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May 22, 2013

Nomura eyes Asia alliances, boosts Japan asset target

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s largest brokerage firm Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday it was seeking partners to expand its retail and asset management operations in Southeast Asia and was in talks with several financial institutions in the region.

Chief Operating Officer Atsushi Yoshikawa did not name any specific companies but said Nomura would consider taking equity stakes as part of any alliance.

May 14, 2013

U.S. hedge fund calls for Sony Entertainment spin-off

TOKYO (Reuters) – Billionaire hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb on Tuesday called on Sony Corp to spin off its lucrative entertainment arm, setting the stage for a clash between the activist fund and management at the Japanese electronics maker.

Loeb said his Third Point hedge fund had accumulated a little more than 6 percent of Sony’s shares – a stake worth $1.1 billion – making it the largest stakeholder in the inventor of the Walkman portable music player and Trinitron TV.

May 1, 2013

Once bitten, Japan’s big brokers play it safe amid Abenomics boom

TOKYO, May 1 (Reuters) – With losses from ill-fated
expansions still fresh in their minds, executives at Daiwa
Securities Group and other top Japanese brokerages are
waiting to see if the “Abenomics” boost has staying power before
they invest aggressively again.

The industry has enjoyed bumper profits largely as a result
of a 60 percent rally in the Nikkei average since mid-November,
sparked by hopes the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe would jolt the economy out of its two-decade slumber.

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.