BEIJING: Fixed asset investment in China, a key driver of the economy and a broad gauge of government stimulus spending, soared 32.8% in January and February from a year ago, according to the State Statistical Bureau.
Total fixed asset investment, which covers things like roads and power grids as well as industrial projects and real estate development, came to 193.6 billion yuan (US$24bil) in the two-month period. Of that, nearly 94 billion yuan was spent on infrastructure projects, up 27.7% from a year ago, while investment in property development climbed 37% to 59.8 billion yuan. – Reuters
BEIJING: BMW AG and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd are reported to have obtained Chinese government approval to set up a joint venture to produce BMW sedans in Shenyang in the second half of the year.
The Shanghai-based International Finance News quoted BMW sources as saying the 50:50 joint venture would have an annual production capacity of 30,000 BMW 3-Series and BMW 5-Series cars, with the first unit expected to roll out after October. It said BMW planned to invest 450 million euros in the venture by 2005. – AFX
TOKYO: A unit of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) and Electronic Data Systems Corp have entered a business tie-up to offer information technology (IT) and communications services worldwide.
Under the co-operation pact, EDS will offer IT system services while NTT Communications will provide global communications services for the same customers. Texas-based EDS is the world’s second largest computer services provider, while NTT Communications is the long-distance and international unit of NTT, Japan’s largest telecoms operator. – Reuters
TOKYO: Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has ordered Nikko Salomon Smith Barney to suspend all stock trading on its own account for 20 business days for manipulating stock prices.
The penalty covers the period from March 19 to April 16, but excludes transactions concluded on or before March 18. It was sought by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission after it found earlier this month that Nikko Salomon – a joint venture between Citigroup and Nikko Cordial Corp, Japan’s third largest brokerage – had manipulated the price of shares in an exchange-traded fund. – Reuters
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