Asia

Japanese builder Daiwa House Industry Co. said it may bid for failed property developer Urban Corp as it seeks opportunities to buy real estate assets brought low by the financial crisis, Reuters reported yesterday. Daiwa, at the head of a consortium of companies that includes Chuo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc., is currently in the lead to be chosen to take over Urban's assets and oversee its restructuring, a source familiar with the deal told Reuters. Urban filed for court protection from creditors on Aug 13 with 256 billion yen ($2.67 billion) in debt.
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For decades, the steamy Pearl River Delta area of southern Guangdong Province served as a primary engine for China’s astounding economic growth. But circumstances have changed quickly. The slowdown in exports contributed to the closing of at least 67,000 factories across China in the first half of the year, according to government statistics. Labor disputes and protests over lost back wages have surged, igniting fear in local officials. The shutdown of the Weixu shoe factory, called China Top Industries in English, is the latest casualty, the New York Times reported today.
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Despite assurances from the developer, Singapore is looking for ways to avoid ending up with a mammoth unfinished project on a prominent piece of land if U.S. casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. is unable to complete a $4.9 billion gaming venture, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Sands said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week that it was in danger of not meeting obligations to its lenders on a $3.8 billion portion of its debt unless it raises capital, cuts spending on developments or increases its Las Vegas earnings by year end.
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Administrators of the European arm of failed investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. are meeting with creditors in London on Friday to sketch out the group's assets and liabilities, The Straits Times reported today. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which was drafted in as administrator to Lehman Brothers International (Europe) to unravel the complex web of the firm's tens of thousands of trades and attempt to claw back funds for creditors, said it will provide an update after the meeting.
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Japan will offer up to 10 trillion yen ($105 billion) to the International Monetary Fund to bailout nations reeling from the global financial crisis, The Nikkei newspaper reported Thursday. Japanese officials have repeatedly said Tokyo is ready to provide some of its ample cash for IMF loans if the multilateral group doesn't have enough funds for bailouts. But the ministers have not given an amount. The Nikkei, the nation's top business daily, said the amount is likely to be about 10 percent of Japan's $1 trillion foreign currency reserves.
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Russian stocks plunged and Kuwait suspended trading as a slump in oil to below $55 a barrel roiled emerging markets and increased concern that Moscow will be forced to devalue the ruble, Bloomberg reported today. Russia's Micex Index fell as much as 17 percent and was 8.6 percent lower at 1:09 p.m. in Moscow after it reopened following a 30-minute trading suspension. A court in Kuwait ordered a shutdown as traders lobbied for support after a sixth day of declines.
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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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