In Monday's Asia papers

13 November 2006 02:56  [Source: ICIS news]

Asahi Shimbun, Japan (online edition)

Front page


LDP likely to reinstate 11 ‘postal rebels’ by end of year

Despite the potential to infuriate voters, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party this year will likely reinstate at least 11 politicians who were expelled last year because they opposed postal privatisation bills, sources said.

The party leadership decided it will initiate the reinstatement procedures soon after the 19 November Okinawa gubernatorial race and to complete the process by the end of the year, the sources said.


Surcharges to be imposed on NHK scofflaws

The communications ministry plans to impose surcharges on people who refuse to pay viewer fees to Japan Broadcasting (NHK), sources said.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will amend the Broadcast Law to spell out clearly that paying fees is mandatory, they said.


Business & Industry


Myojo looks to Nissin for rescue

Nissin Food Products could play the role of white knight in instant noodle maker Myojo Foods’s attempt to stave off a hostile takeover bid by a US investment fund.

Myojo Foods has proposed a capital alliance to Nissin Food, the nation’s largest instant noodle maker, sources said. Nissin Food is considering the proposal, the sources said.


Keidanren urges merger barrier

Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) is pressing the government to impose tight restrictions on a new merger formula, saying it would make Japanese companies vulnerable to foreign takeovers.

The call from the nation’s most influential business lobby is drawing criticism from US and European executives.


China Daily, China (online edition)

Front page


Grass-roots get more say at Party meet

An increase in the number of delegates to the Party congress next year will help improve the representation of grass-roots workers, an official said Sunday.

A total of 2,220 delegates will be elected across the country to the Party’s 17th National Congress, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) announced Sunday as it unveiled an election plan under which more measures will be introduced to encourage broader voter participation.


Green impact 'ignored by media'

The Western media have neglected the positive impact China has on the environment outside the country, according to a report released by a high-profile think tank.

The report “Review and Perspective of the Environment and Development of China” was presented by a special task force of the China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development (CCICED) at its annual meeting over the weekend. The task force consists of leading experts from home and abroad on global environmental and affiliated sectors.


Business & Industry


Ministry of Commerce backs shoemakers’ EU lawsuits

The Ministry of Commerce yesterday threw its weight behind domestic shoemakers seeking legal action against the European Union for anti-dumping tariffs.

“The Chinese Government respects and supports their move,” said an official with the ministry’s Bureau of Fair Trade for Imports and Exports, adding it is their legal right to do so.


Developers cook books to avoid tax payments

A number of real estate developers in China are failing to report actual profits in a bid to pay less tax, according to a Ministry of Finance investigation.

The ministry has investigated 39 real estate companies involved in 133 development projects around the country since 2005. It found out that most of these companies manipulated profit rates in their accounts, according to a China Central Television Station (CCTV) report on Friday.


Taiwan News, Taiwan (online edition)

Front page


APEC officials urge revival of WTO talks

Senior officials of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum agreed yesterday that the annual meeting of the 21 leaders of the APEC member economies should issue a strident call for the revival of the World Trade Organisation’s stalled Doha Development Round.

The first formal event of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting began yesterday morning at the new and partially unfinished National Convention Center in Hanoi with the start of a two-day APEC Senior Officials Meeting.


Ma to be questioned about fund

Kuomintang Chairman and Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou will be questioned next Tuesday over his alleged misuse of a “special allowance” fund that is allocated to all county and city chiefs, which his foes hope will hurt his Kuomintang and sideline him as a candidate for the presidency in 2008.

Seemingly unperturbed by the summons, Ma said he has abided by the law in handling the fund. He stressed that he believes in judicial impartiality and thought that the prosecutors’ request to question him provided a good opportunity to clearly explain his side of the story.


Business & Industry


Private investment picks up steam in second half of year

Despite declines in the first half of the year, Taiwan's private investment has picked up steam in the second half and is expected to achieve positive growth for the whole year, the Council for Economic Planning and Development said yesterday.

CEPD Chairman Hu Sheng-cheng discounted a local daily newspaper report yesterday that Taiwan's private investment has declined because of a string of corruption allegations involving the president, his family and top aides and because of a decline in administrative efficiency due to constant political wrangling.


Evergreen ship named ‘Ship of the Year’

“Ever Superb,” the fifth in the Evergreen Group’s series of 7024-TEU S-class container vessels, has been named “Ship of the Year 2006” by leading Asian maritime publication Lloyd’s List Maritime Asia.

The presentation was made to Dato Dr Kenny Ong, chairman of Evergreen Marine (Malaysia) at the 8th Lloyd's List Maritime Asia Awards held at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 2 November 2006.


Korea Herald, South Korea (online edition)

Front page


Seoul says ‘no’ to N Korea interdiction

South Korea has decided against full participation in the U.S.-led program to stop and search suspicious North Korean vessels in order to avoid the possibility of naval clashes, the governing Uri Party said yesterday.

Seoul is also not expected to take further action regarding United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 outlining sanctions against North Korea for its 9 October detonation of a nuclear device.


Roh’s property policy under fire

Recent assurances from the presidential office that its real estate policies will soon take effect and calm the overheated housing market have been met with harsh public and political criticism as home prices show no sign of falling.

“Betrayal and despair are not enough to describe what the people are feeling,” said Park Young-kyu, vice spokesman for the majority opposition Grand National Party.


Business & Industry


User-created content booming on the Net

In a country where the internet is one of the most preferred methods of recording one’s daily activities and sharing them with others, anyone can be a content creator.

So powerful is the impact of user-created content in Korea that immediately after North Korea conducted a nuclear test, video files on the manufacturing process of nuclear bombs and some worst-case scenarios began appearing on the Web.


Investment cap will apply to fewer companies

The cap on corporate investment in subsidiaries is likely to be applied to a less number of companies as the government is set to finalise the revised bill this week.

Backlash from civic groups is expected as the bill reportedly won’t include a new regulation that bans circulatory shareholdings within chaebols.


Business Standard, India (online edition)

Front page


India Inc’s wage bill climbs 22% in H1

Corporate India has recorded its highest rise in salaries at 22% in the first half of 2006-07. The increase was 17% in 2005-06 and between 8.4% and 12.6% in the previous three years.

The increase, companies say, is due to a shortage of talent and the recent jobs boom.


Moody’s okays 3-year lock-in of ICRA stake

Global rating agency Moody's Corporation has agreed to a three-year lock-in of its 20% stake in ICRA to facilitate the latter’s initial public offer (IPO).

Moody's, which holds a little over 28% in ICRA through its indirect subsidiary Moody’s India, has also agreed not to sell its remaining 8% stake for at least one year.


Companies & Industry


Tatas to invest Rs250bn in Tamil Nadu

Tata Steel will be investing 250bn Indian rupees (Rs) ($5.6bn/€4.3bn) in its titanium dioxide project in Tamil Nadu.The company has completed the feasibility study and is likely to start production in the first quarter of 2009.

Sources said the size of the project would be 500,000 tonnes of ilmenite (iron titanium oxide from which titanium dioxide is extracted).


Pfizer resolves trade margin issue in Maharashtra

Pfizer, the 41% Indian subsidiary of the global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, settled the trade margin issues with the Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association (PWA) to resolve a state-wide purchase boycott imposed by the trade body on the pharma giant since 8 November.

The company faced the ire of the PWA, the largest trade network of pharmaceutical stockists and wholesalers, following its alleged move to fix trade margin exclusive of excise duty, which would have reduced the margin to stockists from the current 8% to 6.5%.


Business Times, Singapore (online edition)

Front Page


Rising stock market leads property prices by a year

(SINGAPORE) Stock market rallies are often behind a surge in housing prices - but there is a one-year lag, according to a BT analysis.

Comparisons of the Straits Times Index and URA residential property index back to 1975 show that the correlation is strongest when the measurements are a year apart. And recent figures appear to confirm this.


Bankruptcy petitions drop to 6-year low

(SINGAPORE) Robust economic growth coupled with a flood of new jobs created earlier this year has driven the number of new individual bankruptcy petitions in the first nine months to their lowest level in six years.

But a rise in the number of writs of summons filed against individuals and companies could indicate that insolvency rates may start to trend up again, said one economist.


Singapore Companies


Airocean, A-Sonic seek shareholders' nod for merger

In another step in the impending merger of the two companies, aircraft components and retrofitting specialist A-Sonic Aerospace and air logistics player Airocean Group are seeking shareholders’ approval for A-Sonic to buy all outstanding shares in Airocean.

A-Sonic, which currently holds 25.9% of Airocean after a September share placement, is proposing to buy outstanding shares in Airocean at 10.56 cents per share, or an exchange ratio of 2.63 Airocean shares per A-Sonic share.


Most SGX firms reporting higher Q3 earnings

Over 70% of the SGX-listed firms that have reported their third quarter earnings for fiscal 2006 are bringing in more money than they were a year ago - in all, the 122 firms registered a 23.9% rise in combined net profits to a total of 11.5bn Singapore dollars (S$) ($7.4bn/€5.7bn).

The huge majority of the firms, or 117 out of the 122, have reported profits. Of these, however, only 81 reported higher profits compared to last year, while five reported a turnaround from net losses to net profits.


Bangkok Post, Thailand (online edition)

Front Page


More Buddhists flee, Surayud to visit
Yala – More ethnic Thai Buddhist villagers have left their homes in two districts of this trouble-plagued southern province to take shelter at a Buddhist temple in the country’s first internally-displaced population due to the southern insurgency, even as fresh violence occurred, police said.
Suspected Islamist insurgents killed two prople and wounded four others in yet another day of violence in the South on Sunday. A 52-year-old Buddhist man was shot dead while driving a motorcycle with his wife in Narathiwat province, while his wife was seriously injured.


PM to Thaksin: Wait another year
Prime Minister General Surayud Chulanont today urged members of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and private businessmen to strictly follow the principles of good governance and to follow the five precepts of Buddhism to further develop the country.
He also said that ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra would be welcome back in Thailand only after the elections that the military junta hopes to hold late next year.


Business & Industry


Honda to upgrade its Ayutthaya parts plant

Honda Automobile Thailand, the second-largest local car manufacturer and exporter, plans to invest 1.15bn Thai baht (Bt) ($31.5m/€24.5m) to expand its plant in Ayutthaya.

The expanded facility, scheduled for completion next April, will manufacture camshafts, crankshafts and connecting rods, the main components for automobile engine production. The output is intended to replace imports from Japan and generate additional export revenue.


Brokers poised for consolidation

Thailand’s securities landscape is poised for rapid consolidation and change after regulators last week announced a new roadmap for sector liberalisation. On Friday, the SEC board approved a five-year timeframe for the liberalisation of trading fees and new licences.

New applications for brokerage licences, which have been frozen at 39 for the past several years, will be accepted starting from January 2012.



By Staff Reporter

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