SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal carried the following stories in their Asia print and/or Web site editions on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories.
FINANCIAL TIMES (www.ft.com)
-- Planned initial public offerings worth more than $21bn have been pulled from the global market in the first two months of the year, a figure almost double the amount raised through successful flotations, according to new data.
-- Australia’s market regulator to probe sales of shares by ABC ABS.AX executives made before and after childcare group announced a drop in earnings
-- Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, has denied that US efforts to boost military relations with India were aimed at creating a ‘hedge’ strategy against the rise of China.
-- Hong Kong will post its first fiscal deficit since 2003 in 2008/2009, with the government unveiling tax cuts and handouts in this year’s budget after a record $15bn surplus
-- Vietnam’s inflation rate jumps 15.7% in February highlighting the difficulties Communist authorities face trying to reign in inflation without sacrificing its growth prospects.
-- India’s railways minister says nearly $63bn will be spent over the next five years as he announces a budget meant to muster support for the government ahead of general elections.
-- Indonesia’s deputy minister for agriculture likens the potential for unrest to previous social upheavals and calls on the US to help solve the global food crisis.
WALL STREET JOURNAL (www.wsj.com)
-- China’s drug-safety agency, responding to questions about oversight of an exported blood-thinning compound, said checks of pharmaceutical ingredients made in China are ultimately the responsibility of the countries that buy them.
-- Senior U.S. and Chinese diplomats worked to lure North Korea back into an international effort to rid Pyongyang of its nuclear weapons after the latest phase of negotiations stalled.
-- ABC Learning Centres said it has received interest for parts of its childcare business, a day after its share price was savaged by concerns over its debt levels.
-- The Hong Kong government slashed taxes in a bid to stimulate investment and keep the territory’s economy competitive, as it posted a record budget surplus nearly five times as big as its initial projections.