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Asia: Market round-up

Singapore: CAO executives charged 

Following the high-profile collapse of China Aviation Oil (Singapore), five key executives were arrested by the Singapore authorities and charged with several crimes, including forgery and insider trading. Those arrested include Chinese nationals Chen Jiulin, and Jia Changbin, respectively chief executive and chairman of the firm.

CAO, the Singapore-listed vehicle that controls distribution of aviation fuel in mainland China, collapsed in November 2004 with debts of $530 million. A company programme of trading in derivatives linked to the price of oil had gone disastrously wrong.

Deutsche Bank will feel vindicated by the events. The charges against Chen include misleading the bank about the status of the company ahead of a placing of $108 million of CAO shares by its mainland parent just before news of the trading losses broke. This led some in the market to question the extent to which Deutsche Bank was aware of the financial status of CAO.

Vietnam: FDI on the up

Long Asia's perennial disappointment for investors, Vietnam might be approaching some kind of tipping point in attracting foreign investment capital.

The strong commodities cycle in the past few years predictably has attracted a large amount of foreign investment into the local mining industry.

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