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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.

Nov 16, 2012

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

TOKYO, Nov 16 (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.

Oct 23, 2012

Japan Display taps banks with eye to 2014 IPO: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan Display Inc, created in a three-way merger of the small liquid crystal display operations of Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Hitachi Ltd (6501.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Toshiba Corp (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), has chosen investment banks to take it public as early as the first quarter of 2014, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The initial public offering (IPO) will be marketed globally and is expected to raise at least 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) for Japan Display and a state-backed fund that is the firm’s top shareholder, the sources said.

Oct 15, 2012

Cashed up and on a roll: Japan Inc on record M&A spree

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese companies outside the banking sector were sitting on more than $2.6 trillion in cash and deposits at the end of June – a warchest fattened by a strong yen that is driving another record year of outbound acquisitions.

Bankers say telecoms firm Softbank Corp’s (9984.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) $20 billion bid for Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) of the United States, announced on Monday, may be an outlier in Japanese finance – a deal so bold it could only be pulled off by the firm’s audacious chief, Masayoshi Son.