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Asia Top News and Analysis South Korea

  • Shares in water purifier maker Woongjin Coway rose more than 14 percent after a local court said it will hold the first closed hearing on whether to grant court receivership to Woongjin Holdings on Friday. Woongjin Holdings is Woongjin Coway's largest shareholder with a 28.4 percent stake.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 4- A decade ago, a developer from Korean gamemaker Nexon threw a few lines of code together to create an image of a flower to present to his girlfriend, buying himself more videogame time as she sat impatiently by his side at an Internet cafe.

  • DUBAI, Oct 4- HSBC Holdings Plc is to significantly scale back the scope of its global Islamic banking operations, as the business becomes the latest area to be affected by a wider restructuring at the UK- based bank.

  • TOKYO, Oct 4- Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, a fiery nationalist whose failed bid to buy a group of disputed islands ignited a crisis with China, is pushing ahead with a plan to build structures there to hammer home Japan's claim, officials involved told Reuters.

  • *Investors cautious after China services PMI. SEOUL, Oct 4- Seoul shares edged lower on Thursday morning as investors found it difficult to shake off disappointing data that showed a sharp weakening in China's service sector, with slumping oil prices also helping to push down energy-related stocks.

  • MELBOURNE, Oct 4- Australian shares were up 0.2 percent on Thursday as banks rose while miners fell, with sentiment dented by soft retail sales figures for August and declines in oil and copper prices. Top banks continued this week's post rate-cut gains, led by a 1.2 percent rise in Westpac Banking Corp.

  • SEOUL, Oct 4- Foreigners' pledged investment in South Korea during the third quarter grew at the fastest annual pace in nearly eight years, driven by a surge in investment from Hong Kong and Singapore, government data showed on Thursday. A spike in tourism-related investments underpinned the surge in funds from Hong Kong and Singapore, the ministry said.

  • HONG KONG, Oct 4- Hong Kong shares were set to open slightly higher on Thursday with defensive sectors such as telecoms continuing to attract investor interest although gains are likely to be capped by weakness in oil producers after crude prices slumped overnight.

  • NARITA, Japan-- Japan has a reputation for loving expensive things like overpriced real estate, gourmet melons and luxury brands. Ticket prices are plunging by about half, to 16,000 yen trips to the southwestern resort island of Okinawa or a 5,000 yen hop to Seoul.

  • MELBOURNE, Oct 4- Australian shares rose 0.2 percent early on Thursday as gains in banks offset weaker miners, with sentiment supported by encouraging jobs growth data in the United States.

  • SEOUL, Oct 4- Seoul shares ticked higher early on Thursday as trade resumed after a holiday, with weaker oil prices expected to offer some support, although sentiment was cautious amid uncertainty about a Spanish bailout and China's economy.

  • SEOUL, Oct 4- Following is a list of events in South Korea as well as news stories and press reports that may influence financial markets. TOP STORIES> S.Korea c.bank switches tack to encourage growth> Google withdraws patent complaint against Apple.

  • LONDON-- Markets remained subdued Wednesday despite some moderately encouraging U.S. jobs figures as investors awaited a key government report later in the week and more clarity over Spain's request for a bailout.

  • KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Oct 3- Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Co expects to award a contract to double the capacity of a lubricants refinery in Yanbu this month, the company's spokesman said on Wednesday.

  • 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.

  • BEIJING, Oct 3- China quietly deferred a request by North Korea for its young leader to visit last month because the Chinese leadership was preoccupied with its once-in-a-decade leadership change and a host of other distractions, two independent sources said.

  • LONDON-- Markets were subdued Wednesday as investors awaited a run of U.S. economic figures and after Spain's prime minister indicated his cash-strapped country would not request a bailout imminently.

  • The U.S. Labor Department will release employment data for September on Friday. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent to 5,801.45. Germany's DAX was less than 0.1 percent lower at 7,300.12 and France's CAC-40 lost 0.3 percent to 3,404.64.

  • NARITA, Japan-- Japan has a reputation for loving expensive things like overpriced real estate, gourmet melons and luxury brands. Ticket prices are plunging by about half, to 16,000 yen trips to the southwestern resort island of Okinawa or a 5,000 yen hop to Seoul.

  • MELBOURNE, Oct 3- Australian shares edged up to a 14- month closing high on Wednesday as banks and broader stocks were boosted by an interest rate cut and a weaker local dollar, enhancing export prospects. He noted markets were cautious after Spain said a request for European aid was not imminent.