lines Co. (HKG:2866) said its 2008 net profit fell 96% from a year earlier due to a slump in exports amid the global financial crisis. China Shipping also anticipates that 2009 revenue will fall 15.2% to CNY29.77 billion on an excess supply of container ships.

Tata Communications (NYSE:TCL)(BOM:10032149) and Tata Power (BOM:500400), India's Tata group companies, have jointly raised Rs 740.72 crore from selling their stake in group company, Tata Teleservices (BOM:532371).

The chief executive of South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (SEO:000660) said Thursday the global semiconductor industry is likely to have hit its bottom in the fourth quarter of last year. The company will likely complete later this week the development of NAND flash memory chips using 41-nanometer process technology.


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

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