Election Uncertainty Continues to Reign in Australia

This is a transcript of top stories presented by China's CCTV Business Channel as produced by CNBC Asia Pacific.

Hello to our viewers all over China.

You're watching “Asia Market Daily”, co-produced by CCTV Business Channel and CNBC, first in business worldwide.

I am Saijal Patel and here are the top stories across Asia today.

It was a mixed day for regional markets, trading against a backdrop where the euro was pushed to a 9-year low versus the yen and a 6-week low to the dollar at one stage.

Concern the global economy is slowing persist boosting demand for safer assets.

In Japan the benchmark Nikkei 225 finished at 8 thousand 995, its lowest close in 15 months.

Investors are disappointed that there is still no specific policy action on the yen.

Meantime, South Korea's KOSPI down by 0.4 percent.

In Australia, the S&P ASX 200 lost more than a percent.

Shares pressured by the uncertainty over the country's election outcome.

We have more of that later in the bulletin.

Meantime, Greater China markets also trading mixed. PCCW shares tumbled after saying it will sell new shares at a sharp discount.

Gome's shares return to trade today. They were suspended yesterday just before Bain announced it would exercise its convertible bonds.

But the electronics giant is now caught in a battle between the boardroom and behind bars - where its chief is fighting for control of the company. The company has set a September 28 date for a special general meeting to address proposals by jailed founder Huang Guangyu.

Huang who is still the biggest shareholder with 34 percent, has been locked in battle with management as he continues to fight for control of the firm.

Gome's Chairman, whom Huang is also trying to oust, blasted the proposals.

(SOT) Chen Xiao, Chairman, Gome:

“This is not a fight for share holdings and not a fight for profits. I'm just a representative and member of the management. So the real focus is he wants to use his will to control the company. The management believes we should aim at maximizing benefits for all shareholders, and not decide the fate of the company by just one shareholder's desire. This is the focus of the contradiction and real reason behind.”

China's recent measures to ease restrictions on insurers are widely expected to boost corporate performance for the insurance sector.

Beijing's new rules allow insurers to invest as much as three times their previous limit in overseas capital markets.

Such a relaxation will allow companies like China Life and Ping An to diversify away from their core Shanghai stock market.

(SOT) Bob Leung, Head of Asia Pacific Insurance Research, Deutsche Securities Asia:

“They're definitely improving and enhancing the rules at a gradual pace, which is the Chinese way of rules being liberalize anyway. We don't expect any that kind of big lump in terms of risk being enhance in any insurers balance sheet, it will be a gradual process. It's like a moving away from a more simplistic and prescription like solvency rules to a more risk-based approach will probably allow more flexibility in doing business and deploying capital.”

Ping An announces its earnings today.

(SOT) Bob Leung, Head of Asia Pacific Insurance Research, Deutsche Securities Asia:

"Overall the investment environment has been difficult but as a diversified financial group, obviously they will benefit from the buoyant IPO market in Asia this year, they are one of the leaders in the SME IPO space in China themselves, and the benefit from the P&C space which is improving in terms of the multi-insurance facility so overall, we do expect a year-on-year improvement in the first half."

Over in Australia, uncertainty over the elections results sent Australian stocks to their lowest in a month during the trading day.

CNBC's Oriel Morrison has the latest. Oriel?


Thanks Saijal, well election uncertainty continues to reign in Australia — with opposition leader Tony Abbott warning today that there will not be any swift resolution.

That after the poll on the weekend delivered the first hung parliament in 70 years, with neither side winning a clear majority.

(SOT) Tony Abbott, Australian Opposition Leader:

“Obviously the counting is continuing and the advice I have is that it will be some time before it is completed. That means it will be some time before a government emerges because the one thing that is pretty obvious is that we are not going to have either party in a majority situation.”

The latest count gives ruling Labor 72 seats to the conservatives' 69 — with 76 seats needed to form the government.

Poll experts predicting that both will end with 73, leaving three independents and a Green MP holding the balance of power.

They will meet today — to discuss whether to support Labor or the conservative opposition's bid for power, which Gerard Minack from Morgan Stanley says, could be a risk for Australia.

(SOT) Gerard Minack, Global Developed Market Strategist, Morgan Stanley:

"The main tail risk in this is that either major parties had to rely on, what, let's face is a left wing group of independent, they have got the urban socialist and the greens, we have the rural socialists in the National Party rung, The risk is that the tail ends up wagging the dog, I don't think its a big risk but we need to be alert to that. And that's the issues how much power the independent has rather than which main party is in the driving seat. "

Financial markets tracked lower today, but analysts say investors are comfortable that both sides are fiscally prudent.

Both Labor and the Liberal-National coalition have pledged to return the budget to surplus by 2012-13. Still it’s unlikely we will have a resolution on the election before the end of the week.

Saijal, back to you.


Thanks Oriel.

And before we go, investors will be focusing on housing numbers out of the U.S. later this evening. Existing home sales are expected to have plunged about 11% in July. New home sales data are also forecasted to be flat. Demand for new houses little changed as the sector continues to struggle after a government tax-credit expired in May.

(SOT) Jack Bouroudjian, CEO, Index Futures Group:

“I would not be surprised to see a 25-30 percent decline in the wake of what we saw come out of this mortgage application. This is not going well, it's not going according to plan of the Obama administration, we are not seeing exactly what we are hoping we'd see, that is lending increase and more importantly, people are not confident enough to go out and borrow money to buy a house. People are more concerned in having a job, rather than buying a house right now. That's a precursor to a rough market condition.”

Well, that wraps up today's business highlights.

I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC.

Thanks for watching.

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