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Distributed: Feb 4, 2010

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Sydney, Feb 4, 2010 (ABN Newswire) - Wall Street fell on Wednesday led by healthcare sector as drug maker Pfizer delivered a lower-than-estimate fourth-quarter earnings and disappointing revenue outlook. The market was also weighed by President Barack Obama's pledge on banking and healthcare reform.

Asian markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday as materials shares were boosted by strong commodities prices. Japan's Nikkei average rose 0.3 percent as exporters gained on strong U.S. data and weakness in yen against greenback. But the rises were pulled back by a drop in shares of Toyota Motor Corp after its recall woes hit its sales. South Korea's Kospi added 1.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 2.2% and China's Shanghai Composite gained 2.4%.

Company News

A consortium made up of Korea Electric Power Corp. (SEO:015760) (NYSE:KEP) Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., and Korea Resources Corp is expected to bid for a stake in one of the world's largest undeveloped uranium deposits, said sources. The Korean companies are in talks to jointly take a stake of around 15% in Extract Resources Ltd.'s (ASX:EXT) Rossing South uranium mine development in Namibia.

South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (SEO:009540) said it had agreed to take a 10 percent stake in Brazilian shipbuilder Offshore Services X (OSX), a deal that could help it bid for future orders. Hyundai Heavy would provide technology support for OSX's new shipyard as part of the deal.

Toshiba Corp.(TYO:6502) said Wednesday that the company will consolidate its domestic flash memory production operations in Japan by shutting down one of its manufacturing plants in the country, in a move to strengthen its product development capabilities. Toshiba also said it aims to boost its overseas production ratio for back-end processes to about 80% by the end of fiscal year 2010. The ratio currently stands at around 70%.

Rio Tinto Alcan, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), has sold its 80% share in Ghana Bauxite Company Ltd. to Chinese company Bosai Minerals Group. Value of the deal was not revealed. Ghana's government owns the other 20% and this week gave its approval for the sale of the share.

Singapored based DBS Group Holdings Ltd. (SIN:D05), Southeast Asia's largest bank by assets, is open to a potential investment in a Chinese bank but has no specific investment targets yet. The bank said it is interested in issuing yuan-denominated bonds in China. The bank expects to open 12 more branches over the next five years in China.


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Contact

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

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