December 7th, 2012
07:17 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Economic sanctions have effects, says an expert at JohnsHopkinsUniversity, but not all may be intended.

"Sanctions historically are quite counterproductive in the sense that if you impose sanctions on your enemy, it tends to strengthen your enemy," Steve Hanke told CNN's John Defterios.

In Iran - where oil exports provide about 70% of government revenues according to the Congressional Research Service - ongoing sanctions that bar the export of oil are hurting its economy.

In the past year, Iranian crude sales have dropped 60% while the value of the rial has fallen to near-historic lows. Since 2010, the currency has dropped nearly 24% against the U.S. dollar. At the same time, food prices for everything from meat for kebabs to yogurt have surged.
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December 7th, 2012
07:06 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – Forget the red-hot property market of mainland China - a new forecast says investors should be looking south.

Jakarta - Indonesia's burgeoning capital of nearly 10 million people - is predicted to be Asia's top real estate market in 2013, ahead of cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney in "Emerging Trends in Real Estate - Asia Pacific 2013," a real estate forecast released this week by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Washington D.C.-based Urban Land Institute.

The recommendation to buy into Jakarta-based property may raise eyebrows, but PriceWatershouseCoopers says Indonesia's economic turnaround over the past few years has impressed international investors.

"Interest rates and inflation are under control, and while GDP is growing at around 6.5% annually, foreign direct investment is increasing at a much higher rate—39% in the first half of this year," the survey said. "Driven by increased demand from foreigners and locals alike, office rents shot up 29% year-on-year in the third quarter, according to (property services firm) DTZ."
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December 7th, 2012
06:59 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – Nestled within Hong Kong's dense skyscraper jungle, a $640,000 property sits among some of the world's most expensive commercial and residential spaces.

The price might sound like a steal. This Asian financial capital has the world's priciest property, according to Savills. Since the start of 2010, average Hong Kong home prices have doubled.

But the price tag mentioned here is neither for a home nor an office.

It is for a parking space: A slab of undecorated concrete, stained by black motor oil, about 8-feet-by-16-feet in size. Price per square foot: nearly $5,000.
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August 24th, 2012
07:35 AM GMT
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(CNN) – A South Korea court ruled that both Apple and Samsung violated each other’s patents, in a case that mimics legal battles between the electronics giants around the world.

The Seoul District Court ruled that Samsung must pay $33,350 for infringing two of the intellectual property rights for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Apple was found to have infringed Samsung’s Wi-Fi technology, and must pay $22,000 in damages.

The court banned sales in South Korea of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2, Samsung’s Galaxy SII and Galaxy Nexus smartphones and Galaxy Tab and Galaxy 10.1 tablet computers.
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June 22nd, 2011
07:58 AM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) - From a suffocating drought to massive flooding, torrential rains in China continue to bombard the country’s commodities markets, erasing thousands of hectares of crops and driving local food prices to historic levels.

More than 1.6 million people have been evacuated across China as of Wednesday, and the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs estimated the total direct economic losses at 32.02 billion yuan ($4.9 billion), CNN’s Helena Hong reported. At least 170 people have been killed and another 83 have gone missing since flooding began earlier this month, state officials said.

Aside from the loss of human life, 1,000 businesses have been destroyed and more than 400,000 hectares (roughly 1 million acres) of crops have been expunged by the recent slew of flooding, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Corn prices in particular continue to swell amid concerns that rising flood waters will ruin most, if not all, of the recently planted crop across central China, Bloomberg reported.

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