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Investors Buy into China Netcom

China Netcom raised more than $1 billion from its initial public offering, while South Korea has acted to jumpstart its economy.

China Netcom, the country's leading fixed-line phone operator, will use proceeds from its initial public offering to expand its network and pay off bank loans.

The company sold about one billion shares at $1.9 each, and the shares start trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the United States and on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this week.

Paul Budde, a telecommunications analyst in Australia, says investors were drawn to the stock because they felt Netcom's extensive network will outweigh any difficulties of doing business in China.

"The simple reason is its huge potential and that people take the risk to accept the uncertainties that any investment in China brings with it," said Mr. Budde.

The South Korean government plans to pump up the country's sagging economy, unveiling a $9 billion stimulus package.

Pending parliamentary approval, the plan's broad focus is on building highways and housing and boosting the technology sector. The government hopes the stimulus package will keep South Korea's growth rate around five percent.

Weak domestic demand and high oil prices are hurting South Koreans' confidence, especially among manufacturing companies.

One of the largest outsourcing companies in India has changed hands for $500 million. United States giant General Electric off-loaded its outsourcing operation to two U.S. equity investment firms. It is the biggest take-over in India's expanding outsourcing industry.

General Atlantic Partners and Oak Hill Capital Partners each bought equal stakes in G.E. Capital International Services. G.E. sold its 60 percent stake because it wants to streamline its business