Asia Business

Bayer plans 100-million-euro research centre in Beijing

Beijing - Bayer Schering Pharma AG said Thursday that it plans to invest 100 million euros (129 million dollars) over the next five years to open a pharmaceutical research and development centre in Beijing as it seeks to expand its presence in the world's most populous country.

The research centre would be the fourth in the world for the pharmaceutical division of the German drug and chemical company Bayer AG. The others are in Germany and the United States.

Andreas Fibig, chief executive of Bayer Schering, said China is the "key growth driver" for the company in the Asia-Pacific region.

HSBC Asia boss warns of dangers of "financial nationalism"

HSBC Asia boss warns of dangers of "financial nationalism" Hong Kong - The head of HSBC bank in Asia Thursday warned of the dangers of "financial nationalism" by banks because of the recent crop of stimulus packages by governments worldwide.

Sandy Flockhart, chief executive officer for the bank's Asia-Pacific banking operations, also warned of bail-out funds being swallowed up by "fringe projects."

SingTel extends regional mobile customer base by 35 per cent

SingTel extends regional mobile customer base by 35 per cent Singapore - Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) extended its regional mobile customer base by 35 per cent, or 61 million, to 232 million subscribers, the company said Monday.

Despite stiff competition and the global economic crisis, SingTel mobile subscribers in the region reached 232 million on December 31, 2008, the company said in a statement.

India, Bangladesh to sign two agreements

India, Bangladesh to sign two agreementsDhaka, Feb 9: External Affairs Minster Pranab Mukherjee has revealed that India and Bangladesh would be signing two agreements, one on promotion of bilateral trade and the other on investment promotion.

Mukherjee, who reached Dhaka on Monday, is expected to hold discussions with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and with Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Home and Water Resources.

Mukherjee was received at Dhaka Airport by his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr. Dipu Mony and Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty.

Nomura Holdings incurs record net loss in April-December period

Nomura Holdings incurs record net loss in April-December period Tokyo - Nomura Holdings Inc on Tuesday reported a record net loss of 492.36 billion yen (5.53 billion dollars) for the first nine months of the fiscal year 2008, which ends in March.

It was the largest loss Nomura incurred since 2001, when Japan's top brokerage house began using the US accounting standard.

It was also the first time Nomura reported losses in four quarters in a row, according to the Jiji Press news agency.

Price fluctuations shut down Chinatown gold shops in Bangkok

Price fluctuations shut down Chinatown gold shops in BangkokBangkok - Erratic price fluctuations on the international market have forced gold shops in Bangkok's Chinatown district to shut their doors Monday, the start of the Chinese New Year.

Jitti Tangsitpakdi, president of the Gold Traders' Association of Thailand, said gold jewellery shops in Yaowarat, Bangkok's Chinatown, will stay closed until Wednesday to weather out the wild fluctuations in gold prices.

China Southern Airlines opens office in Taiwan

China Southern Airlines opens office in Taiwan Taipei - China Southern Airlines opened a representative office in Taipei Thursday, becoming the first Chinese airline to gain a foothold in the Taiwan market.

Si Xianmin, chairman of China's largest airline, opened the office in Taipei's trendy Minsheng East Road. Taiwan transport officials and airline representatives attended the opening ceremony.

The office is aimed at promoting China Southern's business links with Taiwan and will not sell plane tickets, which are sold by Taiwan travel agencies.

Lenovo to lose 2,500 staff worldwide

Lenovo to lose 2,500 staff worldwideBeijing - Chinese-owned computer maker Lenovo on Thursday said it plans to lose about 2,500 staff, or 10 per cent of its global workforce, in the next three months.

The redundancies are a key part of a restructuring package designed to save Lenovo some 300 million dollars in its next financial year, which begins on April 1, the company said in a statement.

Lenovo, owned by China's Legend group, said it expects to announce a loss for the three months to December 31 last year, following a sharp drop in net profit for the previous quarter.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial's net profit down 51 per cent in 6 months

Tokyo  - Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc saw its net profit drop 51.2 per cent during the April-September period to 83.28 billion yen (870.74 million dollars) from a year earlier, the banking group said Friday.

One of Japan's three mega banking groups, it reported operating revenues of 1.82 trillion yen during the six months, down 12.5 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Sumitomo Mitsui expected its net profit to fall 61 per cent for the full business year through March 31 to 180 billion yen from the year before and operating revenues to decline 20 per cent to 3.7 trillion yen. (dpa)

Asian markets mixed; Japan stocks down despite rate cut

Tokyo  - Markets across the Asia-Pacific ended a roller-coaster week mixed on Friday with key bourses in Hong Kong and Tokyo down despite a much-anticipated rate cut by the Bank of Japan.

Asian markets had posted significant gains mid-week with daily surges of up to 10 per cent or even more after a rate cut in the United States, making up for similarly heavy losses at the beginning of the week.

The Bank of Japan on Friday cut its key short-term interest rate to 0.3 per cent from 0.5 per cent to help the world's second-largest economy weather the global financial crisis.

Nepal, India ready to amend trade treaty

Kathmandu, Oct 22: Nepal’s Commerce Secretary Purushottam Ojha has said that both Nepal and India have agreed to amend the bilateral trade treaty within three months.

Talking to media after the meeting in Delhi on Tuesday, Ojha said the parties had agreed on the clauses to be amended in the existing bilateral trade treaty.

He further said the meeting to work out the amendments would be held in Kathmandu. The treaty has been renewed twice since it was signed in 1996.

The two countries have been discussing the amendments for the last two years. launches online trading facility for NRIs in Dubai

ICICIdirect.comDubai, Oct 7: ICICIdirect. com, a major online trading platform in India, launched its online Futures and Options (F&O) trading service for non-resident Indians (NRIs), here last evening.

The online trading facility would offer secure transactions through its integrated trading site.

It would also provide an opportunity for NRI customers to create short-term trading positions and benefit from market volatility.

India, Pak finalise modalities of LoC trade

India, Pak finalise modalities of LoC tradeMirpur (Pakistan), Sept 29: Modalities of trade between India and Pakistan to begin trade through Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot routes have reportedly been finalized, official sources said.

The trade is scheduled to commence on October 21 on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and on October 28 on the Poonch-Rawalakot route.

PoK Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Zulfiqar Abbasi, who will head a 21-member trade delegation to Kashmir from October 9, said that trucks would be allowed to go to the designated points on both sides of the LoC.

LoC truck service between India, Pak to start from Oct 21

Islamabad, Sept 27: Goods trade between India and Pakistan through truck service will start on October 21 through the Uri-Muzaffarabad road in the Kashmir Valley, and through the Poonch-Rawalakot route on October 28, as hectic preparations are on, on both sides of the international border dividing India and Pakistan, reported The News.

The centre at Poonch, coming up at Rangar near the Chakan-da-Bagh crossing point on the Line of Control, will have truck terminal, godowns, customs and immigration offices, scanning chambers with X-ray machines, weighing bridge and security posts.

India speeding up civil construction to facilitate trade with Pakistan

Poonch/Srinagar, Sept 27 : India speeding up civil construction to facilitate trade with PakistanCivil construction work is progressing fast in Kashmir to facilitate trade with Pakistan administered Kashmir.

A trade centre and a truck terminal near the Chakan-da-Bagh crossing point on the Line of Control (LoC) is under construction, authorities said.

Customer panic eases after run on Bank of East Asia in Hong Kong

Bank of East AsiaHong Kong - Panic died down Thursday among customers of Hong Kong's Bank of East Asia who a day earlier had rushed to withdraw their savings amid rumours the bank was facing collapse.

Long queues of hundreds of customers died away Thursday morning after Hong Kong's chief executive, the head of its central bank and the bank's chairman all insisted the institution was not in difficulty.

Text messages widely circulated from Monday said the bank was on the brink of collapse, sparking a rush to withdraw funds from the bank's 130 branches in Hong Kong.

India, Pakistan to start trade across disputed Kashmir by October

India, Pakistan to start trade across disputed Kashmir by October New Delhi - India and Pakistan have agreed to start bilateral trade between parts of Kashmir they separately administer by as early as next month, officials and news reports said Tuesday.

Officials from the countries who met in New Delhi on Monday finalized the "modalities" for starting the trade, a statement from India's External Affairs Ministry said.

Kamal Nath promises India support to Nepal industries

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal NathNew Delhi, Sept 17: Expressing full support of the Indian Government in rapid economic development of Nepal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath has said that manufacturing industry in Nepal could be the harbinger of faster growth in trade and industry in the country.

During his bilateral meeting with Rajendra Mahato, Nepalese Minister for Commerce and Supplies, here last evening, Nath referred to the warm social and economic relations between the two countries.

Salaries in Asia-Pacific forecast to rise in 2009

Singapore - Salaries in the Asia-Pacific region are forecast to jump next year as a result of rising inflation, a compensation firm's report said Tuesday.

Pay is expected to increase by a median 8 per cent in 2009 against a median increase of 6.7 per cent in 2008, according to HR Business Solutions.

Pay hikes among more developed countries including Taiwan, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are forecast at between 3.5-5.9 per cent, the firm said.

Sri Lanka tops the projected increases at 17 per cent, followed by India at 16 per cent, Indonesia at 12.7 per cent, Vietnam at 12.4 per cent, Bangladesh at 11.9 per cent and Pakistan at 11.1 per cent.

Singapore tops international meeting venues

Singapore tops international meeting venuesSingapore - Singapore received top marks for being the world's best meeting venue in 2007 by the international non-profit Union of International Associations, overtaking previous favorites Paris and Vienna, The Strait Times reported Wednesday.

The Asian city-state topped the rankings of meeting, exhibition and convention of the year and also won in the categories of best business event venue and business ambassador., the paper said.

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