JOHANNESBURG, April 21 (Reuters) – South African grocery
chain Pick ‘n Pay <PIKJ.J> reported flat full-year profit and
said it expected more difficulty ahead, underscoring the grim
outlook for demand in Africa’s biggest economy.
Shares of the company fell nearly 2 percent after the
results on Wednesday, becoming the biggest percentage loser on
Johannesburg’s Top-40 index <.JTOPI>.
TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Companies in Japan will have to
disclose top executives’ pay as the country’s financial
regulator aims to increase corporate governance over a
compensation system that is based on seniority not performance.
Under a package of new regulations announced by the
Financial Services Agency last week, firms will have to disclose
details of an executive’s remuneration, including bonuses and
stock options, when the total exceeds 100 million yen ($1.1
million). Most of the regulations will go into effect on March
TOKYO, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Shares of Japan’s Shinsei Bank
<8303.T> fell 6.7 percent on Monday to a near three-month
closing low after a report the lender and Aozora Bank <8304.T>
will scrap a plan to merge in October.
The two midsized lenders will abandon or indefinitely
postpone the deal, which would have created Japan’s
sixth-largest bank by assets, because they could not decide on
a business strategy, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.
TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
<8316.T>, Japan’s third-biggest bank by assets, outshone its
larger rivals and posted its biggest profit in seven quarters on
Monday, helped by an improvement in its stock portfolio and a
decline in bad loans. While Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group <8306.T> and Mizuho Financial Group <8411.T> have made a slow recovery from the global financial crisis, Sumitomo appears to be improving at a quicker pace. The bank's October-December earnings outstripped the combined results of Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho in the same period, a rare result from the smallest of Japan's three "megabanks". However, analysts cautioned that it was still too early to declare a full-fledged recovery, given that Sumitomo Mitsui's lending business remains sluggish, due to chronic weakness in Japan's economy. "We absolutely have to see the fourth-quarter results. They are unlikely to fall into the red, but there is a good chance they will not be able to convincingly beat their forecast," said Tatsuo Majima, a senior analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center. "In terms of the third quarter, the bank has just announced fund-raising, so it's probably that they want to put out good numbers. So there is a chance that profit could fall, or not grow as much as expected." In January, Sumitomo Mitsui raised 968 billion yen ($10.8 billion) in a share offering to help it meet potentially stricter global capital requirements and expand its business in Asia. BILLION VS MILLION Sumitomo Mitsui, which last year bought Citigroup's <C.N> Japanese brokerage and has a 2 percent stake in Barclays Plc <BARC.L>, reported a group net profit of 124.3 billion yen ($1.4 billion) for October-December versus 154 million yen in the year-ago quarter. The results mark the bank's highest quarterly earnings since January-March 2008. Reuters calculated the third-quarter figure by subtracting the bank's first-half results from the nine-month numbers released on Monday. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For a graphic on Japanese banks' recent earnings click on: r.reuters.com/wug38h ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Sumitomo Mitsui stuck to its forecast for a full-year net profit of 220 billion yen. That compared with the average 230 billion yen estimate of 10 analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The StarMine SmartEstimate, which predicts earnings by putting more weight on recent forecasts from top-rated analysts, has the bank posting a profit of 235.5 billion yen. For the quarter, Sumitomo Mitsui booked a loss of 5.8 billion yen on its stock portfolio, much smaller than a loss of 86.3 billion yen a year earlier. Unlike their Western rivals, Japanese banks take stakes in their corporate clients, making them sensitive to swings in stock prices. Credit costs, which include the money set aside to cover bad loans, totalled 51 billion yen for the quarter, down from 97.3 billion yen in the year-earlier period. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For a graphic on Japanese banks' credit costs click on: r.reuters.com/teg38h ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Income from lending, however, saw little growth, gaining just 16 percent from the previous year. Although the world's second-largest economy has begun to recover from its worst recession in post-war history, the improvement has been slight, making companies wary of taking on new loans. [ECILT/JP] Domestic lending fell in January for the second straight month, Bank of Japan data showed on Monday. [JPBNK=ECI] Core operating profit at Sumitomo Mitsui's main banking unit -- a measure of earnings that strips out contributions from affiliated businesses such as consumer finance -- fell from the previous year, meaning that its mainstay banking business actually weakened. To offset the slow growth at home, Sumitomo Mitsui's president, Teisuke Kitayama, has said he aims to make the bank a major player in Asia. Sumitomo Mitsui holds a 15 percent stake in Vietnam's Eximbank <EIB.HM>, as well as small stakes in South Korea's KB Financial Group <105560.KS> and Hong Kong's Bank of East Asia <0023.HK>. Shares of Sumitomo Mitsui closed down 1.2 percent at 2,774 yen ahead of the results on Monday. They have gained 4.9 percent so far this year, after losing about 30 percent in 2009. So far this year, Tokyo's index of bank stocks <.IBNKS.T> is up about 1.5 percent. ($1=89.30 Yen) (Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp’s <6752.T> third-quarter profit jumped more than threefold thanks to cost cuts and robust TV sales, and it raised its forecast for the year above market expectations.
The company said, however, that if safety issues rocking Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T>, its biggest corporate customer, were prolonged, that could affect its performance, casting a shadow over its longer-term prospects.
TOKYO, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
<8316.T> said it would raise up to $9.7 billion in a share sale
to meet stricter global banking regulations and expand overseas.
Japan’s third-largest bank is tapping a modest stock rebound
for much-needed fundraising after industry leader Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group <8306.T> raised about 1 trillion yen ($10.82
billion) last month. [ID:nTOE5BD089]
The bulk of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group’s up to $9.7 billion share issue will go to meet stricter capital requirements, but sources say the bank will use some money to hunt for more opportunities in Asia.
Asian expansion is increasingly important for Japanese lenders, saddled with low profit margins and few opportunities for growth at home. Sumitomo Mitsui already has stakes in Vietnam’s Eximbank, South Korea’s KB Financial and Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia, and wants to benefit more from the region’s growing economies.
TOKYO, Jan 4 (Reuters) – The Tokyo Stock Exchange [TSE.UL]
launched its $140 million “Arrowhead” system on Monday, as Asia’s
biggest bourse targets a dramatic increase in speed to revive its
business and reputation.
Long derided as one of the world’s slowest major exchanges,
Tokyo will now be on par with global rivals such as New York and
London. The system is supposed to process trades 600 times faster
than previously and be able to handle much larger volumes.
TOKYO, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Banks and builders bore the brunt
of selling pressure across Asia on Friday as investors fretted
that exposure to Dubai could further squeeze profits already
hit by the global economic downturn.
Shares of leading banks including HSBC Holdings <0005.HK>
and Standard Chartered <2888.HK> tumbled 7-8 percent, and
property developers such as Australia’s Leighton Holdings
<LEI.AX>, and Japan’s Obayashi Corp <1802.T> were dumped on
fears of losses from some of Dubai’s extravagant construction
TOKYO (Reuters) – The likely $15.5 billion share issuance by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group <8306.T> and Hitachi Ltd <6501.T> is the latest blow to Japan’s long-suffering investors, but it won’t be the last.
Japanese companies have already raised $40 billion through issuing common stock and convertible bonds this year, tapping a modest share market rebound for much-needed cash after the financial crisis — but at the same time heavily diluting the holdings of their current shareholders.