Most Asian markets ended lower on Thursday with a 2.3% drop in China's Shanghai Composite Index and a 1.2% decline in Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, after the China's securities regulator approved a number of initial public offerings over the past few days.
Japan's Chubu Electric (TYO:9502) has signed a binding A$30bn LNG sales agreement and taking a small stake in the A$43 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia. Gorgon operator and 47 per cent owner Chevron (NYSE:CVX) yesterday said Chubu had finally agreed to sign a 20-year sales and purchase agreement for 1.5 million tonnes a year of LNG after signing an initial agreement in 2005. Chubu will also take a 0.417 per cent equity stake in the Gorgon project for an undisclosed sum.
Taiwanese steelmaker China Steel Corp. (TPE: 2002) will invest in an iron ore extraction project in Brazil by buying 0.5 per cent of the project from Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. (TYO:5405) and another 0.5% from Itochu Corp. (TYO:8001). Six Japanese companies and Posco (SEO:005490) of South Korea now own a combined 40% of the project in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais and the remaining 60% is held by Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (SAO:CSNA3).
Blue-chip retailer Esprit Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0330) said it will take full control of its operations in China by buying out China Resources Enterprise Ltd.'s (HKG:0291) stake in a retail clothing joint venture for HK$3.88 billion. After it takes control of the venture, which operated 1,112 outlets in 171 cities across China as of June 30, Esprit may seek a more aggressive expansion in China, analysts said.
Coca-Cola West Co. (TYO:2579) said that major shareholder Kirin Holdings Co. (TYO:2503) has sold most of its 11.7% stake. After selling the Coca-Cola West shares to Nomura Securities Co., Kirin's stake is now down to 2.2%, which the brewer also plans to eventually unload. The sale is estimated at 15.7 billion yen based on the closing stock price Thursday.
Tata Motors Ltd.( BOM:500570)(NYSE:TTM), which controls U.K.-based luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover, said its global vehicle sales grew 62% in November, helped by India's surging demand and sales of Land Rover's sport utility vehicles.
Tata Motors Limited
Sumitomo Metal Industries Limited
Kirin Holdings Company, Limited.
Esprit Holdings Limited
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN)
Coca-Cola West Co., Ltd.
Chubu Electric Power Company, Inc.
China Steel Corporation
China Resources Enterprise, Limited