The Best Asian Companies Are Hurting

American and European investors may think they have it tough these days, but it's Asia that has suffered the worst stock slide this year. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite is the world's worst performing major stock index: it peaked at 6,124 yuan last Oct. 16, has since plummeted 66 percent as of the close of trading on Friday Sept. 12. But China is not alone. Stocks have nose-dived across Asia in 2008 as the American-led economic slowdown has spread to the rest of the world. Though Asia's economies are still growing relatively robustly, many of its biggest companies - even the blue chips-are struggling. Some examples:

Toyota Motor Corp: This GM-killer and hybrid pioneer has nonetheless fallen sharply in 2008.
52-week high: 6,910 yen (on October 2, 2007)
Close on Sept. 12, 2008: 4,790 yen
Percentage drop: 31

POSCO: South Korea's steel giant is slumping due to flagging demand from the construction and automotive industries.
52-week high (on October 10, 2007): 765,000 won
Close on Sept 12, 2008: 435,500 won
Percentage drop: 43

PetroChina: China's state-owned oil and natural gas producer has lost four fifths of its value in a year.
52-week high: 48.62 yuan (on November 05, 2007
Close on Sept 12, 2008: 10.70 yuan
Percentage drop: 78

Lenovo Group: Olympics sponsorship has not garnered China's Hong Kong-listed computer maker much gold.
52-week high: HK$ 9.20 (on November 1, 2007)
Close on Sept 12, 2008: HK$ 4.36
Percentage drop: 53

China Vanke: the Middle Kingdom's largest listed developer faces soaring costs, tighter credit and overcapacity in its main markets
52-week high: 25.49 yuan
Close on Sept 12, 2008: 5.63 yuan
Percentage drop: 78

Li & Fung: Hong Kong's logistics and export trading giant reflects a troubled manufacturing sector
52-week high: HK$ 39.5
Close on Sept 12, 2008: HK$ 23.80
Percentage drop: 40

Neptune Orient Lines: The Singapore-based container shipping line, Southeast Asia's largest, is smarting as the region's export engine sputters.
52-week high (on Sept. 12, 2007): 5.8 Singapore dollars
Close on Sept. 12, 2008: 1.95
Percentage drop: 66

Jet Airways India: the subcontinent's premier budget carrier must reconcile high fuel costs and falling passenger loads
52-week high: 1,049.800 rupees
Close on Sept 12, 2008: 516.5
Percentage drop: 51