Nathan's Feed
Apr 26, 2013

Italy freezes Nomura assets in Monte Paschi probe

TOKYO/SIENA (Reuters) – Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday Italian prosecutors had frozen its assets in Italy in connection with a high-profile investigation over a derivatives contract with local lender Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Nomura Chief Financial Officer Shigesuke Kashiwagi said his bank had been informed on April 23 that Nomura Bank International’s (NBI) assets in Italy had been frozen.

Apr 23, 2013

Japan casino lobby in legalisation push; market could out-strip Vegas

TOKYO/HONG KONG, April 23 (Reuters) – After Singapore,
Japan?

A pro-casino group of Japanese lawmakers has tapped an
influential member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
as its leader and plans to submit legislation this year aimed at
opening the world’s third-largest economy to casino gambling.

Although casinos are illegal, Japanese are already active
gamblers, and a pinball-like game called pachinko generates some
$200 billion in revenue each year – about the same as Toyota
Motor Corp. Japan is often touted as the next major
casino market after Chinese enclave Macau, the world’s biggest
gambling hub, which raked in revenue of $38 billion last year.

Apr 21, 2013

SMBC Nikko bets on “Abenomics”, plans first new branches in five years

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s SMBC Nikko Securities will expand its domestic retail branch network by more than 20 percent over the next three years as it bets that the new premier’s economic policies will lift the stock market further, the head of the country’s third-largest brokerage said.

Tetsuya Kubo, who became president of the brokerage arm of banking group Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) this month, said he wanted to open 25 new branches as part of an effort to increase retail client assets by one-third, to 30 trillion yen ($302 billion), by 2016.

Mar 17, 2013

FBI probe of Universal focuses on $25mln consultant fee company now disavows

TOYKO/MANILA, March 17 (Reuters) – The FBI and Philippine
investigators probing potential bribery related to Universal
Entertainment Corp’s bid to build a casino in Manila
have zeroed in on a $25 million payment the Japanese company now
says should never have been made.

Rodolfo Soriano, a consultant with ties to the former head
of the gaming regulator in the Philippines, received the fee in
2010 to secure land rights for the $2 billion casino, Universal
had said. But records reviewed by Reuters show those rights were
obtained for free in 2009.

Feb 4, 2013

Exclusive: Japan exchange probes accounting of Universal’s Philippine payments – sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Osaka Securities Exchange is investigating how Universal Entertainment Corp (6425.OS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) accounted for millions of dollars paid in 2010 to advance the Japanese firm’s casino project on Manila Bay, people with direct knowledge of the inquiry said.

The exchange’s involvement is the first time the payments have drawn the attention of Japanese regulators. The FBI and Philippine authorities have been investigating $40 million in payments to a politically-connected consultant in Manila since last year.

Feb 4, 2013

Japan exchange probes accounting of Universal’s Philippine payments – sources

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) – The Osaka Securities Exchange is
investigating how Universal Entertainment Corp
accounted for millions of dollars paid in 2010 to advance the
Japanese firm’s casino project on Manila Bay, people with direct
knowledge of the inquiry said.

The exchange’s involvement is the first time the payments
have drawn the attention of Japanese regulators. The FBI and
Philippine authorities have been investigating $40 million in
payments to a politically-connected consultant in Manila since
last year.

Dec 31, 2012

Special Report: Japan’s casino tycoon bet big on Philippines fixer

TOKYO/MANILA (Reuters) – Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada was facing a crisis: work on his dream casino by the bay in Manila was going nowhere.

Instead of a world-class resort packed with Chinese high-rollers, Okada, 70, was sitting on a $300-million patchwork of reclaimed and undeveloped land next to the Manila airport that by the middle of 2009 was threatening to become a money pit, according to company records and people involved.

Dec 26, 2012

Daiwa CEO sees 2013 Nikkei rally on Abe economy boost

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average could rally nearly 30 percent in 2013 due to an aggressive push to reflate the economy under the country’s new premier, the chief executive of Daiwa Securities Group told Reuters in an interview.

While securities executives are known for their bullish market predictions, the comments from Takashi Hibino reflect an optimism among business leaders that the policies of Shinzo Abe will give Japan’s sluggish economy a needed jolt.

Nov 30, 2012

Exclusive: Philippines fixer paid $30 million by Okada’s Universal – sources

TOKYO/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment funneled at least $30 million to an ex-consultant for the Philippines gaming authority who is now at the center of a bribery investigation, according to sources and company records.

The sum is six times the amount initially confirmed by Reuters and could, if found to be bribery, result in Okada being stripped of his firm’s casino license in the Philippines and also jeopardize his gaming license in Las Vegas.

Nov 16, 2012

Exclusive: Philippine payments give U.S. casino regulators new focus in Wynn-Okada feud

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. gaming regulators are investigating millions of dollars paid by affiliates of Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corp to a former consultant for the Philippine gaming authority around the time the company was lobbying to win concessions for a $2 billion Manila casino.

A Universal subsidiary made a $5 million payment in May 2010 to Rodolfo Soriano, a close associate of the former head of the Philippine gaming regulator, according to a Reuters examination of bank records, corporate filings, court documents and records prepared by Universal staff. The payment was made via a shell company in Hong Kong and was part of $40 million in transfers made by Universal’s U.S. affiliate Aruze USA that are now a focus for investigators.