Jetstar’s Japan ambitions halted by regulator

18 Dec 2012 – Australian –


The planned expansion of Qantas Airways Ltd subsidiary Jetstar’s Japanese operations have taken a hit, after the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) found the budget carrier’s compliance with internal engineering procedures to be lacking, The Australian reports.

According to the newspaper, the notification from the JCAB places a question mark over Jetstar Japan’s plans to utilise Osaka’s Kansai International Airport as its second Japanese base.

The airline has reportedly delayed the commencement of a return service between Osaka and Tokyo, while its touted increase in flights between Kansai and Okinawa may also be in jeopardy.

A spokesman for Jetstar told The Australian that the objections of the regulator had to do with Jetstar Japan’s internal standards – which the spokesman claimed were set higher than the industry standard – but did not involve safety concerns.

Asian stocks open mixed

5 Dec 2012 – AAP –

Asian stock markets have open mixed as traders nervously wait for United States lawmakers to come up with a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts.

In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 7.02 points to 21,806.99 points.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index opened 0.55 per cent lower at 9,380.37 points.

The benchmark Nikkei is likely to weaken following a modest sell-off on Wall Street and on a stronger yen, analysts said.

“The weakening dollar is the key component today, as it continues to edge down against the yen as US fiscal cliff negotiations appear to be deadlocked without any clear signs of hope,” said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.11 per cent at 12,951.78 as Washington wrangled over a budget plan that would avoid a program of tax hikes and spending cuts widely expected to tip the economy into recession if they take effect.

The euro bought $1.3096 and ¥107.17 in early Asian trade.

The dollar eased to ¥81.81 from ¥81.88 in US trade.

China aims to compete with Japan, Korea in electronics

23 Oct 2012 – –

Chinese consumer electronic brands are gearing up to take on their Japanese and Korean rivals in a push for rapid growth in Australia, Fairfax Media reports.

According to the newspaper, Chinese groups TCL has made a concerted effort to expand its reach beyond its home market, by building its corporate brand and expanding its local distribution channels over the past several years.

TCL Australia general manager Sunny Xiang is confident the company can compete successfully in Australia.

”Chinese brands will be able to challenge the Japanese market position in five years,” he said.

The positive outlook comes in contrast to the negative performance of Japanese brands Sony, Sharp and Panasonic in recent times.

In the past financial year, the three brands have suffered a combined loss of $20 billion.

Chinese banks boycott Tokyo summit

10 Oct 2012 – AAP

China’s four largest state-owned banks have pulled out of key World Bank and International Monetary Fund economic meetings in Tokyo amid continued tensions linked to the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, Industrial and Commercial bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China have confirmed they will not be in attendance.

The move is considered a pragmatic protest by the Chinese government as its officials and People’s Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan still intend to show up to the summit.

The dispute between China and Japan was ignited by the purchase of the islands in the East China Sea by the Japanese government.

The fallout has seen violent protests and property damaged directed at Japanese companies located in China.

News that the Chinese banks will boycott the summit comes after calls from IMF president Christine Lagarde that the two nations needed to find a solution for the issue for the sake of the global economy.

Asian markets mostly up on US data

4 Oct 2012 – AAP –

Asian markets mostly rose on Thursday as investors cheered upbeat US economic data, but nagging concerns over Europe kept advances in check.

An increase in risk appetite and speculation about possible fresh Bank of Japan monetary easing lifted the dollar and euro against the yen, which in turn provided a platform for the Nikkei index.

Tokyo gained 0.89 per cent, or 77.72 points, to 8,824.59, Sydney added 0.31 per cent, or 13.8 points, to 4,452.4.

Hong Kong was 0.09 per cent higher, closing 19.67 points up at 20,907.95, but Seoul eased 0.17 per cent, or 3.35 points, to 1,992.68.

Shanghai is closed for a week-long public holiday.

Regional shares took their cue from Wall Street, which ended in positive territory after jobs and services figures provided some hope for the economy.

The Institute for Supply Management released its services industry index on Wednesday, which showed the crucial sector picking up pace although hiring remained flat.

Separately, payrolls company ADP released a report showing private-sector hiring was better than expected in September, with 162,000 jobs added.

Despite being down 14 per cent from August the slowdown is less than expected.

US dealers welcomed the announcements. The Dow finished up 0.09 per cent, the S&P 500 was 0.36 per cent higher and the Nasdaq climbed 0.49 per cent.

Eyes are now firmly on policy meetings over the next two days for the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and Bank of England, while closely watched non-farm payrolls are due out of Washington on Friday.

“There is a little bit of a wait-and-see attitude in Asia this week,” said Wee Khoon Chong, Asia rates strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong.

On currency markets the euro rose to $1.2939 and ¥101.76 in afternoon trade, compared with $1.2903 and ¥101.31 in New York late on Wednesday.

The dollar was at ¥78.60 against ¥78.51.

Speculation has grown in the past few days that the BoJ may unveil new easing steps.

While analysts say it probably won’t announce any fresh measures after a two-day meeting on Friday, pressure is likely to continue for more action ahead of its next meeting scheduled for October 30.

Europe’s debt woes continue to weigh after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Tuesday he would not request a bailout any time soon, despite the parlous state of the country’s finances and its dangerously high borrowing costs.

Spain, the eurozone’s fourth-biggest economy, is required to make a formal demand for help in order to trigger the release of eurozone rescue funds and supportive bond-buying action from the European Central Bank.

Oil prices rose. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, gained 56 cents to $88.70 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude added 83 cents to $109.00.

Gold was at $1,780.57 at 0600 GMT (1600 AEST) on Thursday compared with $1,778.50 on Wednesday.