June 29, 2011

Industrial Output Rises 5.7% In May

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced that the industrial production index in May increased 5.7% from the previous month, showing a gain for the second consecutive month. It showed a decrease of 5.9% form the previous year. The ministry also mentioned that industrial output is on a recovery trend. It said last month that output appeared sluggish at low level due to the earthquake.

June 28, 2011

Sumitomo Metals To Acquire Standard Steel in US

Sumitomo Metals Industries, Ltd., a major integrated steelmaker, and Sumitomo Corporation, a major trading company, announced that they have agreed to acquire Steel Wheel Corporation, the parent company of Standard Steel , Inc. in the US. Sumitomo Metals will purchase 90% of the holding company's shares while Simitomo Corp will buy the rest. Standard Steel is one of North America's leading manufactures of railway wheels and axles with a history of over 200 years. Through this acquisition, Sumitomo Metals with its core domestic manufacturing bases will enhance its global competitiveness in the manufacture and sale of railway wheels.

June 27, 2011

Megabanks Boosted Overseas Lending For 1st Time In 2 yrs

Overseas loans by the nation's three megabanks grew for the first time in the two and half years to about 35 trillion yen as of March 31, driven by increased lending in emerging nations in Asia and Latin America, according to Nikkei. There has been strong funding demand for infrastructure construction and natural resource development in emerging nations while there has been sluggish one at Japanese corporations.

June 21, 2011

Japan-Stock Ownership By Financial Firms Slips Below 30%

Japanese shares held by financial institutions accounted for less than 30% of the total value in fiscal 2010, according to Nikkei. Financial institutions such as banks and life insurers held 29.7% of shares listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. While retail investors' ownership remained flat over many years at about 20%, foreign ownership has been increasing year by year to 26.7%.

June 20, 2011

Dept Store Sales Down 2.4% in May

The Japan Department Stores Association announced that nationwide department store sales fell 2.4% on the year to 482 billion yen. The monthly loss was the third in a row. Although sales generally recovered as consumers regained an appetite to spend after the Great East Japan Earthquake, there were still a lack of demand for luxury items as well as bad weather, which depressed spending.

June 16, 2011

VC-Backed High Technology Company To Go Publc

Morpho, Inc., an image processing technology-oriented servicer, announced that its common shares have been approved for lisitng on The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and are expected to begin trading on the TSE Mothers section on the 23rd of July. Morpho was founded in May 2004 with the full support of The University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC). UTEC is an early stage technology focused venture capital firm associated with The University of Tokyo. Morpho is the second investee going public following tella, Inc. for UTEC.

June 15, 2011

Core Machinery Orders Decline 3.3% in April

The Economic and Social Research Institute, a research unit of the Cabinet Office, announced that private-sector machinery orders, excluding volatile ones for ships and those from electric power companies, decreased a seasonally adjusted 3.3 % in April. The average forecast was around a 1.2% gain. Some economists mentioned that the decline was largely in reaction to gains over the past few months and doesn't represent to a downward trend. The total vale of machinery orders rose by 3.1% in April from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

June 13, 2011

KDDI To Tender Offer For Elec. Money Servicer

KDDI Corp., a major telecom company, announced that it will conduct a tender offer for WebMoney Corp., a Jasdaq-listed electric money service provider. WebMoney's board of directors and its largest shareholder, Faith Inc. approved the offer. The TOB price is 327,000 yen, a 38.87% premium over its 3-motnh average. KDDI plans to strengthen its financial services through the takeover.

June 08, 2011

Tokio Marine Asset to Set Up a Japan-focused RI Fund

Tokyo Marine Asset Management Co., an asset management unit of Tokyo Marine Holdings Inc., will set up an investment fund that will invest in 20-30 mid-cap listed companies in Japan and purse discussions with management to raise the value of the companies, according to Nikkei. Such dialogue is commonly referred to as "Engagement" in the context of Responsible Investment. The fund is to be created jointly with UK proxy voting service firm Governance for Owners and plans to fundraise about 50 billion yen globally.

June 07, 2011

INCJ To Invest Toshiba-Sony Joint Venture of LCD Panel Ops

Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. are in the final stage of negotiations toward unifying operations in small LCD panels for smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices, according to Nikkei. The Innovative Network of Japan(INCJ), a public-private investment fund, will take a major stake in the merged entity for more than 100 billion yen.

June 02, 2011

Sanyo To Sell Full Stake In Homebuilding Op To Ant Capital

Sanyo Electrical Corp. will sell its 19.9% share in Sanyo Homes Co., a midsized homebuilder, to Ant Capital Partners., a Toyo-based private equity firm, according to Nikkei. Sanyo is in the process of merging with Panasonic and divesting some of its duplicate operations. Panasonic holds PanaHome Co., a homebuilding unit of Panasonic group. Sanyo originally acquired its operation from Kubota Co. and aims to sell its solar power systems. But the financially-strapped Sanyo has sold its shares to other companies like Orix Co. and Secom Co. Ant Capital expects Sanyo Homes to be listed in 2012.