Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend Newswire: Asia, Oceania

[China-Kuwait] -- Sinopec, Kuwait to Build $9 Billion Plant in China
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Kuwait Petroleum Corp. and an overseas oil producer plan to build a $9 billion refining and petrochemical plant in southern China’s Guangdong province, according to the head of China’s energy authority.

[China-Brazil] -- Vale ships record iron ore to China in Q1
Brazil's Vale, the world's largest iron ore producer, shipped 34.63 million tons of iron ore to China in the first quarter of 2009, which marks a quarterly record, the company announced on May 6.

[China] -- China’s Investment Growth May Quicken as Export Slump Eases
China’s investment growth probably accelerated as a decline in exports moderated, strengthening a fledgling recovery in the world’s third-biggest economy.

[China] -- China launches campaign to counter disasters
China needs stronger steps to promote public preparedness and early warning systems for natural disasters, experts said ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake.

[South Korea] -- Korean lenders hit by 75% drop in profit
South Korean banks are grappling with deteriorating asset quality amid the economic downturn, which according to the country’s financial regulator led to a 75 per cent drop in combined profits in the first quarter.

[South Korea] -- SKorea to set up US$802m resources development fund
SEOUL: South Korea Sunday unveiled plans to establish an 802 million dollar fund for investment in overseas mineral mines, oil fields and gas wells.

[India] -- State Bank of India Profit Exceeds Analyst Estimates
State Bank of India reported fourth- quarter profit rose 46 percent to a record, exceeding analysts’ estimates, as lower lending rates lured borrowers and gains from trading grew more than fivefold.

Net income rose to 27.4 billion rupees ($556 million), from 18.8 billion rupees a year earlier, the nation’s largest bank said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange today. That beat the 21.7 billion rupee median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

[Australia] -- Australia May Face Debt Crisis From Grants to Young Home Buyers
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s bid to ensure his housing market avoids the global property slump may push a generation of buyers into a debt crisis.

Grants of as much as A$21,000 ($16,142) to first-time buyers and the lowest interest rates in 49 years have emboldened more than 40,000 young Australians to take out home loans since October, stoking demand for properties that cost less than A$500,000.

[New Zealand] -- NZ Crown Minerals Boosts Funding for Oil, Gas Exploration
Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a renewed seismic survey program to encourage New Zealand oil and gas exploration.

As part of Budget 2009 a total of $20 million over three years will be allocated to the seismic data acquisition program run by Crown Minerals, which is responsible for the administration and promotion of New Zealand's oil and gas.