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Archives: October 2008

Even Nintendo Is Vulnerable to a Strong Yen

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 30

Hardly a day goes by without another Japanese blue-chip revealing the pain inflicted by the yen’s sharp rise. But this time, a surprise: Nintendo, the dynamo of Japan’s tech sector,...

Wal-Mart Pulls Tainted Eggs from Shelves in China

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 30

The bad news for China's food industry just won't stop, and you have to wonder what tainted product will be uncovered next. First we had melamine added to mainland produced...

Korean Currency, Stocks Surge on Fed Swap Deal

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on October 30

The Federal Reserve’s agreement on Oct. 29 to open a $30 billion credit line with the Bank of Korea was a shot in the arm for South Korea’s financial system....

China lags in Satellite Rocket Launch Race

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 29

Unless you are a pre-adolescent boy or perhaps Rupert Murdoch, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about satellite rocket launchers. I know I don’t, but today, on the sidelines...

Some Stock Markets Never Recover. See Japan & Taiwan.

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 29

Many investors in the U.S. brave enough to look at their latest 401k statements are telling themselves not to worry, since in the long run investing in equities is the...

Japan Central Bank May Join Fed, ECB in Rate Cut to Calm Markets

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 29

Could the market turmoil force Japan’s central bank to push interest rates even lower than 0.5%? That’s one possible outcome of the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting on Oct....

Pakistan's Stock Exchange Needs Life Support

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 28

Here’s a quick quiz: Which Asian stock market has declined the least in the past two months? The answer is the Karachi Stock Exchange , which thanks to a “circuit...

Tokyo clampdown on "naked short selling" boosts stocks

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 28

After Tokyo stocks slumped to an astonishing 26-year low yesterday, some market watchers moaned that the Japanese authorities had failed to do enough to combat the soaring yen. The concern...

Asia’s Crisis is Just Getting Started

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 27

Another day, another bloodbath in Asian markets: Japan’s Nikkei index was down 6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng off by over 12%, Shanghai down by more than 6%. With tolerance for...

Chinese Human Rights Champion Wins Sakharov

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 24

The decision by the European Parliament to award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on Thursday to Hu Jia has clearly rankled those on the top rungs of the...

Sony Shock Déjà vu?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 24

Sony Shock déjà vu? Sony's profit warning less than 24 hours earlier triggered a dramatic sell-off in Japanese stocks on Oct. 24. By the end of the day, the Nikkei...

China’s Milk Scandal Isn’t Over

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 23

The Chinese milk scandal is not just a milk scandal anymore. The chemical keeps showing up in other Chinese-made foods: Yesterday came news South Korea is destroying tons of egg...

Tougher Rules, Smart Cards Snuff Out Smoking in Japan

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 23

Smokers are a dying breed in Japan. That's one way of looking at the annual nationwide survey of smoking released by Japan Tobacco today. The country's biggest cigarette maker found...

Yen’s Rise Forces Sony to Lower Annual Profit Forecasts

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 23

The surging yen is taking a toll on Japan Inc. On Oct. 23, Sony issued a profit warning, saying that it expects the yen’s recent gains against a slew of...

Samsung Drops Bid to Buy SanDisk

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on October 22

Samsung Electronics on Oct. 22 withdrew its $5.85 billion bid to buy SanDisk, citing a declining value of U.S. memory card maker in the face of a supply glut in...

BOJ Official: Low Japan Rates May Have Fueled Risky Bets

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 21

Earlier this month when the Fed and other central banks around the world conducted a coordinated rate cut to calm panicky financial markets, the Bank of Japan opted out. With...

Wang Yung-ching, 1917-2008

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 16

Wang Yung-ching, the founder and longtime chairman of Taiwan's biggest industrial group, has died at the age of 91. Like Li Ka-shing in Hong Kong, Wang was a legendary up-from-nothing...

Toyota iQ: A recession proof car?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 16

Tough times these might be but Toyota wasted no expense on the launch of its new "micro-premium" car, the iQ in Chiba, outside Tokyo, on Wednesday. Including Toyota employees,...

Islamic Finance: safer than Wall Street?

Posted by: David Rocks on October 15

I spent the past few days in Kuala Lumpur at a conference on American relations with the Muslim world sponsored by the Brookings Institution, the Asia Foundation, and Malaysia’s Institute...

Korean Mandarins Are Slow in Handling Crisis

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on October 15

President Lee Myung Bak’s administration has repeatedly stressed that its priority is reinvigorating the South Korean economy. Yet Korea’s policymakers don’t seem to be in a hurry to stop the...

Japanese anger as U.S. takes North Korea off terrorism list

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 12

With Japan playing an important role in the current financial crisis, not least Mitsubishi UFJ's $9 billion bailout of Morgan Stanley, one might think the U.S. government would be trying...

What Credit Crunch? GE wants to buy in India

Posted by: David Rocks on October 12

Even as the financial world seems to be crumbling and General Electric's profits are headed south, the company may be looking for acquisitions in India. The other day my colleague...

Ford to sell Mazda stake?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 11

Back in August, I wrote a piece asking if Ford's woes would mean that it might have to sell off its stake in Mazda. According to reports today in Japan,...

An Asian Iceland?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 10

What Asian countries are most at risk of an Iceland-like debacle? The countries especially vulnerable, says S&P's Elena Okorotchenko, who does sovereign research from the Singapore office, include Indonesia, Pakistan,...

Nobel Peace Prize is one event China would rather lose

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 09

2008 has certainly been a banner year for China. It hosted the Olympic Games and topped the gold medal tally. Zhai Zhigang became a national hero in September, after becoming...

Toyota's stock slumps but investment continues

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 08

In a shocking day for Japanese stocks--the benchmark Nikkei index had its third worst session in history, falling 9.4%--Toyota's recent stock slump accelerated. By the close of trading at 3pm,...

Mitsubishi Motors' electric dreams

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 06

If Mitsubishi Motors chief Osamu Masuko is unduly concerned about slumping auto sales in the U.S., Japan, and Europe he wasn't showing it at a media lunch in Tokyo today....

BW in the News in India

Posted by: David Rocks on October 05

I flew into Delhi on Saturday evening, and our correspondent here, Mehul, handed me a copy of that day's Hindustan Times. I glanced at the front page, and was pleased...

Sotheby’s Chinese, Indian Art Sale Bombs in Wake of Wall St. Crisis

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 05

While much of Hong Kong hunkered down just hours before the arrival of the umpteenth typhoon of this summer on Saturday , those who attended Sotheby’s prestigious Modern and Contemporary...

Ping An Insurance dodges bullet on Fortis Bank Deal

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 03

Executives at Ping An Insurance must be breathing a collective sigh of relief. A deal for the Chinese company to pay about $3 billion for a 50% stake in Fortis'...

China Milk Scandal Update: Nestle Hits Back

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 02

The poisoned milk scandal keeps spreading. Today Taiwanese government officials yanked Nestle products from store shelves after tests showed trace amounts of melamine, the industrial chemical added to Chinese milk....


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