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taiwan

Uncertainty in Taiwan's Economic Future


Despite signs of improvements in Taiwanese exports, forecasted GDP growth has been declining since the start of 2008. First-quarter statistics for 2009 are expected nevertheless to show sharp overall declines. Export orders in the second quarter are expected to improve, but remain well below zero while any rebound may be due only to restocking orders.

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japan

Japanese Automakers Still Trying to Stay Afloat


Japanese automakers have been some of the most affected players of the slowing global economy. Both Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. recently reported a 32 percent decline in revenue, representing the lowest level of sales in 35 years. President of Atlantic Investment Research Corp. Takeshi Fushimi has predicted that "auto sales will recover, but buying will be selective". Bloomberg reports that the sales of Japanese vehicles may fall an additional 8.5 percent this year.

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allcountries

Global Recession Still Hurting Asian Markets


Economic indicators are showing signs that Asian markets are still in a deep recession. Monthly reports are confirming that business confidence in Japan has plunged to a record low, Chinese manufacturers are still shrinking, and exports in South Korea have fallen for the fifth straight month. According to Bloomberg, economies in Asia, with the exception on Japan, will grow at the slowest pace in 11 years. Central banks in Asia have been working around the clock to develop policies that would stimulate growth, while governments have spent more than $700 billion for the same purpose.

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afghanistan

Afghanistan to Receive $40 Million for Elections


The current global economic crisis has many countries developing new ways to save money, but fortunately for the government of Afghanistan, that does not mean that they are refraining from continuing their financial support of their elections. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Monday that the U.S. Government will commit $40 million to aiding the elections that are to take place in Afghanistan this summer. The money will be used to vamp up security, as well as battle the rampant drug trade that exists in the nation, particularly from Afghan poppy seeds.

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japan

Unemployment in Japan Reaches Three-Year High


The unemployment rate in Japan rose from 4.1 percent in January to 4.4 percent this month, although analysts are expected the rate to continue to go up. Kyohei Morita, Chief Economist at Barclays Capital in Tokyo, said that he expects the unemployment rate to bottom out at 5.7 percent this year because "manufacturers are going to keep cutting costs by suppressing employment". Being one of the world's largest trading countries, Japan relies heavily upon exports, which have declined over the past year. Automobile exports have dropped as much as 60 percent and companies like Toyota Motor Corp. are having to fire thousands of workers in order to save costs.

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russia

Russian Home Building on the Rise


The number of homes completed in the first two months of this year surpassed the number in the same period last year, Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin said Monday. About 5.86 million square meters of housing were completed in January and February, he said, without citing an earlier figure. "We have been able to completely maintain the positive dynamic of housing construction in Russia," he said, Prime-Tass news agency reported. The situation varies around the country, however, and construction is only rising in 49 regions, he said.

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china

China's Hotels Could Lead Recovery


China's hotels may spearhead the industry in shaking off the economic recession, said a senior official from China Tourist Hotels Association (CTHA) on Tuesday. A survey based on the performance of 14 major cities' hotels showed that between September 2008 and January 2009, hotels of all varieties in China were hit by the global economic slowdown compared to the same period in 2007, while hotels managed by international companies felt more of a pinch than their local rivals. Of the hoteliers polled in the 14 cities, 60 percent were prudent about prospects for 2009, and another 34 percent were still full of confidence. The forthcoming World Expo 2010 Shanghai, estimated to draw 70 million visitors, will also set domestic hoteliers' adrenalin flowing, said Huang Zhengang, secretary general with Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration.

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australia

Canadian Fund Bids for Australia's Mac Satellite


A Canadian superannuation fund has launched a friendly $1.37 billion takeover bid for Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group, in a move that put the squeeze on short sellers yesterday across the constellation of Macquarie's struggling listed satellite funds. Coming on the last day of the group's financial year, the deal should also bring in some eleventh-hour fees and help justify asset valuations which have come under scrutiny. The Canadian Pension Plan, a government-backed fund, will offer $2.50 per MCG stapled security and its associated management vehicle. While this represents a substantial premium to Monday's closing price of $1.50 for the satellite fund, which owns a collection of broadcast assets including television transmission towers, the offer falls well short of MCG's record high of $6.83.

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russia

French Alstom to Buy Stake in Russian Train Maker


French engineering giant Alstom said Tuesday that it had agreed to acquire a 25 percent stake in train maker Transmashholding for an undisclosed total amount. At a news conference in Paris, Alstom chief executive Patrick Kron said the French train and power plant builder would make a down payment of 75 million euros ($99 million), with the rest of the price to be determined based on TMH's performance over the period from 2008 to 2012. Kron called the agreement "a major event for Alstom and for French-Russian cooperation."

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japan

Japanese Automakers Suffer Lowest Production Levels in Forty Years


Japan's automakers took a huge hit last month as domestic production dropped to their lowest levels since 1967. Demand for cars world-wide has drastically disintegrated, especially in the U.S. where sales dropped from to 9.12 million last month from 15.4 million from a year ago. This is critical because the U.S. is Japan's largest market. Overall automobile exports from Japan's 12 largest automakers fell by 64 percent to 212,107 vehicles, which is the biggest drop since the data was first collected.

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china

China, Argentina Sign 70 Billion Yuan Currency Swap Deal


China inked a 70 billion yuan ($10.25 billion) currency swap agreement with Argentina on Sunday, the largest financial deal between China and a Latin American country, Xinhua News Agency reported. The deal was jointly signed by People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Central Bank of Argentina Governor Martin Redrado on the sideline of the 50th annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank, which aims to stabilize regional currency, shun financial risk and stem the ripple effect of the ongoing financial crisis. Under such a framework, Argentina importers could use renminbi, instead of the US dollar, to settle deals with Chinese exporters, Xinhua reported. Argentina is the fifth country after South Korea, Malaysia, Belarus and Indonesia to sign such a currency swap deal with China.

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russia

Central Banker Sees Interest Rate Cut in Russia


The Central Bank has been taking flak from all sides lately over its insistence on maintaining what critics call "crippling" and "bankrupting" interest rates, a policy endorsed by the prime minister to keep lenders operating above the level of inflation. But in a reversal that could mollify bankers and borrowers -- not to mention VEB chief Vladimir Dmitriyev and Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who both took digs at the Central Bank's monetary policy last week -- First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday that the bank could begin cutting rates as soon as next quarter. The comments, made in an interview on Ekho Moskvy radio, reflect a growing confidence that inflation will begin to subside as production plummets and the devalued ruble starts to regain ground against a falling dollar. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that setting interest rates below inflation would "destroy the economy" -- a position that few have publicly challenged.

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