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Investment News and Commentary from Emerging Markets in Asia - China, India and ASEAN




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2point6billion.com discusses business and investment news rising from the geopolitical relations of China and India, and the interactions these two countries have with the rest of emerging Asia.



Monthly Archives: September 2008

Is it just milk powder or is all our food contaminated?

If you think China’s powder milk scandal is the only food poisoning us, think again. Almost all food that mankind consumes today has some degree of chemical. Depending on where your food comes from, it could have varying levels and different kinds of chemicals. Both harmful and harmless chemicals creep into foods in a multitude of ways, while some are sprayed on food to keep insects and pests away, others seep in through the soil, yet others are pumped into fruits and vegetables making carrots oranger, apples rounder and redder and peaches bigger.

Modern science luckily, has allowed us to calculate and determine for ourselves the right amount of chemicals we can ingest before its fatal, the publicity of which gives rise to going back to the basics or a more marketable term – Organic foods.

Various governments around the world have identified several chemicals which when they reside in your body for long periods of time can create defects, abnormalities and/or death. The following are a list of chemicals found in our everyday foods, and the effects they have on humans.

What are the prime suspects?

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Rank on corruption index

Numbers: (72,85)

Posted in The Comparator | Comments Off on Rank on corruption index

South Korea woos Russia for Oil

South Korea’s growing economy is hungry for oil and is actively competing with China for oil and natural gas from Russia, its closest oil rich nation. South Korea is interested in getting a spur of the Asian pipeline being built by Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft, the company’s vice president, Mikhail Barkov, told Reuters.

A source close to the South Korean embassy in Moscow confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday that South Korea is interested in the pipeline project and in importing Russian oil, which would allow the country to diversify imports away from the Middle East.

In the past South Korea has evinced interest in importing oil through the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline (ESPO). Korean National Oil Company (KNOC) representatives are also believed to be in talks with the Russian oil company Transneft over the construction of a branch of the ESPO pipeline that would stretch through North Korea to South Korea. The oil pipeline is projected to run alongside a gas pipeline.

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Raise Your Jugs to Asian Brew!

Its a Friday and we’ve read weeks of depressing Asian news – the food crisis isn’t over yet, the monsoon has left death and destruction in its path, inflation has hit a 2-3 year high and now to top it all, Asia seems to be buckling under the Wall Street crash. At a time when nothing seems to going right in the world, we turn to alcohol, more refreshingly Beer.

Beer is not just a thirst quencher in Asia, its not just guzzled after work in dark bars by brawny men, instead its a fine accompaniment to Asian cuisine, its a flavorful drink to sip while rafting down the Mekong, listening to monks drone their scriptures.

Most Asian countries have their indigenous beers. Voted as Time magazine’s best Asian beer in 2004, BeerLao, with it’s an arrestingly crisp brew, tops the list for many Asian beer connoisseurs. However, Singha from Thailand, Kingfisher from India, Tsingtao from China, Kirin and Sapporo from Japan, Taiwan beer from Taiwan, 333 and Bia Saigon from Cambodia, Angkor from Laos, San Miguel from the Philippines and Tiger from Singapore too have a large patronage. Continue reading

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When there’s blood on the streets, buy gold!

 

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, the Warren buffet of Asia, has bought heavily into bank of East Asia after stocks of the Asian bank plummeted more than 11 percent.

Warren E. Buffett, the America’s most famous investor and one of the world’s richest men, announced on Tuesday that he would invest $5 billion in Goldman Sachs, the embattled Wall Street titan, in a move that could bolster confidence in the financial markets.

Following his lead, Li Ka-shing, who has built a massive empire ranging from shipping to education in Asia and beyond, on Thursday reportedly swooped in to buy Bank of East Asia’s shares, bolstering confidence and Asia and helping Hong Kong’s fifth-ranked lender stay afloat.

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As Asia helps bail out America

Two days before Taro Aso an outspoken conservative who has advocated a return to old-style government spending to stimulate Japan’s economy, was nominated to power, Nomura Holdings, Japan’s largest brokerage, reached a deal to buy the Asian operations of Lehman Brothers.

The Japanese bank announced it would pay US$225 million for Lehman’s equities and investment banking operations across Asia, which includes Japan and Australia. In bailing Lehman’s out, Nomura told the AFP it would offer employment to all 3,000 Lehman Brothers’ workers in Asia.

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The war over water

China and India are aggressively and strategically competing over gaining control of international waters south of Hambantota, Sri Lanka. Over the years, the two countries have been fortifying their forces around the vital water way in a bid to gain influence in the region.

The vital water way lies south of Sri Lanka and north of Antarctica in the Indian Ocean and is one of the world’s great trade arteries, the shipping lanes where thousands of vessels carry oil from the Middle East and raw materials to Asia, return with toys, clothes, television sets and sneakers for European consumers.

According to the International Herald Tribune these tankers provide 80 percent of China’s oil and 65 percent of India’s fuel desperately needed for the two countries’ rapidly growing economies. Japan, too, is almost totally dependent on energy supplies shipped through the Indian Ocean. Any disruption — from terrorism, piracy, natural disaster or war — could have devastating effects on these countries and, in an increasingly interdependent world, send ripples across the globe.

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