In Wednesday's Asia Papers

31 May 2006 03:44  [Source: ICIS news]

Asahi Shimbun, Japan (online edition)

 

Front page

 

Another judicial strike for guru

Lawyers for Aum Shinrikyo founder Chizuo Matsumoto have lost another procedural court battle, bringing their client one step closer to the gallows. A Tokyo High Court panel rejected an objection filed by defense lawyers over the dismissal of their appeal of the death sentence handed down in 2004. Matsumoto, who went by the name of Shoko Asahara during the cult's murderous rampage in the 1990s, was sentenced to death by the Tokyo District Court in February 2004 on murder and other charges that left 27 people dead.

Cabinet endorses US military realignment amid opposition from Okinawa

The Cabinet on Tuesday endorsed the plan to realign the U.S. military in Japan, but the area most affected by such moves - Okinawa Prefecture - as yet to give its consent. The plan is based on a final agreement reached between Tokyo and Washington earlier this month.

Business & Industry

Hankyu sets price for bid to take over Hanshin

Hankyu Holdings said on Monday it will launch a public tender offer for Hanshin Electric Railway shares today after failing to reach agreement Sunday with the rival railway's largest shareholder. While continuing negotiations, Hankyu said it will pay Yen930/share, or Yen176bn, to grab a 45% stake in Hanshin during the 21-day public tender through June 19. The company said if it is not able to buy at least 455, it will cancel the tender offer.

Brokerages vie for baby boomer bonanza

Securities houses are drafting a wide array of instruments to attract a share of the Yen50trn in corporate retirement payouts expected over a three-year surge of baby boomers. According to Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, baby boomers are expected to receive more than Yen15trn in one-time retirement allowances annually beginning in fiscal 2007.

China Daily, China (online edition)

Front page

Russia, China close ranks in Central Asia

Russia and China moved to fortify their growing security cooperation in Central Asia but reassured the United States that their new-found unity of purpose in the region was not designed to subvert US interests there. Russian President Vladimir Putin however acknowledged growing "competition" to a new Central Asian security organization led by Moscow and Beijing while Chinese President Hu Jintao said the new group had become an "important force" for peace and stability in the world.

China emerging from shadows of AIDS

China is emerging from the shadows of the AIDS pandemic by improving its accounting of the number of cases within the country, the UN agency spearheading the fight against the disease said.  An estimated 650,000 people in China had the HIV virus at the end of 2005, while 31,000 deaths due to AIDS have been recorded since the disease was first discovered there, UNAIDS said in its biennial snapshot of the global pandemic.

Business & Industry

In real-estate market, small now beautiful

The importance of urban housing in the country's next stage of development has been starkly illustrated by recent strong measures to cool down the overheated sector.
The effort is primarily focused on a few cities, Beijing, Shanghai and some in the Pearl River Delta, the nation's largest manufacturing base. In the first quarter this year, house prices jumped 15% in the capital and 35% in Shenzhen, a booming city in Guangdong Province.

New moves to steer car sector stability

China will introduce measures to trim overcapacity in auto sector and promote local brands, an industry regulator said yesterday. Sources from the National Development and Reform Commission said annual sales for all carmakers in China must reach four-fifths of their manufacturing capacity if they want to build plants in other cities.

Taiwan News, Taiwan (online edition)

Front page

Violence erupts on the Legislature floor - again

 

The Legislature yesterday was paralysed for a third time over a proposed amendment that would allow the opening of direct transportation links with China, leaving the controversial amendment as well as other bills in limbo as the body's latest three-month session came to an end. After unproductive legislative proceedings over the past three weeks, the Democratic Progressive Party legislative caucus said it will introduce a motion to convene extra sessions in order to pass budgets for flood-control and major public construction projects.

 

High Court vetoes lower court decision to release Lee Tai-an

 

A panel of judges at Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung branch yesterday vetoed a lower court's decision to release Lee Tai-an, a major suspect in the death of his sister-in-law following a March 17 rail derailment in southern Taiwan, and ordered a district court to reconsider the case. "(Members of) the panel agreed with the prosecutors' appeal" against Saturday's release of Lee, said presiding Judge Wang Kuang-chao of the High Court. Wang explained that they therefore vetoed the lower court's decision to release Lee.

Business & Industry

CPC plans survey for crude oil in Libya

 

Taiwan's state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) said yesterday it is planning oil exploration surveys in Libya as preparation for possible investments in the oil-rich country. "CPC always keeps an eye on every opportunity to secure oil resources. Libya is a good place for the company to take a close look at," a CPC spokeswoman said.

 

Chi Mei denies report of plan to build plant

 

Chi Mei Optoelectronics, Taiwan's second-biggest maker of flat-panel displays for computers and televisions, denied a news report that the company plans to build its first sixth-generation plant this year. "There's nothing specific on the timetable or investment," Eddie Chen, a Taipei-based spokesman for Chi Mei, said yesterday. "We have constant discussions on the feasibility of expanding our capacity, like whether to build a sixth-generation facility or another fifth-generation plant."

Korea Herald, South Korea (online edition)

Front page

Nation goes to the polls

Voting begins across the country today for local government and council elections, with the main opposition Grand National Party looking set for a big win. Voters will determine 16 provincial governors and large city mayors, and 230 heads of small cities, counties and wards. In addition, 3,621 members of local legislatures will be elected

Daewoo founder receives 10 years

A lower court sentenced Kim Woo-choong, founder of the now-defunct Daewoo Group, to 10 years in prison and a Won21.44trn fine on charges of accounting fraud and embezzlement of company funds. The Seoul Central District Court ruled that it is inevitable for Kim, 69, to face severe punishment as "he ignored corporate ethics and carried out illicit business maneuvers and led Daewoo Group to bankruptcy."

Business & Industry

Samsung Electronics debuts interactive data television

The South Korean broadcasting industry will kick off airing the so-called interactive data programs from June, and Samsung Electronics, the country's biggest electronics maker, has opted to offer a projection model for the specialised program. Samsung held a briefing at its headquarters in Seoul and demonstrated how the digital light processing projection television, named SVP-56K3HDB, functions in relation to the new data broadcasting.

Immigration law for foreign investors

One of the experiences that bind most expatriates is waiting in line at the Mok-dong Immigration Office. Old-timers have many tales of woe regarding the inconveniently located building, while newcomers tend to have better experiences. One of the improvements is a more welcoming attitude toward foreign investors - who can also use the more convenient Gwanghwamun, KOTRA and City Hall immigration offices to take care of their visa needs.

Business Standard, India (online edition)

Front page

Funds bet big on future earnings

If the price-earnings (P/E) ratios of their portfolios are anything to go by, domestic fund managers are betting on bigger growth in earnings than what the market can generate on an average. Most of the actively managed equity funds have earnings multiples higher than those of the two key indices — BSE Sensex and the broad-based Nifty.

SAIL likely to buy Malavika Steel's plant

State-run Steel Authority of India is close to buying Malavika Steel’s plant at Jagdishpur, located in the Gandhi family’s political stronghold of Amethi. The acquisition plan has been referred to Mecon Ltd for evaluation. Top executives in SAIL confirmed that Mecon had been commissioned to examine the value of the plant and evaluate the financial viability of buying into the assets of the Rs30bn project that was left half unfinished in 1998, within 10 months of getting off the ground.

Companies & Industry

Pharma intermediates mart to touch $590 m this year

As India emerges a hot spot for multinational pharma companies for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and research services outsourcing, the domestic pharma intermediates segment is also growing. According to a recent study by global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the domestic intermediates market, which is mostly dependent on imports from China, Korea and Taiwan, is estimated to be around $590m million this year from the existing $373.7m.

Tata Power plans two 1000 mw projects

Tata Power Company (TPC) is planning to set up two new 1,000 mw imported coal-based projects near Rewas in Maharashtra. The state government has given approval for the first of the 1,000 mw plants and land acquisition has begun, Adi Engineer, director, Tata Power told Business Standard

Business Times, Singapore (print edition)

Front page 

$2b e-govt masterplan launched

In a move that is expected to boost the infocomm industry, the government yesterday announced a $2bn iGov2010 masterplan under which it will work with local players to co-create, develop and export e-government solutions. In addition, it will allow them to retain ownership of the relevant intellectual property (IP) to enhance their business and export opportunities. Players welcomed this move, saying it should boost infocomm exports.

Sands promises huge benefits for Singapore

Having won the bid for the Marina Bay integrated resort (IR), Las Vegas Sands is raring to go - and promises to bring in big benefits for Singapore by way of a huge injection of capital and jobs. Sands said at a news briefing yesterday that it will bring in fresh external capital to fund the mega project, which is slated to open its doors to tourists in 2009.

Companies (online edition)

Disney 'has no plans for Malaysian park'

Walt Disney on Tuesday said it has no plans to build a theme park in Malaysia - even though Malaysian government officials said they had been in talks to develop one. 'We are constantly exploring opportunities around the world as we look to grow our parks and resorts business. At this time, however, there are no existing discussions in Malaysia and we currently have no plans for a Disney-branded resort development in that country,' said Lisa Haines, a spokesman for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Matsushita, Hitachi LCD JV to double output

A liquid crystal display venture between Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial and Toshiba plans to spend Yen80bn ($713m) to double output capacity, the Nihon Keizai business daily reported on Wednesday. The paper said the venture, IPS Alpha Technology, would raise Yen30bn by issuing new shares to Matsushita and Hitachi, and it planned to build a new production line at its LCD panel plant in Chiba, east of Tokyo, for Yen65bn. The new line will increase annual output capacity of 32-inch panels by as much as 80% to 4.5m units by 2008, it said.





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