Money Daily Brief: US bailout beneficiaries expand in Asia
•Australian real estate: Morgan Stanley property group Investa, based in Sydney, is looking to raise $680 million in an initial public offering that includes several office towers. It could be the first Australian real estate IPO since December 2007. The bank is one of a handful of firms that said this summer it would begin paying back US bailout cash.
•Banking on Vietnam: Citibank became the first US lender to open a retail branch in Vietnam. Its Ho Chi Minh City location offers deposit and remittance services to individuals and its Citigold wealth management product, requiring a minimum balance of $50,000, says the Financial Times. Citi has continued to expand services in Asia since getting bailed out.
•AIG cashout: American International Group has sold its Taiwan unit for $2.15 billion, a critical step in raising cash to pay off its bailout. AIG is now looking to shed Hong Kong-based AIA and American Life Insurance Co, which could rake in an added $7 billion.
•In my backyard: North Korea's missile tests had little effect on markets in Asia. Seoul shares still shed nearly 1 percent, lacking earnings momentum, but the currency gained ground. China said the missiles, fired off its east coast on Monday, won't affect a recent thaw in diplomatic relations, while Seoul stressed that the North had again breached United Nations resolutions.