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South and Southeast Asia

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  • KHASAB, Oman, Oct 3- The fibre-glass skiffs hurtle across the water at break-neck speed, skirting the rocky cliffs on the last leg of the perilous journey from Iran to the sleepy backwaters of Oman's Musandam peninsula.

  • Oct 3- Loan servicer Ocwen Financial Corp will buy Homeward Residential Holdings Inc from private equity firm WL Ross& Co LLC for about $750 million to strengthen its hold on the residential mortgage servicing market. The company's shares jumped as much as 16 percent to a life-high of $33.57 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

  • DryShips COO steps down Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 9:57 AM ET

    Oct 3- Greece- based drybulk shipper DryShips Inc. DryShips, which is considered to be a bellwether stock for shipping, said his duties will be absorbed by the existing management team. Khanna will also step down from his position as the chief marketing officer of Ocean Rig UDW Inc, the drilling unit of DryShips.

  • Afghan, NKorean films on display at Asian festival Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 9:52 AM ET

    SEOUL, South Korea-- Along with the now inevitable galaxy of stars promoting blockbusters from across Asia, this year's Busan International Film Festival will screen a North Korean film for the first time in almost a decade as well as six classic Afghan movies that were hidden in a wall to save them from the Taliban.

  • UPDATE 1-BG offloads Gujarat Gas stake for $470 mln Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 9:37 AM ET

    LONDON/ MUMBAI Oct 3- BG Group said it agreed to sell its majority stake in western India- based Gujarat Gas for $470 million to a unit owned by India's state-run Gujarat State Petroleum Corp, as part of the British oil firm's disposal programme.

  • **SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, Tuesday close $14.99, up 135 pct premarket. **HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, Tuesday close $17.13, up 0.4 pct premarket. **GOOGLE INC, Tuesday close $756.99, up 0.13 pct premarket.

  • UPDATE 6-Oil falls as economic data dims demand outlook Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 9:21 AM ET

    *China, Europe services PMI disappoint. LONDON, Oct 3- Crude oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday as weak economic data from Europe and China dimmed the outlook for demand, adding to concerns arising from Europe's festering debt crisis. Brent November crude futures had fallen $2.11 to $109.46 a barrel by 1257 GMT.

  • MOVES-UBS, Scotiabank, Aviva Investors, Marex Spectron Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 9:19 AM ET

    The bank promoted Min-Lan Tan, who was most recently head of Singapore equities and research, to global head of macro strategy research. The asset manager named David Brunner as a regional sales manager within the UK third-party distribution team. The asset management business of Aviva Plc named Patrick Brien as chief executive of its Asia Pacific region.

  • **SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, Tuesday close $14.99, up 135 pct premarket. **HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, Tuesday close $17.13, up 0.4 pct premarket. **GOOGLE INC, Tuesday close $756.99, up 0.13 pct premarket.

  • Oct 3- Loan servicer Ocwen Financial Corp will buy Homeward Residential Holdings Inc from private equity firm WL Ross& Co LLC in a deal valued at about $750 million. Ocwen will pay $588 million in cash and offer $162 million convertible stock to buy the company, which services 422,000 mortgage loans, it said in a statement.

  • Indian banks' business barely grows in July-September Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 9:18 AM ET

    MUMBAI, Oct 3- Indian banks' business barely grew in the second quarter of the fiscal year that started in April as weak sentiment in a slowing economy curbed the appetite for credit and lenders were wary of large deposits.

  • JAKARTA, Oct 3- Five people died when a crude oil pipeline caught fire as it was being looted in Indonesia's Sumatra island early on Wednesday but production was not affected, state energy company Pertamina EP said. Eighteen people suffered burn injuries in the fire, which was brought under control by midday.

  • Pearson chief executive to step down Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 9:00 AM ET

    LONDON-- Pearson PLC, the U.K. publisher and education company, said Wednesday that chief executive Marjorie Scardino has decided to step down.

  • NEW DELHI, Oct 3- India's cabinet will approve amended bills on Thursday that seek to permit 26 percent foreign direct investment in the pension sector and 49 percent in the insurance sector, a government minister told reporters on Wednesday. The bills will need parliamentary approval before becoming law.

  • DUBAI, Oct 3- Riot police clashed with demonstrators and foreign exchange dealers in Tehran on Wednesday over the collapse of the Iranian currency, which has lost 40 percent of its value against the dollar in a week, witnesses said.

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 3- Singapore will allow companies to issue different classes of shares to help its stock exchange to compete for new listings and the country to maintain its competitiveness as a financial centre.

  • UPDATE 1-RPM raises full-year outlook Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 8:46 AM ET

    Oct 3- RPM International Inc's quarterly profit fell as the coatings and sealants maker incurred one-time charges but it raised its profit and sales growth forecast for 2013..

  • The Reserve Bank of India said on Wednesday it accepted both bids for 2.40 billion rupees at its one-day reverse repo auction through which it absorbs excess liquidity from the banking system. Earlier in the day, it accepted all 6 bids for 139.3 billion rupees at its one-day repo auction, through which it injects liquidity into the banking system.

  • Oct 2- Automakers reported a 13 percent U.S. sales increase in September from a year earlier with a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales reaching 14.94 million vehicles.

  • The volatile Central Asian state has seen several assaults on the government since Kyrgyzstan's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The bloodiest protests, in March 2005 and April 2010, toppled two presidents, who then fled abroad.