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Business - Chevron exits Caltex Australia stake for $3.7 billion

By Morag MacKinnon PERTH (Reuters) - U.S. energy giant Chevron sold its entire stake in refiner Caltex Australia Ltd for A$4.7 billion ($3.7 billion) in Asia`s biggest block deal this year, as falling oil prices and high costs hurt margins. Offshore institutional investor demand for the 50 percent stake in Australia`s biggest refiner was strong, with bidding driving the final price to A$35 a share, a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs, the sole underwriter for the deal, confirmed on Saturday. The $3.7 billion deal is Asia`s largest block transaction this year, eclipsing the government of India`s $3.6 billion sale of its stake in Coal India Ltd in January. Australia has seen a rush of block trades in the past month as investors look to capitalise on strong valuations following a share market that is rising on hopes of more interest rate cuts.

Saturday, March 28, 2015  03:19


World - From Bangkok to Bhutan, growing cities race to outrun disasters

By Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Asia`s fast-growing cities are struggling to build the roads, waste management and drinking water systems that could help protect their swelling populations from climate-related disasters, said city leaders from across the region. `Asia-Pacific is the region of the world most affected by the impacts of climate change,` Bangkok Deputy Governor Pusadee Tamthai told a forum on urban resilience. `This is because this is the fastest-growth region, with a lack of urban planning to accommodate the cities` expansion and especially the environmental problems.` About 300 city officials, development experts and researchers from 100 cities in 30 countries in Asia, North America and Europe convened in Bangkok for the three-day conference that ends on Friday. Asia-Pacific is the region most affected by disasters, with 714,000 deaths from natural disasters between 2004 and 2013, more than treble the previous decade, and economic losses topping $560 billion, according to the United Nations.

Thursday, February 12, 2015  14:06


Asia-Pacific - Michael Clarke to retire from ODIs

Australia captain Michael Clarke says he will retire from one-day international cricket after Sunday`s World Cup final against New Zealand.

Saturday, March 28, 2015  04:14


Top Stories - The Great Firewall: Fortune at the expense of freedom?

Saturday, March 28, 2015  03:37


Top Stories - Meet the animal that`s rarer -- and cuter -- than a panda

Saturday, March 28, 2015  03:37


Asia-Pacific - Why Dara the Prince has modern message

Why a Mughal ruler still divides opinion today

Saturday, March 28, 2015  02:24


World - U.S. college exam scandals open door to thriving market

By Irene Jay Liu HONG KONG (Reuters) - Test preparation companies see a golden opportunity to expand in Asia, after a series of cheating scandals on the U.S. college entrance exam SAT pushed more students in the region to take its lesser-known rival, the ACT. Last month, SAT scores were withheld for thousands of students across Asia who took the SAT in January, the fourth consecutive exam in as many months to see widespread delays because of alleged cheating. `Students are aware of the cheating scandals and nervous that their scores will be canceled after spending so many hours preparing for the examination,` said Edward Dunnigan, director of the SAT and ACT programs at New Pathway Education, which has centers in China and New York. College testing and admissions is big business in Asia, and growing: 150,000 students from China and South Korea went to U.S. colleges last year, 40 percent of all international undergraduates in America, according to the Institute of International Education.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015  09:33


Business - Oil export losses to reach $300 billion in Middle East

Losses from lower oil exports should sap up to $300 billion from economies in the Middle East and Central Asia this year, as countries in the region adjust to falling crude prices, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. Economies that are particularly dependent on oil exports, including Qatar, Iraq, Libya and Saudi Arabia, will be hit hardest by the more than 50 percent decline in petroleum prices, the IMF said in an update to its outlook for the Middle East and Central Asia. Oil prices are now hovering near six-year lows amid expectations of an abundance of supply tied to unexpectedly high production of U.S. shale crude. The IMF said, however, that falling crude prices will not translate immediately into major gains for oil importers in the Middle East and Central Asia, which have been hurt by the slowing growth prospects of key trading partners in the euro zone and Russia.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015  14:16


World - Obama warns Asian territorial disputes could `spiral into confrontation`

US President Barack Obama on Saturday warned of the dangers of outright conflict in Asia, as China squares off against rival claimants over various territories, but vowed that Washington would remain anchored in the region. In a speech at Brisbane`s University of Queensland, Obama insisted that his `pivot` of US policy back to Asia was real and here to stay. In the speech, given on the margins of the G20 summit, the president reviewed the stunning economic progress seen in East Asia since World War II. China is locked in dispute with Southeast Asian countries over lonely outcrops in the South China Sea and with Japan over another set of islets.

Saturday, November 15, 2014  04:07


Asia-Pacific - Singapore in a post-LKY future

Where will Singapore go after Lee Kuan Yew?

Saturday, March 28, 2015  01:28

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