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South and Southeast Asia

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  • KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia— Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing the risk of a criminal charge over allegations that millions of dollars were funneled from an indebted state fund to his personal bank accounts, the first time the country's leader has faced criminal allegations. The existence of the documents was first reported by the Asian Wall Street...

  • VIENNA— World powers and Iran have drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief for the Islamic republic in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program, advancing on one of the most contentious issues at their negotiations, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday. Officials had described sanctions relief as one of the thorniest...

  • DUBAI, July 4- Iran's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh will soon present a long-awaited template for new international oil contracts to the government, as foreign companies watch for a nuclear deal that could allow them into a major untapped market. "The oil minister will soon lay out the new model for Iran's international oil contracts to the council of ministers,"...

  • KUALA LUMPUR, July 3- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday denied taking money from state fund 1 MDB or any other entity for personal gain, after a media report said investigators traced nearly $700 million to bank accounts that were allegedly in his name. The Wall Street Journal's report, if true, would be the first time the beleaguered prime minister...

  • JAKARTA, July 3- Indonesia's communications ministry has appealed to the country's Supreme Court against PT Bakrie Telecom Tbk's debt restructuring, a minister told Reuters on Friday. Bakrie Telecom, part of the heavily indebted Bakrie Group, held a creditors' vote last year on its restructuring proposal, which was then validated by a Jakarta court.

  • *1 MDB says never provided funds to Prime Minister Najib. KUALA LUMPUR, July 3- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak slammed a newspaper report that said investigations into troubled state fund 1 MDB have traced nearly $700 million of deposits into accounts that allegedly belonged to him, claiming it was a "continuation of political sabotage.

  • China says to reduce IPOs amid stock slump Friday, 3 Jul 2015 | 7:41 AM ET
    Investors look at computer screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai.

    China will reduce the number of initial public offerings and the amount of capital raised from the equity markets, the stock regulator said.

  • But with the Iran six-power talks having devolved essentially into bilateral U.S.- Iran negotiations over the past year, his comments were clearly directed at the Americans, who have been the primary drivers of the crippling economic sanctions imposed on his country over its nuclear program. The West fears Iran could develop its nuclear program to make...

  • *1 MDB says never provided funds to Prime Minister Najib. KUALA LUMPUR, July 3- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak slammed a report that said close to $700 million was wired to his personal account from banks, government agencies and companies linked to the debt-laden state fund 1 MDB, claiming this was a "continuation of political sabotage."

  • Aetna to buy Humana for $37 bln in cash and stock Friday, 3 Jul 2015 | 2:33 AM ET

    July 3- Health insurer Aetna Inc said it will buy Humana Inc for about $37 billion, or about $230 per share, in a cash-and-stock deal. Humana shareholders will receive $125 in cash and 0.8375 Aetna shares for each share held, an about 23 percent premium to the stock's closing price on Thursday. Following the deal, Aetna's shareholders would own about 74 percent of the...

  • KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia— Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday denied news reports that $700 million were funneled from an indebted state investment fund into his personal accounts. The Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report online news portal reported that investigators have traced some $700 million wired into Najib's bank accounts.

  • Malaysia wants a tribunal for Malaysia Airlines crash Thursday, 2 Jul 2015 | 8:23 PM ET

    UNITED NATIONS— Malaysia told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that it plans to submit a resolution soon that would establish an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last year. Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, the current council president, told reporters after Malaysia's...

  • *Bangladesh beef prices up after border crackdown. GHOJADANGA, India/ DHAKA, July 3- Some 30,000 Indian soldiers guarding the border with Bangladesh have a new mandate under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government this year- stop cattle from crossing illegally into the Muslim-majority neighbour. About 2 million head of cattle are smuggled into Bangladesh...

  • MOSCOW— A draft Dutch report into last year's crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine fails to offer a comprehensive picture, a Russian aviation official said Thursday. The Dutch Safety Board has made the draft available to representatives of Malaysia, Ukraine, the U.S., Russia, Britain, Australia and the Netherlands prior to the release of the...

  • NEW DELHI, July 2- India's oil imports from Iran fell by about 23 percent over January-June as refiners curtailed shipments in the early months of the year to keep volumes within the limits allowed under an interim nuclear deal in place since the end of 2013.. India shipped in 216,500 barrels per day of oil from Iran in the first six months of 2015 compared with...

  • CHENNAI, India, July 2- India's central bank is committed to steadily increasing how much government debt foreign investors can buy, but will proceed cautiously to avoid becoming too reliant on overseas capital, Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Thursday. Rajan added India would examine debt limits twice a year, hinting at a more formal decision-making process.

  • MUMBAI, India— Drivers of Mumbai's iconic horse-drawn carriages can't imagine not plying the roads pulling photo-snapping tourists atop their kitsch-covered chariots. Yet that time is coming, thanks to a court order calling such superfluous "joyrides" a form of animal cruelty and banning them in India's financial capital from June 2016.

  • *Index at 74.4 in June, lowest since May 2014; May was 75.6. BANGKOK, July 2- Thai consumer confidence slipped to a more than one-year low in June dampened by economic uncertainty, falling exports, low commodity prices and drought, a university survey showed on Thursday. The consumer confidence index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce fell to 74.4 in...

  • NEW DELHI, July 2- For years Indian businesses have lobbied for a nationwide sales tax, hoping to replace a chaotic structure that inflates costs and halts their trucks at state borders for duty payments, and to unify the country into one of the world's largest single markets. India's top business groups are now calling for a slowdown in the process as they try to...

  • July 1- U.S. crude oil futures' discount to Brent, one of the biggest plays in oil, widened to more than $5 a barrel for the first time in three weeks on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed a surprise inventory build. "The bottom line is the overall U.S. stock build is weighing on heavily on WTI, and the Cushing build is adding to that," said Tariq Zahir, an oil trader and...