Financial IUpdate on Asia and China

Wednesday, January 09, 2008
According to Bloomberg.com, Asian stocks rose for the first time in four days, led by financial shares, after China Merchants Bank Co. doubled its profit and Citic Securities Co. said net income jumped more than fivefold. China Construction Bank Corp. climbed the most in two weeks in Hong Kong. Fubon Financial Holding Co. led Taiwanese financial companies higher after the Economic Daily News reported they may be allowed to buy stakes in China's banks. Reliance Industries Ltd. paced gains among energy shares after saying it may join rivals to seek oil in India. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent to 153.10 as of 7:17 p.m. in Tokyo, following a three-day, 3.4 percent drop. About six stocks climbed for every five that retreated. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.2 percent to 14,528.67. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. led declines in South Korea after Edaily said Korea Development Bank will delay selling its stakes in the companies. Citic Securities, Asia's largest brokerage by market value, added 2.6 percent to 92.88 yuan. Net income rose more than 400 percent in 2007 on trading commissions in a booming stock market, the Beijing-based company said yesterday. Sony advanced 3.4 percent to 6,030 yen, extending yesterday's 0.7 percent gain, after Time Warner said it would use the company's Blu-ray technology instead of rival Toshiba Corp.'s HD DVD format. The sale of Korea Development Bank's stakes in Hyundai Engineering and Daewoo Shipbuilding will be delayed until at least next year, Internet news provider Edaily said today, citing Kwak Seung Jun, a member of President-elect Lee Myung Bak's transition committee. Korea Development is the largest shareholder in the two companies.

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