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  • Auto sales

    Southeast Asia region sees first drop in 5 years

    BANGKOK -- New-car sales in six major Southeast Asian countries declined 10% to 3.21 million vehicles in 2014, the first such decline in five years. Sales in Indonesia, the region's largest market, slid 2% to 1.2 million vehicles. The appetite o

    January 31, 2015 04:50 am JST
  • Purisima calls for APEC financial integration

    Philippines to accelerate goods trade

    MANILA -- The Philippines will implement a "single window" system to simplify and speed up processing of exports and imports by year end, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Friday. Speaking at a forum organized by Nikkei Asian Review, Purisim

    January 30, 2015 05:36 pm JST
  • Central Group invests in Europe

    Thai conglomerate pursues 'old school' expansion in Europe

    BANGKOK -- Ubiquitous in Thailand, leading retail chain Central Group has joined the modest ranks of Thai companies venturing abroad, opening stores in China, Vietnam, Indonesia and, soon, Malaysia. Across Asia, its footprint showcases familiar feat

    January 30, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Political connections key

    Japan's Itochu and Thailand's CP navigate minefield to seal Citic deal

    TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Itochu and Thailand's Charoen Pokphand, best known for its food and retail businesses, have announced plans to effectively invest 1.2 trillion yen ($10.1 billion) in Citic, one of China's most powerful state-owned fin

    January 30, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Ruble collapse

    Russian travelers shun Southeast Asia as currency crisis bites

    PATTAYA -- It is Friday night in the heart of Pattaya, the famous and colorful Thai beachside resort town that became an irresistible lure for Russian tourists during the energy boom that followed the 2008 global financial crisis. But on the cit

    January 30, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Advanced Info Service capex

    Delayed 4G auction prompts non-core push

    BANGKOK -- With the delayed auction of 4G spectrum hindering development of its core business, Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand's largest mobile carrier, has opted to expand non-core operations, including fixed broadband and digital content ser

    January 30, 2015 02:00 am JST
  • Minor expansion

    Thai conglomerate enters South America and Europe

    BANGKOK -- After expanding into Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, Thailand-based conglomerate Minor International has acquired its first hotel properties in South America and Europe. The company bought two hotels in Brazil and four in Po

    January 29, 2015 11:55 pm JST
  • Questions over investment program

    Sentiment brighter among Japanese companies in Thailand

    BANGKOK -- Japanese companies operating in Thailand are growing more confident despite the country's continuing economic slump. A business sentiment survey by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok shows that the diffusion index of forecast

    January 29, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Picturing Siam

    How Thailand's monarchy harnessed the power of images

    BANGKOK -- Picture this: The year is 1865 and King Mongkut of Siam is seated on a chair in the courtyard of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, trying not to blink. He wears a French military uniform and the sash of the Legion of Honor, sent to him a few y

    January 29, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Siam Cement Group expansion

    Budget earmarked for ASEAN M&A spree

    BANGKOK -- Siam Cement Group (SCG), Thailand's oldest and largest builder's merchant, has posted record sales outside Thailand in ASEAN, and is set for regional expansion through investment in new plants and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

    January 29, 2015 01:00 am JST
  • Thitinan Pongsudhirak: Yingluck's impeachment a sideshow for Thailand

    The retroactive impeachment of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by Thailand's appointed parliament on Jan. 23 for dereliction of duty over her ousted government's controversial rice-pledging scheme has sapped efforts to reconcile the countr

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Asian partners help Japan's tourism industry roll out red carpet

    TOKYO -- Japanese companies are joining forces with local businesses elsewhere in Asia to cash in on the growing wave of foreign visitors to Japan. Retailers, travel agencies and others are reaching out for international partners as they attempt

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Generation of celebrities

    Today's urban young, educated and connected are the influencers. They wield a certain celebrity with their smartphones, Twitter and Facebook accounts. That has left traditional marketing departments and advertising agencies generations behind the ti

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Handsets facilitating consumption

    JAKARTA -- Novallinus Sadewo, 25, recently began using Twitter to help himself navigate through this metro area's massive morning traffic jams. When he stops his motorbike at a red light, he pulls out his smartphone, taps the Twitter app and looks f

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • A more adventurous youth

    DALIAN, China -- What do you do when your boss is a pain in the neck? Across China, young office workers are whispering "petrificus totalus" to temporarily petrify the evil boss, or even "avada kedavra" to cause instant death. They do so while wavin

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Yohei Harada: Same stories, different places

    I often visit other Asian countries to look closely into young people's consumption habits. My sleuthing indicates that young Asians (I'm excluding youths in my home country of Japan) who reach a certain income threshold have plenty in common. They

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • ASEAN synchronicity

    Regional grouping ponders common time zone

    KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considering the adoption of a common time zone as the ten-member regional grouping moves towards closer economic integration. ASEAN synchronization, which was

    January 28, 2015 08:20 pm JST
  • Japanese truck makers

    Isuzu, Hino 9-month profits seen down on Southeast Asian weakness

    TOKYO -- Soft sales in Southeast Asia apparently drove down operating profit at Isuzu Motors and Hino Motors for the nine months ended Dec. 31. Isuzu's April-December operating profit slid an estimated 6% to around 125 billion yen ($1.04 billion

    January 28, 2015 06:51 am JST
  • Less-than-welcome changes

    Foreign companies in Thailand taken aback by new investment rules

    BANGKOK -- Regulations that took effect this month for foreign companies investing in Thailand appear to have disappointed many, even as the government seeks to shore up the economy. Foreign businesses submitted requests last year to invest a re

    January 28, 2015 05:38 am JST
  • Bank of Ayudhya wobble

    Shares plummet on delisting rumor

    BANGKOK -- After skyrocketing nearly 30% on Friday, shares of Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Thailand's fifth largest bank by assets, nosedived 13.8 % on Monday and shed a further 7% on Tuesday. The volatility came on the heels of a "rumor" late la

    January 27, 2015 11:20 pm JST