Trends

Japan's importers

Increase in forward exchange contracts to combat weak yen

TOKYO -- Japanese importers of fuel and parts are increasing the number of forward exchange contracts to curb the impact of the drastically weaker yen on their earnings. The dollar climbed to the upper-118 yen range in Tokyo on Thursday for the f...

  • Renewable energy

    Japan utilities to resume solar power purchases under new rules

    TOKYO -- Five major Japanese utilities are looking to resume purchases of renewable energy under a new system that will give them greater control over producers' output. Kyushu Electric Power is increasing the number of days it can require solar ...

  • India urban development

    Delhi Metro and Gujarat smart city ranked as world-class projects

    NEW DELHI -- Delhi Metro, the capital's public transport lifeline, and Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), the first smart city in the world's second most populous country, have been included among six major development schemes in India on...

  • Pet insurance market in Japan

    Pet insurers walk fine line between profit and pain

    TOKYO -- The pet insurance market has been growing rapidly as big vet bills force owners to insure their furry friends. But despite the industry's rosy outlook, insurers face an uphill battle for sales and profits. Until recently, the market was ...

  • Garment industry shift

    Vietnam emerges as next big factory floor

    TOKYO/YANGON -- Cost-sensitive garment businesses around the world increasingly regard Vietnam as a top choice for production, in anticipation of a trans-Pacific trade deal that would eliminate tariffs on clothes entering the U.S. A factory estab...

  • Opportunities as China grays

    Franklin Templeton sees health care boom for Thailand, Singapore

    SINGAPORE -- Health care-related sectors in Southeast Asia may see a major boost as the region becomes a hub for meeting the medical needs of China's massive aging population. Franklin Templeton Investments of the U.S. is stepping up its investme...

  • Halal medicine

    Drugmakers seek new opportunities in Islamic world

    DUBAI -- As the population and economic clout of the Muslim world continues to grow, pharmaceutical companies are putting more effort into developing medicines that comply with Islamic law. Demand for advanced medical treatment has been growing i...

  • Vietnam Motor Show

    Vietnamese auto industry gears up for tariff cuts

    HO CHI MINH CITY -- As the country gears up for tariff cuts on motor vehicles in 2015, the Vietnam Motor Show 2014 got underway on Wednesday at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh City, and is expected to attract 150,000 visito...

  • China's monopolies grow

    Corporate titans may hobble economic reform

    BANGKOK -- Industry consolidation in China is leading to an increased number of companies that control as much as 80% of their markets. While the government is clamping down on antitrust violations by foreign companies, it turns a blind eye when ...

  • Renewable energy

    Electricity-starved Myanmar takes a shine to solar power

    YANGON -- Large solar power generation projects are increasingly taking root in Myanmar as the government races to alleviate a serious electricity shortage and reduce the country's dependence on hydropower. Green Earth Power (Thailand), a Thai re...

  • Guangzhou auto show

    Carmakers see 3 keys to survival in China

    GUANGZHOU, China -- Automakers are adapting to tightening regulations and a changing market in China by emphasizing smaller cars along with luxury vehicles and SUVs. The Guangzhou auto show kicked off Thursday, featuring 1,095 models including 56...

  • Japanese automakers race ahead

    Toyota leads pack with record net profit

    TOKYO -- Japanese automakers enjoyed solid earnings for the fiscal 2014 first half, helped by a weak yen and robust North American market, while recall woes and unfavorable exchange rates eroded profits at U.S. and South Korean rivals. The Nikkei...

  • Wages in Japan

    Business lobby's report will call on companies to raise pay

    TOKYO -- The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, will encourage wage increases in its guidelines for management when the annual spring labor negotiations begin next year. The federation has acknowledged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's call for w...

  • Toyota, Hitachi

    Robust earning power sends shares to 7-year highs

    TOKYO -- Toyota and Hitachi -- two Japanese manufacturers that surged back after the 2008 financial crisis by streamlining operations and cultivating new growth -- are now seeing their stock prices recover to territory last seen seven years ago. ...

  • The $10 billion club

    Meet Southeast Asia's most valuable companies

    BANGKOK -- Southeast Asia's $10 billion club keeps getting bigger. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations had 44 companies with market capitalizations of at least that amount at the end of October, up from 34 four years earlier. Sure, Japan h...

  • Bottom lines

    ASEAN companies with modest market caps multiply their profits

    KUALA LUMPUR -- Don't let their relatively modest market capitalizations fool you: Some Southeast Asian companies have been making massive profit strides. These businesses have ridden the economic growth that has swept across the region, partly a...

  • Voting and the economy

    Year-end election may slow Japan consumption

    TOKYO -- In the wake of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision Tuesday to dissolve the lower house and call a general election on Dec. 14, some analysts are predicting a slowdown in spending that will deepen Japan's economic gloom. The previous low...

  • Fuel-cell cars

    Japan faces task of building fuel network

    NAGOYA -- This is the dawn of the age of fuel-cell vehicles, and it is happening in Japan first with Tuesday's announcement by Toyota Motor that it will release a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell sedan on Dec. 15. By being first, Toyota hopes to recre...

  • International banking

    Japan megabanks look for new sources of foreign-currency funds

    TOKYO -- Japan's three megabanks are raising more funds in currencies other than yen and dollars as they seek opportunities in overseas lending, such as by providing credit to blue-chip companies overseas and offering syndicated loans for resource de...

  • Vietnam oil boom

    Thailand's PTT to build big refinery

    TOKYO -- PTT plans to construct one of the region's largest oil refineries in Vietnam, part of a wave of refinery projects there amid growing demand for oil. Pailin Chuchottaworn, president of Thailand's national oil company, revealed the plans i...