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Thursday's Asia Stocks Recap

Updated from 5:35 p.m. EST

All major wholesale commodity markets in Mumbai and Delhi, including the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange, remained closed Thursday, due to the Mahashivratri festival celebration.

Indian automaker Tata Motors (TTM) announced it's looking for up to $3 billion in loans to help finance the planned acquisition of Ford Motor's (F - Get Report) luxury car brands Jaguar and Land Rover. Investors in Tata's bonds weren't fans of the news to finance the deal through loans. According to Bloomberg, Tata's credit-default swaps hit a record of 503 basis points on investor fears of high debt, pension liabilities and issues with integrating the luxury brands.

"The market is not happy about the deal because there is no synergy in the short term and it's a burden on Tata's balance sheet,'' said Ashutosh Goel, an analyst at Edelweiss Capital. Tata Motor's ADR shares fell 2% to $16.91.

Indian telecommunications provider Tata Communications (TCL) announced it's planning the world's largest commercial WiMax rollout for 15 Indian cities, according to BusinessWeek. "The wireless technology allowed the company to deliver broadband services in a cost-effective, decentralized manner in India where a majority of the country is not covered by wired infrastructure," said Shankar Prasad, president of Tata Communications' retail division. Tata Communications' ADR shares traded down 3.3% to $23.63.

Leading the decliners among Indian ADRs on Wednesday were HDFC Bank Limited (HDB), down 5.4% to $100; Icici Bank (IBN), down 4% to $45.38; and Wipro (WIT), falling 5% to $11.25.

Be sure to check out the Far East Portfolio at every night to find out which stocks in India and China are making big moves and announcing major news.

China Recap

Asian markets rebounded on Thursday as investors in the Far East went bargain-shopping in the commodity, financial and telecom sectors. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 68.3 points, or 1.6%, to 4,360.99, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished up 228.39, or 1%, at 23.342.73.

In the Chinese oil and gas sector, Saudi Aramco announced it's taking a 50% stake in a $1.8 billion oil refinery being built by China Petroleum & Chemical (SNP - Get Report) in the Shandong province, according to Bloomberg. ADR shares of China Petrol traded down 4% to $101.16. Other notable movers in the sector were PetroChina (PTR - Get Report), falling 3% to $136,60; Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (SHI), dropping 5% to $43.15; and Cnooc (CEO), declining 3% to $150.90.

Wall Street brokerage firm Sterne Agee initiated coverage on four Chinese companies Thursday.

Chinese search engine (BIDU) was initiated by Sterne with a buy rating and a $350 price target. The firm thinks that as more branded advertisers increase their spending on paid search, Baidu is well positioned to capture both paid search and brand ad spending because it has a large young user base. ADR shares of Baidu closed up roughly flat at $242.42.

Sterne initiated coverage on Chinese business-to-business media firm Global Sources (GSOL - Get Report). The brokerage company started Global Sources with a buy rating and a price target of $17. The company believes that the current share price of GSOL already reflects a slowdown in the U.S. economy. ADR shares of Global Sources closed up 0.5% at $11.25.

Sterne also likes Chinese Internet media company (SOHU - Get Report). Sterne analyst James Lee initiated coverage of Sohu with a buy rating and 12-month price target of $60. Lee says Sohu is likely to benefit from an increased focus on branding in China due to the upcoming Olympics and the deregulation of key industries. ADR shares of Sohu closed down 2% at $44.18.

Chinese advertising company Focus Media (FMCN) also came under Sterne's radar. The company initiated coverage of Focus Media with a buy rating and a price target of $75. Sterne thinks that Focus is positioned for strong earnings growth in 2008 and 2009, due to the solid demand for advertising space in China. ADR shares of Focus Media finished down 2% at $45.02.
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CEO $96.30 0.00%
F $11.59 0.00%
GSOL $7.49 0.00%
PTR $57.20 0.00%
SHI $39.31 0.00%


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