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from Global Investing:

PIGS, CIVETS and other creature economies…

Given the ubiquity of BRICs and PIGS, it seems everyone else in the financial and business world is attempting to conjure up catchy acronyms to group economies with similar traits. All with varying degrees of success. BRITAIN-WEATHER/

HSBC chief Michael Geogehan has been championing 'CIVETS' to describe Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa as the next tier of developing economies poised for spectacular growth.

Evoking the skunk-like animal blamed for the spread of the deadly SARS outbreak in Asia is not exactly auspicious but then it will probably be less offensive than the porcine moniker for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. The collective term -- with permutations such as PIIGGS to include Ireland and Great Britain among the list of debt-ridden countries -- has been denounced by politicians in Portugal and Spain.

In less troubled times, of course, these economies were often dubbed 'Club Med', with all its associations of sun-saturated holidays by the sea.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

World Cup 2010 podcast – day 7

Join Mike Collett, Mark Gleeson, Simon Evans and Kevin Fylan for a little night's look back on a long day of excellent football at the World Cup in South Africa.

from Global News Journal:

Defiant North Korea takes case to UN press corps

North Korea's UN Ambassador Sin Son-ho (center)

North Korea's UN Ambassador Sin Son-ho (center) speaks to reporters at UN headquarters.

Officials working for the government of communist North Korea seldom appear in public -- especially in front of reporters from countries they view as hostile. But Pyongyang's ambassador to the United Nations, Sin Son-ho, turned to the U.N. press corps in New York on Tuesday to defend his nation against Seoul's allegtions that the North Korean military torpedoed a South Korean naval ship on March 26, killing 46 sailors.

from DealZone:

DealZone Daily

Prudential shares rise -- modestly -- after UK newspaper reports that its largest shareholder -- Capital Group -- is working on a plan to split the group up. The U.S. investor is not happy with Pru's planned $35.5 billion acquisition of AIA, the Asian life insurer. It is working with Clive Cowdery's acquisition vehicle Resolution, insurer Aviva and a third, unknown group, the reports say. An unlikely scenario? Perhaps, but it does show some serious discontent among shareholders.

HSBC has denied talk in the market that it may renew its bid for a $3.9 billion stake in Korea Exchange Bank. When asked whether the bank was bidding for LoneStar's KEB, the bank's Chief Executive Michael Geoghegan said: "No, we are not". Right, that's settled then.

from DealZone:

DealZone Daily

Rather predictably,  the probe into Goldman Sachs overshadowed the group's first quarter results on Monday. Somewhat less predictably, Goldman's rivals have been using the furore to elbow in front of the leading Wall Street bank. As an example, rival investment bankers have been lobbying authorities in China to drop Goldman as an underwriter for the more than $20 billion IPO of state-owned Agricultural Bank of China.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is preparing to bid for Lone Star's $4bln controlling stake in Korea Exchange Bank, the nation's sixth largest lender. The news of the arrival of unexpected contender for the U.S. private equity firm's stake helped send shares in the bank 3 percent higher.

from Financial Regulatory Forum:

S.Korea sees no need for US-style reform of banks

FINANCIAL/KOREA-CAPITAL    SEOUL, Feb 3 (Reuters) - It is not desirable for South Korea to adopt U.S.-style banking reforms because the local industry and markets are still small and in the developing stage, the head of the top financial regulator said on Wednesday.
   "The new U.S. regulatory initiative called the 'Volcker's rule' provides a lot of indications to us but whether it can apply here is another matter," Chin Dong-soo, chairman of the Financial Services Commission, said in a prepared speech for an international seminar.
   South Korea has already been applying strict regulations on the sector and maintaining a clear division between commercial banks and investment banks, he said.
   "It is desirable (for South Korea) to maintain its previous stance of supporting development of the financial industry while taking measures to fix structural weakness identified during the current financial crisis," he said. (Reporting by Yoo Choonsik; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)
 ((choonsik.yoo@thomsonreuters.com; +82 2 3704 5580; Reuters Messaging: choonsik.yoo.reuters.com@reuters.net)) ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com)) Keywords: BANKS KOREA/REGULATION
   
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 01:00:09RTRS [nTOE61200A] {C}ENDS

from Raw Japan:

SMFG banking on Asia?

The bulk of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's  up to $9.7 billion share issue will go to meet stricter capital requirements, but sources say the bank will use some money to hunt for more opportunities in Asia.

Asian expansion is increasingly important for Japanese lenders, saddled with low profit margins and few opportunities for growth at home. Sumitomo Mitsui already has stakes in Vietnam's Eximbank, South Korea's KB Financial and Hong Kong's Bank of East Asia, and wants to benefit more from the region's growing economies.

from DealZone:

Volvo’s Chinese journey

News that Ford expects to finalize the sale of Volvo to China's Geely in the first half of 2010 caps a year that saw China overtake the United States as the world's biggest auto market, something that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. With Geely rival BAIC announcing its intention to harvest intellectual property from Saab, Chinese automakers are going into high gear in both their short-term goal of serving the high-octane domestic market and their longer-term ambition of retooling their manufacturing base to better serve the global automotive market.

Geely is China's largest private automaker. Its charismatic founder, Li Shu Fu, is known as the Chinese Henry Ford. He has shown global ambitions and has pushed for Geely to become a global brand.

from Financial Regulatory Forum:

S.Korea says to guide banks to retain more profits

    SEOUL, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The South Korean government will guide local banks to retain more profits next year, instead of paying dividends to shareholders, to help bolster their capital.
   "In order to prepare for a possible increase in bad loans and to undertake swift restructuring, (banks) need to replenish their capital to a substantial extent," the government said on Thursday in a joint statement from the economy ministry.
   The government will also come up with measures to control banks' loan-to-deposit ratio to stabilise their funding structure.
    (Reporting by Kim Yeon-hee; Editing by Ken Wills)
  ((yeonhee.kim@thomsonreuters.com; +82 2 3704 5646; Reuters Messaging: yeonhee.kim.reuters.com@reuters.net))
  ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to newsfeedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com))
Keywords: KOREA BANKS/ 
  
Thursday, 10 December 2009 08:56:40RTRS [nTOE5B909S] {C}ENDS

from Photographers' Blog:

Being a bird

South Korea’s Armed Forces Day is an annual event held on October 1.

seconddive

The country’s military puts on a variety of displays that include performances by military bands, drills by honor guard contingents and martial arts displays by special warfare units. There are also air shows with helicopters and fighting planes. One of the highlights of the event is a skydiving performance by South Korea’s Special Warfare Command soldiers.

The South Korean Defence Ministry invited the media for an opportunity to cover the airdrop exercise from their helicopters. I was one of the pool photographers. I’ve covered these type of helicopter missions several times before, but I was still excited albeit with some tension.

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