January 18, 2006


Selling panic closes Tokyo market (BBC, 1/17/06)

Tokyo's stock exchange closed early for the first time in its history on Wednesday, in a bid to head off a meltdown after a frantic day's trading.

The move was sparked by heavy selling in shares following allegations of fraud at internet firm Livedoor. [...]

Japan's Nikkei share index ended down 3% or 464.77 points at 15,341.18. [...]

Prosecutors raided the Tokyo offices of Livedoor on Monday, following allegations the company had violated Japanese securities laws.

Bosses at Livedoor denied the company broke market rules by giving misleading information to shareholders, but shares in the company dived on Tuesday, dragging the overall index lower.

One of Japan's best known internet companies, Livedoor has grown rapidly through a series of takeovers and stock splits into a group with a value of about 730bn yen ($6.3bn; £3.6bn) before the scandal erupted.

Conflicts mar Guangdong dream (Tim Luard, 1/17/06, BBC)
The southern province of Guangdong should be a dream come true for China's leaders.

For more than two decades it has set the pace for China's economic development.

It used its closeness to Hong Kong and the commercial instincts of its people to become the richest province in the country, and the workshop of the world.

But a series of protests, disputes and scandals have turned this glittering jewel in the reformists' crown into something closer to a blot on the political landscape - the grim embodiment of all that is going wrong with China's unique blend of capitalism and communism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 18, 2006 8:06 AM
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