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Arsenal to play friendly in Vietnam

Arsenal will become the first Premier League club to play in Vietnam during their pre-season tour to Asia this summer. Arsenal will spend three days promoting the club in the capital Hanoi from July 15-17 and will field a full-strength team against the national side at the My Dinh National Stadium on the final day, the Vietnam Football Federation said on its website. Arsenal say they have an especially big following in the country. The Asia trip will be Arsenal's third tour to the Far East in three years. Arsenal's chief commercial officer Tom Fox said: "Arsenal Football Club has so many loyal supporters all across Asia. "The Club and the players have hugely enjoyed successful pre-season visits to Asia in the past two years, and we are all looking forward to bringing the team to this region again this year." Rivals Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool are also making trips this summer to Southeast Asia, where top European clubs have huge followings and draw large revenues from television and merchandising. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Tokyo stocks back at pre-crisis levels

Tokyo stocks closed 2.64 percent higher Friday, recovering to levels seen not since before the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers that heralded the beginning of the global financial crisis. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended up 315.54 points to 12,283.62, while the Topix index of all first-section shares added 1.61 percent, or 16.15 points, to 1,020.50. Shares in Tokyo closed higher for the seventh straight day. GS Yuasa, supplier of lithium-ion batteries to Boeing's troubled 787 Dreamliner, surged 6.40 percent to 465 yen, as US regulators said they are still looking for what exactly caused a battery fire on a Japan Airlines 787. Meanwhile, Japan's economy stopped contracting in the final quarter of 2012, figures have shown. GDP grew at an annual pace of 0.2 percent in the quarter, the government said, up from its previous estimate of a 0.4 percent contraction. Higher than expected corporate spending and household consumption are thought to have contributed to growth. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Goodman fund acquires stake in Hong Kong port terminal

Sydney-based property fund manager Goodman Group has acquired a 25 percent stake in ATL Logistics Centre Hong Kong (ATL), the world's largest logistics facility. Goodman's Goodman Hong Kong Logistics Fund (GHKLF) acquired the interest in ATL through a co-ownership arrangement with DP World - one of the world's largest terminal operators. It also got an ownership interest in CSX World Terminals Hong Kong. Goodman said the acquisition would further consolidate its position as a leading player in the Greater China market. The co-owners will continue to oversee the management of ATL and the associated container terminal, consistent with the respective expertise of both parties. The transaction will be primarily funded via a $300 million targeted equity raising by the logistics fund, which has been fully subscribed by its existing investors. Goodman's Managing Director Greater China, Mr Philip Pearce said: "The transaction cements Goodman's position as a leading player in the Greater China logistics property market. ATL further enhances Goodman's ability to service its global customers across the region and combined with our development pipeline of more than four million sqm in China, Goodman is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities stemming from the continued economic growth in this key market." ATL is a 13 storey, ramp up logistics facility, constructed in five phases between 1984 and 1994. With a lettable area of 552,000 sqm, it is the world's largest logistics building. The facility is currently 98 percent leased to 60 customers. Goodman's Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Greg Goodman said: "We are delighted with the

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AirAsia airline proposal gets India approval

India on Wednesday approved a proposal by Malaysia's AirAsia to invest 800 million rupees ($14.5 million) to start a budget airline in a joint venture with India's Tata and a third investor, Telestra Tradeplace.

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F1 2013: Pre-season testing in numbers

The excitement is building as this year's F1 season draws near. All the teams have been busy launching their new cars and pre-season testing has taken place. Testing was spread over three separate four-day sessions in Spain from early February to early March. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg left the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona with the fastest lap time and it was Sauber who completed the greatest distance of any of the teams - just over 5,300 kilometres. Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on March 15-17 in Melbourne, all the stats from this year's testing have been released. There's some surprising figures. But do they mean anything?... Unofficial test kilometres completed (Drivers): 1. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber - 2,768 2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes - 2,640 3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 2,584 4. Sergio Perez, McLaren - 2,538 = Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber - 2,538 6. Max Chilton, Marussia - 2,536 7. Paul di Resta, Force India - 2,520 8. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso - 2,455 9. Charles Pic, Caterham - 2,364 10. Valtteri Bottas, Williams - 2,352 11. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari - 2,351 12. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull - 2,343 13. Felipe Massa, Ferrari - 2,336 14. Romain Grosjean, Lotus - 2,270 15. Mark Webber, Red Bull - 2,265 16. Pastor Maldonado, Williams - 2,218 17. Giedo van der Garde, Caterham - 2,149 18. Jenson Button, McLaren - 2,091 19. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso - 2,051 20. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus - 1,182 21. Jules Bianchi, Force India/Marussia - 1,165 22. Adrian Sutil, Force India - 1,159 23. Luiz

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Ronaldo strike sends United packing

Former Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show and crowned his first match back at Old Trafford since leaving for Spain with the decisive goal as Real Madrid beat the English side 2-1 in their Champions League last-16 second-leg clash on Tuesday. Real advanced 3-2 on aggregate, although an uncharacteristically humble Madrid manager Jose Mourinho admitted the win was undeserved. "The best team lost, independent of the sending-off," he said. The match took a controversial twist when Manchester United were reduced to 10 men with over half-an-hour to go - Nani seeing red card for a high tackle on Alvaro Arbeloa. Real, who were one nil down before the sending off, grabbed two goals to seal their advance. Luka Modric scored the first with a beautiful effort and then came the Ronaldo show, the Portuguese star adding the second. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Li Ka-shing still Asia’s richest man

Once again Li Ka-shing is Asia's richest person according to a list of the world's richest people released by Forbes magazine. The Hong Kong magnate and philanthropist, 84, was ranked 20th on the list. According to the magazine, he was valued at $31 billion, his fortune jumping $5.5 billion as shares of his biggest holdings all rose 10 percent or more. He also received 2012 dividends of $860 million. Li is the only Asian among the world's top 20 richest and despite his advancing years he still oversees what is one of the world's most far-reaching empires with 260,000 employees in 52 countries. 2012 was a busy year, with Li controlled companies buying gas supplier Wales & West Utilities for $1 billion in October; his third utilities acquisition in the UK in 24 months. He now supplies gas to a quarter of all Britons. Last summer Li officially announced his succession plans and his eldest son Victor will take over management and control of the publicly traded assets. Son Richard, also a billionaire, will get cash and help on deals. The elder Li is an investor in Facebook, Spotify, social TV platform Stevie, Kaiima, Everything.Me and Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Sharp in Samsung share sale

In a rare move for a Japanese firm, Sharp has announced a Y10.4 billion deal with South Korean rival Samsung. In a statment, Sharp said it will sell a three percent stake to Samsung that will make the South Korean company Sharp's biggest foreign shareholder. The Japanese firm - which as been trying to restructure its operations amid mounting losses - said the deal would help shore up troubled finances and boost "mutual trust" as the firms look to benefit from Sharp's leading liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology for mobile phones and tablets. Sharp has forecast a record Y450 billion loss in the fiscal year ending March 31 and has been under pressure to find an investor to bolster its capital base. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Hilton Worldwide enters Myanmar

Hilton Worldwide has become the first major international hotel company to announce its entry into Myanmar. The company has signed a management agreement with LP Holding Co Ltd to operate the Hilton Yangon, a 300 room hotel which is expected to open in the city's central Kyauktada Township area. It is scheduled to open in 2014. "This agreement is a significant milestone for us as it represents both Hilton Worldwide's and the Hilton brand's entry into Myanmar," said Andrew Clough, senior vice president, development, Middle East & Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide. "Backed by a strong partner like LP Holding Co., Ltd, we are very confident that as the first internationally branded hotel in Yangon, Hilton Yangon will set the benchmark for quality hospitality experiences catering to both domestic and international travelers." The 21-storey Hilton Yangon is 14.3 kilometers away from Yangon International Airport and is part of Centrepoint Towers, a mixed-use development which includes high-end retail boutiques and a premium office tower. Situated on the corner of Sule Pagoda Road and Merchant Street, the hotel will be located opposite Yangon's High Court building and Independence Monument Park. As the one of the tallest buildings in the city, it will also offer guests views across the Yangon skyline. "Today's announcement represents our first partnership with Hilton Worldwide and combines the expertise of a truly global, award-winning hospitality company with strong local market expertise," said Richard Mayhew, Director, LP Holding Co., Ltd. "Myanmar, and Yangon in particular, is one of the most sought after destinations in Southeast Asia

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Japanese tyre giant Bridgestone to close Italian factory

Bridgestone has announced plans to close down its passenger car tyre production facility in Bari, Italy, stressing that the decision "will not have any effect on the other existing Group entities in Italy", which it views as one of the key markets in Europe. In a press statement released on Tuesday, Bridgestone cited that "Despite repeated efforts to overhaul the Bari plant, it is to be regretted that given the structural decrease in demand, and the shift towards premium products, when combined with the factors already mentioned relative to other Bridgestone European plants, have left the Company with no other choice than to proceed with the closure of this site." The decision followed a two-year review of the European and global tyre markets. "This decision has been taken after a thorough analysis of all possible alternatives, but none of these were feasible," Bridgestone said, adding that car tyre demand in the European Union was likely to remain below pre-2011 levels until at least 2020. Demand for tyres in the EU has fallen significantly and the sector is suffering increasing pressure from low-cost rivals in emerging markets. "In response to these dynamics, Bridgestone Europe is reprioritising its production to focus on the premium segment of the market. The plant, which started operations in 1962, is one of eight in Europe and employs over 900 people. Image courtesy of Bridgestone Europe Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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