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Sydney, Feb 11, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Today the major indexes in Asia have been hit by the unfavourable news from the US. Asian share markets ended mixed yesterday indexes moved up and down in a narrow range. Shanghai continued its rally over government stimulus measures with a rise of 1.8 percent, and also led the Hong Kong shares up 0.8 percent. Tokyo and Seoul markets closed slightly lower as market was weighed down by the worries over the US rescue plan.

Asia Economy Watch

A Chinese state-run newspaper reported that China will launch a stimulus plan soon to boost the country's light industry citing an unnamed source. The stimulus plan will aim at increasing household income and expanding domestic demand

Japanese economists have downgraded Japan's domestic economy and expect it have contracted at a10.59% annualized pace in quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to their January estimate of a 5.14% contraction. The survey also showed that the economists anticipate a 2.22% drop in GDP for the year through March 2009 and a 2.58% drop in the year through March 2010.

Korea's Ministry of Labour on Monday said the number of new applicants for unemployment benefits in January was 128,000, the highest since the system was introduced 13 years ago.

Company News

STX Pan Ocean Co. (SEO:028670), South Korea's biggest bulk-shipping line, said its net profit jumped to 578 billion won in 2008 on higher shipping rates and diversified business lines. Its net profit was 393 billion won a year earlier.

South Korea's financial service provider, Samsung Securities Co.(SEO:016360) reported a 56% fall in net profit in its fiscal third quarter, as a sluggish stock market cut commission income. The company said net profit was 33.5 billion won in the quarter ended Dec. 31, down from 75.6 billion won a year earlier.

Singapore Airlines Ltd.(SIN:C6L) said its fiscal third-quarter net profit fell 43% amid fuel-hedging losses, shrinking demand for travel and unfavourable foreign-currency movements. The carrier also booked an oil-hedging loss of S$341 million for the quarter.

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.(SIN:Z74)(ASX:SGT) Posted a 16% net profit decline in fiscal third-quarter because of adverse foreign-exchange rates and deteriorating market conditions.

The Hong Kong based investment company Hang Lung Group (HKG:0010) reportedly saw a 78 percent decline in its net profits during the first half of the current fiscal year, dropping its earnings to HK$905.5 million.

Piped-gas distributor China Gas Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0384) said it may team up with GAIL (India) Ltd. (BOM:532155) and Australia's Arrow Energy Ltd. (ASX:AOE) to develop coalbed methane in Inner Mongolia.

Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc (TYO:6665) has agreed to integrate its operations with three Taiwan chipmakers including Powerchip Semiconductor Corp(TPO:5346), ProMOS Technologies Inc (TPO:5387) and Rexchip Electronics Corp in an attempt to survive severe slumps in demand and prices.

China's Shougang Concord International Enterprises Co. (HKG:0697) has agreed to buy a 12.05% stake in Fushan International Energy Group Ltd. (HKG:0639) for HK$1.2 billion.


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

Related Companies

STX Pan Ocean Co., Ltd.       
Singapore Telecommunications        
Singapore Airlines Ltd.       
Shougang Concord International Enterprise Co.        
Samsung Securities Co., Ltd.      
ProMOS Technologies Inc.      
Powerchip Semiconductor Corp.       
Hang Lung Group Limited      
GAIL (India) Limited       
Fushan International Energy Group Ltd.      
Elpida Memory, Inc       
China Gas Holdings Ltd       
Arrow Energy        

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