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  • TOKYO/ SYDNEY, March 20,- Japan signalled cautious approval of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on Friday and said for the first time that, if conditions were met, it could join the institution that the United States has warned against. Japan, Australia and the South Korea, all major U.S. allies, are the notable regional absentees from the AIIB.

  • With cross-border tensions exacerbated by pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, tour groups visiting Hong Kong from China plunged about 80 percent in early March. While daytrippers from just outside Hong Kong continue to buy daily essentials there, Chinese travellers with cash to burn are homing in on places like South Korea and Japan. That's bad news for Hong...

  • MILAN, March 19- Shares in Pirelli jumped as much as 5 percent on Thursday after an Italian daily said the tyre maker was working on a revamp plan that includes taking an Asian partner, the launch of a buyout offer and the de-listing of the group. According to Corriere della Sera, Pirelli Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera wants to bring on board an Asian shareholder...

  • SEOUL, March 19- South Korea will decide by the end of this month on whether it will join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Finance Minister Choi Kyung- hwan said on Thursday. More than 20 countries including Germany, Britain and India have decided to participate in the bank, while South Korean officials have remained tight-lipped in recent...

  • March 18-- Last month the board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions met in Seoul to discuss a number of agenda items, including safeguards for central counterparties, or CCPs. IOSCO- as the name suggests- is the international forum and standard setter for market regulators such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, upon which I...

  • BERLIN/ WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters)- The United States urged countries on Tuesday to think twice about signing up to a new China- led Asian development bank that Washington sees as a rival to the World Bank after Germany, France and Italy followed Britain in saying they would join. The concerted move by U.S. allies to participate in Beijing's flagship economic...

  • PARIS/ BEIJING, March 17- Germany, France and Italy said on Tuesday they had agreed to join a new China- led Asian investment bank after close ally Britain defied U.S. pressure to become a founder member of a venture seen in Washington as a rival to the World Bank. It comes amid prickly trade negotiations between Brussels and Washington, and at a time when EU and Asian...

  • SEOUL, March 17- A senior U.S. diplomat said it was up to individual countries to decide on joining a new China- led international development bank, as media reports said a growing number of close U.S. allies were ignoring Washington's pressure to stay out of the institution. France, Germany and Italy have agreed to follow Britain's lead and join the Asian...

  • *Signs of nuclear deal and end of sanctions for Iran add pressure. NEW YORK, March 16- Oil prices fell 2 percent on Monday, with U.S. crude hitting six-year lows, on signs of higher output in the United States and Libya and a possible nuclear deal that could end sanctions for Iran, allowing more of its oil into the market. The United States and Iran, meanwhile, inched closer...

  • *Signs of nuclear deal and end of sanctions for Iran add pressure. NEW YORK, March 16- Brent oil fell about 3 percent on Monday and U.S. crude hit six-year lows on signs of higher output in the United States and Libya and a possible nuclear deal that could end sanctions for Iran, allowing more of its oil into the market. The United States and Iran, meanwhile, inched closer...

  • UPDATE 7-Oil drops on ample supply, Iran nuclear talks Monday, 16 Mar 2015 | 10:44 AM ET

    LONDON, March 16- Brent crude oil fell to around $53 a barrel on Monday, its lowest for more than a month, on rising global inventories and signs of a possible nuclear deal with Tehran that could allow more Iranian oil exports. Western powers are hoping for concessions from Tehran that could help clinch an agreement in nuclear talks this week after the United States...

  • LONDON, March 16- Brent crude oil fell to around $54 a barrel on Monday, its lowest for more than a month, on rising global inventories and signs of a possible nuclear deal with Tehran that could allow more Iranian oil exports. Western powers are hoping for concessions from Tehran that could help clinch an agreement in nuclear talks this week after the United States...

  • SINGAPORE, March 16- Oil prices fell on Monday as spare oil storage capacity runs low and a potential agreement in nuclear talks with Tehran opened the prospect of more Iranian exports, should sanctions be eased. U.S. crude fell to $43.57 in early trading, its lowest since March 2009, before rebounding to $44.19 by 0658 GMT, still down 65 cents. "The prospect of an...

  • LONDON, March 13- Britain said it has sought to become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, making it the first Western nation to embrace the China- backed institution, but the United States reacted frostily to the development. Analysts have said it could challenge the Western-dominated World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

  • South Korea's tallest skyscraper rises in cloud of fear Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 | 5:00 PM ET

    *Lotte World Tower to reach 1,821 feet on 2016 completion. SEOUL, March 13- At 92, the man who built South Korea's biggest retail empire is finally making his mark in the Seoul skyline as the country's tallest tower takes shape- just as public faith in corporate giants crumbles into safety fears and mistrust. Shin Kyuk-ho first envisioned a landmark for Lotte Group...

  • HONG KONG, March 12- China is opening a free trade zone in Guangdong next week, part of its wider financial reforms that include moving to a fully convertible yuan currency and capital account liberalisation. In December, China said it would open three more FTZs- in Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin- and these would duplicate the Shanghai model. China kicked off its...

  • SEOUL, March 12- South Korea's central bank cut interest rates for the first time in five months on Thursday in a surprise move, joining the ranks of other economies which have recently taken advantage of lower inflation to ease monetary policy to spur sluggish growth. The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee, grappling with a weaker-than-expected...

  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares rise as South Korea cuts rates Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 | 10:29 PM ET

    TOKYO, March 12- A surprise interest rate cut by South Korea's central bank on Thursday helped lift an index of Asian stocks away from the previous session's seven-week lows, while the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates buoyed the dollar. "We think the two key drivers behind today's decision are a weaker economic outlook and deflation pressures," said Ronald...

  • SEOUL, March 11- The second-largest shareholder in Hyundai Motor Co and its two affiliates will vote against the reappointment of two of the sister firms' board members who last year approved buying a Seoul property for $10 billion, or three times its appraised value. The veto by the National Pension Service against one outside director at both Kia Motors and...

  • SEOUL, March 11- The second-largest shareholder in Hyundai Motor Co and its two affiliates will vote against the reappointment of some board members who last year approved buying a Seoul property for $10 billion or three times its appraised value, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. Brain Asset Management, which holds 0.14 percent of...