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South and Southeast Asia

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  • NEW DELHI, Feb 28- India said it plans tougher punishments including jail terms of up to 10 years for those who hide undeclared cash outside the country and for the banks and advisers who help them, as it tries to bring back illicit billions stashed abroad. Illegal deposits abroad cost India billions of dollars in lost revenue and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's...

  • MUMBAI/ NEW DELHI, Feb 28- India will introduce gold deposit accounts to utilise the 20,000 tonnes available within the country and launch a sovereign gold bond, the finance minister said on Saturday, but kept the import duty at the record 10 percent in a setback for jewellers. "Though stocks of gold in India are estimated to be over 20,000 tonnes, mostly this gold is...

  • *Hikes road and rail investment by $11 bln. NEW DELHI, Feb 28- Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday unveiled a budget that aims to ramp up growth, aided by a slowed pace of fiscal deficit cuts and a raft of tax measures to put private domestic and foreign capital to work. In his first full-year budget since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide...

  • NEW DELHI, Feb 28- India announced on Saturday a modest 7.9 percent increase in defence spending for the fiscal year starting April 1, suggesting that it will move only gradually with the military's long wish list for fighter jets, ships and artillery. After years of neglect, India is trying to narrow the military gap with China, which has been building up its fleet...

  • NEW DELHI— India's finance minister announced the government's new budget on Saturday, promising a slew of measures that attempt to balance welfare spending with high economic growth and infrastructure development, while vowing to keep a tight control on the fiscal deficit. "The credibility of India's economy has been re-established," Jaitley told...

  • NEW DELHI, Feb 28- India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday announced a budget aimed at high growth, saying the pace of cutting the fiscal deficit would slow as he seeks to boost investment and ensure that ordinary people benefit. "India is about to take off," Jaitley, 62, said early in his speech to lawmakers. "The world is predicting that this is India's...

  • NEW DELHI, Feb 28- India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday announced a budget aimed at high growth, saying the pace of cutting the fiscal deficit would slow as he seeks to boost investment and ensure that ordinary people benefit. "The world is predicting that this is India's chance to fly." Reaping the benefits of low global prices for oil, India's main...

  • NEW DELHI, Feb 28- India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a budget for growth on Saturday, saying the economy was ready to "fly", that the government would boost investment and ordinary people should benefit. "India is about to take off," Jaitley, 62, told lawmakers after rising to deliver his first full-year budget since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's...

  • By Swati Pandey and Patturaja Murugaboopathy SYDNEY/ BANGALORE, Feb 27- Australia's retailers, hit by tight-fisted consumers as wages grow at their slowest since at least the late 1990 s, face a worsening downturn in revenue that bolsters the case for another interest rate cut next week by the central bank. Australia's 16 retailers with market capitalisation...

  • NEW DELHI— A government report says India's economy will grow more than 8 percent in the upcoming financial year and appears to have shaken off its persistent problems of high inflation, rising budget deficits and poor domestic demand. The Economic Survey, an annual report on the state of Asia's third-largest economy, said Friday that India appeared to have hit...

  • MUMBAI, Feb 27- Some staff at Indian conglomerate Sahara say they haven't been paid for several months, as the company tries to raise $1.6 billion to bail its boss Subrata Roy out of jail. Reuters interviewed 11 employees independently contacted in separate units in Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow this week, and found workers at what was once one of India's highest...

  • BEIJING— Global stocks were lackluster Friday after Japan reported mixed economic data and investors waited for revised U.S. growth figures. KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France's CAC-40 was little changed at 4,911.03 and Germany's DAX gained 0.05 percent to 11,332.45. Britain's FTSE 100 was steady at 6,949.04.

  • *GM to stop car manufacturing in Indonesia. GM Indonesia to shutter assembly plant, axe 500 jobs. Feb 27- A day after announcing it is to stop making GM-branded cars in Indonesia, General Motors said on Friday it would cease production of its Chevrolet Sonic in Thailand by the middle of this year.

  • Asian imports of Iranian crude fall nearly 22 pct Friday, 27 Feb 2015 | 3:47 AM ET

    *Iran sales to Asia below 1 mln bpd in Jan, first time since Oct. *Cautious optimism on Iran's nuclear deal with West. Imports by Iran's four biggest buyers- China, India, Japan and South Korea- averaged 982,525 bpd last month, the first time the level had dropped below the 1 million bpd mark since October last year, government and trade data showed.

  • SIEM REAP, Cambodia— Cambodia's most popular tourist attraction— the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat— is suffering from a form of overexposure: At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites. "Angkor Wat is the most famous sacred... temple in Cambodia, where everyone— not only...

  • *GM to stop car manufacturing in Indonesia. BEIJING, Feb 26- General Motors will stop making GM-branded cars in Indonesia, a battleground for global automakers, closing an assembly plant, axing some 500 jobs and shifting its focus to sport utility vehicles. The retreat also comes as GM drives into Indonesia with its Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corp..

  • Thai Airways plane hits turbulence, 11 on board injured Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 8:33 AM ET

    BANGKOK— A Thai Airways plane hit severe turbulence over Thailand that injured 11 people Thursday, the airline said. The Airbus A340-600 landed safely at its destination, Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, according to airline President Jarumporn Chotikasathein. The extent of their injuries was unclear, and Thai Airways has not specified the...

  • Image of Asia: Improving India's crowded railway system Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 8:04 AM ET

    In this photo by Bikas Das, passengers hang from the doors of the coaches of a crowded local train on the outskirts of Kolkata, India. The railways budget unveiled Thursday by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu envisions $137 billion being invested over the next five years to modernize trains and stations, improve safety and sanitation and expand the reach of the...

  • KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia— Southeast Asia's top budget carrier, AirAsia, said Thursday it suffered a net loss of 428.51 million ringgit in the quarter ending in December, hit by higher costs and a weaker currency. "We have seen the competition becoming more rational in the second half of 2014," AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said in a statement.

  • NEW DELHI, Feb 26- India's government unveiled plans on Thursday to invest $137 billion in its decrepit rail network over the next five years, heralding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aggressive approach to building infrastructure needed to unlock faster economic growth. Over the next year, India will increase investment by about a half to 1 trillion rupees...