Asia

China's industrial output grew at a slower pace than any economist forecast in October, stoking concern that the biggest contributor to global growth is running out of steam, Bloomberg reported today. Production rose 8.2 percent from a year earlier, the smallest gain in seven years, the statistics bureau said today. None of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted such a small increase. Output grew 11.4 percent in September.
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Shinsung Engineering & Construction, a mid-sized building company, Wednesday filed for a court receivership to allow it to reschedule its debts, the Korea Times reported today. It was the first case for the construction industry that has been troubled by diminishing orders and a backlog of unsold housing amid liquidity problems stemming from the global financial crisis. Shinsung's request came after it failed to repay its debts worth 173.9 billion won ($128.5 million) to its 159 subcontractors, according to the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
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According to Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank CEO Eirvin Knox, Abu Dhabi won't allow Dubai's state-owned companies to default on debt payments as the global banking crisis limits their access to funds, Bloomberg reported yesterday. Dubai may need help from Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates government to finance a surge in borrowing that paid for the world's tallest tower, palm tree-shaped man-made islands and stakes in banks worldwide, Moody's Investors Service said in a report last month.
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Seoul shares slipped 2 percent on Tuesday as demand worries following a bankruptcy filing by a major U.S. electronics retailer sent tech exporters such as LG Electronics lower, Reuters reported yesterday. Banks also fell on jitters about funding difficulties and rising bad debt. The United States is South Korea's second-biggest export market. Appliance and mobile phone maker LG Electronics dropped 6.99 percent and LG Display, a maker of flat screens for TVs and computers, declined 6.46 percent. Hynix, which produces chips used in computers and consumer electronics, fell 8.52 percent.
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Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said Singapore's government won't bail out the casino-resort being built by Las Vegas Sands Corp. in the city-state's downtown, Bloomberg reported today. The success of Las Vegas Sands’ project is crucial for the city-state, which is counting on two casino-resorts to help double visitor arrivals and triple tourism spending by 2015. The Las Vegas casino operator said yesterday it will get a $525 million investment from the family of CEO Sheldon Adelson and plans to sell $1.62 billion more in shares to raise cash and avoid bankruptcy.
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As the global slowdown weakens demand for China's exports, bankruptcies and joblessness are spreading throughout southern China, a main manufacturing zone, the Wall Street Journal reported today. China's customs agency recently reported that half of China's toy exporters that it tracks--some 3,600 companies--were driven out of the market in the first seven months of this year. A majority of those were in and around Dongguan, often called the toy-making capital of the world. Higher prices for energy and raw materials have driven up costs.
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Las Vegas Sands, owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said it remained "committed" to its $4 billion Singapore casino project and that the city-state approved its proposal for as many as 1,000 gaming tables, the International Herald Tribune reported yesterday. The company met Singapore government officials last week to discuss completing the project, the Sands said Friday. Las Vegas Sands, which may be short of cash for $16 billion of projects in Asia, has no problems with its borrowings in Singapore, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and DBS Group, said last week. The Sands told the U.S.
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China unveiled an economic stimulus program it billed as totaling $586 billion, aiming to bolster domestic demand and help avert a global recession, the Wall Street Journal Asia reported today. Though the two-year package appeared to include some previously announced measures, its size was clearly designed to revive the fading confidence of Chinese businesses and consumers, and impress foreign governments.
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National Australia Bank Ltd. said it has appointed a receiver to Allco Finance Group Ltd. unit Rubicon Holdings Australia, which manages three listed trusts, following Allco's collapse last week, the Wall Street Journal Asia reported today. NAB said it has appointed accounting and services firm Deloitte to oversee Rubicon Holdings, and that it would take a provision for its 20 million Australian dollar (US$13.3 million) exposure to the Allco unit.
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Groups related to collapsed Allco Finance Group warned today the failure of Allco may have triggered defaults on debt facilities, The Australian reported today. Real estate managers Rubicon Japan Trust, Rubicon America Trust and Rubicon Europe Trust Group said they were in talks with various lenders about the implications of Allco Finance's situation. All three entities were suspended from trade. Rubicon America Trust said that defaults on two debt facilities may have been triggered by Allco Finance's collapse, although it was not clear in the documentation for the loans.
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