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AirAsia, BHP, China Steel, Elpida: Asia Ex-Japan Equity Preview

The following companies may have unusual price changes today in Asia trading, excluding Japan. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and share prices are from the previous close, unless noted otherwise.

AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA MK): Southeast Asia’s biggest discount airline said fourth-quarter profit surged to 316.6 million ringgit ($103 million) from 33.9 million ringgit a year earlier as sales climbed, according to a company statement. AirAsia fell 5.2 percent to 2.35 ringgit.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU): The world’s largest mining company said it suspended operations at Wessels manganese mine, part of its Hotazel unit in South Africa, after an employee was killed in an accident. An investigation into the incident has been started, the company said in an e-mailed statement. BHP Billiton fell 1.3 percent to A$45.99.

Cheil Industries Inc. (001300 KS): The South Korean electronic materials and chemicals maker plans to invest 161.4 billion won ($142 million) to expand production capacity of poly carbonate, a material used in computers, after demand increased, according to a regulatory filing. Cheil retreated 2.1 percent to 119,000 won.

China Steel Corp. (2002 TT): Taiwan’s largest maker of the metal will increase domestic prices by an average of 12.1 percent for April and May contracts, the Kaohsiung-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The mill announced in January an average 2.9 percent rise in prices charged to Taiwan customers for March. The stock gained 0.2 percent to NT$33.60.

Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. (004550 KS): The South Korean auto retailer plans to spin off its vehicle sales division on April 30, according to a regulatory filing. The existing company will keep its construction business after the spin-off, the company said. Daewoo Motor Sales fell 0.3 percent to 2,025 won.

Elpida Memory Inc. (916665 TT): The world’s third-largest maker of computer-memory chips will have its debut trade on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The Tokyo-based chipmaker sold the securities for NT$21.30 each, according to a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI PM): The Philippine developer will spend 12 billion pesos ($274 million) for projects this year, more than double last year’s budget, a stock exchange filing showed. Filinvest may borrow from banks to help fund spending, it said. The stock decreased 0.9 percent to 1.05 pesos.

First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH PM): The owner of the largest Philippine power producer bought back 500,000 shares, a stock exchange filing showed. The stock rose 0.6 percent to 52.90 pesos.

Honam Petrochemical Corp. (011170 KS): The South Korean petrochemical company and Japan’s Mitsubishi Rayon Co. will invest as much as 20 billion yen ($244 million) to increase production capacity at their South Korean venture. Daesan MMA Corp. will boost capacity of methyl methacrylate monomer and acrylic resin, according to a statement on the Japanese company’s website. Honam declined 5 percent to 307,500 won.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317 TT): The world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics sold NT$6 billion ($201 million) of unsecured bonds due in 2016 priced at par to yield 1.47 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock dropped 0.9 percent to NT$109.

Korean Air Lines Co. (003490 KS): The company’s budget carrier will start five weekly flights to Hong Kong, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said in a statement. Asiana Airlines Inc.’s (020560 KS) low-fare unit will offer seven weekly flights to Tokyo, the ministry said. Korean Air climbed 0.2 percent to 61,100 won, and Asiana advanced 2.4 percent to 10,550 won.

KSL Holdings Bhd. (KSL MK): The Malaysian real estate developer said fourth-quarter profit increased to 71.7 million ringgit from a year earlier, according to a company statement. KSL fell 4 percent to 1.67 ringgit.

PT Astra International (ASII IJ): Indonesia’s biggest automotive retailer said 2010 net income jumped 44 percent from a year earlier to 14.4 trillion rupiah ($1.62 billion), Astra said in a filing to the stock exchange. That compares with a 13.4 trillion rupiah median estimate of 21 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. The stock fell 1 percent to 51,400 rupiah.

Unisem Bhd. (UNI MK): The Malaysian semiconductor assembler said fourth-quarter net income rose 16 percent from a year earlier to 40.7 million ringgit on higher sales, according to a company statement. The shares fell 8.2 percent to 1.80 ringgit.

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