In Wednesday's Asia Papers

06 January 2010 01:13  [Source: ICIS news]


Front page

Panasonic: China's rise a mixed blessing
Panasonic Corp. is bracing for the inevitable: the rise of Chinese rivals in the global market. Even so, the electronics giant hopes to benefit from the rapid economic growth of Japan's neighbor, President Fumio Ohtsubo says.

"As things stand now, we may be well ahead (of Chinese rivals). But I am fully aware that we will be upset once we make one misstep or are stuck for a year or two in business operations," Ohtsubo, 64, said in a recent interview.

Business & Industry
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Front page

Corruption hurting nation's image: Poll
The Chinese consider corruption the biggest blot on the country's international image, followed by counterfeit and shoddy goods, and pollution, a recent survey has found.

The poll conducted by the Horizon Research Consultancy Group said 59.2 percent of respondents think corruption among government officials hurts China's image the most.

The telephone survey polled 1,350 people in five major cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chongqing - in mid-December.

Business & Industry

Spill spread may affect drinking water supply
The diesel fuel leak into a tributary of the Yellow River has spread downstream into Shanxi and Henan provinces, contaminating and potentially affecting the drinking water supply of many local residents.

The fuel leaking into the Weihe River has reached the Sanmenxia reservoir on the Yellow River in Henan province despite earlier efforts to prevent it from spreading into the main river.


Front Page

PRC backs out of US$40bn Australia natural gas deal
Energy giant PetroChina Co has pulled out of a US$40 billion deal to buy natural gas from a project off Australia, leaving Woodside Petroleum Ltd looking for new customers.

Woodside informed Australia’s stock exchange on Monday that an early stage agreement for the Browse Basin liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off Western Australia state had not been settled by a New Year’s Eve deadline and had now lapsed.

Business & Industry

Year-end bonuses increase this year
As the nation emerges from the economic slump, nearly 80 percent of employers are planning to grant year-end bonuses this year, worth an average of 1.07 months’ salary, with the financial sector topping the list at 1.61 months, slightly down from 1.62 months last year, a survey showed yesterday.

Of companies planning year-end bonuses this year, 73.4 ­percent felt reluctant to increase their payouts because of the impact of last year’s economic downturn, said 104 Job Bank, which polled 984 enterprises between Dec. 7 and Dec. 10.


Front Page

Seoul finalizes incentives for Sejong investors
The government yesterday finalized a set of incentives for companies and schools entering Sejong City in South Chungcheong Province, such as tax benefits, subsidies and low land prices.

Major investors such as large enterprises and universities will be able to buy undeveloped land in Sejong City at around 400,000 won ($349) per pyeong (3.3 square meters). Including developing costs, the price would range between 700,000 and 800,000 won, not much lower than the average land cost in nearby industrial parks.

Business & Industry

Painful restructuring at Kumho Asiana
Kumho Asiana Group said yesterday it would raise 1.3 trillion won ($1.13 billion) by selling assets of its affiliates as part of its restructuring program, the group said yesterday.

The debt-ridden Kumho Asiana will also cut 20 percent of its executives and reduce the salaries of the remaining executives by 20 percent. It also decided to offer one-month of unpaid leave to all of its office workers.

Kumho Asiana, the country's eighth-largest conglomerate, has been suffering severely from a liquidity crisis in the wake of its heavily leveraged purchase of Daewoo Engineering & Construction in 2006.


Front Page

A tragic death spells lifeline for another
In death, hit-and-run victim Chiew Fong Neo will bring life to several people.

Her lungs were immediately transplanted into a 43-year-old woman identified only as Sarojini, only the third person in Malaysia to ever undergo a double lung transplant.

Chiew’s heart, kidneys, liver and corneas will go to other patients.

Chiew, 43, died at the Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital (SFSH) yesterday, two days after a motorcycle she was riding was rammed in the rear by a car.

Business & Industry

Alliance Bank admits to probe, CEO not quitting
Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd, one of the country's smallest banks, said its chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Bridget Lai had not resigned as speculated, but admitted to carrying out an internal probe.

It did not say what the probe was about, except that it was "part of its due diligence on corporate governance and board oversight".


An emerging theme, tinged with surprises
The year gone by belonged to the emerging - and, on occasion, the outright baffling.


Front Page

Manit vows to fight on
Embattled Deputy Public Health Minister Manit Nopamornbodee is refusing to give up his cabinet post and vows to fight to redeem his reputation.

Deputy Public Health Minister Manit Nopamornbodee ponders reporters’ questions on his decision to stay on in the cabinet despite being implicated in alleged irregularities in theThaiKhem Khaeng scheme.Mr Manit addressed a news conference held at his Bhumjaithai Party headquarters yesterday.

Business & Industry

THAI seeking a younger image
Passengers of Thai Airways International (THAI) can expect to be served by younger female flight attendants as senior staff take up an unprecedented voluntary resignation package.

THAI is aiming to improve its appeal to customers while circumventing accusations of age and sex discrimination with a tempting ‘‘mutual separation plan’’ for female flight attendants aged 45 and over. Those who take up the carrier’s offer will receive up to 30 times their monthly salary in a lump sum.

The scheme is the first so-called "mutual separation plan" - or MSP - to be launched by THAI in its 50-year history and exclusively targets female flight attendants aged 45 and over.

By: Staff Reporter
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