Updated from 6:36 p.m. EDT

Indian markets shook off early weakness and finished higher Wednesday led by a strong earnings report out of regional banking player YES Bank. Yes Bank reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter numbers and said the bank had no marked-to-market derivative exposure risk on its balance sheet.

Dealers in the region said short-sellers scrambled to cover bearish bets on the Indian equity market inspired by hopes that many Indian banks could be exposed to significant derivative risk. The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index rose 202.89 points, or 1.3%, to 15,829.59.

Leading Indian automaker Tata Motors ( TTM) announced it plans to set up a manufacturing center for trucks and buses in South Africa in an effort to expand into more global markets. The new plant will be located in Rossllyn, South Africa, according to managing director Ravi Kant. American depositary shares of Tata Motors closed down 1.5% at $15.44.

Elsewhere, in the Indian technology sector, Senators Dick Durbin (Democrat-Illinois) and Chuck Grassley (Republican-Iowa) have written a letter to 25 H1-B visa users, which included nine Indian technology companies, seeking information on how these firms determine the requirements for high-tech workers when issuing the visas. Among the Indian companies that received the letter were Wipro ( WIT), Infosys ( INFY), Satyam Computer ( SAY), Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant Tech Solutions ( CTSH), Patni Computer Systems ( PTI), I-Flex Solutions, Larson & Toubro Infotech and Mphasis Corporation. Each of the above-mentioned U.S. publicly traded stocks ended at least 2.5% lower Wednesday, save for Patni, which ended its NYSE trading session flat.

"We need to ensure that firms are not misusing these visas, causing American workers to be unfairly deprived of good high-skill jobs here at home," the Senators said in the letter sent April 1.

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

China Recap

Stocks in China fell sharply Wednesday as market players in the Far East reacted to bearish comments in the meeting minutes out of the Federal Reserve. Analysts in the region said investors are also concerned about the outlook for global economies, after an IMF report on Tuesday said the U.S. subprime crisis could add up to $945 billion for global financial markets.

"The worst of the crisis is not yet over. It may last until the end of the year. Investors will go for cover and sell their holdings," said Francis Lun, general manager at Fulbright Securities.

The Shanghai Composite Index declined 198.63 points, or 5.5%, to 3,413.91 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 327.12 points, or 1.4%, to 23,984.57.

Leading Chinese advertising company Focus Media ( FMCN) saw its shares drop 6.5% Wednesday, after analysts at Piper Jaffray and Goldman Sachs cut their EPS estimates for the company. Piper's Aaron Kessler cut his 2008 EPS estimates to $1.42 from $1.51 and for 2009 to $2.08 from $2.23. Kessler also cut his price target to $68 from $86, citing a decision by China Mobile ( CHL) to cut off SMS services to Focus Media due to issues over text message spam. Goldman's James Mitchell slashed his EPS estimates for 2008, 2009 and 2010, but kept his buy rating and $66 price target. American depositary shares of Focus Media finished lower by $2.41 to $34.64.

Chinese interactive entertainment media company Shanda Interactive ( SNDA) announced it has appointed Haifa Zhu as its chief investment officer and Danning Mi as chief information officer. Shares of SNDA rose 0.63% to $28.95.

Chinese provider of module design products Comtech Group ( COGO) announced it has singed a $10 million supply contract to provide telecommunications products to Chinese network solutions provider ZTE. Under the terms of the deal, Comtech will supply ZTE with telecom products beginning this quarter and look to finish the order by the end of 2008. Shares of Comtech traded off by 1.9% to $11.22.

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