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Kuroda named BOJ governor

Haruhiko Kuroda is the new governor of the Bank of Japan, after Japan's parliament approved his appointment. The upper house cleared Mr Kuroda he won approval from the lower house on Thursday. Mr Kuroda, 68, is expected to push for monetary stimulus to boost growth in the world's third-largest economy. He has vowed to "do whatever it takes" to achieve Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ambitious two percent inflation target. Japan has seen nearly 20 years of deflation. The upper house also voted to approve the appointment of Kikuo Iwata and Hiroshi Nakaso as deputies to Mr Kuroda, who is leaving his current job as president of the Asian Development Bank. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

By Editorial Team

Li Keqiang named China’s new premier

Li Keqiang (pictured right) has been named China's new premier, replacing Wen Jiabao. Mr Li, who already holds the number two spot in the Communist Party, is now in charge of running the world's second-largest economy and it is one of the final steps of a landmark power transition. He was elected for a five-year term but he is expected to be in office for a decade. Mr Li, 57, now has the task of steering the country towards more balanced development. "I announce that comrade Li Keqiang has been chosen as premier of the People's Republic of China," said Yan Junqi, a vice-chairwoman of the National People's Congress (NPC). Li received 2,940 votes out of 2,949 cast, with three votes against and six abstentions. On Thursday, Xi Jinping was confirmed as China's new president , completing the transition of power from Hu Jintao. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

By Editorial Team

China names new president

Beijing has confirmed Xi Jinping as president, replacing Hu Jintao who is stepping down after 10 years at the top. Mr Xi was elected by 2,952 votes to one, with three abstentions. The ritual ballot took place at Beijing's Great Hall of the People. "Now I announce comrade Xi Jinping is selected as president of the People's Republic of China," said Liu Yunshan, who was chairing the National People's Congress (NPC). Mr Xi, 59, was named general secretary of the Communist Party on 8 November and also given the leadership of the top military body, the Central Military Commission. A new premier is scheduled to be named on Friday, replacing Wen Jiabao. Li Yuanchao, an ally of Mr Xi, was elected to be vice-president. It was China's second orderly succession since Communist party rule began in 1949. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

By Editorial Team

Famous Brands enters India with Debonairs Pizza

JSE-listed Famous Brands has announced its expansion into India, with a pilot Debonairs Pizza restaurant set to open in Mumbai in July 2013. In the short-term, five restaurants will be opened in Mumbai, India's main economic hub and its wealthiest city. Famous Brands said Mumbai had the highest gross domestic product of any city in south, west or central Asia and it has appointed a master licence partner in the territory to manage the business. "Entering the Indian market is as much about our partners as it is about the market. They will give us local knowledge advantage which is critical to the sustainability of this venture," said Famous Brands Chief Operating Officer, Darren Hele, in a statement. The Master License agreement has been concluded with family-owned Diwa Hospitality Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of the Parekh Group conglomerate. "Whilst Debonairs Pizza is Africa's biggest pizza brand and the Group is confident of exporting the concept, in-depth research has shown that the model must be relevant from day one, and be re-engineered to fit the Indian market," Hele said. "In this regard, our Debonairs Pizza offering in Mumbai is all about a customised menu – with a strong vegetarian bias; local flavour profiles developed in conjunction with our partners; and innovative product offerings designed to support the cost conscious 'grab-and-go' Mumbai consumer. It is also about a bespoke trading format which factors in that access to retail trading space in high density markets such as this are at a premium. "There are very strong factors driving growth

By Editorial Team

ENI sells Mozambique stake to CNPC

Italian oil giant ENI has signed an agreement to sell 28.6 percent of its subsidiary Eni East Africa, which owns the Area 4 natural gas field in Mozambique, to China National Petroleum Corp, the country's largest oil producer, for $4.21 billion.

By Editorial Team

BOJ: Japan lower house endorses Kuroda

Japan's lower house of parliament has endorsed Haruhiko Kuroda to become the next central bank governor. The lower house also approved government nominees Kikuo Iwata and Hiroshi Nakaso to serve as the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) two deputy governors. Kuroda's appointment will have to be approved in the upper house on Friday; media reports suggest that is likely. Approval in both the upper and lower houses of parliament is necessary for the nominees to take control of the central bank after its current leadership steps down on March 19. Kuroda, 68, has vowed to "do whatever it takes" to achieve Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ambitious two percent inflation target and his appointment would herald a shift to more aggressive monetary easing aimed at ending nearly 20 years of deflation. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

By Editorial Team

Volkswagen to open seven China factories

Volkswagen is planning to open seven more factories in China, chief executive Martin Winterkorn says.

By Editorial Team

Golden Agri’s Liberia project gets $500m loan from China

Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources Ltd, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, said Wednesday its Liberia business Golden Veroleum has received a $500 million loan from the China Development Bank to develop palm plantations in the African country. Golden Veroleum Ltd, owned by private equity fund The Verdant Fund LP, will draw on the loan over six years for its Liberia project. Golden Agri, belonging to the Indonesian Sinar Mas Group conglomerate, is currently the only investor in The Verdant Fund. "The Board of Directors of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd wishes to announce that Golden Veroleum Limited (GVL) has procured a term loan facility from China Development Bank Corporation in an aggregate principal amount of $500 million with total tenor of 15 years," the palm planter said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

By Editorial Team

Cathay Pacific profits fall 83%

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has announced profits have fallen 83 percent amid higher fuel costs and a drop in demand for corporate travel.

By Editorial Team

India’s GVK in Australian coal deal

India's GVK has joined forces with Aurizon, Australia's largest rail freight company, to build the infrastructure needed for the development of the Galilee Basin in central Queensland. In a statement, GVK said GVK Coal Infrastructure (Singapore) Pte Limited (GVK Hancock) and Aurizon, the company previously known as QR National, had signed an "non-binding agreement" on joint development of rail and port infrastructure to "unlock Galilee Basin coal reserves", including GVK Hancock's Alpha, Kevin's Corner and Alpha West coal mines. The agreement also envisages a process to "support the next phase of coal growth in the Bowen Basin", which contains the largest coal reserves in Australia. According to a GVK statement, Aurizon would acquire a majority (51 percent) interest in Hancock Coal Infrastructure, which owns GVK Hancock's rail and port projects and "would invest through upfront consideration at completion of the transaction and deferred consideration at financial close of each phase of the projects". Both companies will have equal management rights and an equal representation on the board of all key committees. The chairman of the board will be G V K Reddy. "This is one of the most significant deals in Queensland's coal history," Reddy said. "The development of the rail and port infrastructure will unlock the Galilee Basin and see the development of Alpha, Kevin's Corner and Alpha West, creating one of the largest integrated coal development projects globally. I am sure it will be a win‐win relationship leveraging on each other's strengths in project development and operation." GVK Hancock and Aurizon are seeking development

By Editorial Team