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TOKYO: Eleven central banks in East Asia and Oceania, including the Bank of Japan, will jointly establish a fund of about US$2bil to invest in government and other public bonds denominated in local currencies starting early next year, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. 

The aim was to nurture the growth of Asia's bond market, which is lagging behind its US and European counterparts, it said, adding that the fund would also be designed to prevent a recurrence of the East Asian financial crisis that erupted in 1997. 

The Executives' Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks (EMEAP), comprising the 11 currency authorities in the region, was due later this month to announce its plan for the fund, which would be based inside the Bank for International Settlements, the report said. 

Japan will likely contribute more than US$100mil for investment in instruments denominated in eight currencies, including those of China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. – AFX-Asia 

TOKYO: Sharp Corp plans to manufacture most of its washing machines in China by increasing the output capacity at its Shanghai plant by 70%, leaving only partial production of high-end models in Japan, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported at the weekend. 

The company's plant in Osaka is its only domestic manufacturing base for washing machines, and the facility's current output capacity totals more than 200,000 units a year. Sharp would transfer most of this production, except for luxury models such as drum-type washers, to its Shanghai factory by year's end, the report said. 

As a result, the annual manufacturing capacity of the Shanghai plant will increase by 70% to 500,000 units. Sharp will market the products in China as well as export them to Japan, South-East Asian countries and other areas. – AFX-Asia  

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