Sanyo plunges after takeover bid in Japan, Chinese developer surges

Shares in Asia closed mostly lower today with Japan's Nikkei Index falling 1.3 percent to 9,717. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 0.6 percent to close at 21,479, and in China, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9 percent, ending the day at 3,155.

In Japan, Sanyo Electric Co. (SANYY) plunged 20 percent to 174 yen ($1.93) per share as Panasonic Corp. (PC) made an offer to buy the company at 131 yen ($1.45) a share. Panasonic hopes to acquire Sanyo, which makes rechargeable batteries and other appliances, including vending machines, and has several contracts to provide batteries for hybrid cars.

Despite recently sealing deals with major automotive companies like Ford, Honda and PSA Peugeot Citroen Group to provide car batteries, Sanyo has floundered. It has laid off thousands of employees and sold unprofitable operations. But the company is still a leader in green energy technology, making solar panels and batteries that could make Panasonic even more competitive. Panasonic lost 1.9 percent in today's trading.

Other electronics makers also slid today. Olympus Corp. (OCPNY) plunged 4.5 percent, Fuji Electric Holdings Co. Ltd. (FELTF) lost 3.6 percent and Alps Electric Co. Ltd. (APELF), which manufactures electronics for cars, dropped 3.9 percent.

Japanese consumer lenders fared well after a Citigroup analyst raised his rating on the industry. Takefuji Corp. (TAKAY) soared 19 percent, Promise Co. (PMSEY) climbed 15 percent and Acom Co. (ACMUY) added 7.6 percent.

In its Hong Kong debut, Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd. rocketed up 34 percent today. The developer is one of the largest in Mainland China, developing high-end luxury residential buildings in Guangzhou in southern China, which their brochure describes as "foreign-style houses with scenes." The properties represent the newest of new in China – tower blocks with sports and shopping facilities, bordered by manicured gardens. Many have lakefront views and provide easy access to business areas. The company currently has projects in 23 cities.

Other Hong Kong developers fell today, as investors worried that the government would take action to control the surging property market. Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (SUHJY) slid 1.7 percent. Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. (CHEUY) lost 1.5 percent and Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd. (HLDVF) slipped 0.9 percent.

In China, shares in railroad companies continued to climb with both Daqin Railway Co. Ltd. and Guangshen Railway Co. (GSH) climbing 4 percent. Shanghai Pudong Road & Bridge Construction Co. climbed 4.4 percent today on expectations that it will profit as building begins on the newly approved Walt Disney theme park, now slated to begin construction in Shanghai's Pudong area. In a region now accustomed to nonstop building, the new Disney project will fit right in.
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