Hubei Builders Surge in China as Drought Pushes Food Companies Higher, Nintendo Rises on 3D Promise

Most Asian stocks rose Wednesday with China's Shanghai Composite Index inching up 0.1% to 3,057 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng also creeping up 0.1% to 21,009. In Japan the Nikkei 225 Index added 0.4% to end the day at 10,815.

Chinese industrial companies rose today with water supply and building company Wuhan Sanzhen Industry soaring to its 10% daily limit. The company is based in Hubei province, home to the Three Gorges Dam, and could benefit from government plans to improve the region's infrastructure, according to Bloomberg.

A major feature of the region is Dongting Lake, which is normally used for fishing and irrigation, but now suffering severely due to a severe drought. Many feel that the drought problem has been exacerbated by the redirecting of water by the controversial Three Gorges Dam Project, although government officials refute this. One official told Xinhua, "The Three Gorges Dam Project's ecological and environmental impact on the downstream lakes is being exaggerated."

Another Hubei-based builder, Hubei Chutian Expressway, surged 5.3%. The company builds toll roads and bridges in the region.

Bank of China rose 1.7% in Shanghai after posting a rise in quarterly profit and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China added 0.6%.

Chinese food producers were again among the winners on concerns that the extreme drought conditions in the country's farming regions could cause a spike in food prices. Hunan Jinjian Cereals Industry surged to its 10% daily limit as did Dalian Zhangzidao Fishery Group.

Hong Kong-listed supermarket operator Wumart Stores rocketed up 6.7% in today's trading. The company's outlets include major supermarkets and convenience stores in many Chinese areas, including Beijing and Tianjin.

Among Hong Kong-listed lenders, BOC Hong Kong surged 2.6% after releasing fourth quarter results that showed the bank experienced a fourfold increase in profits. China Merchant's Bank soared 1.7%, China Construction Bank gained 0.5% and Industrial & Commercial Bank rose 0.4%.

Hong Kong-traded shipping companies gained today with China COSCO spiking 3.6%. Last week the company announced plans to raise money to build 18 new cargo ships, reports China Daily. Today COSCO Pacific shares rose 1.3% and Pacific Basin Shipping advanced 0.5%.

In Japan, shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines climbed 2.3% and the companies that produce the country's major exports that go in Mitsui OSK containers -- namely electronics -- rose as well.
Sharp gained 3.2%, Camera maker Canon rose 1.7%, NEC added 1.2% and Panasonic and Sanyo both advanced 0.7%. Sony suffered a 2.7% plunge while Casio Computer slipped 0.4%.

The biggest gainer in the electronics sector was Nintendo, which rocketed up 8.7% after announcing that the new DS game console will have 3D capabilities for which users won't even have to wear special glasses. Digital system company Megachips soared 10.4% and Mitsumi Electric surged 3.9%. Both companies
make parts for Nintendo, which will release the new DS April 1. Recession or no recession, this is may just be the must-have that gaming buffs will need to buy.