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Update from 4:04 p.m. EST

Indian stock markets saw a severe drop Monday after the annual budget presented by Palaniappan Chidambaram on Feb. 29 failed to spur buying interest. Market players in India are also concerned about slowing U.S. growth and a possible U.S. recession impacting their economy. The Sensitive Index plunged 900.84 points, or 5.1%, to 16,677.88.

"There is blood on the street. The data coming out of the U.S. is very weak and the budget also did not inspire confidence. All this has led to a selloff," said Jayesh Shroff, from SBI Funds Management.

According to a


report, India's

Tata Communications

( TCL) might sell a stake in its retail and broadband business to Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings. Shares of Tata Communications fell 0.8% to end the session at $25 and were recently trading another 0.8% lower in after-hours trading on the



Some big losers among Indian ADRs Monday were

Sterlite Industries


, which closed 4.6% down at $19.90;

Mahanagar Telephone Ingam


, down 5.4% at $5.78; and

Patni Computer Systems


, down 5.3% to $11.47.

In the banking sector, Icici Securities, the brokerage division of

Icici Bank


, announced plans to sell 3% of its equity to institutional investors ahead of its initial public offering, according to the


, a business newspaper. Icici Bank also plans to sell 7% of its equity stake in Icici Securities to the public. Shares of IBN fell 3% to $50.28 and rival bank



fell 5% to $103.69.

Leading the gainers among the Indian ADRs were

Tata Motors


, up 0.5% at $17.60;

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories


, up 1.4% at $14.512 (but losing 1.1% in recent after-hours trading); and

WNS Holdings


, down 1.1% at $14.69.

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

Stocks in Hong Kong plunged Monday ahead of the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Investors in Hong Kong are increasingly worried that the U.S. will slip into a recession due to high oil prices, weak consumer spending and contracting earnings. The Hang Seng Index dropped 746.70 points, or 3.1%, to 23,584.97.

"The market is news-driven and sentiment-oriented. Ongoing concerns in the U.S. have been the reason for the wide and wild fluctuations in the Hang Seng index in the last several weeks,' said Peter Lai, investment manager at DBS Vickers.

Stocks in China bucked the downtrend Monday after Chinese regulators approved the creation of three new mutual funds. Market participants are hoping that more mutual funds will add liquidity to the market and buy up shares of new initial public offerings and as well as stocks coming out of lockup restrictions soon will begin to flood the markets. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 89.72 points, or 2.1%, to 4438.27.

"The demand for equities will recover as we'll have more funds to buy them," said Yan Ji, an investment manager at HSBC Jintrust Fund Management Co.

China's top oil and gas producer



announced plans to build a refinery in Huludao in the Liaoning province in northeastern China, according to

Beijing News

. The new refinery will have a production capacity of 10 million tons.

Shares of PTR fell 1.6% to $144.44 along with other sector names on the move.



traded down 2% to $162.50;

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical


rose 0.6% to $46.86; and

China Petroleum & Chemical


fell 0.1% to $109.30

China's leading Independent insurance company



announced plans to take a 60% stake in Liaoning Gena Insurance Agency. CNinsure also signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Ping An Life Insurance Co of China, according to

. Shares of CNinsure rose 3.8% to $13.18.

Chinese online financial news provider

China Finance Online


moved its vice president of sales and marketing, Caogang Li, to the position of chief operating officer. "Caogang has been instrumental in building our telemarketing capability and integrating it with our Internet media platforms, a core competency that we can apply to distribute a diversified portfolio of financial products and services to the investors in China," said Zhiwei Zhao, CEO of China Finance Online. Shares of China Finance Online are fell 10.7% to $18.95.

Other major decliners among Chinese ADRs Monday were

China Natural Resources


, which fell 8.1% to $24.17;

Ninetowns Internet Technology Group


, off 6.3% to $2.52;

LDK Solar


, off 9.5% to $225.88; and

China Digital TV


, off 9.5% to $19.85 (though the stock was takign back 2.8% in recent after-hours action).

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.

For more on Asia, check out

Daniel Harrison's coverage



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