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China Records Slowest Growth In Years

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

So that's the latest European effort and in Asia, South Korean officials unveiled a giant bailout plan to stabilize their country's banks. NPR's Louisa Lim reports.

LOUISA LIM: Asian markets welcomed the region's biggest bailout package so far, weighing in at a $130 billion. South Korea's banks had looked vulnerable. Over the weekend, the South Korean government offered a state guarantee on foreign debt and promised to recapitalize financial firms if needed. Jonathan Wooldridge, chief economist from UBS said the moves were necessary.

Mr. JONATHAN WOOLDRIDGE (Chief Economist, UBS): What's happening in Korea is that you need dollars to conduct international trade, and they've been having a heck of a time getting it. The package is more or less designed to try to overcome that dollar liquidity tightness.

LIM: Korea's KOSPI ended up 2.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei finished up 3.6 percent. China's markets closed 2.3 percent higher after morning losses. These were due to gloomier-than-expected government figures. Economic growth for the third quarter of this was at nine percent, much lower than analysts have predicted. It's the slowest pace of growth for five years coming in the midst to the financial turmoil, any Chinese slowdown is worrying for the rest of the world as China is the biggest contributor to global economic growth. Louisa Lim, NPR News, Shanghai. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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