Asia Business

Egypt, Nissan agree to produce 100,000 cars a year: minister

19/03 Egyptian state-owned carmaker El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing and Japan's Nissan have reached an initial agreement to produce 100,000 cars a year in Egypt, the minister for public enterprises said on Tuesday.  Full story

Oman denies it has agreed to invest in Sri Lanka oil refinery project

20/03 Oman's oil ministry on Wednesday denied being part of a $3.85 billion plan to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, a day after the government in Colombo announced the Arab country's participation.. . .  Full story

Key Jet Airways lender SBI says bankruptcy 'last option', rescue almost ready

20/03 Bankruptcy is the "last option" for Jet Airways, State Bank of India's (SBI) chairman said on Wednesday, adding that it might still be possible to draft in a new investor to keep the airline flying.. . .  Full story

India's state-run MSTC $33 mln IPO subscribed 1.5 times after sale extension

20/03 Indian e-commerce firm MSTC Ltd's initial public offering to raise as much as 2.26 billon rupees ($32.86 million) was subscribed 1.5 times, after the company extended the share sale until Wednesday and cut the lower. . .  Full story

China will strive to achieve 2019 economic goals - premier

20/03 China will strive to achieve its economic development targets for 2019, state television said on Wednesday, quoting the cabinet after a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.. . .  Full story

Saudis to seek $20 bln investments for planned tourism landmark

20/03 Saudi Arabia is targeting up to $20 billion of investments through 2035 for a planned landmark tourism destination and will hold a global investor roadshow before the end of the year, the head of. . .  Full story

Vietnam hikes retail electricity prices by 8.36 pct -ministry

20/03 Vietnam has raised its retail electricity prices by 8.36 percent to an average of 1,864.4 dong ($0.0804) per kilowatt hour, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on trade jitters, Fed caution

20/03 Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday as risk appetite soured after a report of possible hurdles in the Sino-U.S. trade talks, and ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy decision later in. . .  Full story

Traffic-clogged Jakarta plans to invest over $40 bln in infrastructure in next 10 yrs

20/03 Indonesia's capital plans to invest 571 trillion rupiah ($40.27 billion) to upgrade its transportation and other infrastructure in the next 10 years, its governor was reported by media as saying on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Piles of pigs: Swine fever outbreaks go unreported in rural China

20/03 When pigs on the Xinda Husbandry Co. Ltd breeding farm in northern China began dying in growing numbers in early January, it looked increasingly likely that the farm had been struck by the much. . .  Full story

Taiwan export orders fall most in nearly 3 years as tech slump drags on

20/03 Taiwan's export orders fell the most in nearly three years in February as global demand for consumer electronics remained sluggish, pointing to a further slowdown in the export-reliant economy.. . .  Full story

CLSA's CEO quits as strategy differences with parent CITIC emerge -sources

20/03 The chief executive of brokerage CLSA has resigned with more management change likely amid differences over strategy with Chinese parent CITIC Securities Co Ltd (CITIC), people with direct knowledge of the matter said.. . .  Full story

HK stocks close weaker on trade war jitters, Fed caution

20/03 The Hong Kong stock market ended lower on Wednesday as investors kept a cautious stance ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision later in the day and on reports of renewed tension in. . .  Full story

Global mood pulls down most major Gulf markets

20/03 Saudi Arabia's stock market dropped on Wednesday as its banks fell, while most major Gulf markets also slid, mirroring global cues ahead of a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve on its interest rate. . .  Full story

China stocks flat ahead of Fed decision; trade outlook weighs

20/03 Chinese stocks were little changed on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision later in the day and on uncertainty surrounding Sino-U.S. trade negotiations. ** The Shanghai Composite index was flat at 3,090.64 points.. . .  Full story

Nikkei up slightly before Fed; Sony, Nintendo slide as Google starts gaming business

20/03 Japan's Nikkei eked out small gains on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy review, while Sony and Nintendo tumbled on news that Google is starting a gaming business.. . .  Full story

Nikkei steadies before Fed; Sony, Nintendo slide as Google targets gaming business

20/03 Japan's Nikkei edged up in midmorning trade on Wednesday after a choppy start as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy review, while Sony and Nintendo tumbled on news that Google is. . .  Full story

After year-long drought, two big Malaysian IPOs set for Q2 launch - sources

20/03 Malaysia's poultry producer Leong Hup International and fast food operator QSR Brands are in advanced stages of launching their initial public offerings in the second quarter, which would revive the nation's moribund primary market, sources. . .  Full story

S. Korea's cenbank needs to be wary of policy easing - board member

20/03 South Korea's central bank needs to be mindful of the side effects of an early easing in policy rates, a bank board member said on Wednesday, adding to views that the bank's seven-member board. . .  Full story

Malaysia's March 1 - 20 palm oil exports fall 2.3 pct -AmSpec Agri

20/03 Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for March 1 - 20 fell 2.3 percent to 908,718 tonnes from 929,856 tonnes shipped during February 1 - 20, according to independent inspection company AmSpec. . .  Full story

China, Hong Kong stocks falter on trade worries, Fed caution

20/03 Shares in mainland China and Hong Kong fell on Wednesday after a report suggested possible hurdles in Sino-U.S. trade talks, and as investors exercised caution ahead of a policy decision by the U.S. Federal. . .  Full story

Toshiba Memory IPO likely pushed back two months to November -source

20/03 U.S. buyout firm Bain Capital is likely to push back the IPO of Toshiba Memory by around two months, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, moving to November what is. . .  Full story

BOJ policymakers disagree on next policy move as risks mount

20/03 Bank of Japan policymakers disagreed on how quickly the central bank should ramp up monetary stimulus, minutes of their January rate review showed on Wednesday, as heightening overseas risks threatened to derail the country's fragile. . .  Full story

From farms to slums, Indian women on sharp end of jobs crisis

20/03 A few years ago, in this sweltering corner of western India, the horizon was dotted with hunched, barefoot women swinging sickles all day to cut wheat for the spring harvest.. . .  Full story

COLUMN-Oil and equities prepare to party like it's 1999: Kemp

20/03 Investors seem to be betting history will repeat itself, with the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates to keep the U.S. expansion going, just as it did in 1998, producing one final bull run in. . .  Full story

Japan factory mood hits weakest since 2016 as trade rifts bite-Reuters Tankan

20/03 Confidence among Japanese manufacturers hit its weakest in two-and-a-half years in March, a Reuters poll showed, as global trade friction fuelled concerns that a postwar record growth cycle driven by Abenomics may be over.. . .  Full story

Egypt, Nissan agree to produce 100,000 cars a year - minister

19/03 Egyptian state-owned carmaker El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing and Japan's Nissan have reached an initial agreement to produce 100,000 cars a year in Egypt, the minister for public enterprises said on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

India's Mindtree management rejects L&T's hostile takeover bid

19/03 India's Mindtree on Tuesday rejected conglomerate Larsen & Toubro's hostile takeover bid, saying L&T's plan to acquire a controlling stake will not create value for the IT services firm or its shareholders.. . .  Full story

Indian-Omani group strikes $3.85 bln deal to build Sri Lanka oil refinery

19/03 India's Accord Group and Oman's Ministry of Oil and Gas have signed a $3.85 billion deal to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, the biggest single pledge of foreign direct investment ever made. . .  Full story

Jet Airways crisis worsens as Indian government steps in, pilots threaten strike

19/03 A crisis at India's Jet Airways deepened on Tuesday as an increasingly worried Indian government called for an emergency meeting, angry passengers demanded refunds and pilots threatened to go on strike over unpaid salaries.. . .  Full story

Oil and equities prepare to party like it's 1999: Kemp

19/03 Investors seem to be betting history will repeat itself, with the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates to keep the U.S. expansion going, just as it did in 1998, producing one final bull run in. . .  Full story

IMF urges South Sudan to stop taking oil-backed loans

19/03 South Sudan should stop selling expensive and opaque oil advances, the International Monetary Fund said, because loan resettlements were hindering spending vital for the implementation of a peace deal.. . .  Full story

FAO calls on Vietnam to declare swine fever a national emergency

19/03 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday advised Vietnam to declare a rapidly spreading outbreak of African Swine Fever as a national emergency.. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall ahead of cenbank policy meetings; Thailand gains

19/03 Thai shares rose nearly 1 percent in thin trade on Tuesday, snapping three straight sessions of falls, while most other Southeast Asian markets ended lower ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting and. . .  Full story

Temasek investment arm appoints new CEO

19/03 Singapore's Temasek International said on Tuesday Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara will take over as its CEO, while its current CEO Lee Theng Kiat will become chairman next month.. . .  Full story

HK shares edge higher ahead of Fed meeting

19/03 Hong Kong stocks inched higher on Tuesday ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week where it is widely expected to strike a dovish tone. ** At the close of trade, the Hang. . .  Full story

India government asked banks to save Jet, avoid bankruptcy -sources

19/03 India's government has asked state-run banks to rescue privately held Jet Airways without pushing it into bankruptcy, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to avert thousands of job losses weeks before a general election, two. . .  Full story

Japan's 2018 commercial land prices rise at fastest pace in 11 years

19/03 Japanese commercial land prices climbed at their fastest pace in 11 years in 2018, a government survey showed on Tuesday, led by strong demand for office space and a boom in tourism.. . .  Full story

Top Philippine nickel miner says 2019 ore sales steady, exports to China to fall

19/03 Nickel Asia Corp, the Philippines' top nickel ore producer, expects its 2019 shipments to be unchanged from last year, although it plans to increase its domestic sales to maximise profits, its chief financial officer told. . .  Full story

China shares edge lower on profit-taking; Fed meeting eyed

19/03 China's main stock indexes ended lower on Tuesday, pulling back from near 6-1/2-month highs in the previous session, on profit taking, but losses were limited by hopes for continued government support for the economy and. . .  Full story

Pakistan's Engro starts operations at large lignite power station

19/03 Pakistan's Engro Powergen Thar Private Ltd (EPTL) on Tuesday started test run operations at a large power station that will use domestic lignite coal to generate electricity, the company's chief executive told Reuters.. . .  Full story

Nikkei edges lower as exporters weak; financials gain on U.S. yields

19/03 Japan's Nikkei ended lower on Tuesday as investors took profits on exporters' stocks, but losses were capped by gains in financials which were helped by rising U.S. yields.. . .  Full story

Philippines rejects Go-Jek appeal against ride-hailing licence ban

19/03 Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek lost an appeal on Tuesday against the Philippines' decision to refuse to grant it a licence due to its failure to meet local ownership criteria, in a major blow to. . .  Full story

Hyundai Motor, Kia to invest $300 mln in India's Ola

19/03 South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp will together invest $300 million in Indian ride-hailing platform Ola, playing catch-up in the global race to invest in mobility firms.. . .  Full story

China stocks fall on profit-taking, investors eye Fed meeting

19/03 Chinese shares edged lower on Tuesday as investors took profits after major stock indexes closed near 6-1/2 month highs in the previous session, but the downside was limited by expectation that the U.S. Federal Reserve. . .  Full story

JGBs little changed; Fed meeting in focus

19/03 Japanese government bond (JGB) prices were little changed on Tuesday, with a lack of significant moves in U.S. Treasuries ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week weighing on the bond market.. . .  Full story

Asia firms spend less and save more as China economy slows

19/03 Corporate spending in Asia is likely fall for the first time in three years, a Reuters analysis of Refinitiv data showed, as businesses conserve cash in the face of a stalling Chinese economy, an. . .  Full story

Nikkei edges lower as exporters weak; but financials gain on U.S. yields

19/03 Japan's Nikkei edged lower on Tuesday as investors took profits on exporters' stocks, but losses were capped by gains in financials which were helped by rising U.S. yields.. . .  Full story

Vietnamese workers, streaming to Japan, face risks as labour system opens up

19/03 When a young Vietnamese woman found out late last year that she was pregnant after arriving in Japan on a "technical trainee" visa, she was given a stark choice: "Have an abortion or go. . .  Full story

China refiners eye record crude use in Q3, likely yielding fuel glut -survey

19/03 China's crude oil processing rate will likely hit another record in the third quarter this year, topping 13 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time, as two new mega-refineries ramp up and. . .  Full story

Saudi Arabia curbs family influence in Binladin group shake-up

18/03 The influence of Saudi Arabia's Bin Laden family on its eponymous construction business has been curtailed in a restructuring that follows an anti-corruption crackdown by Riyadh, a document seen by Reuters shows.. . .  Full story

Libya agrees $34 billion budget for 2019 after months of disputes

18/03 Libya's U.N.-backed administration agreed with the central bank and other players on a 2019 budget worth 46.8 billion dinars ($33.83 billion), it said on Monday after months of arguments.. . .  Full story

India's L&T buys 20 pct of IT company Mindtree, targets more

18/03 Indian conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is buying a 20.32 percent stake in IT services company Mindtree for 32.69 billion rupees ($476.57 million), it said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Jet chairman tells pilots he needs more time to finalise rescue deal

18/03 Jet Airways' Chairman Naresh Goyal told the airline's pilots on Monday he needed "a further short time" to finalise a rescue deal for the cash-strapped Indian carrier as the process is complex.. . .  Full story

Saudi closes at near 4-year high as it joins FTSE Russell index

18/03 Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index closed at its highest in nearly four years on Monday as bank shares rose on its first day as a member of FTSE Russell's emerging-market index, which is expected. . .  Full story

China will promote stable and healthy development of property market - state TV

18/03 China will steadily implement a pilot scheme under plans to set up a long-term mechanism in the property market, Vice Premier Han Zheng was quoted by state television as saying on Monday.. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise as Fed seen accommodative; Philippines bounces back

18/03 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday, with Philippines leading the pack, as hopes of the U.S. Federal Reserve maintaining a dovish stance at a policy meeting on Wednesday buoyed risk appetite.. . .  Full story

Israel's Cellcom falls to quarterly loss, urges regulatory intervention

18/03 Cellcom, Israel's largest mobile operator, reported a steeper than expected quarterly loss, hurt by continuing revenue declines amid toughening competition and as it invests in a fibre optics network.. . .  Full story

Hong Kong stocks end at 9-month high as Fed seen accommodative

18/03 Hong Kong stocks tracked the mainland Chinese markets higher on Monday and closed at a nine-month peak, buoyed by expectations of the U.S. Federal Reserve taking a dovish stance at its policy meeting this. . .  Full story

China stocks end near 6-1/2-month high; consumer firms shine

18/03 China's major stock indexes closed near their 6-1/2-month highs on Monday, as sentiment was bolstered by high expectations of the U.S. Federal Reserve taking a dovish stance at its policy meeting this week and Beijing's. . .  Full story

China’s crowded co-working industry turns to services amid funding crunch

18/03 Co-working space operators in China are shifting their focus from ambitious expansion plans to services such as customising offices for clients, as rising vacancy rates and tighter financing slow their exponential growth of the past. . .  Full story

Nikkei driven up by chip-related stocks but weak export data caps gains

18/03 Japan's Nikkei rose on Monday as chip-related stocks tracked strength in their U.S. peers, but weak February export data checked the market's upside.. . .  Full story

Thai seen holding key rate on Wed as growth slows, risks rise

18/03 Thailand's central bank is expected to keep its benchmark policy rate steady on Wednesday for a second straight review after a hike in December, a Reuters poll showed, in a bid to support a. . .  Full story

JGBs steady to slightly firmer; eyes on auction, Fed

18/03 Japanese government bonds were steady to slightly higher on Monday after U.S. Treasury yields dipped to 10-week lows as a softer-than-expected data underpinned hopes that the U.S. central bank will hold rates steady.. . .  Full story

Saudi stocks set to receive $20 bln windfall even as some investors sit out

18/03 Saudi Arabia's inclusion in major emerging markets stock indices from Monday is likely to suck in around $20 billion in passive inflows, but unease after Jamal Khashoggi's murder and sluggish reforms could lead some active. . .  Full story

Chinese developer Country Garden's 2018 core profit up 38 pct at record

18/03 Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, China's top property developer by total sales, reported core profit for 2018 rose 38 percent to a record, in line with forecasts of analysts, on robust revenue and higher margins.. . .  Full story

China, Hong Kong stocks rise on hopes of Fed's dovish stance

18/03 China and Hong Kong stocks climbed on Monday, amid mounting speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will sound decidedly dovish at its policy meeting this week, and thanks to hopes Beijing will use more policy. . .  Full story

Nikkei up on chip-related stocks, weak data limits upside

18/03 Japan's Nikkei rose on Monday as chip-related stocks followed gains in their U.S. counterparts on Friday, but weak February export data limited the market's upside.. . .  Full story

Singapore's exports rebound but electronics show prevailing weakness

18/03 Singapore's exports rose unexpectedly in February year-on-year, rebounding from its biggest fall in over two years, data on Monday showed, but economists say a decline in electronics shipments shows global demand has not improved.. . .  Full story

Japan's Kampo Insurance eyes firms with tech edge in new ESG strategy

18/03 Japan Post Insurance is shifting its approach to sustainable investing by picking companies with a technological edge to solving global problems, its investment chief said, in a move away from typical ESG selection criteria.. . .  Full story

Workers in Algeria's Hassi Rmel gas field protest, output unaffected -Sonatrach official

17/03 Workers in Algeria's biggest gas field Hassi Rmel staged a protest on Sunday but production was unaffected, an official from state energy firm Sonatrach said.. . .  Full story

Saudi dips ahead of FTSE Russell index inclusion, other markets mixed

17/03 Saudi stocks dipped slightly on Sunday, a day ahead of the market's inclusion in the FTSE Russell's emerging market index, while other Gulf markets were mixed with Qatar down 1.1 percent on weakness in. . .  Full story

Algerian PM starts talks to form new government

17/03 Algeria's newly-appointed prime minister has started talks to form a new government, the state news agency reported on Sunday, in a move designed to appease protesters demanding President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika and his inner circle. . .  Full story

OPEC's Barkindo says compliance with supply cut deal improving

17/03 OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said on Sunday that compliance with a supply cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC members was improving, and that this would help the oil market to weather through the. . .  Full story

Saudi Falih optimistic on continued commitment to OPEC+ oil supply cut

17/03 Saudi Arabia's energy minister said on Sunday he was optimistic about continued commitment to the oil supply cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC members.. . .  Full story

Crisis-struck Sudan signs deals for $300 million with Arab funds

17/03 Sudan has signed deals for loans worth $300 million with regional Arab funds, authorities said on Saturday, as the government struggles to cope with an economic crisis and nearly three months. . .  Full story

Shanghai's Nasdaq-style tech board to take listing applications from Monday - Shanghai Sec News

16/03 The Shanghai Stock Exchange will start accepting listing applications for its new Science and Technology Innovation board on Monday, putting it on track for a first batch of listings as early as mid-June, the. . .  Full story

China provides subsidies to lure talent to Greater Bay Area

16/03 Subsidies will be granted to lure talent from outside mainland China to support development of the Greater Bay Area, a project aimed at deepening integration between Hong Kong and southern Guangdong province, the Ministry of. . .  Full story

Jet Airways pilots seek government help to recover unpaid salaries, with interest

15/03 Cash-strapped Indian carrier Jet Airways' pilots union has for the first time sought government help to recover pending salaries and dues from the airline, saying pleas to management have fallen on deaf ears.. . .  Full story

Passengers rage over disruptions at India's embattled Jet Airways

15/03 India's embattled Jet Airways put photographs of smiling women employees on social media last week for Women's Day, using the tagline "Standing tall; touching the skies" but few passengers reacted cheerfully.. . .  Full story

Hundreds of thousands demonstrate against Algeria's Bouteflika -Reuters witnesses

15/03 The number of protesters demonstrating against Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the capital Algiers on Friday swelled into the hundreds of thousands, Reuters witnesses said.. . .  Full story

India's main opposition promises to spend more on health if voted back

15/03 India's main opposition Congress party said on Friday it would more than double healthcare spending in five years if voted back to power, adding to a growing list of promises to try to woo. . .  Full story

Asia Gold-Price dip attracts Indian buyers amid wedding season

15/03 Physical gold demand improved this week in India as a correction in local prices attracted buyers, particularly with the wedding season underway, while premiums in China rose on steady buying in the world's leading consumer.. . .  Full story

Lenders to Jet to reach final resolution in one week - SBI official

15/03 A consortium of lenders led by the State Bank of India (SBI) should reach a final resolution plan to rescue embattled Jet Airways in the next one week, an SBI official said on Friday.. . .  Full story

China's premier says ready to use more policy tools to help economy

15/03 The Chinese government has additional monetary policy measures that it can take to support economic growth this year, and will even cut "its own flesh" to help finance large-scale tax cuts, Premier Li Keqiang. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia rises on surprise trade surplus, Philippines ends higher

15/03 Most Southeast Asian stocks advanced on Friday, with Indonesia gaining after the nation posted a surprise trade surplus in February, while Philippines erased losses to end higher as January remittances rose.. . .  Full story

Protesters start gathering in downtown Algiers -Reuters witnesses

15/03 Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Algiers on Friday as new mass protests are expected in the North African country, Reuters witnesses said.. . .  Full story

HK shares end higher on China policy boost, trade talk hopes

15/03 The Hong Kong market closed higher on Friday, after China pledged to prop up slowing economic growth and appeared to make progress in its trade talks with the United States. ** At the close of. . .  Full story

Retail investors, mid-caps stand out in China's stock rally

15/03 Heartened by signs of an end to a long-running trade war with the United States and monetary easing at home, China's stock indices have vaulted by a fifth since the beginning of this year. . .  Full story

China stocks climb on premier's growth support pledge

15/03 The Chinese stock market closed higher on Friday after Premier Li Keqiang vowed strong measures to boost slowing economic growth. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 1 percent at 3,021.75, while. . .  Full story

Nikkei ends higher as companies relying on China demand soar

15/03 Japan's Nikkei closed higher on Friday as companies with large exposure to China soared on Beijing's commitment to boosting economic growth, while investors also saw signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.. . .  Full story

TSE to companies:Disclose in English, keep market cap above Y25 bln to stay listed-Nikkei

15/03 The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is considering a minimum market capitalisation of 25 billion yen ($223.87 million) and disclosure in English as requirements for companies to stay listed on its first-section, or the main board,. . .  Full story

JGBs flat to slightly softer, no reaction to BOJ

15/03 Japanese government bonds were steady to slightly weaker on Friday after recent rallies, showing little reaction to the Bank of Japan's decision to cut its economic assessment while maintaining its policy on hold.. . .  Full story

Malaysia's March 1 - 15 palm oil exports fall 1.4 pct -AmSpec Agri

15/03 Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for March 1 - 15 fell 1.4 percent to 676,553 tonnes from 685,779 tonnes shipped during February 1 - 15, according to independent inspection company AmSpec. . .  Full story

China's home price growth slips to 10-month low, raises policy challenge

15/03 New home prices in China grew at their slowest pace in 10 months in February in sign of slackening demand as the economy cools further, leaving authorities walking a tight rope between loosening. . .  Full story

China stocks rise as premier vows strong support

15/03 Shares in China climbed on Friday after the government reiterated its commitment to boosting growth and as Beijing and Washington appeared to have made more progress in their trade talks. ** At the midday break,. . .  Full story

Japan to prod regional banks to boost profitability with new rules

15/03 Japan's financial watchdog will conduct stress tests on regional banks around mid-year and review rules to prod them to speed up efforts to boost profitability, a government official with direct knowledge of the matter said. . .  Full story

Japan court rejects bid to shut Shikoku Electric nuclear reactor -Kyodo

15/03 A high court in western Japan on Friday rejected a lawsuit to shut down Shikoku Electric Power Co's only operating nuclear reactor, Kyodo News reported.. . .  Full story

Indonesia posts surprise trade surplus in Feb as imports slump

15/03 Indonesia posted a surprise trade surplus for the first time in five months in February as imports unexpectedly fell sharply, data from the statistics bureau showed on Friday.. . .  Full story

Nikkei rises as chip-related stocks, exporters lead gains

15/03 Japan's Nikkei made firm gains on Friday morning as a weaker yen supported exporter stocks, while chip-related companies rose on earnings from Broadcom after the Wall Street close.. . .  Full story