asia

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.

Nissan Raises China Production Target

Nissan (NSANY) raised its production target for China, the world%u2019s largest auto market. The Japanese automaker raised its production target to 1.2 million units in 2012, from a previous target of 1 million, BBC News reported. The company currently produces 670,000 units a year in China.

Dell to Spend More Than $100 Billion on China Operations

Dell to Spend More Than $100 Billion on China OperationsDell Inc. (DELL) will spend more than $100 billion over a 10-year period to expand operations and sales in China. The company will open a new operations center in Chengdu next year, boosting production, sales and support in southwest China, Bloomberg News reported. Dell will also add an office and as many as 500 workers to its existing facility in Xiamen.

McDonald's Comparable Sales Rose 4.9% in August

McDonald%u2019s Corp (MCD) said that global sales at stores open at least one year rose 4.9% in August, driven by a strong performance in the U.S. U.S. comparable sales gained 4.6%, thanks to sales of fruit and coffee drinks, McDonald%u2019s said in a statement. Comparable sales in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa jumped 7.8% thanks to strong growth in Japan, China and Australia.

Oil Prices Near $75 a Barrel in Asia on U.S. Inventories

Oil prices advanced to nearly $75 a barrel in Asia after a report showed that U.S. crude oil inventories dropped more than forecast, suggesting improved demand. Benchmark oil for delivery in October rose 32 cents to $74.99 a barrel late Thursday afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to The Associated Press.

Geithner: China Should Let Yuan Appreciate Faster

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that China should let its yuan currency appreciate faster to demonstrate that the country is willing to follow through on promises to its trading partners. "Frankly they haven%u2019t let the currency move very much so far," Geithner told Bloomberg News. "They know they%u2019re just at the beginning of that process and I think we%u2019d like to see them move more quickly."

Sinochem Approaches Temasek Regarding Possible Potash Bid

China%u2019s Sinochem Corp. invited Temasek, Singapore%u2019s sovereign wealth fund, to join a consortium that may bid for Potash Corp. (POT), Reuters reported. Temasek has not made any decision on whether to join the consortium, Reuters reported without naming its sources. It is not clear if the consortium plans to bid for Potash Corp or to buy a stake large enough to block BHP Billiton%u2019s (BHP) planned takeover.

Yen Gains to 15-Year High Against U.S. Dollar

The yen strengthened to a 15-year high against the U.S. dollar as investors bet against the country%u2019s policy to limit the gains in the currency. The yen strengthened to 83.34 per dollar, compared to 83.80 late Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

AIG Seeks Listing Committee Approval for AIA IPO

American International Group (AIG) is seeking Hong Kong listing committee approval on Sept. 21 for the IPO of its Asian life insurance unit, Reuters reported. The date is earlier than expected, which could mean that the IPO of the company%u2019s AIA unit will come in October, rather than November, Reuters reported without naming its sources.

Taiwan Regulators Block Sale of AIG Unit

Regulators in Taiwan blocked the proposed $2.15 billion sale of AIG%u2019s (AIG) Taiwan life insurance business to a Hong Kong-based consortium. AIG struck a deal in October to sell the Nan Shan unit to China Strategic Holdings and Primus Financial Holdings, the Financial Times reported. Regulators initially accepted the deal, then requested more information from the consortium, as well as assurance from Nan Shan.

India's Economy Grows Most Since 2007

India%u2019s economy grew at the fastest rate in two and a half years in the second quarter, driven by rising wages and consumer spending. Gross domestic product increased at an annual pace of 8.8 % in the three months through June, Bloomberg News reported. In the first quarter, the economy grew by 8.6%.

Bank of Japan Unveils Measures to Contain Yen, Boost Economy

Japan%u2019s central bank unveiled new measures to stem the rise in the value of the yen and boost the country%u2019s flagging economy. Following an emergency meeting, the central bank announced a new six-month low-interest loan program to financial institutions, raising the total amount of credit available to banks to 30 trillion yen ($355 billion), The Associated Press reported. Policy-makers also voted to keep the key interest rate at 0.1%.

Ford Expects Asia to Drive Growth in Next Decade

Ford Motor Co. (F) announced plans for eight new vehicles targeted at the Indian market and a $350 million investment in Thailand as the company targets fast-growing Asian auto markets. Ford expects Asia to account for 70% of global growth in the next decade, The Associated Press reported.

AIG Sets Deadline for Talks With Investors Ahead of AIA's IPO

American International Group (AIG) will make a decision by early next week about whether to begin formal negotiations with strategic investors for its Asian life insurance unit AIA, Reuters reported. Insurer AIG has been considering selling stakes in AIA to strategic investors ahead of the unit%u2019s planned IPO. Several Chinese investors had expressed an interest in taking a stake.

China Overtakes Japan as World's Second-Largest Economy

Japan's nominal GDP, not adjusted for price and seasonal variations, was $1.268 trillion in the second quarter, while China's was $1.335 trillion. Japan%u2019s gross domestic product grew just 0.4% in the second quarter, The Associated Press reported. The figure suggests that China%u2019s economy, which is expected to grow by 10% this year versus Japan%u2019s rate of 2%-3%, will be larger at the end of 2010.

Cathay Pacific to Buy 36 Planes As Passenger Traffic Rises

Cathay Pacific Airways (CPCAY) will buy 36 planes after its quarterly earnings surged and passenger levels rose. Hong Kong%u2019s largest carrier will order 30 Airbus A350-900 planes and six Boeing 777-300ERs, Bloomberg News reported. The company%u2019s passenger traffic rose 8.5% in the quarter, while profit rose more than eightfold to HK$6.84 ($881 million).

China Overtakes Japan as World's Second-Largest Economy

China is now the world%u2019s second-largest economy, having overtaken Japan, a senior Chinese official said. Yi Gang, the country%u2019s chief currency regulator, mentioned the achievement in comments published on the website of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, Reuters reported.