Junko's Feed
Oct 4, 2012

Japan’s giant pension fund eyes property, private equity

TOKYO, Oct 4 (Reuters) – The head of Japan’s Government
Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s biggest public
pension fund, said it may venture into alternative assets, such
as infrastructure and private equity funds, as an ageing
population puts more stress on the pension system.

Looking around for new and better investment returns is
vital for the fund as for the past three years it has been
paying out more in benefits than it receives in contributions to
the national pension system.

Oct 4, 2012

Island plans by Tokyo’s nationalist governor may stoke fresh China tensions

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, a fiery nationalist whose failed bid to buy a group of disputed islands ignited a crisis with China, is pushing ahead with a plan to build structures there to hammer home Japan’s claim, officials involved told Reuters.

Although such a move is not imminent, it would be certain to strain Japan’s already shaky relations with China and could prompt a rebuke from the Obama administration, which has urged both sides to ease tensions by setting aside the dispute.

Sep 28, 2012

Mitsubishi targets growth of tiny property funding business

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top trading house Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is expanding its small real estate financing business to benefit from rising property purchases by foreign investors in the country and an expected jump in refinancing of loans, a senior executive said.

Diamond Realty Management Inc, a real estate asset management firm wholly owned by Mitsubishi, aims to raise 10 billion yen ($128 million) from Japanese investors in a second fund as early as March to provide mezzanine financing for deals, Diamond Realty’s CEO-designate Takashi Tsuji said in an interview.

Sep 14, 2012

Japanese court delays decision on Elpida restructuring plans

TOKYO, Sept 14 (Reuters) – A Japanese court has delayed its
ruling on two competing plans to restructure failed chipmaker
Elpida Memory Inc, a source with direct knowledge of
the matter said.

Elpida filed for bankruptcy in February in the largest
corporate failure among Japanese manufacturers. Saddled with 482
billion yen ($6.22 billion) in liabilities, Elpida has agreed to
be bought by U.S. rival Micron Technology Inc.

Sep 11, 2012

Gourmet “standing” restaurant a Tokyo hit

TOKYO (Reuters) – “Standing” bars – where customers stand to drink – are currently popular in Tokyo, but now the former chef from a Michelin-starred restaurant has taken the concept to a whole new level by serving gourmet food.

Hiroshi Shimada, who once worked at the three-starred Tokyo restaurant Azabu Yukimura, opened “Shimada” in the city’s fashionable Ginza district in January, and now has diners lining up to sample dishes similar to what he used to create for customers before – at a third or less of the cost.

Sep 11, 2012

World Chefs: Gourmet “standing” restaurant a Tokyo hit

TOKYO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – “Standing” bars – where customers
stand to drink – are currently popular in Tokyo, but now the
former chef from a Michelin-starred restaurant has taken the
concept to a whole new level by serving gourmet food.

Hiroshi Shimada, who once worked at the three-starred Tokyo
restaurant Azabu Yukimura, opened “Shimada” in the city’s
fashionable Ginza district in January, and now has diners lining
up to sample dishes similar to what he used to create for
customers before – at a third or less of the cost.

Aug 14, 2012

Elpida bondholders offer $383 mln loan in rival plan

TOKYO, Aug 14 (Reuters) – A group of bondholders in Elpida
Memory has put forward an alternative restructuring
plan for the failed chipmaker, putting pressure on Micron
Technology Inc to increase its takeover offer for Elpida.

The bondholders, who believe U.S.-based Micron is acquiring
Elpida too cheaply, offered to lend 30 billion yen ($383
million) to the bankrupt firm to help it restructure in a plan
presented to the Tokyo District Court, and put Elpida’s value at
more than 300 billion yen.

Jul 10, 2012

Elpida bondholders to vote against Micron plan: document

TOKYO (Reuters) – A group of Elpida Memory Inc (ELPDF.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bondholders will vote against Micron Technology Inc’s (MU.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plan to acquire the bankrupt Japanese chipmaker for about $750 million, arguing that it undervalues the company’s assets, a court filing shows.

In a filing to a Tokyo district court on July 9, the bondholders said they would present an alternative proposal to counter Micron’s offer. The bondholders, which did not disclose their identities, said they were multi-billion dollar international funds investing on behalf of clients including Japanese and global pension funds.

Jul 6, 2012

Goldman secures three properties for new Japan REIT

TOKYO (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has secured three properties in Tokyo for 25 billion yen ($313 million) as its asset management unit prepares to set up a private real estate investment trust (REIT), Shigeki Kiritani, the president of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM), told Reuters.

The private REIT, which will be the first set up by a foreign financial institution in Japan when it is launched next month, will start with 13 billion yen ($162.6 million) in cash, equivalent to about half the combined value of the three properties, Kiritani said in an interview.

Jun 28, 2012

Tokyo office purchase by Kenedix shows upside to market

TOKYO, June 28 (Reuters) – Japanese property asset manager
Kenedix Inc has won the exclusive right to buy a
distressed property in central Tokyo formerly owned by a fund
run by Morgan Stanley for about 51 billion yen ($639
million), less than half of the price it last sold for in 2008,
three people with direct knowledge of the transaction said.

The end of a one-and-a-half-year search for a new owner is a
signal investors now see some upside to the Tokyo real estate
market with analysts saying the city’s vacancy rates have almost
hit bottom and rents for office buildings are set to rise.