* China Construction Bank posts record $14.5bn profit on credit demand

* India set for record gold imports

* Reliance to close $7.2 bn BP deal this month

* VTB U-turn on spending spree

* Asian stocks turn positive amid broader fears

* Uni-Strong Science & Technology Co is poised to become China’s Apple

* Thai growth slows on Japan impact

* Markets, mixed

China Construction Bank posts record $14.5bn profit on credit demand
China Construction Bank, the world’s second-largest lender by market value, said first-half profit jumped 31 per cent to a record as credit demand climbed, reports Bloomberg. Net income rose to 92.8bn yuan ($14.5bn), or 0.37 yuan a share, from 70.7bn yuan, or 0.3 yuan, a year earlier, the Beijing-based lender said in a statement.

India set for record gold imports
Notwithstanding skyrocketing gold prices, its imports are likely to cross the 1,000-tonne mark this year on robust investment demand, say analysts. Since the US sovereign debt downgrade and the new threats emanating from eurozone economies, gold has rallied 14 per cent this month alone, as investors shunned stocks and flocked to the yellow metal as a safe haven, reports the Times of India. The last time gold rose over 14 per cent in a month was in 1999.

* Reliance to close $7.2bn BP deal this month
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is likely to close its $ 7.2bn deal to sell stake sale in 21 oil and gas blocks to UK’s BP plc in the next 7-10 days, reports the Economic Times. With the government formally communicating its approval for sale of 30 per cent stake in the 21 blocks, the closing documents are likely to be signed before the month-end.

VTB U-turn on spending spree
Russia’s VTB has abandoned plans to continue its acquisition spree following pressure from investors furious about the bank’s disastrous purchase of local rival Bank of Moscow, reports the FT. Andrei Kostin, chief executive, said David Bonderman, TPG co-founder, had joined the bank’s strategy committee in an effort to protect the private equity firm’s $100m investment in VTB’s $3.3bn secondary offering in February and to shift it away from acquisitive growth.

Asian stocks turn positive amid broader fears
Asian stocks turned positive on Monday, recovering a small portion of last week’s steep losses, while gold shot to new highs as investors worried about the sluggish US economic outlook and Europe’s debt crisis, reports the FT.
Spot gold prices hit a record high of $1,878.39 per ounce as the shaky global outlook prompted investors to move more money into the safe haven.

Uni-Strong Science & Technology Co is poised to become China’s Apple
Beijing Uni-Strong Science & Technology Co Ltd is poised to become China’s Apple , at least an Apple-oid – in the country’s navigation industry, as some predict the little-developed sector could become a 100bn yuan ($15.6bn) business over the next five years, reports China Daily.

Thai growth slows on Japan impact
Thailand’s economic expansion unexpectedly slowed last quarter after the earthquake in Japan disrupted trade and as faltering recoveries in the U.S. and Europe cloud the outlook for global growth, reports Bloomberg.
Gross domestic product rose 2.6 per cent in the three months through June from a year earlier, after climbing a revised 3.2 per cent in the previous quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board said in Bangkok today

Emerging Markets
MSCI Emerging Market Index down -0.54% at 964.94

Americas
DJIA down -1.57% at 10,818

S&P 500 down -1.50% at 1,124

Bovespa down -1.29% at 52,448

Asia
Nikkei 225 up +0.19% at 8,736

Topix down -0.33% at 749.23

Hang Seng down -0.32% at 19,337

Shanghai Composite down -0.13% at 2,531

MSCI Asia ex-Japan down -0.56% at 483.01

S&P CNX Nifty Index down -0.57% at 4,818

Currencies
€/$ 1.44 (1.44)

$/¥ 76.79 (76.77)

Commodities
Brent Crude (ICE) down -2.02 at 106.60

Light Crude (Nymex) up +0.19 at 82.45

100 Oz Gold (Comex) up +19.70 at 1,869

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