asia

Asia's Wacky Business Ideas

These products may be wacky and weird, but somehow, in Asia, they make business sense. Check out these unusual innovations that have caught fire across the Pacific.

Barclays to Cut 3,700 Jobs As Part of 'Project Transform'

Barclays new chief executive pledged a fresh course for the British lender on Tuesday, axing at least 3,700 jobs and pruning its investment bank as he seeks to rebuild its reputation and boost profitability after a series of scandals.

Major Banks Cutting 160,000 Jobs Worldwide -- With More to Come

Major banks have announced some 160,000 job cuts worldwide since early last year, more layoffs are coming as the industry restructures. The numbers are much higher in Europe than in Asia or the United States -- and those loses will be a particularly heavy blow to Britain.

From Supersized to Super-Sighs: Is McDonald's Growth Era Over?

McDonald's is showing signs of weakness. Goldman Sachs downgraded it shares due to a slowdown in growth. And with challenges overseas and resurgent competition everywhere, things are unlikely to turn around anytime soon for the world's largest restaurant chain.McDonald's is showing signs of tarnish on the Golden Arches. Goldman Sachs downgraded its shares due to a slowdown in growth. And with challenges overseas and resurgent competition everywhere, things are unlikely to turn around anytime soon for the world's largest restaurant chain.

Unilever Bulks Up in China With an Eye on the Future

Unilever, the second largest consumer goods company in the world, recently announced plans to build one of its largest production bases in China. Unilever already has sales in China worth over $20 billion and anticipates a substantial increase in this figure in the years ahead.

Gas Prices Around the Globe: The Highs and the Lows

With U.S. gas prices near historic highs, Americans are anxious about the cost of filling up. But we still feel far less pain at the pump than drivers in many other developed nations. On the flip side, if you drive in the right world cities, you can still pay less than $1 a gallon.

iPhone vs. Android: Google May Be Winning the War in China

And the winning mobile OS in Asia is ... Google's Android. This from Deutsche Bank's insightful technology analyst Jonathan Goldberg, who says that Android has already pulled away from the pack in China. And not just in smartphones and tablets: Android is finding its way into all sorts of platforms.

Without Steve Jobs, What Kind of Apple Would Carry On?

The company has already proved that it can thrive while the CEO is away. But what's still not clear is whether Apple can remain far more than a tech company once he truly retires. Whose vision can possibly keep Apple the cultural phenomenon that Jobs has made it?

2011's Stealth Trend: Wireless Web Remakes the Rural World

If you want to know how the rural developing world could get cheap, easy wireless Internet access, just follow the money: Remittances to those regions total tens of billions each year, and the money flow isn't very efficient. The profits from micro-telcos taking over the business could prime the pump for an information revolution in the hinterlands.

The Trade Deal With Korea Will Beef Up U.S. Meat Exports

Since the mad cow scare of 2003, South Korea has been a tough market for U.S. beef: The country first banned it, then severely limited imports. But a pending new Free Trade Agreement could mark the resumption of normal trade, and the start of a more prosperous era for American beef exports.

Investing in President Obama's Asia Trip

President Obama's trip to Asia has turned global attention towards opportunities in India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. Should investors be following in his footsteps?

Why Asian Nations Hate QE2, and What They Should Do

As the G-20 meets in South Korea, many world leaders have stepped up their complaints about the Fed's $600 billion quantitative easing program, as well as the rapid flow of capital into emerging markets. Some countries are installing capital controls in response, but those won't be enough, says global finance expert Peter Cohan.

Australia Raises Interest Rates to Control Inflation

Australia raised interest rates in a bid to control inflation amid an export boom. The country%u2019s Reserve Bank raised rates to 4.75 % from 4.5%, surprising most analysts, The Associated Press reported.

Singapore Exchange to Buy ASX for $8.3 Billion

Singapore Exchange agreed to buy Australian exchange ASX for A$8.4 billion ($8.3 billion). The Singapore Exchange offer is worth A$48 per share of ASX, a 37% premium over the company%u2019s closing price on Oct. 22, Bloomberg News reported. The two exchanges will be separate legal entities and subject to local regulation.

China's Economy Grew 9.6% in Third Quarter

China%u2019s economy grew at an annual rate of 9.6% of the third quarter, slightly ahead of expectations. The economy%u2019s vigorous growth comes as Chinese policy makers grow increasingly concerned about rising prices. Inflation accelerated to an annual rate of 3.6% in September, the highest in almost two years, Bloomberg News said.

China Vows to Maintain Rare Mineral Supply

China vowed it would maintain the supply of rare minerals and said it may boost 2011 exports of the substances. The Chinese Commerce Ministry denied reports that it would further reduce export quotas.

China Raises Interest Rates For First Time Since 2007

China hiked its interest rates for the first time since 2007 in a bid to combat rising inflation. The People%u2019s Bank of China raised its one-year deposit rate to 2.5% from 2.25%, while the lending rate rose to 5.56% from 5.31%, Bloomberg News said.

Geithner Says U.S. Favors Significant Yuan Appreciation

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. favors a "gradual, but still significant" appreciation of the yuan. Geithner said the U.S. would prefer China let market forces drive up the value of the currency, The Wall Street Journal said. Geithner noted that the yuan had strengthened by about 2.5% in six weeks.

Pimco's Bill Gross: The Days of 10% Returns Are Gone

Many investors have been wondering what combination of stocks and bonds will allow them to retire comfortably in this era of low interest rates. Bill Gross, who presides over the world's largest bond fund at Pimco investments, has some bad news for them: It isn't going to happen.

Gates, Buffett Will Promote Philanthropy to China's Rich

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are scheduled to dine with Chinese businessmen Wednesday in a bid to promote philanthropy in the world%u2019s second-largest economy. The dinner will be held at a mansion, modeled after the baroque 17th century Chateau de Maisons-Laffitte in France, on the edge of Beijing, The Associated Press said.

Asian Economies to Grow by 8.2% in 2010

Asian economies will grow by 8.2% in 2010, according to a new report. "Strong export recovery, robust private demand, and the sustained effects of stimulus policies allowed the region to experience solid growth in the first half of 2010," The Asian Development Bank said. "This improved performance is broad-based and is projected to carry on for the rest of the year."

AIG May Sell Japanese Units to Prudential Financial for $5 Billion

American International Group (AIG) may sell two Japanese life-insurance units to Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) for a total of as much as $5 billion, The Wall Street Journal said. The agreement is currently "a few days away" from being ready, The Wall Street Journal said without naming its sources.