April 20, 2008 / 11:49 PM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST-Financial Times, Wall St Journal Asia editions

SINGAPORE, April 21 (Reuters) - The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal carried the following stories in their Asia print and website editions on Monday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

FINANCIAL TIMES (www.ft.com)

— Bank of America (BAC.N) is seeking to raise capital to shore up its balance sheet in the wake of the credit crunch by selling shares in China Construction Bank (601939.SS). The U.S. bank is planning to sell part of its 9 per cent stake in China’s second biggest bank, people familiar with the matter say.

— Malaysia will spend $1.3 billion to achieve food security and turn the Borneo state of Sarawak into a “rice bowl”, in response to surging agricultural prices and fears of shortages.

— Ernst & Young is to launch the biggest shake-up of the professional services industry since the collapse of Arthur Andersen by merging its European partnerships and integrating a further 42 countries into a single unit.


— The sharp decline in Chinese stocks is approaching a milestone: with a 4 percent drop Friday, the market has fallen by nearly half since its peak last fall. The decline is testing the government’s resolve to let the market find equilibrium on its own.

— Britain’s central bank is preparing new steps designed to solve a problem dogging policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic: a drought in bank lending that could take a bite out of global economic growth. But economists say the measures aren’t likely to go far enough. — Inflationary pressures have reduced the chances of an ECB rate cut this year, Finnish central banker and ECB policy maker Erkki Liikanen said.

— China’s demand for up-market autos is expected to continue to grow, luxury car makers say. BMW plans to expand production in the country by up to 40 percent this year. Daimler also expects rapid growth.

— India’s economic miracle is losing its magic, raising doubts about whether the nation can fulfil its ambition of becoming the next economic superpower.

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